37 BUSINESS The Craft Report 2021 Our industry, like many others, has faced changes on a global scale since March 2020. There’s no doubt the pandemic has affected every area of our lives and prompted both individuals and businesses to re-evaluate their priorities and working practices. To better understand the opportunities for craft businesses as we travel towards a new normal, we’ve taken a closer look at The Craft Report 2021, the industry’s most important survey of the crafting consumers’ behaviour and attitudes. Commissioned by ICHF Events, organisers of the CHSI Stitches trade show and leading craft and cake consumer shows, The Craft Report is designed to help craft businesses fine tune strategies and identify new opportunities. The Craft Report, compiled through online interviews and a questionnaire, is a sample of 2,000 established crafters. Talking to crafting consumers across the course of this year, we found 10 key changes in behaviour which could potentially impact on the craft industry. These changes might well have occurred naturally over time, but the last 18 months has speeded up the change process, which means that, as an industry, we need to be agile to address emerging needs and behaviours. 1. Growth Our research show that the pandemic has been a catalyst for growth, both in terms of increased numbers of people involved in craft and increased time spent crafting by existing or former crafters. With a sudden change in normal working and travel patterns, 44 per cent had more free time on their hands and that craft is by far the most popular choice for how to spend this time. Four out of five are crafting more since the pandemic started and over half have tried or re-engaged with at least one different craft, but more often taken up two or more. With CHSI Stitches tantalisingly close in February (27th-28th February, 2022), we asked researcher Linda Jones, who is behind the show’s renowned Craft Report, to share her findings from the 2021 report which was carried out earlier this year. Research for the latest Craft Report is underway and findings will be released at the show in February.