About Craft & Hobby Association

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is an international not-for-profit trade association consisting of thousands of member companies engaged in the design, manufacture, distribution and retail sales of craft products worldwide. For more about CHA, the value of membership, or its award-winning Conferences & Trade Shows, please visit www.craftandhobby.org.

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

01 ColorBlends Collection of colors

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.

004 Wired Stamp Set Nat K

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.

Gregg Daniel

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!”.

David DeLuise

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.

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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.