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Fleeting Wonders: Crayon Makers Stressed Out By Coloring Craze

“I dream about crayons at night,” one factory manager says.

Manufacturers now have to make a ton of these. (Photo: Jorge Barrios/Public Domain)

For many busy professionals, the recent rash of adult coloring books has made life a little more relaxing. But there’s one sector of the population who have been more stressed out by the craze–crayon-makers.

Since the U.S. started gobbling up all things coloring, the largely German companies that make the implements have struggled to keep up with demand, reports Agence-France Presse. Staedtler–the Nuremburg company whose fine-tipped colored pencils, crayons, and markers are favorites with the scribbling crowd–has been hit particularly hard. ”I dream about crayons at night,” Staedtler factory manager Andreas Martin told AFP this week.

Martin says that after years of steady, unremarkable demand, the coloring book fad has pushed the small factory into overdrive. Staedtler’s sales rose 14% last year, and famed coloring book author Johanna Basford recently endorsed their products. “All of a sudden, we weren’t able to manufacture enough,” he says. “It’s incredible.”  

While Staedtler is currently making do with night and weekend shifts, they’re considering adding a whole new machine to their floor. Their only worry is that the trend will slow, and they’ll be stuck with an influx of crayons. If that happens, though, there’s a ready solution–slow down, take a deep breath, and start coloring. 

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.