Craft rooms are increasingly becoming en vogue. So much so that builders are incorporating craft organization spaces in new homes, and remodelers are being called upon to renovate space in existing homes. The appeal is to both Baby Boomers and Millennials who seek to personalize work areas that accommodate their serious hobbies, including sewing, scrapbooking and much more.
According to a study by the Craft & Hobby Association identifying U.S. attitudes and usage, consumers spend approximately $30 billion a year on craft products, with some of the top crafts including woodworking, needlework and sewing.
With so much time, money and energy spent on crafting, the desire for better organized workspaces is not only catching the attention of builders and remodelers, but also companies that manufacture and sell niche products to the growing Do-It-Yourself (DIY) market.
One such company is SVP Worldwide, source of the Singer, Husqvarna Viking® and PFAFF sewing machine brands. The company, located in LaVergne, TN, was founded in 1851 and is now owned by the Mount Kisco, NY-based, private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. LLC. SVP is one of the world’s largest consumer sewing machine companies with affiliated businesses in 190 countries.
In addition to designing, manufacturing and distributing the machines and accessories, SVP joined up last year with ClosetMaid to launch a modular organizational system, Inspira Studio™, for sewers and crafters. Inspira Studio’s™ eight-piece furniture-styled collection includes five large, stackable cabinets; two smaller, mobile cabinets; and an adjustable activity table.
About two years, Tammy Nixon, global product manager for SVP Worldwide, says the firm discussed product solutions to help sewers become better organized.
“We looked into the market, did research and bought research about home organization products and who the key players were,” she says. ClosetMaid was one of the top manufacturers on the list.
SVP wanted a furniture look for the organizational system and thought ClosetMaid would make a good partner. Nixon says she contacted the home organization systems manufacturer to gauge its interest in the project.
“Tammy reached out to us as part of an exploratory conversation,” says Scott Davis, VP of product development and engineering at ClosetMaid. “We started with a conversation and a mutual interest and it extended from there.” It was an alignment of wants, needs and interests, he adds.
The companies then hired the industrial design and consultant firm Design Central, located in Columbus, OH, to spearhead the research and development and to gather information on how to get the new product line to market.
Nixon says the Design Central team developed a small focus group and visited the homes of eight consumers to get a better idea of their needs and wants for an organizational product.
They discovered that the consumers couldn’t buy one product to fit all of their needs and many of them had tried to create homemade solutions.
Design Central made renderings based off the information they had received, and they consulted with those same eight customers throughout the development and design process. Also, during the research and development phase they worked with SVP dealers to make sure they were fully educated about the new organization system.
Nixon says Inspira Studio™ was first introduced at a sewing and quilting festival in Houston last fall and the line received positive feedback, including praise for how quickly and easily consumers could find thread with the new system.
Of the collection’s five stackable pieces, SVP calls the patent-pending thread cabinet its flagship component. It features a full-extension frame to organize and inventory up to 300 spools. Even the deepest part of the cabinet is accessible with easy glide and tilting thread racks that have removable thread bars for access to spools.
Additional features of the collection include: a fabric cabinet that stores and protects materials on stylish fabric organizer boards, the mat and hoop cabinet, the three-drawer supply cabinet, and the compartment cabinet.
The company also is considering producing additional cabinets targeted toward quilters, Nixon adds.
Learn more at MyInspiraStudio.com.
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