By Amber Christian

In recent issues of Smart Retailer, I cov­ered various aspects of the handmade industry. My goal was to impart new ideas and fresh approaches for how to include handmade in your retail strategy. I wanted to provide a source of creative fuel related to the diffi­culties retailers faced during the past few years.

This span of time interrupted the normal business cycle drum­beat. Shop owners dealt with supply and labor shortages, inflation, and a host of other challenges. Many expressed how exhausted they were and a need for inspiration.

It is easy to sit back and wait for inspiration. That is part of the problem. If inspiration becomes a passive activity, months or years can fly by.

Jack London had the right approach to inspiration: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

So, where do you go to get new ideas on handmade? How do you start to anticipate what is coming instead of just responding in the moment?

Did you know major social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok produce annual trend reports? I am high­lighting these Pinterest and Instagram reports to provide creative inspiration and ideas.

Pinterest’s Predictions

Pinterest’s report looks at trends just emerging. Because Pinterest is a visual platform for sharing and saving, there is a combination of products and experience ideas.

The report has a beautiful visual display and is easy to navigate. Many of the suggestions on the Pinterest platform apply to millen­nials, Generation X, and baby boomers.

Why does this report matter?

“For the last three years, 80% of our report predictions came true,” Pinterest said. This report about trends is particularly helpful because Pinterest shares both the trend as well as what is driving it.

Additionally, Pinterest shares metrics from its platform to support the trend while also explaining which generation the trend applies to.

Finally, the report includes specific examples of the trend. Seeing individual examples is a great way to spark creative juices and build on your existing strategies with new inspiration.

What are some interesting trends in the report?

  • The YOLO years: There is no time like the present. You Only Live Once parties and experiences are being thrown by baby boomers and Gen Xers. They are a direct response to the pandemic. Expect to see more celebrations and parties as people make the most of the here and now.
  • Pets are taking it to the next level. Pinterest predicts pet pool parties to be on the rise, thrown by their Gen X and baby boomer parents. At Stockabl, we are also seeing an uptick in listings for all varieties of pet products, so we think this one has legs — er, paws.
  • A chance of showers: The shower experience is getting a reboot. Gen Xers and baby boomers want to transform shower time into a mini spa experience. At Stockabl, we are noticing this trend as well, with a variety of new and different products and scents being introduced to enhance the shower experience.

Visit to read the entire report.

Instagram and Gen Z

The 2023 Instagram Trend Report describes itself as “a data-driven guide to cultural and social trends as defined by Gen Z.” Instagram is also a very visual platform and takes great strides to support creators and the creative economy. While still visual, this report is built to be downloadable.

Why does this report matter?

This report focuses on providing a better understanding of Gen Z and the issues that matter to it. Gen Z is new to the workforce, and the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted some of its formative years.

What are some interesting trends in the report?

  • Recycle, reuse, and reconstruct: Move over fast fashion — hello DIY clothing. Sustainability is a key concern for this generation. On more limited budgets, they are interested in adding DIY elements to upgrade their wardrobes and express themselves.
  • Climate and expressive beauty: Makeup and beauty products help this generation express themselves. For other generations, makeup is about enhancing and augmenting their looks. Gen Zers want to use makeup as a form of expression, much like how clothing has been used by previous generations. Climate change is also important. Expect to see more Gen Zers protecting their skin earlier by wearing sun protection products.

Visit instagram-trends-2023 to see the full report.

Wrapping It All Up

Trend reports on social media platforms are a great way to understand what is behind the upcoming trends. Platforms are giving us data-supported reports.

These are not just their opinions or desires for what they want. These reports are supported by the surveys and metrics on their platforms. They provide insight into what consumers are looking for next in products and services, which is beneficial when deter­mining how to stay relevant with your customer base.

Amber Christian is a consultant, entrepreneur, and owner of Stockabl. She bought Stockabl to support her passion for makers, artisans, and independent retail business. She uses her technology background to create innovative new solutions to support small businesses and buying local. She welcomes you to connect with Stockabl on Instagram at @shopstockabl.