There are three things to keep in mind when using the Craft and Hobby Association’s (CHA’s) Attitude & Usage Study U.S. data sets from 2005 to 2011.
- The accuracy of the market sizes varies from +/-10% to +/-35% or more, depending upon how large or small the market is.
- CHA changed the names of categories (woodworking became wood crafting, etc.) and went from 30 to 47 segments in 2010, making many segments seemingly not comparable.
- CHA changed the survey from print to online in 2010, attracting a slightly younger and more male set of respondents.
So, what do you do if you want to compare the data from 2005 through 2011?
- Always look at the household participation rates for each segment. Hart estimates if less than 5% of US households participate in that segment, the CHA Attitude & Usage data is much less reliable. This affects leather, mosaics, macrame, print making, paper mache, needlepoint, fiber art, needle felting, and mixed media.
- Take a close look at the category changes. There are poor matches over time for woodworking/wood crafts, wedding crafts/wedding bridal, food crafts/cake decorating, fine arts/art and drawing. Don’t compare 2005-2009 with 2010-2011 for these.
- Set up a spreadsheet with all the data you’re interested in and graph how it varies. Some category data resembles an EKG, so don’t bet your venture capital (or credit card limit) on those.