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Business Observer Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 9 months ago

Area venture provides kits to consumers around country for growing crafting trend

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Sarasota-based Diamond Dotz at Home is the consumer division of a larger company, Diamond Dotz.

Forget paint by numbers. While that was a crafting craze in the middle of the 20th century, Sarasota entrepreneur Ray Shelgosh is out to make diamond painting — which shares some paint-by-numbers characteristics but with a twist — the next must-do craft. 

“Paint by number was such a huge phenomenon,” Shelgosh, president and CEO of Diamond Dotz at Home, tells Coffee Talk. “It was probably the biggest thing I’ve seen in the craft business in 35 years — other than this. This has continued to incline year after year after year. It’s unusual to have what we call a slow burn. This continues to grow.”

Courtesy. Sarasota-based Diamond Dotz at Home is providing kits to consumers around the country for a growing crafting trend.

Sarasota-based Diamond Dotz at Home is the consumer division of a larger company, Diamond Dotz. The company sells kits with diamond-like pieces that crafters stick to canvases with codes that designate specific placements. The products are sold in 40 different countries and in U.S. retailers such as Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann Stores.

The Diamond Dotz at Home division sells products that are not available in stores. “Most companies, they only care about selling to brick and mortar,” Shelgosh says. “We tried something different. We wanted to create a separate universe of products for consumers that couldn’t be available in stores.”

The division also has another unique component. Individuals who want to sell Diamond Dotz at Home products can sign up to make commissions. “It’s really fun to watch people who are enthusiasts share this with friends and family,” says Shelgosh, previously president and chairman of Create and Craft television, a company he says is similar to HSN but specifically for craft items.

Amid the coronavirus, people have turned to crafting, and Diamond Dotz at Home has reaped the benefits. “During the pandemic, people wanted more and more of it,” Shelgosh says. “Sales really skyrocketed. People wanted to do something besides watch Netflix.”

And January was a record month for the division, both for sales and recruitment. (He declined to disclose specific sales figures.) “This month convinces me that it has staying power,” Shelgosh says. “This is one of those products that’s found a place in the American lifestyle, and I really think it’s going to be around for many years to come.”

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