Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Re: Millenials and craftsmanship

david weaver
It exists, and I'm sure it will continue.

The mrs. has a bunch of friends who are physicians, and some who are low-mid 6 figure executives. I have never seen any of them purchase anything old other than shabby furniture that you would find at a flea market.

All of these folks have no interest in creating, nor buying anything that was created by hand. They want to spend their money on their kids, on travel and on eating. They want to do things like work abroad for two years, even if it's a net loss, and take their kids and spouses with them - for the experience. As in, people with money are moving away from things and more toward experiences. My relatives, some of them with a significant amount of money, valued travel less (at least a lot less frequently) and didn't value blowing a lot money on dinner at all. To them, antiques were a connection to the past that they enjoyed.

We don't have the same income my wife's friends have, but my wife definitely would prefer an empty house and dinner out + travel over pretty much anything. To her, a $2k solid wood table and chair set from an "amish furniture" dealer is an over-the-top furniture purchase.

This exists in the antique tractor market, too (some of my relatives were farmers). The generation of farmers who grew out of the depression and some after them have made a great deal of money on land appreciation when they retire, and some of that has been spent on rare tractors or just older tractors that they remember using but discarded. They find antiques and if they're not that rare, have them "done up" to look like new. The generation following them is going to have a lot fewer farmers in it and nobody else is going to buy a 6 ton antique that doesn't fit in a garage. This has been discussed by collectors on that side for about the last decade. I've moved away and haven't followed it, but would suspect that for both furniture and that, the truly rare stuff will continue to appreciate. The nice stuff that's not that rare is where the market is going to disappear.

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