Get to Know the Sewing Section of CHA

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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

CHA Experts and Resources Program: Pro Advice You Can Use

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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!

Crafting Communities: CHA’s NEW Social Media Section To Meet At Create-n-Connect

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In order to manage the numerous social media streams available (and necessary) a new job has been created at many CHA companies, often titled: Social Media Manager.  These jobs and indeed careers did not exist a few years ago. 

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Based on the need to teach and explain how products work, the craft industry became a social media early adopter.  Designers and crafty entrepreneurs began to channel their artistic skills in new ways to effectively represent a company or product to the world-at-large. Utilizing online presentations, tutorials, tweets, YouTube videos and Facebook postings they made their presence felt.

I found that most of the work I now do is ultimately used online in some way. The majority of my studio work is to ensure that I create interesting and informative content for an online viewing/reading audience on behalf of the crafty CHA companies for whom I am engaged.

I have been looking for a way to connect and work with other people with similar social media responsibilities.  I approached Andrej Suskavcevic, CHA’s President & CEO, and Sue Turchick, Vice President, Membership to see if CHA might offer a networking opportunity within the CHA family of recognized “Sections.”  Happily, they responded immediately and have supported this idea by organizing space and a block of time for an inaugural meeting of the proposed Social Media Section.  This meeting will occur on Tuesday July 23, 2013 – 5:30-7:00pm as part of the summer Create-n-Connect Conference and Trade Show in Las Vegas.
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This meeting is geared to those whose job responsibilities range from Social Media Manager to Blog Design Team Manager.  We are looking for individuals who are content creators for CHA member companies and work daily to promote craft in one or all of the social media channels.

I believe that we could learn a great deal from each other.  I also believe that we might work together on some bigger joint initiatives in the future.  Please consider attending this event.  If you have a social media manager please consider sending them to this meeting!  If your social media person is not or has not attended CHA in the past, consider sending them to the January 2014 meeting.  I am certain we will have even more to discuss, learn and develop as social media continues to change the way companies sell, market and build brand loyalty.

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

E202: Social Media Section Meeting
(Tuesday, July 23, 2013 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM)

~ Carmi Cimicata, Social Media Designer

If needed:
I am the social media designer for
Resin Crafts Blog
John Bead Blog
John Bead Outlet Blog
Dazzle-it Blog
Metal Complex Blog

Education & Inspiration: Perks of CHA Membership


One of the biggest benefits to membership in the Craft Hobby Association (CHA) is the amazing educational opportunities at each conference and trade show. As an independent retailer, I find the seminars, panel discussions, workshops and classes invaluable to my business, and I enjoy several perks from them.

Perk #1: Instruction from the pros. Respected industry professionals teach the education programs presented at each CHA conference and trade show, so you can be sure you’re learning from accomplished colleagues. Whether it’s successful craft business owners or creative crafting powerhouses, all workshop or class leaders are knowledgeable resources for the topic they teach. Learning directly from a product’s designer is one of my favorite education perks because the enthusiasm a designer has for the product gives me a creative boost, and I’m able to pass that enthusiasm onto my customers.

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Perk #2: Programs on the latest topics and products in the crafting industry.  At a CHA trade show, you can take classes to help you market your business better, know the latest craft industry trends, create inspiring classes for your customers, and more. I pride myself on having an educated staff that can demonstrate how to use products and let the customers try them as well, so many of the classes we take surround learning the latest products. The teachers provide generous class kits filled with product, so we’re able to demo and create more samples without opening stock.

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Perk #3: Ready-to-use ideas for your business. From social media promotional tips to business management strategies to creative display ideas, I return from each CHA trade show and conference inspired with tons of ideas that I can start using right away for my business. Coming back to the store with finished samples using the newest products allows me to display and translate those samples into immediate classes, which means additional revenue right away.

Perk #4: Fantastic networking opportunities while you learn. Attending classes and business seminars allows you to network with fellow store owners, product developers and designers to gain further connections valuable to your business. I have met many knowledgeable and friendly CHA members just by sitting down at a session. The information and tips shared by fellow attendees have led me to purchase from a wide variety of vendors and have given me the confidence to try new things in my store.

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The educational opportunities at the CHA trade show and conference are amazing. As soon as each show’s educational programs are posted, I begin planning to attend as many classes and seminars as possible. I invite you to do the same.

I can’t wait for the Create-n-Connect Conference & Trade Show in July!

– Tracie Larson, Owner, Papercraft Clubhouse

 

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!

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.

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

Go on an Exclusive Tour of the CHA 2013 Winter Show Floor in 3 Minutes


Didn’t make it to the CHA 2013 Winter Show in Anaheim, CA this past January? Here’s your chance to go on an exclusive tour of the Show floor in less than 3 minutes!

Save the Dates for upcoming CHA Shows and Events:

  • Creative Conference CANADA
    April 11, 2013 Calgary, Alberta
  • Creative Conference NYC
    May 19–21, 2013 New York, NY
  • Create-N-Connect
    July 22-25, 2013 Las Vegas Nevada
  • CHA Town Hall Meeting in Utah
    March 20, 2013 Sandy, Utah
  • CHA 2014 Conference & Trade Show
    Friday, Jan. 10 – Tuesday, Jan. 14 Anaheim, CA
  • 2014 Create – n – Connect Conference & Trade Show
    Monday, August 4 – Thursday, August 7 St Louis, MO
  • 2015 Create – n – Connect Conference & Trade Show
    Monday, July 27 – Thursday, July 30 Charlotte, NC

CHA Summer Conference and Trade Show – Designer Section Meeting Thanks!


The CHA Design Members hold their section meeting at the CHA summer and winter shows.  This summer was no exception.

However, before the start of our meeting, we were able to have some great products as door prizes for the CHA Design Members who attended our early morning meeting.

CHA Manufacturers are known for their generosity and the munificence gifts for the door prizes were breathtaking.

Beadalon® provided wonderful tools and supplies for jewelry making.

Impress Art® sent a great metal stamping kit which included their new hammer designed just for metal stamping.

ILoveToCreate.com® supplied a goodie basket filled with their fantastic products, which was wrapped beautifully.  They also offered a Tulip® ScreenIt™ to every CHA design section member who attended the summer show.  The designer had to register with ILoveToCreate.com® at the show in order to receive the machine.

Cousin® gave fantastic jewelry kits and their new Snap in Style® bracelets.

Die Cuts with a View gave a pretty container loaded with their magnificent products.

Sizzix® presented one lucky winner a Vagabond and some amazing dies. Design Section Member, Shannon Bielke, was the winner.

Velcro® sent a bag over filled with their superb fasteners for every need.

Westcott® loaded up lucky winners with excellent cutting tools that will make cutting a joy.

Beacon sent a bottle of Zip Dry for all the designers who attended the meeting, unfortunately, the box couldn’t be located during the section meeting. 

The Design Council and the Designer Members of CHA thank Beacon, Beadalon®, Impress Art®, ILoveToCreate.com®, Cousin®, Die Cuts with a View, Sizzix®, Velcro®, and Westcott® for all their support and generosity.

Andrea Currie, Winner of TLC’s Craft Wars, Tells All


By Andrea Currie, Guest Blogger


I have to start by saying thank you to my friends at CHA for naming me the “Official CHA Craft Wars Ambassador.” In return of the generous title I have compiled a list of the most popular Craft Wars questions that I received while I fluttered around the Chicago trade show.

Wait who are you and when did you start crafting?
Although I’ve been hooked on glitter and hot glue my entire life, I didn’t seriously start pursuing my creative dreams until about 4 years ago when I joined the Craft  & Hobby Association as a designer member. My goal at the time was simply to find like minded glitter obsessed crafters – and boy did I!

Eventually my dedication to the craft industry and hard work got me noticed by industry professionals but most importantly helped me groom invaluable relationships with talented designers and established companies. The most rewarding relationship created was with my Craft Wars assistant Lisa Fulmer!

Moving forward I hope to help companies enter into the craft market, license my library or designs and represent companies already established within the craft and hobby industry. Ohh and I want to write my very first craft book too!

How did you get onto Craft Wars?
I wish it was some fantasy story where a producer begged me to be on the show, but I had but one choice – audition tape! Once I found out I was on Craft Wars I was elated because I knew that win or lose the exposure would be a phenomenal thing for my blossoming creative career.

From that moment forward I vowed to keep my nerves in check by concentrating on having fun and following my creative instincts. A tactic that paid off in the end!

What did you make on Craft Wars?
In the pop craft challenge we were tasked with creating keepsake boxes using keys and locks. These odd materials inspired me to create a whimsical gnome home keepsake box which I constructed out of from foam core and covered in lot’s of felt!


The bling of the keys and locks were just the right touch to get me through to the master craft challenge where the remaining contestant and I were challenged to create something for a wedding in 5 hours using invitations, baby blankets, jeans and candle sticks! In the end I created a life sized modern whimsical wedding wishing tree which acted as a fun alternative to a cookie cutter guest book.

Did I mention we had to do this in 5 hours!?! Looking back (given the time) I would have done a few things differently but that didn’t stop the judges from naming me the Craft Wars winner!

What were the judges and Tori Spelling Like?
Even though we didn’t get any off camera time with the judges or Tori Spelling, I can assure you that they are just as fun as the crafters competing on the show. At first I was incredibly intimidated by all of their industry expertise but to my surprise they were very easy to talk to – which in turn softened the blow of their criticism. Judge Stephen Brown gives you a good idea of his approachable style in his CHA blog post here.

One of the most memorable moments was at the end of our episode when a teary-eyed Tori gave Lisa and I big hugs. I think she was touched by how emotional we were about our win.

What do you think Craft Wars means for the Craft Industry?
I’ve been taking an informal survey throughout the season and found that in my circle Craft Wars is being embraced by the younger generation of creative people who seem to be inspired and entertained by the faster paced unconventional approach to crafting. Hopefully, this concept, along with initiatives like Cre8time, will help strengthen the industry and ensure we have enough diversity to keep the future generations excited about crafting.

Other than winning what was the best part about participating on the show?
Crafting with my crafty sister Lisa is at the top of my list – followed quickly by the opportunity to  show off my skills on a national TV show.


Also it was quite nice to be able to craft my brains out and not have to clean up afterwards!

What are you going to do with the prize money?
I’m giving half of the money to Lisa and using my half to kick-start my next line of fun designs. Shoot me an email to be put on the first access list! Or just drop me a line to say hi!

Don’t forget to watch Craft Wars every Tuesday night at 8pm (7pm Central).

-Andrea

Email: Andrea@handmakemyday.com
Blog: http://handmakemyday.com
Twitter: #handMAKEMyDay
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/handmakemyday/
Lisa’s blog: http://lisalizalou.blogspot.com/

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).

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.