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

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

An Update From the CHA Social Media Section

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social media section final logo
The Steering Committee for the new Social Media Section was formed this fall with the initial task of creating the Sections’ Vision and Mission Statement. Below is the completed Statement, which we’re incredibly proud of and excited to share with you!

Our Vision
We support an interactive community where all CHA members are encouraged to explore and employ social media platforms and strategies in order to more meaningfully engage with each other, with our customers, and with fans and followers. In doing so, we are working together to enhance and expand all of our businesses, as well as the craft industry at large.

Our Mission:
Resource
We will establish a network of Social Media professionals who can consult with CHA members (companies and individuals) and show them how to successfully incorporate social media outreach into their overall marketing plans.

Education
We will work with CHA to provide relevant educational tools and programs for CHA members, as well as opportunities to share best practices, in an effort to keep everyone informed about the ever-changing social media landscape.

Awareness
We will champion the social media marketing campaigns developed by CHA and its chapters and sections, in order to nurture the CHA brand, advocate membership, and continuously promote the benefits of crafting to all of our audiences.

Collaboration
We will work to build partnerships between members and help them develop new ways to jointly use social media to build their brands and engage with their customers.

Heart
We will bring passion, joy and creativity to our work. We will commit to continuously sharpening our skills, broadening our collective range of expertise, and building our integrity within CHA so that our section continues to grow and sustain itself for as long as social media remains a viable business tool for our industry.

Steering Committee Members:
Amy Bowerman Stucki, Carmi Cimicata, Lisa Fulmer, Eileen Hull, Vicki O’Dell, Taylor Usry, Kristi Parker Van Doren, Laura Weed
Our CHA Contact:  Paula Jones

Next Projects:
We are currently working on our Membership Criteria document and sub-committee definitions.  We will post those on the CHA website when they are complete.

Have you signed up for our meeting in January?
Social Media Section Meeting at the 2014 CHA Mega Show
Monday, January 13, 2014
E406 – Event
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Please do not hesitate to email me if you would like more information.

~ Carmi Cimicata
Social Media Section Interim Leader
carmimail@aol.com

Get to Know the Sewing Section of CHA


As a consumer educator for more than 20 years, I’m incredibly passionate about sewing—and incredibly excited about the new possibilities to grow the sewing segment of the crafting industry through the new Craft Hobby Association (CHA) sewing section. As a group of manufacturers, retailers, and designers working together, we’re looking forward to strengthening the sewing industry, improving the business climate, and developing programs to entice consumers to continue their creative sewing pursuits.

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There’s a lot to look forward to with this new section. Our immediate goals are to establish a steering committee who will determine our goals and the activities to meet those goals, and then communicate these goals and plans to the members.

I’m looking forward to working with vendors and retailers who have a common goal. As we learn more about one another and develop relationships working on this shared pursuit, we’ll recognize how we can help each other because of it. The idea of providing a cohesive consumer program is very appealing. It will be good to have a concerted, industry-wide effort to help everyone: consumers, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers, and therefore the industry.

To attend this meeting you must sign up to attend as part of the for the Create-n-Connect Conference & Trade Show registration.

E302: Sewing Section Meeting
(Wednesday, July 24, 2013 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM)

~ Roseann Meehan Kermes, Rosebud’s Cottage

New CHA Bead Section is a Gem


After planning and laying the groundwork for more than a year, the new bead section of the Craft Hobby Association (CHA) is officially launching! Recently named the CHA North America Bead Association, this gem of a section brings bead store owners, designers, and suppliers together to offer one another support and strengthen their corner of the crafting industry.

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The leadership team of this new section is made up of strong co-directors, including

I’m serving as the director and Julianna Hudgins is the secretary.

Together, our main goal is to help strengthen the bead industry, which is suffering from a 25% closure of brick-and-mortar stores over the past few years. On the surface that trend may seem to affect only bead store owners, but it affects everyone down to the consumer. Being involved in this section of CHA will allow us to see outside the four walls of our own businesses. Whether we gather at CHA conferences and trade shows, the Tucson Gem & Mineral show or the Bead & Button show, each meeting brings about an excitement of new ideas and the opportunity to talk with people who do what we do every day, helping to improve the beading industry.

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Additional benefits in the works for members of this section are private forums, networking events, business seminars, webinars, vendor connections, and more. But the key to meeting the section’s main goal is going to be a word I like to call “coopetition”, which means the members coming together cooperatively to enable us to be competitive for our individual businesses. We will strive to be cooperative as a section in sharing success tips and strategies so we can individually strive to the best in the way we operate, in our product selection and customer service, and in the shopping experience we provide our customers.

Being a section of CHA allows us to learn from the amazing ideas of the entire crafting industry (which has lots of crossover) while being able to focus on the needs of our industry specifically. The sections are in control of the mission and agendas set by their members. And, like every part of CHA, it brings people together to strengthen their businesses while simultaneously strengthening the industry.

– Scott Remmers, Brea Bead Works

Become a Member Today and Enjoy all the Benefits CHA Offers!
Special offer to new members, sign up now and gain access to the Create-n-Connect Trade Show floor for FREE! That’s a $200 Value!
Click Here to Join Today!

CHA Experts and Resources Program: Pro Advice You Can Use


Being a member of the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) has helped Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko conduct business and network with our fellow craft industry professionals over the years. But we recently had the chance to utilize a newer benefit to CHA membership—contacting one of the CHA Experts and Resources—that gave us valuable information to save us a lot of time.

 CHA Experts and Resources

Business regulation changes can be a bit difficult to sift through, especially when trying to separate fact from fiction. I contacted CHA 2013 Regulatory Resource, Paul Milne, to get the low-down on the requirements for annual testing of products. He answered me quickly, giving me valuable advice and letting me know how other vendors have responded to specific regulation changes as well. His helpful advice steered our business towards correct compliance to recent regulation changes that may have taken us a lot longer to discover on our own. And since time is money when you’re in business, he saved us money as well.

If you’re like me, your job requires you to know a little across a lot of areas. But when you need a deeper knowledge in a particular area or a different perspective, the CHA Experts and Resources program gives you just what you need. You’ll find objective, third-party expert available for information that directly affects your business. It’s like a reference library, but of people instead of books. And the variety of professionals covers a broad spectrum of business know-how to benefit every aspect of your business. I encourage you to try it today!

–Debi Naanes, Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko

Become a Member Today and Enjoy all the Benefits CHA Offers!
Special offer to new members, sign up now and gain access to the Create-n-Connect Trade Show floor for FREE! That’s a $200 Value!
Click Here to Join Today!