Hooker Furniture, Tampa, Livingston

New Hobby Cabinet offers work space, organization for craft enthusiasts
New furniture item featured on 80-foot-high sign in Times Square

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Hooker Furniture hobby cabinet featured in Times Square

Martinsville, VA – A new type of furniture invented by Hooker Furniture (NASDAQ-GS: HOFT), and debuted at the international High Point Furniture Market, was recently featured on a 23-story-high sign in Times Square.

The hobby cabinet, which caters to the 62 million American households that engage in crafting projects ranging from scrapbooking to needlework to gift wrapping, was displayed on the 80-foot-tall Reuters news service sign in New York’s Times Square that features newsworthy items throughout the day on a rotating basis. Over 1.5 million people pass through Times Square daily and take in the news topics on the Reuters screen.

Observing the growing passion among Americans for crafting projects, Hooker Furniture developed the hobby cabinet as a creative resource to enhance crafters’ pastime.

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Hobby cabinet

Offered in an upscale light or dark cherry finish and a sophisticated casual design, the hobby cabinet consists of a credenza and hutch combination that is slightly under eight feet tall. The credenza has a file drawer, cubby drawers for storing beads, stickers, buttons, threads or needles; a pull out drawer for a printer, two map-sized drawers for storing large sheets of paper and a drop down drawer and two-prong electrical outlet so a laptop computer can be used. On top of the credenza is a fold-out work surface that is about 30 inches deep and 38 inches wide that is at counter height so you can stand to work on crafts or wrap gifts. The fold-down surface even offers a pencil tray edge perfect for running scissors across to cut paper or fabric.

The hutch has doors that open to reveal eight large dowels for hanging rolls of paper or fabric, smaller dowels for organizing ribbons, cork boards for posting photos, crafting ideas, patterns and the like, along with storage shelves and drawers.

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Hobby cabinet storage

“As the passion for crafting has grown, we wanted to provide hobbyists with a special space of their own to enjoy working on their crafts and to organize all the elements that go into their projects,” said Mike Spece, executive vice president of merchandising and design at Hooker.

Nearly 6 in 10 U.S. households have a crafting project going on at least once during the year, and 42 million households will craft gifts of some sort between November and December of this year alone, according to the Craft & Hobby Assn. Led by scrapbooking, craft and hobby activities have grown to become a nearly $30 billion industry. Scrapbooking alone is a $2.5 billion industry.

Why the growing passion for hobbies and crafts? Some craft for practical reasons because they can make it cheaper than they can buy it; others for the social aspect of spending time with friends and family as they knit or create scrapbooks together. Evolving from the quilting bees and sewing circles from hundreds of years ago, today there are modern crafting communities online, according to the Craft & Hobby Assn. Creating something with one’s own hands enhances self esteem and even has therapeutic and medicinal value. Doctors even prescribe craft therapy, and studies show that hand-crafting leads to stress reduction.

With their hobby cabinet, Hooker Furniture hopes to enhance the stress-reduction qualities of crafting even further by providing a central station for organizing paper, glue, scissors, tape and the like. The fold-out work surface also allows people to stand and work comfortably, rather than kneeling down to work on crafts spread on the floor or cluttering up the kitchen table.

The hobby cabinet will be available in retail stores in early 2010.