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

Enter to win $500 in the National Craft Month CRE8TIME Photo Contest!

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March is National Craft Month! What better time to discover the joy of crafting and all its many benefits? To celebrate, you could learn a new craft or use your skills to teach others a new craft. There are so many creative ways to take part and have some fun during National Craft Month.  The CHA Foundation is hosting a CRE8TIME contest where you could win up to $500! It’s easy to enter CRE8TIME’s National Craft Month Photo Contest. All you have to do is take a picture of how you’re celebrating National Craft Month. This can be a picture of yourself crafting or of your finished craft project. Submit it via the photo contest app on the  CRE8TIME Facebook fan page: (https://www.facebook.com/Cre8time).

  • The contest will run from March 1- 31st. 2013.
  • The winners will be chosen based on the amount of “likes” that their picture receives.
  • Only pictures submitted via the app will be judged. Do not post pictures directly on the fan page, follow the link to the app and upload your photo there.
  • We’ll announce the winners on April 5, 2013.
  • Win awesome cash prizes! 1st place: $500, 2nd place $300 and 3rd place $100

Need inspiration? Visit the Cre8tions gallery on CRE8TIME.org.

Questions? Contact CRE8TIME@craftandhobby.org

Click here for complete contest rules.

Have fun and celebrate your creativity!

CHA ANNOUNCES 2011 NATIONAL CRAFT MONTH RETAILER CONTEST WINNERS!


National Craft Month - CHA Retailer Contest

National Craft Month - CHA Retailer Contest

To celebrate National Craft Month, CHA introduced a National Craft Month Retailer Contest during the month of March.  Retailers selected a theme, hosted event(s), decorated their stores, and held special promotions. Retail submissions were judged by how well they executed and promoted their event as well as how well they incorporated the CHA National Craft Month concept into their programs.

CHA is happy to announce the following winners:

 FIRST PRIZE  and winner of $1,000 CASH! – Madison Craft & Gift Shops, Madison, WI

Madison Craft & Gift Shops - Madison, WI

Madison Craft & Gift Shops - Madison, WI

With an overall promotional theme of ‘CELEBRATE’ Spring & National Craft Month the store held an event on Friday, March 25th – Saturday, March 26th.  Their upbeat tropical themed décor, displays and atmosphere created a fun event where customers enjoyed FREE make & take projects that included painting techniques, paper crafts, jewelry design, soy candle making and general crafting.  Owner, Diane Goetz, took full advantage of the CHA National Craft Month kit and promotional tools developed to help her get the word out about the event.  She used the press release templates, event press release templates and bag stuffer templates.  The store also produced a television commercial promoting National Craft Month!   In addition to promoting their store they incorporated several charities into the overall promotion.  Consumers were encouraged to bring in and donate unused craft supplies, which were re-distributed to area senior and community centers.  The store created a ‘Cupcakes For Caring’ program where consumers could buy a cupcake or cupcake themed product and 100% of the contributions were donated to the Red Cross for disaster relief . 

SECOND PRIZE and winner of $500 CASH – Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames, Redmond, WA

Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames - Redmond, WA

Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames - Redmond, WA

With an overall promotional theme of, “It’s National Craft Month and we are celebrating in a BIG way!” the store celebrated with make and takes and/or demonstrations every day in the month of March.   They used a targeted approach focusing on a specific craft segment a week (e.g. beads the first week, yarn/fabric the second, paper the third, etc.).  The store utilized staff resources to provide recommendations and craft expertise.  Each department selected a product, promoted it, and held staff-taught demonstrations each week.   The store utilized a wide range of tools to communicate their events via emails, social networking sites, in-store handouts, rolling banners, in-store announcements and even sandwich boards that provided consistent messaging.  They even featured a display showcasing the projects that were to be demonstrated.

THIRD PRIZE and winner of $250 CASH – The Stamp Addict, San Diego, CA

The Stamp Addict - San Diego, CA

The Stamp Addict - San Diego, CA

 

The Stamp Addict celebrated National Craft Month by holding an event on Sunday, March 20th to benefit Operation Write Home an organization that sends handmade cards to the troops which they use to send messages to their loved ones.   The store turned their crop area into a card making factory and even provided free use of their stamps, paper and inks.  Prize drawings were also held every 30 minutes for those in attendance.  Information about the event was included in customer emails, flyers distributed in shopping bags and at the register, posted on the company’s website and social media sites.  When the customers arrived they were greeted with festive red, white and blue décor.  Flowers, banners, flags and staff aprons all had patriotic themes.   Consumers even dressed in red, white and blue to celebrate.       

Congratulations to all our winners and we look forward to celebrating National Craft Month again next year!  Happy crafting…

WASHINGTON POST STORY ON TEEN CRAFTING


 

March is National Craft Month

March is National Craft Month

In the March 22, 2011 issue of the Washington Post, the Associated Press featured an article on the hot trend of teen crafting. The article entitled “For Many Teens Crafting Offers a Chance To Relax And Get Creative,” discusses relaxation, personal expression, and the financial benefits of crafting, three of the 7 key benefits of crafting identified in CHA A&U Study.   

Celebrating the 4th week of National Craft Month, the article couldn’t have been more timely. 

Here are a few quotes from the article:

“Persuading teens to step away from their laptops, iPods and gaming consoles can be difficult. But crafts can be a way to get them to slow down and express themselves.”

“Kids really respond to the idea of taking something that’s going to be trash and turning it into something beautiful”.

“I think crafting is definitely in right now in terms of the cool factor because it’s another level of self-expression.”

“It’s definitely something that sets you apart from the crowd.”

“When I’m doing my pottery, it’s sort of a place for me to kind of go away and relax, and have that time to not worry about anything — school or my friends. It’s sort of like a sanctuary where I can go and relax.

To read the entire article go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/for-many-teens-crafting-offers-a-chance-to-relax-and-get-creative/2011/03/22/ABcuQwCB_story.html.

Week Three of National Craft Month


This week in National Craft Month, I thought  I’d share some of the very cool benefits of crafting…

March is National Craft Month

March is National Craft Month

According to the Craft & Hobby Association’s U.S. Attitude & Usage Study, there are eight key benefits or motivational driving factors behind active crafters:

1.       Sense of Accomplishment

2.       Relaxation

3.       Memory Keeping

4.       Health

5.       Economy/Value

6.       Recommended by Friends or Family

7.       Enables Spending Time with Others

8.       Interaction with Children

Additionally, crafting reduces stress, builds self-esteem and increases physical dexterity and studies from NYU and Harvard have shown that activities ranging from scrapbooking to knitting can actually improve concentration, while enhancing health and mental wellness. With eight key benefits of crafting it’s no wonder why crafters have been active for centuries knitting, sewing, quilting, drawing, painting, woodworking, and more recently scrapbooking, food crafting, and creating digital and hybrid crafts.  So take some time out this month to (re)discover your creative side and craft.  For craft projects and inspiration, or to find a craft retailer near you, please go to www.craftplace.org.

March is National Craft Month Volume 2


March is National Craft Month

March is National Craft Month

 

Last week in the CHA Blog Posting  http://craftandhobby.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/march-is-national-craft-month/ we reported a little about the history of National Craft Month.  Today we will continue to provide you with even more information about our favorite pastime – CRAFTING…

With more than 56% of U.S. households creating at least one craft a year, the U.S. craft and hobby industry alone is a $29 billion dollar a year industry and has more participants than golf, many other sports and pastimes.  Since crafting is so ubiquitous, crafters range from the very young to the young-at-heart. 

Crafting used to be perceived as an activity for “old folks,” but with the economy pressing household budgets, a new range of craft products that provide professional-grade finished projects, and the ability to connect with other craft enthusiasts online all over the planet, crafting is cool, chic, cutting-edge and a way for millions to create, save money and express their individual personal style.  A wide range of celebrities from Paris Hilton, to Alyson Hannigan, Deborah Norville, Vanna White, Jane Seymour, Wendy Williams, Cher, Hugh Hefner, Marie Osmond, Martha Stewart, Taylor Swift, and even the band Cold Play are HUGE crafters.

This cool factor is exemplified on websites like Etsy.com that has gone from zero to over $100 million in online sales in just 5 years by creating a virtual marketplace for handmade, crafted items.  Literally millions of crafters buy, sell and discuss crafting in this virtual craft bazaar each day. Other websites like Artfire.com have made it possible for skilled artisans to sell handcrafts to the world direct from Facebook pages, blogs, and social media microsites.  With all of this excitement it’s easy to see why some have called interest in crafting “a craft renaissance.”

National Craft Month Featured on Jeopardy!


National Craft Month on Jeopardy?!

National Craft Month on Jeopardy?!

As you can see from this photo of this TV set, National Craft Month was the answer to a Jeopardy! question on March 3, 2011. Jeopardy! has been on the air for almost 3 decades and was granted trademark status as “America’s Favorite Quiz Show” by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.  It is the #2 series in syndication averaging 9 million daily viewers.

It just goes to show that “Crafting Really is the Answer”!

Thanks Alex…

$1,000 BUCKS FOR THE BEST NATIONAL CRAFT MONTH RETAIL PROMOTION!


 

National Craft Month - CHA Retailer Contest

National Craft Month - CHA Retailer Contest

Do you love crafting? Are you a retail member of CHA? Do you own or run a retail shop?  Are you planning a National Craft Month Celebration?  Tell us what you are doing and you could win $1,000 CASH!  That’s right CHA today posted its National Craft Month CHA Retailer Contest at http://tinyurl.com/NCM-Contest.

  

HOLD A NATIONAL CRAFT MONTH IN-STORE PROMOTION DURING THE MONTH OF MARCH FOR A CHANCE TO WIN $1,000!!!

 

 about the contest

 March is National Craft Month and a great opportunity for retailers to host in-store events, hold contests and special promotions, and to simply celebrate the joy that crafting brings to so many people’s lives. 

The Craft & Hobby Association is holding a National Craft Month Retailer Contest during the month of March.  Retailers can participate by holding an in-store themed promotion any day from March 1-31, 2011.   It’s easy!  Here’s what you have to do:

  • Plan your National Craft Month Promotion and select a theme to structure your promotion around (e.g. Celebrations, Fashion, Home Décor, Going Green)
  • Host an in-store event(s) (e.g. make-n-takes, demos, contests or classes) and be sure that the event(s) coincides with the theme you’ve selected
  • Promote your event(s) with store flyers, posters, bag stuffers, on your website and social media sites
  • Decorate your store using the theme as your inspiration
  • Take lots of pictures on the day(s) of your promotion
  • Submit the results to CHA for judging

 

prizes

One (1) first place CHA retailer will receive a $1,000 cash prize

One (1) second place CHA retailer will receive a $500 cash prize

One (1) third place CHA retailer will receive a $250 cash prize

judging criteria

Winners will be judged and selected by an industry panel based on how well you implement the following in your promotion (100 total possible points):

Execution of Promotional Event  (50 TOTAL points possible)
Offerings (e.g. demos, classes, make-n-takes, crops) 0-10 points possible
Promotional Materials (e.g. coupons, flyers) 0-10 points possible
Store Displays and Decoration 0-10 points possible
Media Outreach (e.g. Press Releases, Media Alerts) 0-10 points possible
Theme Concept 0-10 points possible

 

Use of National Craft Month Logo  (50 TOTAL points possible)
Logo Use on Company Website 0-10 points possible
Logo Use on Email Communications 0-10 points possible
Logo Use on Social Media Sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) 0-10 points possible
Logo Use on Onsite Promotional Materials 0-10 points possible
Logo Use on Collateral Material 0-10 points possible

 

In the case of a tie, CHA staff and industry judges will base their final decision on the originality and creativity of the event.

Winners will be announced by April 15, 2011 on the Craft & Hobby Association’s Facebook Page and the CHA Blog.

 

how to enter

To receive your entry form, contact Keri Cunningham, Marketing Manager at kcunningham@craftandhobby.org or by phone at 201-835-1229 by March 11th. 

Need help with your National Craft Month promotion or event?  CHA has created a free digital promotional kit with tips and ideas for your own in-store National Craft Month retail promotion.  It’s not too late!  Check it out at  http://tinyurl.com/NCM-Promo-Kit.

MARCH IS NATIONAL CRAFT MONTH


March is National Craft Month

March is National Craft Month

Each week during the month of March, CHA will provide some useful information about National Craft Month.  This week we briefly address the history of our favorite month.

March is National Craft Month. Created by the Craft & Hobby Association in 1994, it was designed to help people learn about and re-discover the joy of crafting and all its many benefits.

From its humble beginnings with just a handful of manufacturers and retailers celebrating, National Craft Month has grown into an international celebration of creativity and innovation with millions of craft enthusiasts ‘getting their craft on’ during the month.

For craft projects and inspiration, or to find a craft retailer near you, please go to www.craftplace.org.

CHA, DecoArt and Blumenthal Lansing Celebrate National Craft Month in New Jersey


CHA, DecoArt and Blumenthal Lansing have partnered to put on a very local National Craft Month celebration for seniors at Regent Care Center, a long-term care facility in Hackensack, NJ about 15 minutes away from CHA’s offices.  The event was today from 2 – 4 pm and was a great success!

The residents were great and very appreciative.  Highly recommend this type of project to any organization looking to provide a meaningful community give-back event.  Check out the photos for yourself.  National Craft Month Celebration at Regent Care Center in Hackensack

Only a few more days to get your CRAFT ON this National Craft Month!

Only a few more days to get your CRAFT ON this National Craft Month!

The Craft & Hobby Association, Blumenthal Lansing and DecoArt to Host National Craft Month Celebration at Regent Care Center in Hackensack

ELMWOOD PARK, NJ (March 22, 2010) – In honor of National Craft Month, the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA), partnered with CHA members Blumenthal Lansing and DecoArt to host a National Craft Month celebration at the Regent Care Center, a modern 180-bed senior, long-term care facility located at 50 Pollifly Road in Hackensack, New Jersey on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. CHA and its members will provide residents of the Regent Care Center with a free two-hour craft seminar where CHA staff and volunteers from Blumenthal Lansing will walk crafters through step-by-step craft projects.

“Traditionally, CHA works with retailers across the country to offer special classes and demonstrations, as well as tips and projects to get customers involved.  This year we are extremely proud to also be working with the residents and staff at Regent Care for this unique celebration of crafting,” explained Keri Cunningham, Marketing Manager, CHA. “According to CHA’s Attitude & Usage Research one of the key reasons why people craft is for the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of crafting.  CHA is happy to continue their tradition of National Craft Month as we encourage people of all ages to share their passion for crafting.”

“Activities are so important to all individuals living in long-term care, and we are always looking for new ways to bring fun to Regent Care Center,” explained Karen Hogan, Recreation Director, Regent Care Center. “This month we are excited to have CHA staff and volunteers from Blumenthal Lansing help us to make a positive difference in the lives of our residents. I couldn’t think of anything better than to have fun crafting.”

To learn more about what is happening in your area during National Craft Month, to locate the nearest craft store, or for additional project ideas visit www.craftplace.org.

About Regent Care Centers

Regent Care Center is an entirely new standard of living residence offering a range of care for residents in one convenient, comfortable and elegant setting. RCC has been providing world-class sub-acute, long -term care and respite services for over 35 years.  The facility provides individual attention as well as a wide selection of private or shared rooms while helping seniors maintain a vital and stimulating quality of life. For more about Regent Care Centers visit www.regentcare.com.

About The Craft & Hobby Association

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is a not-for-profit organization consisting of thousands of member companies engaged in the manufacture, distribution and retail sales of products in the $27 billion craft and hobby industry. The Association offers a broad range of member services, including market research, education and consumer branding initiatives, as well as operates two annual trade show events, the CHA Winter Show and CHA Summer Show that attract industry professionals from all over the world.

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