You’ve got to be in it to win it.

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By Andrej Suskavcevic

One of the main aspects of the CHA MEGA show activity is celebrating innovation. Every year we have the New Products Showcase, which highlights industry innovation. All you innovators out there, you don’t want to miss submitting your products in this year’s showcase because this coming January we will be adding a celebratory twist to it. As an extension of the showcase we will be hosting the Hot Product Awards. When you submit your product for the showcase you will have to identify it within eight traditional craft categories. You can enter one product into multiple categories and you automatically become eligible for the Hot Product Award. A jury of notable craft celebrities, journalist, bloggers and personalities will select the top three nominees for each category.  Winners will be announced during the Foundation Gala at the MEGA show on Sunday night. All nominees will receive two complementary tickets to the Gala.

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As part of the continued promotion of industry innovation the winning products will become part of a “roadshow” as CHA showcases the Hot Products at other industry events throughout 2015 (Creativeworld, NAMTA, etc.)

Each year, we celebrate the industry at our Foundation Gala. It’s an opportunity to help CHA and its Foundation further the awareness of and participation in the creative arts industry. In addition to the Hot Product awards, we will recognize individuals and companies for their service to the industry and induct new members into the CHA Hall of Fame. See our press release for this year’s CHA award honorees here. It will be a night to remember with a reception and dinner, awards ceremonies and a band that will knock your socks off. Our silent auction and raffle will have some amazing prizes and you’ll want to enter. All proceeds benefit the CHA Foundation that raises awareness and participation in amazing industry of ours.

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Personally, the Academy Awards can’t hold a candle to the type of party we will be throwing. Just sayin’…

To submit products for the awards program link here.

To reserve your seat or to purchase a table for the Gala link here.

To submit items for the silent auction or raffle contact Cathy Martell at cmartell@craftandhobby.org.

Cheers,
Andrej

Bloggers, Join CHA by November 17th & You’ll Be Entered to Win a CHA 2015 MEGA Show Travel Package!

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All eligible bloggers that join CHA by November 17th will receive an invitation to attend the acclaimed Hot Product VIP Media & Retailer Event at the upcoming CHA 2015 Conference & Trade Show (CHA MEGA Show), and will be entered in a drawing to win a CHA 2015 MEGA Show travel package including a 2-night stay for two at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel. Confirmed CHA Blogger Members will receive an application to be included on the Prime Publishing/FaveCrafts party list at the CHA MEGA Show.

The CHA 2015 MEGA Show Travel Package includes:

  • Two (2) night stay for two (2) at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel
  • Breakfast for two (2) for two (2) mornings
  • $50 gift card to The Catch restaurant
  • Two (2) Disneyland Resort Park Hopper tickets

When you join CHA as a blogger member, which is classified under the Industry Professional category, you’re able to enjoy all of the CHA membership benefit offerings.

Of particular interest to the blogging community, your CHA membership includes:

  • Free admission to the CHA 2015 MEGA Show
  • Membership in CHA’s Social Media creative community
  • Subscription toCraft Industry Today  magazine
  • Discounts on education programs and services to grow your business

CHA’s President and CEO, Andrej Suskavcevic, recently wrote a blog post outlining the reasons why CHA created the new membership just for the blogging community. To read this blog post, click here.

For more information please visit www.craftandhobby.org. To join now, click here.

Introducing CHA’s New Blogger Membership

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By Andrej Suskavcevic

Last week we introduced a new category of membership for bloggers. This was a result of months of consultation with our Social Media Section leadership, the CHA Board appointed Membership Committee and the Board itself. Feedback thus far has been very positive and I wanted to take this opportunity to explain some of the thinking that went on that got us here.

CHA has a wide-ranging membership, not only by the type of business (supplier, retailer, etc.), but also the kind of business (beading, quilt, paint, etc.).  Though, for many our key value proposition is the MEGA Show, much of the work we do is supporting the various communities that constitute our membership. As the industry evolves we need to evolve with it. Over the last couple of years we have seen the growth of blogging within the craft industry. Many current CHA members utilize bloggers to promote their products or stores. Given that blogging has become part of the social fabric of the craft industry we felt it was time to highlight this community with its own membership category. Through this effort we look to help build the connections with other CHA members for mutual business success.

The criteria for membership were established to attract established bloggers that do this as a business versus individuals who are blogging to support their love for crafting.  It’s a challenge as to where to draw the line of being inclusive versus exclusive. Our current criteria seek to find that balance. See the criteria here. We particularly had this in mind when it came to access to the MEGA Show floor. We are looking for bloggers to be multipliers and influencers for the industry and not go to the Show for free stuff. We are additionally developing Show guidelines to help blogger members better understand the do’s and don’ts of networking and business development at the Show.

As we bring blogger members onboard we will be taking in all of the feedback we receive along the way, and if we see a need for a change to the criteria we will bring that to the Membership Committee for consideration.

I tip my hat to all of our members in the “CHA 2015 – See you in Anaheim” Facebook group for all of your feedback and thoughts. I read all of the comments and as you see above we are incorporating your ideas to make this a better, welcoming experience for everyone involved. Keep the feedback coming. It’s what makes CHA better.

Cheers,
Andrej

A Look at CHA Designer Section Authors

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‘Creativity is our Business™’ is the tagline of the CHA Designer Section.  CHA Designer Members are the connecting piece between manufacturers and craft enthusiasts, providing professional services that markets, educates and inspires consumers.  As business owners, CHA Designer Members are experts in their own craft mediums and experienced professionals in all aspects of marketing.  CHA Designers are skilled in promoting new products, designs and some in creating new products and bringing those new products to market.

One of the important skills Designers bring to CHA and the crafting market is teaching, as demonstrated in the number of books they have authored.  We asked Jo Packham, of Where Women Create and Where Women Cook, to share with us some of her experiences as an author and publisher:

“I have been writing and packaging books for more than 30 years, with over 1,000 titles in my library.  Publishing and becoming published are very different today than they have been in the past and both are changing more rapidly, all due to the speed of technology. Today’s “Wanna-Be” author must be cognizant of the changes and able to adapt to what the publishers’ need.

ijustlike_cover_suzy&lilla_5-3First, you must find a way to submit to a publisher because many publishers no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts. Today, the best way to be noticed by a publisher and asked or accepted to write a book is to have a current well written blog. It will very quickly, inexpensively, and easily tell a publisher exactly what kind of work you do, what kind of writer you are, exhibit your attention to detail and solidify your level of professionalism.

Publishers no longer have big marketing budgets nor time to build an author’s reputation. Today, it is more important to a publisher that you can help with the successful marketing and sales of a book. A well known Blog/Blogger can do that. An established personality in any field can sell a respectable number of a fairly good books but a totally unknown author can usually only sell a few of even a really great book.

The most popular general category right now in publishing is food. Customers, young or old, are consumed with healthy eating. New, small entrepreneurs and storeowners are not just making or selling handmade cards or scrapbook supplies, hand-knitted sweaters or yarns, they are making and marketing organic home grown jellies, salsas, cup cakes, salts, spices, as well as herbal bath products and perfumes.

The food market is enormous, established, and “hungry” if you will, for new products, new ideas, and new areas for growth. They are not DIYers but we can teach them the “simple side” of what we do to package their goods creatively, market their products inexpensively, and grow in an additional successful direction.”

Many CHA Designer Section members are published authors.

Myléne Hillam from Australia has a similar story to tell:

“Creative people are tactile people and whilst many crafters are embracing digital technology to inspire them, there is still nothing like being able to thumb through the StylishLeatherpages of a book. As the author of two jewelry-making titles (“Stylish Leather Jewelry” and “Findings Made Fabulous”), my experience with my publisher has been extremely positive – having an editor who understands my vision for the book makes the editing process run smoothly and the end result is a polished book with beautiful photography and styling. My best advice for getting a publisher interested in publishing your book concept is to have a unique idea or a fresh take on an older idea. It also pays to be just ahead of the trends because of the time it takes to get your original concept to a finished book.”   

Mandy Collins agrees:

“Digital media has provided an option for more of us to ‘own more books’.  As a crafter, I like the tactile feel of reading a book, there is something special about tumixedmediamandyrning a page.

Collaborative books provided my first taste of publishing and are still a favorite.  Blending a variety of creative styles widens the view for readers and shows there is something for everyone’s taste.

Try before you buy is an old marketing tool that over the last few years has become more important.  This year I have teamed up with Catherine Matthews Scanlon to co-author a collection of free e-books to let people try our tutorial and creative styles.”

Cindy Shepard echoed that message:

“While I tend to refer to myself as a ‘self-taught’ artist, most of the credit goes to those artists before me who so willingly shared their love of art and their devotion to craft through the books I have enjoyed over the years.bottleart

I am an avid art book collector and still have “how-to” books from the 1970’s. It’s amazing how relevant some of them still are today. It has been fun to watch the progression of art and craft books over the last 40 years. They have evolved from basic “how-to” books to introducing new art movements and fabulous new products, plus lots of encouragement to help you lead a creative life.

When I author a book my main goal is to have a conversation with the reader, to help them explore the possibilities within them and expand and enhance their own personal style.”

As author and co-author of over 20 hard and soft cover books, Designer Member Tiffany Windsor is familiar with the publishing arena. Her newest title Creative Scarves is releasing in November. She completely agrees with the importance of the visibility of today’s creative blogger.

“I was contacted via email by a creativescarvespublisher who had a specific book topic in mind and found Cool2Craft through social media. We set up a phone call and talked for about an hour and decided it would be a good match to move forward. When we first started the conversation, she did not know my deep ties in the craft industry, so for me, it was a perfect example of how important social media is in building your brand. I didn’t have to go out and pitch a book concept, my brand speaks for itself and when this publisher was looking for an author for a specific title, they reached out to me. Definitely the easiest book deal I have ever made!”

cha designer logoThe CHA Designer Members are a communications link between manufacturers and craft enthusiasts, professional crafters and artists, and creative DIYers.  The CHA Designer Section members provide professional services in a range of marketing fields, social media, developing tutorials and editorials that support delivering product knowledge and inspiration to create.   To connect with CHA Designer Section Committee Members click here. 

Canadian Designers Meet To Share Ideas and Projects

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By Paula Jones

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In Ontario, Canada there are a core group of designers that get together regularly for a quarterly meeting. They usually meet at a Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) supplier or retailer member’s location to share business knowledge, catch up on each others activities and learn some new techniques doing a few small projects.

On October 1, 2014 they met at the Sewing Café in Georgetown, where they spent the day learning about Chinese Knots and created exceptional leather and bead projects sponsored by John Bead. They also received great goodies from Westcott.

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K & Company paper designer, Kelly Panacci, joined the group for the first time and she brought along samples of her new fabric line with Riley Blake.

The group is planning their third annual retreat in Barrie, Ontario at the end of May.

Many thanks to Linda and Anna of the Sewing Café for hosting the meeting.

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Do you have a core group of designers in your area? Why not plan a get together and invite some prospective designer members to participate in your meeting? This is a great way to introduce non-members to CHA and show them the valuable benefits of our creative communities. Contact Paula Jones at pjones@craftandhobby.org for more information.

New CHA Member’s Business Provides an Answer to Stash Busting

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By Paula Jones

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Craft Happy, an independent craft store run by sisters Megan Wellsbury and Alyssa Elstone, is located in the town of Orangeville in Ontario, Canada. The store has a unique business model specializing in reselling previously loved craft supplies, as well as tools and materials for the purpose of creating upcycled crafts.

paula 2Patrons bring in their unused or no longer wanted craft supplies/ materials and Craft Happy purchases them for a store credit. The store is like a Pandora’s Box full of amazing finds including buckets of scrabble pieces, genuine ephemera, old license plates, mason jars, fabric, threads, fibers, knick-knacks and almost anything you can think of for your next upcycled or mixed media project.

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A majority of their inventory comes from donations, drop offs, garage sale finds and estate sales.  They also sell new products. Their inventory is constantly changing, which is great for the crafters who are always looking for “what’s new” as well as those looking for the final missing piece for their projects.

Craft Happy posts their new inventory regularly on their Facebook page.  Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/crafthappyorangeville.

 

Darice: Sixty Years of Crafting History and Still Going Strong!

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By Paula Jones

darice 1This summer I received an invitation to visit the Darice facilities in Strongsville, Ohio. I knew that Darice was a large craft company with gazillions of craft products, but I had no idea of what to expect. Darice is a privately held, family run business and the family feel is immediately evident when you enter the facility. I visited the day after the company celebrated its sixtieth anniversary. There was a huge outdoor tent where they hosted a company wide picnic still on the lawn when I arrived. From the moment you stepped into the facility, whether it was being greeted by the friendly receptionist to the genuinely enthusiastic staff, the atmosphere was welcoming and a hive buzzing of creativity.
darice 2The fourteen thousand square foot show room was amazing! It is larger than most craft stores, complete with sample project ideas and “Trend Caps” so that visitors and retail buyers can be inspired and informed of their latest products and ideas. Local stores who purchase from the show room are given a scanner to scan the items they want and the information is sent directly to the warehouse for pick up or shipping to their store.

darice 3I was particularly impressed with the new “LockerLooks” product display which Darice predicts will be a big hit for the back to school season. It included glitter paper wall liners, fuzzy soft mini mats, a battery operated chandelier to hang at the top of the locker, and magnetic containers that held all of the accessories you could possibly imagine.

darice 5From the show room I was escorted through a maze of office suites and introduced to various departments.  Along all of the walls were motivational and inspirational posters. It was clear from speaking with the employees, many of whom had been with the company for decades, that the company practices what they preach.

darice 6The 500,000 square foot warehouse was overwhelming! The pick, pack and ship process was explained to me, and I was shown three levels of conveyor belts that feed various packing stations which are fully automated and help achieve over a 98% fill rate on each order.  There is a constant loading of huge transport trucks at docking stations and delivery of shipping containers from overseas sourcing. The automated system can track contents of shipping boxes, refill packing stations, identify customers preferred shipping methods and get it out of the building for the most part within less than 24 hours. Overseas shipments have special attention to detail to ensure everything is as perfect as possible and minimize the hassles of errors with tariff codes and import duties.

darice 8Darice also distributes for many companies, owns several previously independent companies and also has its own brand of products. The company ships to retail customers all over the world and gives back to their local community, which was evident from the various philanthropic endeavors in the town, including the local community complex.

darice 9After the warehouse I was given a tour through the rest of the office.  They have an entire department dedicated to marketing and social media, a “Darice University”, to upgrade employee training. Then it was on to my favorite area, research and development. The R&D department was like going to craft heaven. 3D printers, huge laser cutting machines, piles and piles of supplies to play with and ideas hanging from ceilings and walls.

darice 10I particularly loved the plastic tie and the necklace display chandeliers. The design staff could not wait to show me what they were working on and demonstrated how their tools worked and even cut out some samples for me. I was in designer heaven!  I also met the trade show booth designer who creates all of the cool ideas that they show in their CHA booths.

darice 11Next up was the play room where I met a gentleman whose job is to play with the products and come up with sample ideas to help promote them.  He was playing with a plastic fork, paint and a paper plate and created the picture to the left. The walls were floor to ceiling full of every imaginable craft product, I wanted to stay and play, fancy being paid to do that work, sign me up!

darice 12Next to R&D was the photo studio where the projects and products are photographed. Darice designs their own packaging and creates its own images. On the way back to the show room we passed by the wellness wall, which contains literature and information on employee health and benefits. Darice takes care of and values their employees.

The next day I was introduced to buyers from various craft segments that walked me through the show room again to show me the latest trends and hot products as well as upcoming projects. The bead and jewelry buyers explained the close links to fashion and how they spend significant time and energy following trends and pantone colors to predict and produce products ready for the next season release. The children’s craft buyer showed me how their own branded products integrate with other craft lines and how products are developed at different price points for various markets.

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The Director of Programing Planning and Sourcing showed me some of the products Darice had developed, how they contine to evolve and the process that Darice goes through to get products to market. For example, a children’s hand puppet program was developed at a low cost price point and included a door frame puppet stage. This program is now being upgraded with better packaging, QR Codes for more ideas to use in the open stock kits and even its own app, where kids can pick a puppet they have made and make a video on an iPhone about the character. The Director also shared a new secret project she is working on, and allowed me to share my ideas on how this product, currently thought of as a “grandma” craft, could be updated for children of the twenty first century.  I came away inspired and anxious to see how this project will develop.

Darice is an exceptional company. They imagine, innovate, source, create, test, safety approve, package, publish, market, educate through social media, display, sell through retailers, pick, pack, ship and provide support both to their retail and end user customers. After 60 years they are constantly evolving with the market, giving back to their community and caring for their employees, truly impressive. To learn more about Darice and their products go to www.darice.com.

Hire CHA Designers for New Product Development and More!

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The Craft & Hobby Association’s (CHA) Designer Section is a particularly busy group. Their tag line is “creativity is our business™” and it shows. CHA Designer Members are experts in their own craft mediums and experienced professionals in all aspects of marketing. The CHA Designer Section has created a directory that provides information about the Designer Section to help the industry search for professional creative services offered by our Designer Section Members. The directory includes graphic listings from over 70 current CHA designers that profile their work, and index of over 250 designers listed by company and geographical location which will assist manufacturers, suppliers and industry professionals seeking qualified designers to create, educate and promote their products.

Among other things, CHA Designers help promote new products, design or create new products and bring new products to market. The following Designers have found recent success developing products for industry manufactures.

Eileen Hull

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Last January at the CHA MEGA Show in Anaheim, a new product called ColorBox Blends™ was released which CHA Designer, Eileen Hull launched with Clearsnap. Prior to Christmas, Eileen was purchasing stocking stuffers for her kids when she noticed shoe polishers 3/$1. She purchased the shoe polishers for her kids in the military and couldn’t help but notice their unique design – they had a barrel and sponge attached at the other end to apply the polish with. She instantly knew it would make a great ink applicator!

She wrote a proposal and presented it to Clearsnap at the CHA 2013 MEGA Show. After some research and discussion, a contract was signed and at CHA in January, 2014, ColorBox Blends™ were launched!

ColorBox Blends are the ink pad, applicator and reinker all in one! The easy to use ColorBox Blends™ are available in ten unique colors of Crafter’s Ink and can be used on multiple surfaces including fabric, wood, paper, and matboard. They are permanent when heatset and are great for distressing edges, inking stencils, building backgrounds, using with embossing folders for a letterpress effect and using with stamps. Best of all there is no messing with an applicator or ink pad lid, the applicator is all you need keeping your hands clean!

Check out a sample project here and visit Eileen’s blog for more ideas on how to use this versatile new product.

Nathalie Kalbach

Recently, CHA Designer Member, Nathalie Kalbach launced a new line of stamps for Stampendous!® designed to create the look of textural backgrounds on a flat surface. Nathalie has always loved to use stamps in her Mixed Media and Scrapbooking projects in untraditional ways to create texture and layers.  Early on she dreamed of a line of stamps that could do exactly that but not take away from the focal point of her projects.

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003 Grunge Stamp Set Nat K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately the first company that Nathalie worked with went out of business and her designs never made it to market. Lucky enough, she discovered Stampendous!® and developed a good business relationship with them.  After some discussions about stamp designs and a number of business meetings, a contract was signed. Nathalie’s first three n*Studio Stamps for Stampendous!® were launched during the CHA 2014 MEGA Show.

The Cling Rubber Stamp sets include three stamps and a reusable stencil template. You can use them with ink and acrylic paint, they are very durable and perfect to use in art journals, cards, on scrapbooking layouts, for print making, on canvases or with any Mixed Media project. You can find some samples linked here or visit Nathalie’s blog for more inspiration.

Download the CHA Designer Section Directory today and use it as a resource all year long.

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Gift Suite Success at the 66th Emmy Awards

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Estelle Harris, “Seinfeld”

CHA members Spinrite, Clover Needlecraft, Sizzix and Plaid, participated in an off-site gifting suite hosted by the Borgine Group at the 66th Emmy Awards held in Los Angeles, California on August 23, 2014.

Stars from hit shows like Breaking Bad, Seinfield, True Blood, Glee and Happy Days took the time to create make-n-takes using the amazing products from the participating companies.

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Gregg Daniel, “True Blood”

I was so happy to have the celebrities take the time to sit and craft with us!” said Laura Hollar, Sizzix Community Manager. “They were all very kind and gracious with us and seemed to be really excited about Sizzix, too!”.

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David DeLuise, “Wizards of Waverly Place”

The sponsors captured photos and autographs of the celebrities using their products that they were able to post immediately on social media, and will later use to enhance their marketing efforts.

Marshall Williams

Marshall Williams, “How to Build a Better Boy”

“Spinrite L.P. is very excited to have participated in the 66th Emmy Awards Gifting Suite hosted by the Borgnine Group. It was a great opportunity to share our brands Paton’s and Bernat, with past, present, and future Emmy nominees, as well as our customers on social media!” Said Christa Baker, Brand Manager, Spinrite LP.

To view more photos taken at the gift suites, click here to view the CHA Facebook Page photo album. Search the #CHASwag and #CRE8TIME hashtags to view social media posts from the event.

If you are interested in participating in future Gift Suite events, contact Nidia Negron at nnegron@craftandhobby.org or 201-835-1204.

CHA Social Media Section News

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The CHA Social Media section is rounding up news to share each month here on the blog about upcoming craft designer blog tours, craft product promotional campaigns and other exciting collaborations. Click the links to learn more and share some of this news via your own social media channels to inspire your fans and followers to create!

All CHA members who work in a social media capacity are welcome to join the section’s Facebook group to stay informed of social media news and best practices, ask questions about new apps and platform updates, and collaborate with other CHA members.

Tulip For Your Home – Blogger Campaign
September 1 – 12, 2014
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Working with Blueprint Social and iLoveToCreate, 20 top craft bloggers are shopping in their local Jo-Ann, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or online to find Tulip For Your Home Décor products – including stencils, paints, and other home décor items. The bloggers will use what they bought to create a 3-piece vignette for a room in their home!


Plaid’s Martha Stewart Vintage Décor Paint and Chalkboard Paint – Blogger Campaign
September 1 – 12, 2014
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In a partnership between Plaid and Blueprint Social, 20 top home décor bloggers are creating tutorials featuring Plaid’s Martha Stewart Vintage Décor Paint and Martha Stewart Chalkboard Paint.

Glue Dots & Friends – Craft Stash Giveaway
September 1 – 30
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Over the years, we’ve had the honor and privilege of working with some top-notch companies! We’ve brought them all together for one awesome Glue Dots & Friends Giveaway!

Paper Trail Teaching Tour
September 3 – October 25
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Follow licensed artist Eileen Hull as she travels and teaches her way across the US and back in her vintage camper, Scotty. See her visits to celebrity crafters’ studios and craft stores, watch video demos and witness whatever else happens along the way! Updates will be on her blog and social media.

KLIK Collaboration with Resin Crafts Blog and Metal Complex
September 8 – 30
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Over 50 crafters and jewelry-makers are sharing their designs using KLIK components.

Quilts for Kids Sew-in
September 20  (10:00am – 1:00pm)
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Spoonflower HQ and Fairfield Processing are so excited to announce a sew-in to support Quilts for Kids! If you can’t make our sew-in, you can still help by visiting the Quilts for Kids website to volunteer at your local chapter, make a donation or request a kit to complete at home.

Craft Your Stash
Book Tour & Blog Hop
September 27 – October 5
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Over 30 of your favorite craft industry designers are having fun with Lisa Fulmer’s new book, Craft Your Stash (Fox Chapel Publishing). Enter to win your own signed copy plus a big box of craft books and supplies to add to your stash!

Encouraging Kids to CRE8TIME

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elidraws logo                                    cre8time

Eli Draws are a family and a team supporting their young son Eli’s passion for being creative and transforming it into a brand where other parents and kids can participate in the exploration, learning and collaboration.

Eli Draws has partnered with CRE8TIME to help spread the word about the importance of creativity and engaging the younger generation to take time out to do the things they love.

In this blog post, Eli’s mother, Amanda, discusses the impact of creativity in our early lives – when creating was a priority, and gives ideas on how to engage and encourage children to #CRE8TIME for creativity.

Encouraging Kids to CRE8TIME

By Amanda Whitford Grundy
Eli Draws Education

This summer, we had the pleasure of having our 11 year old nephew and 6 year old niece from North Carolina stay with our family in New York City. We had lots of fun all over the city: exploring Governor’s Island, taking trips to the Bronx Zoo, going to the beach and having numerous playground adventures.

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Although we had some great trips, one of my favorite moments was when we were at home one morning. The four kids (my nephew and niece along with my 6 year old and my 15 month old) were getting a little stir crazy in our New York apartment. I knew we had a birthday party to go to that night for a friend of mine, another mom who the kids all knew and loved from our summer zoo trips. I suggested the kids make her birthday cards and they jumped at the idea.

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I got out stencils, crayons, markers, construction paper and the kids went to work. They were so thrilled to be making birthday cards for a friend and they put their heart, soul, and imaginations into their homemade card creations. Watching the kids made me remember my own childhood and how important making a birthday card for a friend can be. I posted on Facebook that I wished I could return to that time when creating something homemade for someone was my first priority.

When we think about encouraging our younger generation to be creative, we have to acknowledge that kids already elidraws_cre8time3possess the impulse to create, they just need adults to help with a few things.

1. An idea: Help kids to focus their imagination with an activity.
Some examples:
Make a birthday card
Put on a play
Make sock puppets

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2. Time and space to be creative

Just like adults, kids have to carve out time for creativity from all the activities that vie for their attention, even if that activity might be annoying their little sister. Kids also need to know where it’s ok to work on their creative projects and where their projects can be kept safely and valued by others.

 

3. Tools to help their imagination come to lifeelidraws_cre8time5
Some examples:
Construction paper
Crayons, markers, colored pencils, pens
Simple costumes and props

 

4. Permission to make a mess and make a mistake:
Create a space where it’s ok for kids to get messy. We live in a New York City apartment, aka, a small space. We use inexpensive, plastic table cloths leftover from birthday parties to cover the dining table so the kids can use markers and glue worry free. And when kids make a mistake, an invaluable part of the creative process is teaching them how to turn that mistake into part of their project or that it’s ok to start over and try again.
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Creating time to do things we love, and encourage our creativity. is not always the easiest thing to do even though it brings us joy. The same is true for the younger generation. It is much easier for them to sit in front of an electronic device and play a video game or watch a movie.  There is a time and a place for that, but teaching kids how to CRE8TIME for projects like making a friend a birthday card not only brings joy to the creator, but also brings joy to others.

Artwaves Attendees Create Banners of Hope for Childrens Cancer

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By Paula Jones

There was quite a buzz coming from the Brother Sewing machine at the recent Artwaves Conference, which took place at Fanshaw College in London, Ontario, August 8 – 9, 2014. Attendees at the conference, along with many staff and children from ChildCan, attended the Canada Sews booth to make Banners of Hope to be donated to their charity, to help lift the spirits of children and families undergoing Cancer treatment at the local London hospital. 25 banners were created throughout the day, while stories of survivors and current patients were shared with Canada Sews staff.
Artwaves BOHIt was a heart warming event as well as a skill enhancing opportunity for many children and young adults, who learned to use a basic sewing machine and some simple hand sewing skills to add buttons and other trim elements onto the banners. The kids loved using the machine and were surprised at how easy it was to use, they even played with the various funky stitch elements. The local radio station was broadcasting from the event and featured a few segments about the banner project.

ARTWAVES pAULAThe most heart warming moment came when Stephanie, a three time brain tumor survivor, sat patiently concentrating on sewing on buttons for her dog themed banner, the quote that was most appropriate for her was, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog!”

Many thanks go to the CHA member sponsors who made this event possible:
Brother Canada, Northcott, Redheart, Darice, Westcott and HA Kidd vendors, we would not have been able to do it without you.

You can find more details about Banners of Hope at www.craftandhobby.org/canada or
www.craftandhobby.org/BOH.

artwaves banners

Making Your Mark On The Timeline at the 2014 Detroit Maker Faire

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Sarah BoothCHA Board member Sarah Hodsdon and her family ran a booth at Maker Faire Detroit the weekend of July 26. Their booth was called, Making Your Mark On The Timeline, and they taught kids (and adults) about how Makerspaces (Shared Time + Shared Tools + Shared Space + Shared Ideas = A Makerspace) work via a timeline of Maker Faire. Each hour was marked on the timeline and the kids shared tools and ideas, as they physically left their mark during their time spent in the booth using a stamp they had carved themselves. They also asked each visitor to draw a picture of something that they were passionate about sharing with others (their unique mark) on a piece of tracing paper.

Sarah3They then transferred the image to an eraser (transfer of ideas) and then learned how to carve that image out (a skill to share with others in the future). The kids (and their parents) then inked their stamp and stamped it on the day and hour (a shared space and time i.e., Sunday at 1:30 etc.). Each person left with a sense of purpose as well as, the knowledge that they had to ‘CRE8TIME’ in Sarah Ribbontheir lives to make stuff, learn new things, and show others how to do it as well. Their booth was awarded the “Maker of Merit” award.

All of this was made possible by BIC sponsoring the booth and the supplies needed for the booth. Speedball sponsored the blades needed for the cutters. The Hodsdon family donate their time and money for the Detroit Maker Faire show every year.

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“It’s our give back to our community and something we really believe in. It was a massive surprise to have BIC volunteer to help out in Detroit like they did” said Sarah Hodsdon.

CHA members frequently donate product and give back to communities in similar ways. They give, not for the recognition, but because they believe in creating and seeing people become empowered through crafting.The generosity of our members and their continued support of the Maker Movement is a sterling example of how our industry crafts the world they’d like to see.

The summer issue of the Craft Industry Today magazine is themed around the Maker Movement. CHA Members: View the digital issue online as part of your membership. Click HERE!

 

 

Rachel Shechtman Has Been Announced as the CHA 2015 MEGA Show Keynote Speaker

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RachelRachel Shechtman, entrepreneur and owner of New York City based store, STORY will be the official keynote speaker for the CHA 2015 MEGA Conference & Trade Show. The Show will take place in Anaheim, California January 9-13,2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Rewriting Retail:  From Making Sales to Creating An Experience:
In today’s world, what does it take to succeed as a retailer? The future of retail will be less about consumption and more about community which means you need to completely re-think what success looks like. By throwing out the dated, sales-per-square foot model, Rachel Shechtman, owner of STORY has created an alternative dialogue that injects newness and relevance and a model where the primary deliverable is an experience. Whether you’re a designer, manufacturer, brick-and-mortar store owner or an e-retailer you’ll be inspired by how STORY is re-inventing consumer shopping from a mere sales transaction to energetic, engaging and innovative event.

CHA 2015 MEGA Show Conference Program Registration opens September 30th.

Let Me Introduce You to Kevin Bacon

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By Andrej Suskavcevic, President & CEO, CHA

shutterstock_116923705You may have heard the story that we are six degrees separated from Kevin Bacon. Meaning someone in your network of colleagues or friends knows someone who knows someone that can ultimately introduce you to Kevin – pretty cool if you’re a fan. If you apply this principle to building your network, you can be introduced to anyone in the world.

Two things occur to me as to why people get stuck:

1. They don’t realize networking is something you should be doing all the time and not just when you think you need to, i.e. looking for a job.

2.  Folks simply don’t know where to start.

For one, humans are naturally social creatures and we are wired to want to seek out and be in the company of others. Consider that networking is not a job. See it as a curious pursuit; as part of your life long journey of learning. For me, it’s being in the presence of storytellers: people willing to share their experiences which allows me to learn, grow and put the world in context which aligns with what I am trying to accomplish.

Where to start?
In the United States alone there are over 1.9 million tax-exempt organizations according to ASAE, The Center for Association Leadership. There is an association out there that shares your passion. If you’re crafty, the Craft and Hobby Association has your back. Reach out and connect with likeminded people and hear their story and share yours. Who knows, you might actually get introduced to Kevin Bacon.

O’Captain! My Captain!

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By Andrej Suskavcevic, CAE
President & Chief Executive Officer at Craft & Hobby Association

Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society (1989)

Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society (1989)

Hearing of the passing of Robin Williams brings profound sadness. The world lost one of the greats. An individual who delighted the masses and brought so much joy to peoples lives only to have lost his own to a terrible mental illness. There is much work to be done in the battle for mental wellness and I am proud to be part of an industry that is playing a role in that battle. Art and other forms of creative expression are important tools in helping achieve mental wellness and we are seeing more and more facilities and hospitals incorporating art therapy in their programs.

Our own research at CHA indicates that crafting has helped people relax and feel a sense of accomplishment. Crafting is just one tool in the battle for mental wellness but more needs to be done.

Many today will be looking up Robin Williams on YouTube and watching his movies. I for one tip my hat for his role in Dead Poets Society and share with you a Walt Whitman classic. For you Robin, O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;

Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,

For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,

For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here Captain! dear father!

The arm beneath your head!

It is some dream that on the deck,

You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,

My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,

The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,

From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;

Exult O shores, and ring O bells!

But I with mournful tread,

Walk the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

The Craft & Hobby Association Announces 2015 Board Candidates

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CHALOgoThe Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the 2015 slate of Board of Director candidates for election by the general CHA membership. Members nominated for the Board of Directors are: Michael Popson (Wilton Brands), Valerie Marderosian (iLovetoCreate), Frank Rizzo (McCalls Pattern), Mark Lee (Dream Solutions Marketing). Nora Abousteit (Kollabora) was nominated for a second term of CHA Board service. All of the nominees are running for three-year terms on the CHA Board.

“We are very excited about the Board candidates selected this year. Their experience and talent, coupled with the types of organizations they represent, will better enable the Board to fully represent the best interests of the Association, its members and the industry. All of the candidates are committed to building our industry and pushing for change to enable that growth”, explained 2014 Nominating Committee Chair, Mark Hill (Thomas Kinkade Company).

The nominated Board candidates will be officially elected by proxy ballot to be mailed to each CHA member company’s voting contact by November 7, 2014, as outlined in the Association’s bylaws. The confirmation of the Board of Directors’ election will be announced at the CHA Annual Business Meeting on Saturday, January 10, 2015 during the CHA 2015 Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim, California.

The CHA Board of Directors consists of individuals representing the various sections of the CHA membership. Members of the CHA Board of Directors serve a three-year term in which they meet quarterly to address the needs of the industry from a strategic viewpoint, strengthen the ties between CHA members and the Association, and guide the focus of CHA to provide member value. These Directors serve on a voluntary basis, through which they establish networking and business opportunities, advance their careers through industry leadership, and contribute their voice as advocates for CHA members.

In addition to the 2014 Nominating Committee Chair Mark Hill, Board committee members who served are Jessica Goursolas (The Creative Network) and Tony Sheridan (Create and Craft TV Network). The members-at-large elected by the membership who served on the committee are Sarah Ardila (Paper House Productions), David Ferguson (Ben Franklin Crafts), and Jennifer Priest (Hydrangea Hippo).

 

Final thoughts from the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show

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Well, it’s been a whirlwind ride these last 3 days at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show in Atlanta.  I arrived Tuesday and was thrown quickly into the chaotic fun of CHA Workshops.  They were fast paced and informative, with terrific teachers and sponsors that I was thrilled to meet.  The sponsors gave some really great products to the participants to take home, and get more comfortable with so they could use them as teaching tools in their stores. I was really floored by their generosity.  Thank you CHA for allowing me to participate in these super intense and informative workshops.  I learned so much!

wpid-wp-1406659429827.jpegI have to say, after sitting in on the Seminars and group discussions, I have a whole new respect for the challenges that independent stores face.  At the same time, these wonderful store owners continue to seek out new ways to grow and change with the times; looking for ways to incorporate growing trends, sharing obstacles but also rejoicing in the shared triumphs.

20140731_10125320140731_094204There were so many who supported me here at CHA, I couldn’t possibly name them all – but a few standouts: Keli and Tina from CHA, thanks for helping a girl out from time to time; Dave from Spellbinders, thanks for being my camera guy; Stephanie Barnard and Katharina Doyle, I adore you both!  Thanks for the hugs!  I could literally go on and on.  Jason, my guy at CHA headquarters, thanks for the tough love and lastly, thank you Mr. Andrej Suskavcevic, for taking a chance on me!  I miss you all already!

20140730_194217- Terri Burson

Morning Jumpstart from the CHA Paper Arts Section

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The final day started off with a bang in the Grand Ballroom at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show, with interested store owners gathered in a round table discussion with CHA Staff and key leaders in the industry.  This was a time of sharing and information gathering to find effective ways to promote holiday sales and to discuss how to increase traffic to your store in new and interesting ways.

20140731_083042So what do you need to do?  How do you increase sales and keep people coming back to your store?  How do you grow your following and engage the community?  Let me share some of the hot conversations that took place.

20140731_085840First, find out what products your customers are using and show them the must have accessories that they need to have to go with the items.  Do your research and find out “What’s Hot” as opposed to “What’s New”.  What’s “hot” are the items that are flying off shelves, the hard to stock items; the products that are top best sellers.  What’s “new” may be new items in the market but not necessarily what people are flocking to buy or what’s currently selling.  So there’s the difference.  Ask the right questions!  And while you’re at it, keep PDF printouts to give your customers.  This has come up over and over at the Show this week.  Customers like having tutorials in their hands.  Take a look at the link below to see all of the handouts, graphics and more that CHA is providing here at Paper Arts 2014 to assist you in strategizing your marketing plan.

There’s some great handouts here, graphics and more right at your fingertips!  Go online to www.craftandhobby.org and click on Communities/Sections/PaperArts/downloads/ then, click on Atlanta Handouts. Or, click HERE.

20140731_083055Another topic of conversation at the Jumpstart Session: Do you exhibit at consumer shows?  Consumer shows are another way to promote your store.  Key things you should know for exhibiting are:

  • Find out who else will be there.  Know what they’re selling.
  • Know the price range.  Concentrate on thematic items depending on the focus of the show.  Is it a holiday show?  Bring holiday items.  Is it a summer show?  Baby or kid focused?  Bring products according to the theme.
  • Give great discounts on older products and have discount coupons for your store available.  Is another store selling the same product?  Mark your items accordingly to compete.
  • Let’s face it.  Theft can be a problem.  Keep your big ticket items within view.
  • Have a mock up plan of your booth setup in advance as it can take a long time for setup.  Maximize your space and make sure your booth has a flow.
  • Be prepared to make additional markdowns on items as the day progresses, if sales are slow.

Here’s a few more words of advice from key leaders present today.  Courtney from Creativebug says, find out what’s trending and look for new ways to highlight products in your store.  DIY is very popular right now.  Stamping Fabric?  Show displays of whatever is trending.

Several participants shared their participation with CRE8TIME and companies like Meet up, where you can pay a small fee to set up a “group” and link up to other groups in your region. The premise is to create a social media group so local crafters, and crafters from afar, can join your group.  Have meetings in your store for free, even thematic events, (knitters, scrappers, metal works, art, etc) and build a following in your area.

20140731_090405After the Seminar was over, attendees continued to hang around and share ideas and thoughts with one another.  I spoke with Tonya Minth from The Glitterie in Beechgrove, IN. She’s using Meet up and her group has quickly grown to 300.  She’s even utilizing a local artist for wine/craft events.  Use someone locally with skills to come in and teach at your meetings.  It’s a great way to grow and keep your following.

So much valuable information sharing today.  If you missed it, make it a point to be at one of these round tables the next time you attend a CHA Show.

Thanks again to the wonderful folks at CHA for allowing me this opportunity to sneak a peek at the inner workings of the crafting industry.  I can’t tell you enough what a wonderful time I’ve had getting to know everyone, meeting so many knowledgeable people, and the great new techniques I’ve learned……THANK YOU!

- Terri Burson 

Last Night’s Open Market at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show

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As I arrived at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show Open Market, the line of anxious attendees was already quite long. Everyone was happily chatting with their neighbors while waiting for the doors to open.

20140730_182524At the appointed time, the clock struck and we all filled into the Grand Ballroom. The vendors were ready and waiting and the tables quickly filled up with participants looking for some great bargains. Products ranged in price from $1.00-$75.00 and it wasn’t long before some vendors sold out completely of their stock.

20140730_182707I had the opportunity to chat with many attendees who were overwhelmingly pleased with the evening’s events. I especially enjoyed my conversation with the sweet ladies at my table; Debbie and Louise from Family Memories in North Carolina, and Lisa with Flamingo Finery outside Orlando, FL. They were so nice to answer my numerous questions and in particular, when asked about whether the deals were priced according to their liking? The answer was a resounding YES!

20140730_192626No matter the size of your pocket book, there were offerings for every price range and everyone that I spoke with was extremely happy with their purchases.

As I made the rounds with the vendors, they too were happy with the success of the Open Market, some noting that next time they would have to bring more! I’ll tell you that this crafty girl made a few purchases herself and I too was very happy with my new play things.

I’ve had so much fun getting to know the vendors and learning the history of different companies, like Kaisercraft and how the founder started out building things at the tender age of 7 and how Tilli Tomas is expanding from ribbon into other areas and actually wanted my input (as a crafter/cardmaker) as to what products I’m using and/or seeing used in online forums that I frequent, blogs that I participate in, etc. She had sequins along with her ribbon and fibers. I told her to make more sequins! We adore them!

I also enjoyed chatting up the lovely folks at Paper House Productions. If you missed the “Peace, Love & Sandy Feet” workshop by the wondrous Linda Auclair on Day 1, you missed a treat. However, here’s a link with a tutorial on the shadowbox project so you too can make one – http://www.paperhouseproductions.com/community/paper-arts-day-one/

I was drawn to their booth by the display of military products. I grew up an Army brat so of course, I had to zoom in on the Army selection. They literally have an army of products!

20140730_095150Stickers of all kinds; chalkboard, puffy (I need those owls!) 3-D, die cuts…. you name it.

20140730_095121And a terrific selection of papers to match and coordinate. I was flipping through their product catalog and quickly spied the Wizard of Oz collection. Oh my. There’s no place like home and there’s no place like Paper House Productions.

- Terri

More from the CHA Paper Arts Show Exhibit Hall and Crafty Inspiration!

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This afternoon at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show has been one of learning for me. Many of the vendors have make-n-takes set up and scheduled at different times in the exhibit hall. Who knew it would be such a learning experience?

I noticed that DecoArt had some displayed projects pertaining to Gelli plating. It’s a growing trend and one that I’ve wanted to learn more about for some time now.

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Lucky for me, Alison Craig from DecoArt was all set up to teach and I was a willing student. She showed me the technique involved and the ability to create layer upon layer, even taking basic every day tools (such as the cap of a sharpie marker) to draw into the paint on your gelli plate.

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The DecoArt paints come in so many fabulous colors. I was really loving the bright orange.

20140730_132434She also added some metallic liquid inks to the mix for even more drama and flair. I can’t wait to get home and try this technique for myself.

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I also had the opportunity to sit down with the incredible Fran Seiford, designer for Stampendous. She is so quirky and fun to be around.

20140730_134543I learned another new process, which is heat embossing with embossing mixes consisting of glitter and embossing powder, but no ink is required to adhere.

20140730_134900I couldn’t believe how easy this was! Actually, according to Fran, this process is an old one but has had a bit of a resurgence.

20140729_181233Here’s a few more pictures of some of the booths.

20140729_181343 20140730_092233 20140730_091756 20140730_111851 20140729_181302There is so much knowledge contained in this room amongst everyone from the industry. I am so blessed to be a part of it and thankful for the chance to learn from all of the tips, tricks and techniques that I’ve seen so far.

I’ll have more tomorrow about tonight’s events. Thanks for tuning in!

- Terri

Morning Jumpstart and Exhibit Hall

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This morning the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show started off with a Jumpstart session from Courtney Cerruti of Creativebug.com. This informative seminar focused on creating an interesting environment to draw consumers to your store.creative bug

According to Courtney, it’s important to think outside the box. Use simple paper craft ideas to draw the eye to an area. There are so many avenues to get information including Pinterest. How about a paper chandelier? Now that truly is thinking outside the box.creative bug2

You can even use washi tape to guide customers in your store as an outline on the floor with arrows. Or wall art to again, create an area of attention. Customers love freebies, so create small items, tags, etc. to give away. Even PDF printouts are a popular item to give with project tutorials. And if you’re not utilizing hashtags? Better get busy. The hashtag symbol, #, is a way to tag images for your organization, even used for contests and giveaways.

Courtney was chock full of ideas and inspiration. I spoke with several store owners who are really loving the seminars and information that can help them impact their store and sales.20140730_085943

Next, is the Exhibit Hall. The line formed coming down the escalators and everyone was anxiously awaiting for the 9 am hour to begin.

20140730_085258I spoke to numerous vendors and staff and learned so much I couldn’t possibly contain in one post! I will share one store owner with you that I took time to get to know.

20140730_092911Pink on Main. Michelle Currie is the owner and she had a lovely booth set up with her own line of stamps and other products. Michelle has been involved in crafting in one form or another her entire life. She opened up a brick and mortar back in 2007 but eventually moved to online sales. She had a heart to design her own line, located a manufacturer and has her own line as of March of this year. What a go-getter!

20140730_093628 I’ll check in later with more from the Exhibit Hall!

- Terri

Yesterday at Paper Arts was a blast! Looking forward to the Show opening!

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After a long day of workshops and seminars, attendees, sponsors and vendors, unwound and got to know one another at the Welcome Reception last night, sponsored by Anna Griffin.

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We had a great time relaxing and just hanging out, making new friends in the industry and reconnecting with industry friends.

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I really enjoyed meeting some of these wonderful company representatives that I have admired from afar. I spoke to the lovely people from Kaiserkraft, here all the way from Australia. Much to my surprise, I found a friend here; Paulette from The Scrapbook Princess in Moody, AL. What a surprise!

I had a lovely chat with the good folks at Petaloo and learned about the laminating and home use for products at Photo Max.

recep2You can see that everyone was having a good time and were enjoying the sneak peeks at the Exhibit Hall. Lots of new and exciting products are on display, particularly for the upcoming holiday season. I spied more than a few items that caught my interest.

recep7Earlier in the day I caught the marketing seminar and heard Denzil Quick sharing tips on how to improve your cash flow. He spoke about moving your inventory, developing a tracking system and not becoming so attached to your stock that it hinders cash flow. Very insightful and thought provoking.

marketseminar1The highlight of my evening, not only getting a sneak peak at all these great, wonderful products, was meeting Mr. Andrej Suskavcevic, President and CEO of the Craft & Hobby Association. What a thrill!

Looking forward to all that today at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show holds!

- Terri

Good Afternoon from Atlanta!

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Welcome to the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show in Atlanta!

I jumped right into the first session, Spellbinders and Richard Garay. He has a new line of stamps dies and embossing folders called Cele’brations.

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We dove right in making some super cute projects. First we made this adorable card using the pierced square dies. All of the projects we worked on were bagged in kit format so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. What I really appreciate is the way the dies and stamps coordinate and complement one another. The Spellbinders inks really pop too. No “barely there” ink pads; these inks are bold in color and our stamped images looked so clean and crisp on cardstock.

I love The enthusiasm and patience that Mr. Garay exudes. He’s a fabulous teacher and so interactive. The entire staff were there every step of the way, assisting with techniques and helping answer any and every question.

Look at the adorable projects we made!
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I especially love the new Cele’brations Doily Arts embossing folders. Doilies are super popular right now and this folder is gorgeous! A trick I learned is, when inking your embossing folder for letterpress, use the thickest side of the folder. And be sure to get your ink pad into all corners for the best coverage. Good to know!

This was such a great class and I really learned a lot.

Next, I rushed to Graphic 45 where Jeff Filimoehala and the lovely and vintage Joanna carried us to another time and place with the gorgeous “Come Away With” papers and products. The participants in this workshop learned how to make a beautiful shadow box complete with decorative hardware, and a stash of embellishments contained inside. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the process of putting this kit together. Jeff was an excellent instructor, and really livened up the workshop with some giveaways. An added bonus to an already fun gathering.

Here’s Joanna.

wpid-wp-1406660011695.jpegIsn’t this shadow box beautiful? Pictures really don’t do it justice. The colors of this collection are truly stunning.

Next it was on to Sizzix and Stephanie Barnard. This class focused on Framelits, Triplets and Gatefold cards. Stephanie is super bubbly and an excellent teacher, engaging everyone with her style of crafting. My classmates are hanging on her every word and are geared up for a fun, informative workshop. I love when instructors give handy tips and tricks of the trade. Did you know you should fold a flip-it card in the air, not on the table? And, you want the bottom of the card larger than the top, folding it towards you with the flap on top. Those are tips I can use. Now you can too! Stephanie is also giving marketing tips to the store owners here at the workshop too. Knowledge is power people!

sizzix 2Thanks to Kelly Nufer for allowing me to photo her cutting techniques with the Framelits. She really had the hang of it. Look how great these cards turned out.

- Terri Burson

Meet Terri Burson, CHA’s Guest Blogger for CHA 2014 Paper Arts

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There’s less than 24 hours left until CHA Paper Arts!PaperArtsFINAL NEWCOLORS

Meet Terri Burson, our CHA Guest Blogger at Paper Arts. Terri will be sharing all of the hot Show floor finds right from the Paper Arts Show floor in Atlanta, GA!

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Terri is from Alabama and is a blogger for her own blog called Wavingmywand.Blogspot.com. She is also an avid crafter and Design Team Member at Mountain Plains Crafters. Terri will be attending Workshops, Seminars, the daily Jumpstart Sessions, networking events, and reporting back on the hottest must-sees right from the Show floor. Be sure to follow the CHA Blog and look out for her daily posts!

 
And if you see Terri on the Show floor, be sure to say, “Hi!”

Interview with Mothership Scrapbook Gal: The Creator of CRE8TIME Crafty Happy Hour

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The CHA Blog recently caught up with Mothership Scrapbook Gal, a blogger who hosts a CRE8TIME event regularly in California called, “Crafty Happy Hour“. This event encourages people to get together and take time out to be creative.

What is Crafty Happy Hour?

CHAblogpic1Crafty Happy Hour is a crafty fun CRE8TIME event produced by Mothership Scrapbook Gal. It is held in venues throughout the Inland Empire and Orange County. Crafters of all levels and ages, come together and create greeting cards for $5 per card – best of all, no experience is required & all supplies are provided!

What inspired Crafty Happy Hour?

In late 2012 I attended an event with a “craft your name tag station”.  I thought this was a fun way to make people happy and entertained and my mind began to think of how I could make this type of craft station as part of an ongoing event.  I kicked off my first Crafty Happy Hour in Downtown Riverside at a local restaurant – it was the “Valentine’s Day Edition” of Crafty Happy Hour. I later learned about the CRE8TIME movement and thought this would be a great tie in with my event.

How has the community responded?

A:  The community I live in is always ready for new fun events, so the response has been really amazing.  We usually rotate venues, we go to local breweries, restaurants and coffee shops.  Lately, a lot of the community has been learning about the event by following Mothership Scrapbook Gal on Instagram!

CHAblogpicv3How do you get to work with new restaurants and venues?

A:  I am fortunate to know several small business owners and the manager of our local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (and even better the manager is a crafter!).  So, I basically asked if they would be interested to let me host an event and then coordinate a date.  It’s a win for the event venue because I help to publicize and bring in the customers.  Crafty Happy Hour is a destination for food, drinks and crafty fun!

Do you plan any other events?

Yes, I plan all day scrapbook events and I also started a new event called “Crafty Night In” which includes 3 crafting stations, tasty eats and an opportunity to relax and visit with fellow crafters.

What is your favorite part of Crafty Happy Hour?

Crafty Happy Hour continues to unfold and the creativity of all who attend just amazes me – with the right supplies – anyone can be a crafter.  I love to see people get excited and create fun designs, the possibilities are endless with the “craft buffet” we provide at Crafty Happy Hour.

How do you incorporate CRE8TIME into Crafty Happy Hour?CHHSaltedPig500

Mothership Scrapbook Gal is very passionate about giving back, so incorporating CRE8TIME into Crafty Happy Hour was a no brainer.  We have signage at the event sharing that we are a CRE8TIME event and we also encourage our crafters to hashtag #CRE8TIME when they share photos of their crafts on social media.  A portion of Crafty Happy Hour proceeds are donated to the CHA Foundation too!

 

MothershipScrapbookAbout Mothership Scrapbook Gal
Mothership Scrapbook Gal is a craft business based in Riverside, California with a mission to help people craft their special and everyday moments through craft events, DIY card kits and custom orders.  Follow her on social media:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/mothershipscrapbookgal
Instagram:  www.instagram.com/mothershipscrapbookgal
Website/blog:  www.mothershipscrapbookgal

About CRE8TIME
CRE8TIME is a movement to raise awareness for the need to devote more time for creative expression, and provide a forum for you to share your experiences – the joys, lessons, and results – with the creative community at large. Driving the movement is the CHA Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, whose purpose is to serve as a catalyst for enhancing life through creative expression throughout the world. Follow CRE8TIME on social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cre8time
Twitter: www.twitter.com/cre8time

The Christmas Love Campaign

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By The CHA Designer Section Committee 
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‘Creativity is our Business’ is the slogan of The CHA Designer Section.  CHA Designer Members are the connecting piece between manufacturers and craft enthusiasts providing professional services that markets, educates and inspires consumers.  The CHA Designer Members are a group of giving and caring individuals as well.  One of the many crusades and campaigns that Designer Members lead is Susan Weckesser’s yearly endeavour of the Christmas Love Campaign.

Susan tells us about why she created the campaign six years ago:   Susan Weck

“My father had recently passed away and I wanted to do something meaningful in his memory.  Two of the most important memories of my father was the message to follow my dreams and that he was always helping other people.  I approached Canadian Scrapbooker magazine and pitched an idea that became a theme for an article and grew to become so much more.  In the article the call went out to all crafters, scrapbookers, artists, quilters, with the message of ‘create for kindness.”

Susan believes in the power of CHA’s Designer Members working together for the better of the community and drew upon their skills for a media campaign as an effective link to many of the manufacturers in the craft and hobby industry. When Susan Weckesser called upon the ‘wider’ crafting community to come together to make a difference, she received support from manufacturers to designers and creative professionals of all skill levels and positions in the craft and hobby community.

While it seems as though Christmas is many months away, for creative souls it is never too early to begin.  Susan explained that the concept for anyone to join in the campaign is simple.  All you have to do is to create something – anything – then give it to a random stranger or neighbor, just to spread some love.  Susan said, “After six years I am SO thrilled to say that the campaign has been amazing; a real success!  It is worldwide and through the campaign we have raised donations for the Cancer Society, helped Alberta flood victims, and sent packages of art & craft supplies to people rebuilding their lives.

We have had many wonderful designers contribute to the blog and Christmas Love Campaign  Claudine Hellmuth, Mark Montano, Kelly Marie Alvarez and many more amazing artists.  Please feel free to add a hot link in the comments section to share your own Christmas Love projects.

Christmas Love has been blessed with sponsorship from many of the manufacturers.
Ranger Ink provided inks and aprons to campaign participants and Westcott Brand sent supplies to a lady who needed help after the Alberta Floods.  The past year sponsor lineup included: American Crafts, May Arts Ribbon,  Fancy Pants Designs, Interweave, FW Media, ilovetocreate.com , Clearsnap, Core’dinations, Canvas Corp., Lawn Fawn, Scrapbooks andCards Today, Big Picture ClassesProject Life – Becky Higgins and Unity Stamp Co just to name a few.

Social Media is a huge part of the Christmas Love Campaign, Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Cameo and instagram are wonderful ways to connect with people, share things going on with the campaign or how individuals have joined in.

Our hashtags for the Christmas Love Campaign are:

#craftuplove    #tagsoflove    #christmaslovecampaign

The Susan K. Weckesser Inc. Christmas Love Campaign runs every year from November to January. Sponsors and designers are always welcome to sign up to be part of the program, please send an email to: susiebeestudios@gmail.com. Remember sometimes all it takes is one kind gesture to make the difference in someone’s life! “

We asked some of the designers who participated to share with us a little about their contributions. Please feel free to add more links in the comments section on this post of your own contributions.

kenKen Oliver: I was really happy when Susan asked me to contribute to the Christmas Love Campaign. After learning that she’d lost her father to cancer, I wanted to help her memorialize her dad, and wanted to share our holiday tradition of handmade gifts.I created hand soldered ornaments using photos and images of my grandparents and then gave them to my parents and brothers as Christmas gifts. 

 

AmyAmy Anderson: I joined in the campaign because I really love Susan.  She has such an awesome spirit and always spreads the love!  I thought her series idea was brilliant, especially during that time of year.

I participated by sharing some things I was thankful for in addition to some of my favorite Mod Podge Christmas ornament projects. I had a great time writing that blog post because it’s not typically what I write.  A little variety is fun!

behappyMargot Potter: I joined the Christmas Love Campaign because I truly believe that small kindnesses have big impact.

Susan asked us to contribute something creative that reflected the message of Simple Acts of Creative Kindness, so I wrote a short essay on the rapid disappearance of common courtesy in our technological age and the importance of moving out of ourselves enough to be kind to others.

The CHA Designer Members are the bond between manufacturers and craft enthusiasts, professional crafters and artists, and creative DIYers of many levels.  CHA Designer Section members provide professional services in a range of marketing fields, social media, developing tutorials and editorials that support delivering product knowledge and inspiration to create.  or ‘Creativity is our Business’.

To connect with CHA Designer Section Committee Members click here.

Who Are Your Heroes?

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By Andrej Suskavcevic
President and CEO, CHA
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It’s hard to watch a news program and not see someone labeled as a hero. Merriam-Webster defines a hero as:  a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities.

Our military, firefighters, police and average citizens who step in and make a difference are all heroes and deservedly so. I wonder if there are heroes around us that go unnoticed? Ones that didn’t necessarily perform a heroic act, but exhibited a quality that we admire or inspires us.

My kids, on a number of occasions, have given me pause to contemplate aspects of life. How to be a better father, ways I can be a better person. One such time was when my daughter was five and suffered from acute leg pain in both legs that within 24 hours left her unable to walk. After much testing the doctors were baffled. My wife and I had a sobering conversation with a team of doctors and we began the process of elimination as to what it could be. Number one on the list, leukemia. Yeah, the word alone knocks the wind out of you and it did my wife and I that day. The process of elimination required many tests, one of which was drawing blood every couple of hours. Waking a five year old throughout the night to stick a needle in her was really hard on everyone.

One night, her roommate was discharged and they removed the bed from the room leaving a big open space. My daughter contemplated the space and proceeded to get up, put on her slippers and began to “ice skate” around the room pulling the array of tubes she was hooked up to behind her. I asked how bad her leg pain was as she skated and her response was priceless:  “Dad, I’m ice skating, my leg will be fine.”Andrej2

That night I found my hero. In the face of pain she found comfort in the simple act of make believe. I think back to those days when I am having a tough day. I think about what it takes to overcome, to dig deep and not let the challenges of the day consume me. I go ice skating.  We all have our heroes. People that inspire, that show the good life has to offer. I bet that many of our heroes are people we know. I bet you’re someone’s hero as well. Don’t let them down.

P.S. – My daughter’s illness was ultimately found to be a bone infection and after three months of antibiotics she is fine. My thanks to St. Peters University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ for their amazing care and support.

Creative Expression’s Impact on Job Performance

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By Andrej Suskavcevic
President and CEO, CHA
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Employers are good at providing information, suggestion and incentives for their employees to take care of their physical health. Guidelines on eating right, exercise routines, etc. Insurance companies even offer premium discounts for participation in company sponsored fitness programs or showing that you don’t smoke. What about mental wellness? Crafting and other forms of creative expression are proving to have a major impact on ones recovery from the stress of people’s job and daily life.

A recent study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology showed that expression also helped improve job performance beyond your traditional forms of recovery. “It can be rare in research to find that what we do in our personal time is related to our behaviors in the workplace, and not just how we feel,” Eschleman said.

If employers can incorporate a mechanism to address mental wellness through creative expression as they do for physical wellness we are looking at a happier and more productive workforce. I would bet we’d see a rise in the degree of innovative output employees are producing as well.

If you’re looking for ideas on creative expression activities for your employees just contact us at the Craft & Hobby Association. We can connect you with right people to help take your employees to the next level.

 

 

New for the Paper Arts Show: BoBunny Introduces a Breathtaking Travel Collection

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By BoBunny

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This retro, vintage line will add style and flair to all your vacation photos.

In this class you will construct a charming suitcase complete with an accordion photo banner which will enable you to show off 10 or more of your favorite vacation photos. In addition you will create a fabulous layout to capture more of your treasured memories from your summer vacation or a trip filled with fun. Be one of the first to enjoy these new papers and embellishments from BoBunny.

Class recipients will receive a $25.00 credit toward their CHA Paper Arts Show order. Only one credit per store will be honored.

Come explore and enjoy the BoBunny experience  with your BoBette travel guides Vicki and Liz. Vicki’s mission is to help all travelers have an enjoyable experience, there is never a dull moment when Vicki is around.  Bring your running shoes so you can keep up with Liz! Her enthusiasm and energy is sure to keep you on your toes.

Click HERE to register today for the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show – July 29-31 in Atlanta, GA

Sizzix Events: Designer Workshops at Paper Arts!

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By Sizzix

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Sizzix is ramping up for the CHA 2014 Paper Arts trade show taking place this summer in Atlanta, Georgia. We want you to get excited about the brand new designs and products that will be featured in our booth! Stephanie Ackerman, Lori Whitlock and Stephanie Barnard will be teaching workshops at this bi-annual industry event. And we could not be more thrilled to give you a sneak peak of what they’re making!

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With the Big Shot Machine, a pair of Standard Cutting Pads, some tissue paper, a stapler, fabric and string this is the colorful banner that Stephanie Ackerman will be teaching in her workshop at the Paper Arts trade show. It is incredibly easy to create! Stephanie created the designs in the upcoming release, Homegrown & Handmade, for the fresh and cute Sizzix Bigz and Originals that you see used here. She loves to doodle and make things and has designed for Sizzix in the past.  Having started out in the craft industry around 2006, she has had craft magazines published, created the Homegrown Hospitality blog and made lots of friends in the industry.

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Lori Whitlock will be showing how to create this adorably charming cupcake box using Sizzix Framelits with Stamps and Thinlits that she designed. To make this precious treasure she will also be using the Sizzix Big Shot, the Magnetic Platform, a pair of Standard Cutting Pads, ink, paper, adhesive and a little string. Lori’s experience as a graphic designer, her love for crafty things and for creating memories have combined in her upcoming line to offer you absolutely darling designs!

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At the work shop for Stephanie Barnard there will be not one, but two projects being made, and they are very hush-hush! But, what can be said is that they will be made using her brand newest of new Triplits, Framelits and something totally unseen ever before! So be sure to arm yourself with the Stamper’s Secret Weapon which is an absolute must-have accessory for stamp lovers and paper crafters!

Sizzix Designer Work Shops will take place on Tuesday July 29, 2014

**$60 retail value of product will be given at this class so be the first to get the the latest products with designs by Stephanie Ackerman and Lori Whitlock!

Stay tuned to see what more delights Sizzix has in store for you at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts trade show!

Click HERE to register today for the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show – July 29-31 in Atlanta, GA

 

 

Graphic 45 Summer Plans

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By Graphic 45

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Happy Monday, G45ers! Are you ready for a new week of inspiration, fun, new projects, featured artists, and more? We sure are! Today, we are sharing with you our fun summer events coming up in the next month. We have been kitting classes, getting ready, and most of all feeling excited for all of the fun events coming up!

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July 29-31, Graphic 45 will be in Atlanta at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show. Another great wholesale buying event where your favorite LSS will be purchasing new collections from us and many other great companies. There will also be a fabulous workshop there and a great time to catch up with our wonderful stores!

Here is a Sneak Peek of the great project we will be creating at the Show in our Graphic 45 workshop, “Love Come Away with Me!”.
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Jeff Filimoehala will be teaching the Come Away with Me workshop at the Paper Arts Show in Atlanta!
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It’s going to be a fantastic summer! We hope to see many of our store owners there!

Click HERE to register today for the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show – July 29-31 in Atlanta, GA

Mixed Media Beauty Journal Workshop By Stampendous

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Are you eager to try your hand at monoprinting?

In the mixed media beauty journal workshop at the Paper Arts Show with Fran Seiford of Stampendous, you will learn just that!

You will be amazed what you can create with the new Stampendous Creative Palette with brayers and acrylic paint.

Discover how quickly you can be a portrait artist with the Blossom Beauty face stamp and template to paint your own unique beauties. You will learn shortcuts for stamping, die-cutting gorgeous flowers and have the start of an amazing mixed media journal like no one else’s. Leave with the cover for a 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ ribbon bound journal.

paperartsshowADClick HERE to register today for the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show – July 29-31 in Atlanta, GA

Craft Industry Award Nominations Being Accepted

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Do you know someone in the craft and hobby industry that should be recognized for the great things they’ve done for the community, industry or humanity? Nominate them for any of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Industry Awards listed below.

•     Meritorious Award of Honor – Service to CHA
The Meritorious Award of Honor is the highest award of recognition that CHA can bestow upon an individual member, past or present. This award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to CHA.

•    Industry Achievement Award – Contribution to Craft and Hobby Industry
The Industry Achievement Award is for a CHA member (individual, group and/or company) that has made a significant contribution to the growth and vitality of the craft and hobby industry as a whole.

•    Special Recognition Award(s) – Good Deeds
The Special Recognition Award is presented to a person, group and/or company for their extraordinary contribution in an activity that showcases the craft and hobby industry in a positive way. Award recipient(s) need not be a member(s) of the Association. Industry Award Nomination forms can be downloaded at www.craftandhobbby.org/awards. Complete the form and return it by fax or email to Lidia Diaz at (201) 835-1267 or ldiaz@craftandhobby.org.  The deadline for submissions is August 31, 2014.

The Awards Committee, composed of CHA Board members and member volunteers, will review all applications, which will be presented at the CHA 2015 Conference & Trade Show (CHA MEGA Show) in Anaheim, CA., January 9-13, 2015.

“This industry touches people’s lives every day, helping them to discover their own unique creativity and to leave their own imprint on the world. There are heroic people within our industry who innovate, educate, and open up this world of creativity to others — making a tremendous impact within the industry and in people’s lives — all without the need for personal recognition. The Industry Awards provide the opportunity to recognize individuals who have made a tremendous contribution to the creative industry, and a platform to showcase their efforts. Please complete the nomination application and give us the opportunity to honor these well-deserving individuals!” said Jessica Goursolas, CHA Awards Committee Chair.

Click the button below to nominate today!

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Peace, Love & Sandy Feet Workshop at the 2014 Paper Arts Show

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By Paper House

We’re really excited to be exhibiting at the CHA Paper Arts Show this July! And just as exciting – we’ll be offering a Beach themed workshop taught by the very talented Linda Auclair! If you’ll be at the to the show, make sure to sign up for our Peace, Love & Sandy Feet class – it takes place on Tuesday July 29, 2014 from 8:00 – 9:30 am (classroom W0101).

This class will have you bringing the beach inside with this decorative shadowbox and capturing your summer memories with our Message in a Bottle Mini Album! You’ll be smelling that salty air and feeling the sand between your toes in no time!

PHP-Peace-Love-_-Sandy-Feet-class-w-bannerAren’t these adorable?! These two projects, the painters tray and mason jar mini album, were created using our Beach Collection. More specifically, they use our Beach Foam PaperAt the Beach 3D StickersBeach Comber 3D StickersBeach Cardstock StickersBeach Time Chalkboard Stickers,Beach Canvas StickersBeach Sign Paper and Getaway Paper. That is a lot of beach!

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Linda used the border from our cardstock stickers on the bottom of the tray. The shells look amazing used this way! It looks like she spent hours to cut them out when really she just peeled and trimmed them!

This “Message in a Bottle Mini-Album” combines Instagram-style photos with the popular mason jar look. In the class, you’ll also get to make this trendy mini-album that’s perfect for your vacation pictures or just a lazy day on the beach!

PHP-memories-in-a-bottle-w-bannerWhat a great gift for family and friends after a fun filled summer!


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So make sure you sign up for this great class and come play with us in July! If you’re not going to be there, don’t worry – stop back by our blog after the show to see some follow up photos and instructions on these great projects!

To see more of Linda’s amazing projects, swim on over to her blog!

Click HERE to register today for the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show – July 29-31 in Atlanta, GA

American Crafts Aquires We R Memory Keepers

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downloadAmerican Crafts has announced today its acquisition of We R Memory Keepers. This move brings together two craft industry leaders.

We R Memory Keepers is an innovator of crafting tools that simplify and enable the creative and memory keeping process.

Sarah DeVoll, president of American Crafts, says that the company intends the We R imagesbrand to operate long-term, expanding on its superb track record of product innovation.

Many of We R’s employees will continue to develop and innovate under the We R brand.

“This is an exciting new chapter in the history of American Crafts and We R Memory Keepers,” says DeVoll. “We’re very happy to have We R join forces with AC – working together we will be able to provide a broader assortment of top-quality products, a stronger method for innovation, and more convenient one-stop shopping for our customers.”

Wayne Mitchell, CEO of American Crafts, says that previous owner Andrew Hiller ran an innovative company that is an important part of the scrapbooking and crafting industry.
“For more than 90 years, Andrew, his family and team did a great job of building We R into a company that makes unique and creative products,” says Mitchell. “We look forward to decades more of success with the We R brand.”

Mitchell adds that American Crafts is committed to maintaining the distinctive look and quality of We R’s product offering.

For the foreseeable future, We R will continue to independently operate while thoughtful integration of the two companies takes place. Future announcements to retailers will explain any changes in ordering or processes.

Living in Generosity #CRE8TIME Event Benefitting St Jude Children’s Hospital

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By Sallianne Mclelland

CRE8TIME ART IS YOU EVENT1On a night when the storms and tornadoes were raging down in the southern states, artists from the Art is…You family gathered in Olive Branch, MS to create Banners of Love for the children of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This Living in Generosity project, generously promoted by CHA and the #CRE8TIME Movement, received tremendous support from the wider creative art community.CRE8TIME ART IS YOU EVENT2

We were inundated with fabulous banner squares from across the country.  These squares were combined into over 40 banners that exuded color, joy, laughter and above all, love.

This project would not have been possible without the support of all those who contributed their squares including: Melissa Bolton, Jean Peters, Aleta and Katie Totire, Lora Frisch, Ms. Gangi’s 3rd grade class, Judy Hand Pitts, Alicia Caudle and Finn, Patricia Kierys, Monica M, Linda Quick, Roberta Decker, Patricia K. Kurowski, Jennifer Liston, Glenda Miles, Roberta (Robbie) Decker, Linda Quick, Barb Patterson, Kathleen Bricker, Patty Kierys, Susan Milo, Heather Brauner, Sandra Koterba, Elizabeth Fort Pisons, Danielle DeMont, Ellie Grossman and we would like to thank (left to right) Kim Griggs, Kecia Deveney and Linda Willis who committed hours of their time, talents and sewing skills to ensure that all of the squares were sewn together so beautifully.
CRE8TIME ART IS YOU EVENT 3The banners were hand delivered to one of the St Jude Family homes for distribution to the sick children and their families. It gave us great joy to coordinate the activity and this joy was compounded by the additional $2,150.00 that was raised at our Art Trunk and presented to St Jude’s.

To see the full photo gallery please visit the CRE8TIME Facebook page: www.facebook.com/cre8time.

Sallianne Mclelland is the owner of CHA member, Visually Speaking LLC, who puts on Art is… You retreats, which are all inclusive week-long art workshops, Buffet Bonanza Lunches, Morning Motivators, Eat Cake Create events, plus Art Trunk and so much more. For more information visit: http://www.art-is-you.com/

The CHA Paper Arts Show is a 3-Day Trade-Only Event in Atlanta

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Get ready for the critical fourth quarter holiday selling season!
You can’t afford to miss this one-stop-shop buying event.

 

  • Paper Craft Industry exhibits including the latest products in paper arts to help get attendees ready for the critical fourth quarter holiday selling season!
  • A full day of hands-on workshops exclusively focused on the paper arts industry.
  • The Open Market – a trade-only cash-n-carry event – special night of hot deals and bargain pricing!

CHA members attend for free!
Badge Registration Is Now Open.
Workshop Registration Opens June 3rd.

Visit www.craftandhobby.org/paperarts for more information and to register.

3 Things Your Business Can Do To Shape Customer Expectations

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By Andrej Suskavcevic, president & CEO, Craft & Hobby Association

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The conversations I have with the craft community provide real insight into member needs. It interests me to hear what people expect of a business, their association or other people. I took a moment to reflect on expectations, their source and how it shapes our thinking.

By definition, expectations are a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future. Derived from our past experiences, we make a comparison with some experience and out pops our expectation. Most of the time we don’t stop to think about the implications of a point of view. Meaning is it positive or negative, does it empower, is it comparing apples to apples, or is it fair.

A recent example I encountered is our upcoming Paper Arts Show. I have heard many people refer to it as the Summer Show or a regional show.  Naturally, such references carry with it expectations about its size, attendee diversity, etc. When I share that the focus of the Show is paper arts, and its complementary products, people understand that this is not a renamed Summer Show. When I talk about the fact that registration is approaching 200 attendees in just under two weeks of being open, and that attendees are coming from 28 states in the U.S. and seven countries worldwide so far, the expectation that this will be a regional show no longer exists.

What does this all mean for businesses? We have a say in shaping people’s expectations. Things to consider when shaping your message:

  • Context – Help people understand the circumstances that generated the idea, event, etc.
  • Audience – be clear as to whom you’re speaking to and speak in a way they understand.
  • Tell your story – Skip the jargon and be authentic. It’s not about you it’s about the customer. It’s your chance to articulate what’s in it for them.

Cheers,
Andrej

Banners of Hope

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The “Banners of Hope” Charity Project was launched at the Craft and Hobby Association MEGA Conference & Trade Show (CHA 2014), held in January of this year in Anaheim California and a great example of the collaborative projects the CHA Designer Council supports and promotes.

This idea originally started with a brainstorming session between CHA Designer Members Lorine Mason and Elena Etcheverry, executive director of Charity Wings.  Lorine envisioned this as a perfect project for the newly formed Fabric Arts Council but the project quickly grew to include designers from many mediums.

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“There are four key points to this project,” explains Lorine.” First, designer members created a fabric banner featuring the theme of hope. While the base of the banners will be created from fabric, designers were welcomed to use any craft materials to express their message.”

The second step of this project was the display on the MEGA Show floor. The booth was not just for showcasing,  it became a creative workshop when industry manufacturers donated supplies for visitors to participate in adding to the collection of hopeful messages.

After the show, the banners were donated to the Charity Wings Art Center (www.charitywings.org) for their outreach program.  The  Coast to Coast Creative Arts Conference and Scrapfest in Canada have added more banners from their own workshops. The banners are now ready to start travelling the countryside as exhibits for hospitals, shelters, veterans homes and kids’ venues to promote the healing art of crafting. To celebrate the collaborative achievements of Charity Wings Banners of Hope and official opening ceremony will be held at the San Diego Town Hall with their Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

The CHA Designer Council is the collective individual designer members. The Designer Council collaborates with manufacturers and mass media promote the growth of the crafting in its many forms. Some of the CHA Designer members who participated in the Banners for Hope include:

ImageLinda Hess  who says her design work has always revolved around Polymer Clay and the versatility of the medium.  The banner of hope gave me a chance to work with many favorite products and mediums and stretch my brain a bit in the process.
“Charity Wings” immediately brought to mind angel wings and butterfly wings.  As soon as that was in my head the wording popped in followed by other components.  It was great fun to work on and watch it develop.

Thanks to Polyform Products & Iris Weiss who have supported my designing attempts for more years than I can count.   This banner also incorporates products from Earth Safe Finishes (Fabric Medium), Pentel (Metallic Brush Markers), Toner Wire and Expo International (beaded trim).

ImageKeri Sallee told us that her piece became very personal. I wanted to create a piece that people could look at and have it speak to them…to tell them that it is okay to just take a minute, clear your mind and breathe. To let go for just a bit and take a moment to remind yourself that it will not always be this way and to have peace in the middle of the storm.

The banner is made painted on canvas with white and black acrylics and Tattered Angels Glams, Mists and Glazes.

 

ImageCindy Shepard’s theme for the banner of hope project spotlights the role friendship plays in giving hope, solace and joy to those most in need.

Cindy chose an intuitive painting style for the background using Golden paints, and added touches of collage and Sharpie paint markers to dress up the “friendship houses”.

 

ImageTiffany Windsor cut hundreds of small fabric strips and adhered them to the banner with Aleene’s Fabric Fusion Peel & Stick Sheets to create a faux quilting effect for the background.

The birdies and lettering were applied with the same no-sew applique technique.

ImageRita Barakat used a variety of mediums in her banner of hope including Gelatos, Gesso, modeling paste, glitter paper, ribbon flowers.

 

 

These are just a few of the designer members participating in the Banners of Hope, we invite everyone to share their link to the other banners in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

The CHA Designer Section consist of members that bridge the gap between manufacturers and craft enthusiasts through professionalImage services designed to educate and inspire the public. Our slogan is ‘Creativity is our Business’.

The CHA Designer Section has an established leadership council, as well as section committee volunteers to support continuing education, networking opportunities, outreach to other CHA categories and support an environment conducive for the growth of the individual members within the section.

To connect with  CHA Designer Section Committee Members click here.

 

 

Kids and Families Enjoy Crafting at Curacao Mother’s Day Event at Children’s Hospital LA

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by Tiffany Windsor

The CHA SoCal Chapter recently participated in the Curacao Mother’s Day Event at Children’s Hospital LA. Chapter member Ruth Garcia-Corrales and the Curacao team plan this annual event to bring crafting to the kids, and massages and manicures to their moms and nurses. Curacao is an active supporter of the Children’s Hospital and presented a $10,000 donation during the event.
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At Curacao’s invitation, the CHA SoCal Chapter steering committee pulled together an awesome line-up of kids’ crafts keeping in mind the limited mobility of some of the patients. It was our goal to bring a ray of creative sunshine to the kids and a few hours of relaxation to the parents and hospital staff.

Julianna Hudgins teamed up with Jesse James Beads to create stretchy cord beaded bracelets with the kids, parents, nurses and therapists. This creative table was non-stop during the event! With hundreds of beads to choose from, each bracelet was easy for the patients to personalize in favorite colors, sizes and textures.

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Melody Nunez from Sizzix/Ellison taught how to use the Sizzix Big Shot to cut card stock and embellishments and the kids and adults made Mother’s Day themed cards from very simple to beautifully artistic.

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Shelby Strichard from me & my BIG ideas filled this creative station with scrapbooking papers, embellishments and stickers.  The kids were able to have their photos taken and instantly print out a photo to scrapbook on their pages. This was a great mom and me project during the event!

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Jonathan Fong and Craft Attitude provided wood shapes, pre-printed film and bling for the kids to express their creativity. This creative station was also a favorite of the hospital staff!

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CHA SoCal Chapter member Carmen Flores-Tanis crafted cards with supplies provided Stampendous, Faber Castell, Prima and Aleene’s and glitter provided by chapter member Tracy Alden. The pre-stamped Stampendous  PenPattern images were quick and easy to color and the cards were quickly personalized and assembled bringing smiles to many faces!

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Crafting celebrities Jonathan Fong, Tiffany Windsor and Julianna Hudgins enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with fellow chapter members and craft with the kids!  Chapter member Ruth Garcia-Corrales and Laurie James, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Partnerships Foundation Department CHLA loved the crafting projects!

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It takes vision, determination and a whole team to plan and staff these events. Thank you to the manufacturers who donated their supplies and personnel, and the CHA SoCal Chapter members and volunteers for making this happen.  We are incredibly honored to bring crafting to Children’s Hospital LA and inspired by the families and staff who shared a few hours of crafting with us.

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(back row left to right: Melody Nunez/Sizzix, Carmen Flores-Tanis, Julianna Hudgins, Shelby Strichard/me & my BIG idea, Ruth Garcia-Corrales/Curacao – front from left to right: Brandi Fletcher, Jonathan Fong, Tiffany Windsor)

If your business is located in Southern California and you would like to participate with us in future Chapter events or receive the Chapter informational brochure, please contact us via e-mail or visit http://www.craftandhobby.org/socal. Also, please stop by and “like” the SoCal Chapter Facebook page which is also a great way to keep up-to-date with industry and Chapter information.

CHA 2014 MEGA Show ChirpE Booth Nominated for Two E.X.C.I.T.E. Awards

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We are excited to beImage nominated for two Expo Magazine E.X.C.I.T.E. Awards for the ChirpE Photo Booth at the CHA 2014 Mega Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim, CA

The E.X.C.I.T.E. Awards is the first awards program established to recognize excellence in trade shows and events; it is open to all trade show industry organizers, corporate organizers and industry suppliers.

The two categories which we are finalists in are:

  • Showfloor Design/Engagment Strategy
  • Use of a Social Media Network

The E.X.C.I.T.E. Awards Luncheon will take place on June 25, 2014, at the Four Seasons in Baltimore, MD.

To view the MEGA Show ChirpE booth photo album, visit our Facebook page or click here.

Badge Registration for the Paper Arts Show is Now Open!

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The Paper Arts Show is a one-of-a-kind, trade-only, wholesale buying event focused on the paper crafts industry.

The Show will include:

- Paper Craft Industry exhibits including the latest products in paper arts including paper, stamps, dies, inks, embellishments, adhesives, stencils and more – everything you’d expect to find in the Paper Arts world.
– An all-day hands-on,workshop experience on July 29.
– Networking Events including The Open Market – a trade cash-n-carry shopping frenzy!

You don’t want to miss out on this inaugural CHA Event! Click here to register or follow this link: www.craftandhobby.org/paperarts.

CHA Announces the Results of the 2014 Member Satisfaction Survey

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ImageThe Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is excited to share  the results and key findings from our recent online Member Satisfaction Survey. Thank you to the more than 600 members who responded and shared critical thoughts on CHA membership.

We are happy to report that overall member satisfaction has increased.

Our research showed improved overall satisfaction with CHA membership, with manufacturers indicating the greatest increase in satisfaction. Specific areas of improvement included:

• 70% of respondents agreed with the statement that CHA delivers efficient and effective
trade shows, up from 51% in 2013.
• 63% agreed with the statement that CHA increases consumer awareness of the benefits of
crafting, as opposed to 54% in 2013
• 60% agreed with the statement that CHA has been responsible for positive business and
consumer media coverage of the industry, versus 48% in 2013.

Members also noted improvements in CHA’s ability to increase the member network, and  facilitate networking and buyer/seller interactions, which remains a top priority among members.

CHA trade shows continue to be the most important element of CHA membership.

50% of members surveyed indicated educational offerings are very important and the majority of  respondents also view education as important. Four in ten members rate industry research and data a top priority in evaluating membership.

The importance of member feedback is demonstrated in some findings that indicate opportunities for CHA to respond to member needs:

• 10% of designers and 7% of creative professionals requested that CHA provide more networking opportunities.
• 8% of retailers requested more education from CHA.

As you can see from the highlights reported here, CHA is moving in the right direction and helping to create a vibrant industry with an exciting image, an expanding customer base and  successful members. Our vision is that every household participates in crafting. We remain focused on that goal and on serving our members.

Your input and feedback is vital to the success of CHA and our industry as a whole. We encourage all members to get involved and help make a difference in our industry. For more  information on CHA programs and events, call 201-835-1200. Thank you again to those who were able to participate in the survey.

We look forward to seeing many of you at CHA’s Inaugural Paper Arts Show in Atlanta July 29-31, 2014. Registration opens May 1, 2014. To learn more about this new event visit our website. And mark your calendars for the 2015 Mega Show, January 9-13, 2015 in Anaheim, CA.

Kick-Off Event for CHA SoCal Chapter a Huge Success

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By Tiffany Windsor

The CHA SoCal Chapter held its inaugural kick-off event at the recent Curacao 19th Annual Children’s Fair (La Feria de los Niños) which was held at Olympic and Union Streets in Los Angeles, California. In partnership with Univision and Telefutura, the Children’s Fair aims to give children and parents access to valuable community resources and information that provide after-school alternatives and engage children in organized activities.Image

The venue spanned two city blocks outside the Los Angeles Curacao store where the SoCal Chapter volunteers staffed a 20×20 Creative Hub booth. Even before the event opened, kids and parents lined up by the dozens to participate in creating the make and take projects designed by SoCal Chapter members. During the 5-hour event, over 350 kids learned how to die cut wrist cuffs with the Sizzix Big Shot and Sizzix SophistiCut machines. Stampendous featured their PenPattern stamped designs on hand-made cards. Product donations from several companies including The Buckle Boutique, Chameleon International, Prima Marketing Inc.®, Faber Castell and Aleene’s®, helped to make the event possible.

In support of Curacao’s “Be a Star” program, which seeks to reward educational efforts, the Sizzix education sister brand, Ellison, donated AllStar® SuperStar™ Starter Sets. Five participating local Los Angeles schools received a Block alphabet and number die set, a machine, cutting pads and storage rack.

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In keeping with our Chapter mission, this event was an excellent opportunity to spread the word about crafting and creativity and
strengthen the industry by acting on a local level to reach crafters of all generations. The CHA SoCal Chapter wishes to thank our member volunteers who made it all happen – Stampendous: Pegi Smith, Monika Thomas, Cristina Resendiz and Laura Weed – Sizzix: Saema Khwaja, Karen Herrera, Claudia Gutierrez and Florencia Finnegan – Curacao: Ruth Corrales-Garcia – Members: Trish Cortez, Julianna Hudgins and Tiffany Windsor. Our special thanks to Ruth and Curacao for providing the booth, signage, tables and chairs!

ImageThe CHA SoCal Chapter invites all Southern California CHA members to join in and help build this chapter! We have five Task Force teams looking for your help! To receive the Chapter informational brochure, please contact us via e-mail or visit www.craftandhobby.org/socal. Stop by and “like” the SoCal Chapter Facebook page is also a great way to keep up-to-date with industry and Chapter information.

Attend The CHA Creative Retailer Retreat For Just $99!

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We believe that the value of your education is worth the investment, that’s why after speaking to many of you, we’re bringing you the Creative Retailer Retreat in Pittsburgh for just $99 (for members/$149 for non-members) for the ENTIRE 2 1/2 day program including all seminars, workshops, plus lunch and dinner on the opening day.

Education is vital to the success of our industry, and it is our hope that by lowering the cost we can make this program affordable to everyone, large and small. Here is what you can expect to find at the Creative Retailer Retreat in Pittsburgh:

- How to turn social media marketing in to your most powerful marketing tool
- Best practices for website marketing
- Secrets to inventory control
- Enhancing the in-store experience
- Easy ways to exceed customer expectations both in-store and online
- Setting your sales floor to sell

Not to mention four fantastic hands-on workshops sponsored by:

- Faber Castell
- Graphic 45
- Swarovski
- Xyron

Click here to register today: http://buff.ly/1j2tlli 

P.S. If you come to the Creative Retailer Retreat and you’re not absolutely satisfied, we’ll refund you your registration, that’s how strongly we believe in this content.

An invitation from Joe Rotella to the Creative Retailer Retreat

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Joe Rotella of Delphia Consulting and the Craft and Hobby Association web expert, invites members of the Creative Retail industry to the Creative Retailer Retreat in Pittsburgh PA April 28th through 30th.

Joe talks about the sessions and offerings of the Creative Retailer Retreat.

The Creative Retailer Retreats are focused entirely on helping the Creative Retailer in day-to-day business needs. The Retreat experience includes highly interactive sessions covering social media, marketing, store/website layout, and much more. And of course a retreat is not complete without hands-on workshops and networking events. In just two and a half days: Learn, Craft and Connect for the future of your creative business!

To register, visit: http://www.craftandhobby.org/crr.

Joe Rotella is CMO of Delphia Consulting and the Web Expert for the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA).

Delphia Consulting is an affiliate of CHA and the publisher of CraftSuite – the eCommerce/blog/website solution for the craft and hobby industry.

Pinterest: Capitalizing on Imagery & Opening Doors for Content Creators

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Pinterest: Capitalizing on Imagery & Opening Doors for Content Creatorspint
By Jennifer Cairo
Sugar Spun

Understanding what makes Pinterest stand out so prevalently in a sea of social media channels competing for attention is fairly simple. Just open your eyes.

It’s been said “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and for good reason. It takes mere seconds for a still photograph to convey a complex scenario that might take hundreds or even thousands of words to describe in a text-only environment. This concept is what allowed Pinterest to break through the clutter to capture the attention of millions of users.

While many sites (such as Furl and del.icio.us) have tried to play off the collector in us, and many sites (such as Flickr and Photobucket) have played off our love of images, Pinterest is the first to effectively combine the two.

The difference Pinterest brings to the mix is the addition of imagery to the curated items. In a social media–heavy world where Internet users are choosing to consume more and more information in less time, Pinterest serves a very useful purpose. Ideas can be gathered and pinned to topical boards where they can easily be revisited and either pruned or researched over time.

Consider the way we seek out and manage information online. Historically, we’ve run searches on search engines, visited content sites we’re familiar with, and maybe read information posted by friends and family or bloggers we follow. We might read about the beauty of the tiny village sprinkled along the Cinque Terre in Italy. But, we don’t always get the full picture.

Pinterest allows users to take in a far greater amount of information and to make more concrete decisions about what they’re interested in quickly. Although someone planning their next vacation might spend weeks or even months reading reviews and researching various destinations on blogs and travel sites, it might take only a few moments to fall in love with a destination while browsing through the “Travel and Places” category on Pinterest.

Pinterest recognizes the level of that visual impact and plays to it effectively. It boasts one of the cleanest designs on the Web, with nothing to take away focus from the images until users decide to roll their cursor over them to start interacting.

Still, Pinterest isn’t just about saving images to categorized boards; it’s about sharing visual representations of ideas: the various cakes you might make for your son’s next birthday, the kitchen cabinet organization idea that will make your life easier, or the collection of infographics you’re gathering for your next big presentation.

One of the ways in which Pinterest turns traditional social media on its head is by creating a system where curators are rewarded as much, or more than, content creators. Channels like Facebook, YouTube, and blogs require companies to invest time and effort into creating engaging content strategies, whereas Pinterest operates off a platform of shared resources.

Becoming a Pinterest power player requires nothing more than an eye for good content and an ability to categorize it properly. Some of the most popular Pinterest users never generate a single piece of unique content on the Internet. They simply serve up a consistent dose of curation that attracts legions of followers who want to share in their discovery. This is, in part, why Pinterest is such a powerful platform for business.

A very important thing to understand about Pinterest and why it can drive so much traffic is the concept of Pinterest as a social media gateway rather than as a social media destination. When people visit a site like Facebook, they are visiting to connect with friends, to share photos and videos and to generally socialize in an online environment. When people visit a site like Pinterest, they are looking for ideas, for inspiration, and for a place to store information for later. What’s more, people are looking to buy on Pinterest. In fact, recent data from Monetate, Pinterest is the top referrer of high-value orders to e-commerce sites.
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For now, Pinterest offers some attractive real estate. Every business—large or small, capital heavy or budget minded—has the same chance to build their following and promote their stream. Pinterest becomes more about what you can offer than how much money you have to push your agenda. In a world where marketing purse strings are forever tightening, that makes Pinterest a welcome addition to a brand’s social media arsenal.

Join Jennifer Cairo of Sugar Spun Marketing for this webinar on Pinterest Marketing: What You need To Know.

Date: March 5, 2014
Time: 12:30 PM EST – 1:30 PM EST
Register: http://buff.ly/1f1FWS1

About the Presenter:
Jennifer Cairo is the President of Sugar Spun Marketing, a small, boutique firm specializing in strategy and education.
For more information visit: http://www.sugarspunmarketing.com/

Craft Your Passion for National Craft Month and Enter To Win!

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Celebrate National Craft Month by entering the Craft Your Passion #CRE8TIME Photo contest – you just might win one of three great prizes!

1st Prize:  Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit
2nd prize: Plaid Gift Basket
3rd Prize: iLoveToCreate Tulip Body Art Kit

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HOW TO ENTER:

Get crafty for National Craft Month and make something you are passionate about! Take a picture of your finished project and upload it to the #CRE8TIME Facebook contest app (www.facebook.com/cre8time) or the Instagram contest app (www.instagram.com/cre8time). Be sure to hashtag your picture #CRE8TIME and explain your entry in the photo description area provided.

All entries will be judged by the following Craft & Hobby Association Section Leaders:
Laurel Pollard, CHA Paper Arts Section
Scott Remmers, CHA North American Bead Association
Tiffany Windsor, CHA Designer Section Council

WHAT IS CRE8TIME?
CRE8TIME is a grass roots movement dedicated to reminding people to take time out from their busy schedules and CRE8TIME for the things they love!