Introducing CHA’s New Blogger Membership

Featured


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

O’Captain! My Captain!

Featured


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.

Final thoughts from the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show

Featured


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

Creative Expression’s Impact on Job Performance

Featured


By Andrej Suskavcevic
President and CEO, CHA
Image

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.

 

 

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

Featured


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.

CHA Connected Gift Lounge at the Emmy Awards Announcement Ceremony


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


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!)


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


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


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