CHA Connected Gift Lounge at the Emmy Awards Announcement Ceremony

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From the Craft & Hobby Association Headquarters in Elmwood Park, NJ – It’s the First Annual CHA Connected Gift Lounge at the Emmy Awards Announcement Ceremony!

We’re so excited to announce that CHA will be the title sponsor of the Connected Gift Lounge at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards! The Gift Lounge will take place on Saturday, September 21st at the Nokia Theater. Watch as CHA president & CEO, Andrej Suskavcevic, presents the CHA members who will make all of this happen!


Thank you to our Sponsors (current as of 9/9/2013):

Platinum
Beadalon
DCWV
Spellbinders

Gold
John Bead Corp
Ice Resin
Prima Marketing Inc.

Silver
Cindale Beads
Crystal Ninja
Jesse James Beads
Kalmbach Publishing Co
Walnut Hollow

Keep up on all the CHA at the Emmys action by following us on Twitter: @craftandhobby and the official hashtag: #CHASwag and #CraftingtheEmmys.

We’re also happy to announce, CRE8TIME LIVE from the Emmys! This is your chance to watch LIVE streaming interviews straight from the Gift Lounge on Saturday, September 21st! Our Host, Elena Lai Etcheverry from Charity Wings, will be interviewing Stars and Guests and bringing you all the Cre8tivity from the manufacturers attending.

Check back here on the the CHA Blog or our Facebook page for updates and more information on the CHA Connected Gift Lounge at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Get Your Product in Front of Millions of Consumers and an Expanded Buyer Community

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CHA’s New Products Preview Program is an exciting new opportunity for manufacturers to premiere their “latest and greatest” in front of hundreds of media, thousands of prospective buyers, and millions of consumers.  President & CEO of the Craft & Hobby Association, Andrej Suskavcevic, took some time out from his knitting project to discuss this valuable new program:

Visit craftandhobby.org/newproducts to find out all you need to know about the New Products Preview Program, and gain exclusive media coverage for your business at this summer’s Create-n-Connect Conference & Trade Show.

CHA President & CEO’s Crafting Journey Continues (Real Men Knit!)

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Last month, Andrej Suskavcevic, President and CEO of the Craft & Hobby Association, shared with us how he recently came down with the passion for crafting bug. It has been going around the CHA offices lately. What better way to show you his progress than a video update?

 

Let Andrej know what he should create next! Comment here on our blog or visit us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/craftandhobby and tell us!

Check back next month to see what craft Andrej goes with.

CHA’s President & CEO Shares His Crafting Journey

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by Andrej Suskavcevic, president and CEO, Craft & Hobby Association

Crafting is cool. Period. End of sentence. When I came into this industry the extent of my crafting was helping my kids with school projects or being part of their experience on weekends. Having been part of this wonderful industry over the last year I have gotten to know many people and watch how the passion of crafting spreads. It’s infectious and well, I got the bug. Let’s be clear, I’m not doing this because it’s part of my job. I am doing this for the following reasons:

  • It’s fun!
  • It’s meditative
  • It builds bonds with family and friends
I am a very curious person by nature so I want to try it all. What better way to start than to make something with and for my family. I made a couple necklaces with my daughter using ice-resin, beads, ribbon, what have you. Fun stuff, and she proudly wears it. She even took it to school for share day.
Yes, I’m a proud Dad.
AndrejNecklaceforDaughter
Then I jumped into the deep end of the pool and decided to make my wife a necklace for our 16th wedding anniversary. She loved it. You can see it in the CRE8TIME.org CRE8TIONS Gallery: http://cre8time.org/cre8tions/anniversary-gift-necklace
I made this for my wife for Valentine's Day

I made this for my wife for Valentine’s Day

I will be doing more jewelry making of course but now I am fascinated by knitting and am starting to learn that. Funny reaction I get from guy friends when I tell them I am learning to knit. Love the fact that at 6’4” I am breaking down stereotypes about what a man does. Real men knit! I’m going to break out my knitting needles on my next business trip on the plane. Can’t wait for that conversation with my fellow passengers. Maybe one of them can help me cast on properly…
I will say that I prefer to do it with someone who can teach me versus watching online instruction video’s. There’s something to the bonds forged which I prefer to the loner approach. If in New Jersey and you want to come knit with me. Let me know.
Till next time. Happy Crafting.
- Andrej

Introducing the NEW Create-n-Connect Conference & Trade Show

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Dear CHA Members, Friends and Colleagues,

As I celebrate my one-year anniversary with CHA I am beyond words at how excited I am about the possibilities facing our industry. As I have listened to so many of you this year, your input and passion came through loud and clear, and is all being considered as we plan events that will help you make the connections you need to grow your business.

We are putting the final touches on the NEW Create-n-Connect Conference & Trade Show (formerly the CHA Summer Conference & Trade Show). This event will move around the country every year and makes its first stop – LAS VEGAS, NV on July 22-25.  This Show will provide many opportunities for conversations and connections that matter while showcasing new, never seen before, products coming to market.

Here is what you can expect:

  • Show Floor Access for Members – No more fees! Show floor access is FREE. Education will be priced a la carte so you can choose the sessions that will make a difference in your business. The conference program schedule, along with pricing will be available in late April.
  • Buyer Power Hours – Qualified buyer-only access to the Show floor from 9am-11am on July 23rd and 24th. Non -exhibiting Designers, Creative Professionals and members of the Press will have access to educational programs and networking opportunities off the show floor during this time.
  • Access to World Premiere Product Previews – A spotlight will shine on never seen before products through special media and buyer events. Exhibitors will gain industry-wide recognition and national media attention for their new products. Buyers will get VIP access to a sneak peak for products being released for the first time.
  • Connections that Count – The next person you meet may make a difference in your business!  After-hour cocktail mixers, town hall meetings and forums for members with common interests give you   access to conversations that may provide huge insights and infinite possibilities for your business.
  • Enhanced Match-Making Program to Facilitate Superior Connections Between Buyers and Exhibitors – We will be offering a tool for you to use, if you choose, but is in NO WAY mandatory. Instead, a new software will be available that allows you to easily connect with and search manufacturers and retailers with similar product interests. This software will be available after registration opens on May 14th

The Priority Point Deadline for exhibitors is March 1, 2013. Download the Exhibiting Contract here:

https://www.craftandhobby.org/eweb/docs/CreateConnect2013/CombinedCnCFillinforms.pdf

Attendee registration for Show floor badges and the Conference program opens on May 14, 2013. For more information visit:

https://www.craftandhobby.org/cnc

Answers to additional FAQ’s can be found here:

http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/19781160:22028553393:m:1:2065622812:185483F29E7DD1105F19A7A792F0EF17:r

CHA’s job is to help you. Feel free to contact any staff member with questions. I can be reached directly  at 201-835-1201 or at Andrej@craftandhobby.org

On behalf of the entire CHA staff, we look forward to seeing you in Vegas.

Cheers,

Andrej Suskavcevic
President & CEO
Craft & Hobby Association

CHA Celebrates Innovation at the 2013 Winter Show

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The CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show drew 3336 buyers and 928 networkers, totaling  4264 attendees; of which 790 were international, joining us from 56 countries including Canada, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Germany.

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While the temperature was down, the energy was up. Despite the unusual California weather being as low as some 30 degrees, exhibitors and attendees were all in good spirits yielding positive results. For some, this Show was the most successful it’s been in years.

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“We’ve been exhibiting at the Winter Show for the entire life of our company – seven years that is – and 2013 was our best Show ever! Our booth was busy literally the whole time. We’ve always seen the Show as – primarily – a way to build brand awareness and network with distribution partners. But this year we worked with a lot of independent retailers and wrote a lot of orders. We did more international business than ever before, picking up new distributors and retailers in Australia, South America, Europe, and Far East.” Sara Davies – Sales Director, Crafters Companion

“This year’s CHA Show was the best in years for us. Not only was it a great forum to see many of our current customers in one place, but it also presented an opportunity to meet new buyers from the international community.”  Ryan Newell – President, Spinrite LP.

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“The CHA Conference & Trade Show is the only event on the planet where we can greet hundreds of customers in three days. We cannot imagine choosing not to be there. The 2013 CHA Winter show was our best show ever; the quantity of customers, the quantity of leads and the sales dollars written were all record numbers. The CHA Winter Show was a great start for a new year!” Bobbie Medema – Marketing Director, Notions Marketing

Another key contributing factor to the positive momentum was the launch of the CRE8TIME industry consumer awareness campaign and the new CRE8TIME.org website.  CRE8TIME is a movement funded by the CHA Foundation, designed to encourage creativity by getting participants to pledge 8 hours per month to doing something creative. CRE8TIME.org serves as the hub of the CRE8TIME social movement. It is a community where “CRE8ERS” share their crafts, pledge their hours, get inspired, stay informed and learn how to reclaim 8 hours a month.

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“The positive energy from both exhibitors and attendees is very encouraging and speaks volumes to the vibrancy and momentum building for the industry. We look forward to carrying that excitement forward with all the new programs we are launching in 2013.” Andrej SuskavcevicCAE, President and CEO, Craft & Hobby Association.

Every year CHA gives out awards to select exhibitors for outstanding work in product innovation.  Those receiving awards for their products include: Innovative Product Award – Katy Sue Designs/Flower SoftSilicone Molds (www.katysuedesigns.com); Attendee Choice Award – Spellbinders Paper ArtsImperial Gold (www.spellbinderscreativearts.com); and two Honorable Mention Innovative Product Awards – June TailorT-shirt Transformation Ruler Center (www.junetailor.com) and We R Memory KeepersEnvelope Punch Board (http://www.weronthenet.com).

CHA accepts nominations annually from members throughout the industry with the purpose of identifying individuals and companies making significant contributions to humanity, the industry, and the Association. This year Creative Leisure News’ Mike Hartnett was the recipient of the Meritorious Award of Honor. This is the highest award recognition the Craft & Hobby Association can bestow upon an individual past or present member, and is given for significant contributions made to the Association. The Special Recognition Award went to Mari Eriksson and the staff of Fusion Beads, a retail store in Seattle Washington. This award is presented to a person, group and/or company for their extraordinary contribution in an activity showcasing the craft and hobby industry in a positive way.

In 2014 the CHA Winter Conference & Trade Show will return to Anaheim, California January 10-14 to celebrate the 73rd edition of the Show.

CHA 2012 Summer Show Recognizes Excellence In The Craft Industry


The 2012 Summer Show hosted 172 exhibiting companies filling 61,028 net square feet of exhibit space. The Show attracted 3,111 attendees representing over 600 buying companies from 43 states and 34 countries. Fifteen percent of Show attendees were internationally based with the greatest number coming from Canada, Brazil, Japan, Mexico and Norway.

Despite the declining numbers in attendance, the smaller Show delivered substantial foot traffic to exhibitors’ booths and valuable product recognition was received through product launches and the Show awards. Show floor activities such as the daily “The Next Iron Crafter Challenge” a fast paced, high-energy crafting competition which challenged audience members to create a mixed media project in under 10 minutes using a mystery product, kept both exhibitors and attendees engaged and created buzz and excitement on the Show floor.

“CHA Summer 2012 was better than expected” says Sonia Viteri, Assistant Product Manager of Tombow, USA.  “With so many opportunities for exposure such as the workshops and the product showcases, and the great number of people visiting our booth, it was definitely worth our time and investment. We look forward participating in the upcoming CHA 2013 Winter Show.”

During the Show, CHA member companies were recognized for their outstanding Trade Show achievements. The following awards were presented:

INNOVATIONS SHOWCASE

The Innovations Showcase brings together the newest ideas and most innovative products from exhibiting companies.

  • WINNER – Majestic Elements by Spellbinders
  • HONORABLE MENTION – All Natural Cake Kit for Dogs by K9Cakery

PRESS KIT AWARD
Press kits arejudged based on design, content and creativity.

  • GOLDEN PRESS KIT – Sizzix/Ellison
  • HONORABLE MENTION – Avatrex/Scrapbooking Attitude
  • DESIGNER PRESS KIT – Sara-n-Dipitous Designs by Sara Hodsdon

EXHIBITING WITH EXCELLENCE

The CHA Exhibiting with Excellence Award is presented to exhibitors as the gold-standard of exhibiting. Winners were selected by CHA’s Trade Show Consultants, Competitive Edge – an exhibitor education, training and consulting firm. Booths are judged based on: Exhibit Design, Product Merchandising/Demonstrations and Exhibit Staff.

  • NEW EXHIBITOR BOOTH AWARD WINNER – Little Darlings Rubber Stamp
  • ISLAND/PENINSULA BOOTH AWARD WINNER – Sizzix/Ellison
  • LINEAR BOOTH EXHIBITOR AWARD WINNER – Westcott/Acme United

“Congratulations to all of our award recipients, they each represent creativity and innovation and are valuable assets to the industry” said Andrej Suskavcevic, President and CEO, CHA.

Cre8time, the CHA Foundation’s new consumer awareness initiative and industry-wide movement, was announced at the 2012 Summer Show. For more information on Cre8time, watch the video below or contact Keri Cunningham.

For more information on CHA, the recent 2012 Summer Show or the upcoming CHA 2013 Winter Show being held from January 12-15, 2013 in Anaheim, California please visit www.craftandhobby.org.

Paige The Intern Goes To The Summer Show!


The Summer Show in Rosemont, Illinois was everything I expected and more! I loved every second. I was in awe walking around the show floor gawking at all the beautiful displays, products, and booths. Everyone says the Winter Show is three times the size of the Summer Show, but I just can’t fathom it!

I got to meet some really great people from all across the country, in all areas of the industry. It was interesting to talk to them about their business, their story, and what they thought of the show.

I even got to meet some of my favorite craft celebs!

Cathie Filian. Talk about the nicest lady you have ever met. Her and Steve were at the Mod Podge booth everyday doing make and takes with attendees, and talking to people. I really miss good ol’ fashion craft shows like Creative Juice, so I loved dropping in to say hello.

Tim Holtz. I refer to him as the mac daddy of crafts. Tim also was in his booth everyday, and while sitting and talking to him I discovered how involved he is with his booth. Design, set up, placement, he is there for the whole shebang. I think his involvement contributes to his success, while his unique style brings a different perspective to the scene.

Kristine McKay. Kristine started off doing segments on my local news channel in Utah a few years back. I have followed her ever since and now she is working with My Craft Channel. She was really friendly and fun to talk to about Utah.

My favorite part of the show was the competitions! The Next Iron Crafter, an event where participants had to make a craft in less than 10 minutes, were a blast! The hosts did a great job interacting with the crowd and each challenge got more and more interesting. The last challenge included CHA staff members, and of course I won! Bragging rights, the best prize you can get.

I decided to highlight my favorite products and booths I saw at the show, so here it is..

PAIGE THE INTERN’S FAVORITES OF THE 2012 SUMMER SHOW!!
(Pause for applause)

FAVORITE PRODUCTS

MOST INNOVATIVE PRODUCT: Fix n’ Zip! This was a booth I wasn’t expecting to see at the show, but they manufacture zipper pulls to replace broken ones. I have a bad history of zipper problems and thought this was genius. Plus they were really nice to chat with.

PRETTIEST NEW PAPER LINE: I couldn’t decide, so there are two! Basic Grey Lucille line and Graphic 45’s Bird Song line. Both of these lines grabbed my interest with vintage floral designs.  Basic Grey’s Lucille line has an adorable corresponding dress garland where the collars fold down giving some added dimension!

OVERALL FAVORITE PRODUCT: Impress Art Metal Stamping Alphabets! I’m a big fan of the stamped jewelry craze happening right now, so when I saw this kit my wheels started to turn. I would love to make a few charm necklaces.

FAVORITE BOOTHS
The booths were all so visually appealing! You can tell a lot of creativity and thought goes into each and every one. Here is a list of my favorites:

BEST THEME: Graphic 45! Their booth was beautifully decorated, and they dressed up each day to match one of their paper lines. For their Bird Song line (that received my Prettiest Paper Line award) they wore Kimonos!

BIGGEST BANG: Die Cuts With A View! They definitely had the most extravagant and largest booth. The cool thing was it was Halloween-themed, and this display was the first thing to greet you as you entered the showroom floor.

BEST OVERALL PRESENTATION: Drumroll please…..

DOODLEBUG! I loved their “Doodlebug Color Lab” theme. It was simple, with great use of color, and the “lab techs” wore their lab jackets. Great job Doodlebug!

Overall, I had a great time at the show and was really impressed with everyone’s booths and displays. I even got a glimpse of downtown Chicago! Here are a few more photos

This was the playhouse from Craft Wars that was raffled off!


Me and Andrej, the CEO of CHA!


Happy crafting!

Become an official CHA Blog Guest Blogger!

The CHA Blog is currently seeking guest bloggers and blog posts. Any CHA member can submit a post! Basically, a blog post consists of either a video or photo of an event or experience and a short blurb. We want you to tell your story: what current trends do we need to know about? What is the one thing you look forward to the most at CHA shows? What crafty community service project are you involved with? If you’re interested, please submit your post idea, blog post, name and contact information to jbaum@craftandhobby.org.

All guest blog posts are the sole responsibility of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA), its staff members, sponsors or exhibitors. The inclusion of a link or reference does not imply the endorsement of the linked site by the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA).

From the CHA Board Chair: CHA Names New CEO


Today the CHA Board of Directors announced the appointment of Mr. Andrej Suskavcevic (Shoosh–kav–chev–itch) as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the Craft & Hobby Association.

Andrej Suskavcevic, Newly Appointed President & CEO, CHA

Andrej Suskavcevic, Newly Appointed President & CEO, CHA

Andrej has core strengths that make him uniquely qualified to lead the Association at this time. Since 2007, he has served as CEO of the Commercial Finance Association (CFA) in New York City.  CFA is the premier trade association for the asset-based lending and factoring industries.  Previously, he was Vice President of Operations at Financial Executives International (FEI) in Morristown,N.J., a professional association for CFOs, controllers and treasurers.  Before joining FEI, he served as Chief Operating Officer at Zepter International, an international cookware and tabletop company. He holds the designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE) and is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives. He earned a B.S. in finance from Montclair University and a M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Andrej is scheduled to start on January 23, 2012 and will attend the CHA Winter Show in Anaheim. We have every confidence in him and look forward to great things.

The appointment of Andrej concludes our eight month executive search during which Tony Lee, Vice President of Meetings & Expositions served as the Association’s interim leader. We are extremely grateful for Tony’s leadership over the past several months as he inspired and encouraged CHA staff; rejuvenated member participation; created industry partnerships with other trade organizations; and underscored the importance of CHA Trade Shows as a top priority for the industry.  After this long and exhaustive national search, we believe that Andrej has the expertise and qualifications needed to lead CHA forward capitalizing on the positive momentum created by Tony and Team CHA. The Board wishes to thank Tony and Team CHA for their incredible efforts to redirect CHA in a new and exciting direction. We’d also like to thank the members of the Association for their continued support through this transition. 

Should you have any questions or comments, please contact me at BoardChair@craftandhobby.org.

Sincerely,

 

Larry Olliges

Board Chairman