COVID-19 pandemic spurring interest in new hobbies
WATERLOO -- Months of lockdown boredom spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired some in Waterloo Region to take up new, interesting hobbies to pass the time.
In the last year and a half, Sean McCabe has built 34 model aircrafts.
"I just thought I would build one small model and enjoy it because we were housebound and of course, as you can see, it grew exponentially," he said.
Right now, he's working on another World War II aircraft. Each model takes him a few weeks to build.
"It was incredible, especially for being in the moment," McCabe said. "It was incredible for my mental health."
Cheryl Flood, the owner of Hobby and Toy Central, says aircrafts have been a hot ticket item amid the pandemic.
"We're selling more tools and accessories from models than we've ever seen in 30 years," she said.
She estimates sales of hobby items have increased by about 30 per cent since the pandemic began.
"We have a surge of new young people that gives life to the hobby business, who has been struggling for years," Flood said.
Other hobbies are also picking up steam.
Stephen Monk picked up woodworking when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, something he's been interested in since he was young.
"My commute is like two minutes from my bedroom to my office, and so I have a lot more time to do stuff and so this was kind of fun," Monk said.
Best friends Alyssa Ward and Jessica Cossette tried making candles and have since turned their hobby into a job, now selling their creations under the business name Crafted Zen.
"We make and produce all of our own products in our kitchens," said Ward, co-owner of Crafted Zen.
"Even when it's after a busy day and we still have to make a batch of candles, we find it very therapeutic," fellow co-owner Cossette added.
Whether its building models, woodworking or creating candles, those who have taken up the new pastimes say their hobbies have helped them cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.