The Creative Retailer Retreat Experience Highlighted By Kizer & Bender

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Kizer & Bender walk you through what you can expect at the Creative Retailer Retreat coming up in Pittsburgh, PA, April 28 – April 30, 2014.

The Creative Retailer Retreats are focused entirely on helping YOU the Creative Retailer in your day-to-day business needs. Experience highly interactive sessions covering social media, marketing, store/website layout, and much more. And of course a retreat is not complete without hands-on workshops and networking events. In just two and a half days: Learn, Craft and Connect for the future of your creative business!

Attend The CHA Creative Retailer Retreat For Just $99!

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We believe that the value of your education is worth the investment, that’s why after speaking to many of you, we’re bringing you the Creative Retailer Retreat in Pittsburgh for just $99 (for members/$149 for non-members) for the ENTIRE 2 1/2 day program including all seminars, workshops, plus lunch and dinner on the opening day.

Education is vital to the success of our industry, and it is our hope that by lowering the cost we can make this program affordable to everyone, large and small. Here is what you can expect to find at the Creative Retailer Retreat in Pittsburgh:

- How to turn social media marketing in to your most powerful marketing tool
- Best practices for website marketing
- Secrets to inventory control
- Enhancing the in-store experience
- Easy ways to exceed customer expectations both in-store and online
- Setting your sales floor to sell

Not to mention four fantastic hands-on workshops sponsored by:

- Faber Castell
- Graphic 45
- Swarovski
- Xyron

Click here to register today: http://buff.ly/1j2tlli 

P.S. If you come to the Creative Retailer Retreat and you’re not absolutely satisfied, we’ll refund you your registration, that’s how strongly we believe in this content.

An invitation from Joe Rotella to the Creative Retailer Retreat

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Joe Rotella of Delphia Consulting and the Craft and Hobby Association web expert, invites members of the Creative Retail industry to the Creative Retailer Retreat in Pittsburgh PA April 28th through 30th.

Joe talks about the sessions and offerings of the Creative Retailer Retreat.

The Creative Retailer Retreats are focused entirely on helping the Creative Retailer in day-to-day business needs. The Retreat experience includes highly interactive sessions covering social media, marketing, store/website layout, and much more. And of course a retreat is not complete without hands-on workshops and networking events. In just two and a half days: Learn, Craft and Connect for the future of your creative business!

To register, visit: http://www.craftandhobby.org/crr.

Joe Rotella is CMO of Delphia Consulting and the Web Expert for the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA).

Delphia Consulting is an affiliate of CHA and the publisher of CraftSuite – the eCommerce/blog/website solution for the craft and hobby industry.

Pinterest: Capitalizing on Imagery & Opening Doors for Content Creators

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Pinterest: Capitalizing on Imagery & Opening Doors for Content Creatorspint
By Jennifer Cairo
Sugar Spun

Understanding what makes Pinterest stand out so prevalently in a sea of social media channels competing for attention is fairly simple. Just open your eyes.

It’s been said “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and for good reason. It takes mere seconds for a still photograph to convey a complex scenario that might take hundreds or even thousands of words to describe in a text-only environment. This concept is what allowed Pinterest to break through the clutter to capture the attention of millions of users.

While many sites (such as Furl and del.icio.us) have tried to play off the collector in us, and many sites (such as Flickr and Photobucket) have played off our love of images, Pinterest is the first to effectively combine the two.

The difference Pinterest brings to the mix is the addition of imagery to the curated items. In a social media–heavy world where Internet users are choosing to consume more and more information in less time, Pinterest serves a very useful purpose. Ideas can be gathered and pinned to topical boards where they can easily be revisited and either pruned or researched over time.

Consider the way we seek out and manage information online. Historically, we’ve run searches on search engines, visited content sites we’re familiar with, and maybe read information posted by friends and family or bloggers we follow. We might read about the beauty of the tiny village sprinkled along the Cinque Terre in Italy. But, we don’t always get the full picture.

Pinterest allows users to take in a far greater amount of information and to make more concrete decisions about what they’re interested in quickly. Although someone planning their next vacation might spend weeks or even months reading reviews and researching various destinations on blogs and travel sites, it might take only a few moments to fall in love with a destination while browsing through the “Travel and Places” category on Pinterest.

Pinterest recognizes the level of that visual impact and plays to it effectively. It boasts one of the cleanest designs on the Web, with nothing to take away focus from the images until users decide to roll their cursor over them to start interacting.

Still, Pinterest isn’t just about saving images to categorized boards; it’s about sharing visual representations of ideas: the various cakes you might make for your son’s next birthday, the kitchen cabinet organization idea that will make your life easier, or the collection of infographics you’re gathering for your next big presentation.

One of the ways in which Pinterest turns traditional social media on its head is by creating a system where curators are rewarded as much, or more than, content creators. Channels like Facebook, YouTube, and blogs require companies to invest time and effort into creating engaging content strategies, whereas Pinterest operates off a platform of shared resources.

Becoming a Pinterest power player requires nothing more than an eye for good content and an ability to categorize it properly. Some of the most popular Pinterest users never generate a single piece of unique content on the Internet. They simply serve up a consistent dose of curation that attracts legions of followers who want to share in their discovery. This is, in part, why Pinterest is such a powerful platform for business.

A very important thing to understand about Pinterest and why it can drive so much traffic is the concept of Pinterest as a social media gateway rather than as a social media destination. When people visit a site like Facebook, they are visiting to connect with friends, to share photos and videos and to generally socialize in an online environment. When people visit a site like Pinterest, they are looking for ideas, for inspiration, and for a place to store information for later. What’s more, people are looking to buy on Pinterest. In fact, recent data from Monetate, Pinterest is the top referrer of high-value orders to e-commerce sites.
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For now, Pinterest offers some attractive real estate. Every business—large or small, capital heavy or budget minded—has the same chance to build their following and promote their stream. Pinterest becomes more about what you can offer than how much money you have to push your agenda. In a world where marketing purse strings are forever tightening, that makes Pinterest a welcome addition to a brand’s social media arsenal.

Join Jennifer Cairo of Sugar Spun Marketing for this webinar on Pinterest Marketing: What You need To Know.

Date: March 5, 2014
Time: 12:30 PM EST – 1:30 PM EST
Register: http://buff.ly/1f1FWS1

About the Presenter:
Jennifer Cairo is the President of Sugar Spun Marketing, a small, boutique firm specializing in strategy and education.
For more information visit: http://www.sugarspunmarketing.com/

Craft Your Passion for National Craft Month and Enter To Win!

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Celebrate National Craft Month by entering the Craft Your Passion #CRE8TIME Photo contest – you just might win one of three great prizes!

1st Prize:  Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit
2nd prize: Plaid Gift Basket
3rd Prize: iLoveToCreate Tulip Body Art Kit

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HOW TO ENTER:

Get crafty for National Craft Month and make something you are passionate about! Take a picture of your finished project and upload it to the #CRE8TIME Facebook contest app (www.facebook.com/cre8time) or the Instagram contest app (www.instagram.com/cre8time). Be sure to hashtag your picture #CRE8TIME and explain your entry in the photo description area provided.

All entries will be judged by the following Craft & Hobby Association Section Leaders:
Laurel Pollard, CHA Paper Arts Section
Scott Remmers, CHA North American Bead Association
Tiffany Windsor, CHA Designer Section Council

WHAT IS CRE8TIME?
CRE8TIME is a grass roots movement dedicated to reminding people to take time out from their busy schedules and CRE8TIME for the things they love!

Join The Fight! Sponsor The CHA Creative Retailer Retreats!

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In a world where inventory is no longer an issue, where markdowns no longer exist… Introducing Cre8tor & his team of Retail Store Saviors! Together with the best retail minds on Earth, they’re here to help save stores all over the world!

Coming this April… The CHA Creative Retail Retreat: April 28, 2014 – April 30, 2014, Pittsburgh, PA. Join the Fight by becoming SponSor! Sponsor the Retreats. Learn more here: http://www.craftandhobby.org/crr #RetailerRetreats

Workshop Success at the CHA Mega Show

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by CHA Designer Member Carol Foldvary-Anderson /varyCarol Arts.

At this year’s CHA 2014 MEGA Show, I hosted an Oil Pastel Smudge workshop and I was excited to have had 22 Newbie “Smudgers” from all over the globe attend, some of the areas represented were: Mid-West to California and Nevada in the US, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and South Korea. This diverse group of attendees made it very exciting and to see them share my passion about a technique was very inspiring.
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This was the first workshop I have hosted with CHA and in doing so I am truly motivated to do more with the Oil Pastel Smudge technique then I had ever imagined.

I would encourage anyone that is considering offering a workshop at the next CHA 2015 Conference & Trade Show to do so.  You will reach new heights in sharing and creating, like none other.

Sharing in our industry is the essence of the creative spirit we are instilling in our association. Nothing can match the joy and encouragement you are able to receive when you give – you are able to receive so much more in return.

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There are opportunities available to sponsor a workshop at the upcoming Creative Retailer Retreat in Pittsburgh, PA. Click here for more info: https://www.craftandhobby.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=CHA&WebKey=ecd39676-7c45-4d0f-a36c-66cacf6bcffd

 

Join the Launch of CHA’s Paper Arts Section at the CHA 2014 MEGA Show!

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The newly-introduced Paper Arts Section (PAS) is excited to announce that they are hosting an engaging welcome booth at the CHA MEGA Show.

They’re bursting with enthusiasm and they’re sharing it with you through a MEGA Show Celebration!  The PAS team has put together a fun, interactive contest in their booth with an amazing prize package.

In order to enter you should:

  • Bring your mobile camera-enabled device,
  • Hop into their festive Paper Arts Section “Step and Repeat” and have your picture taken,
  • Post the photo on your favorite social media site (facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest) with the hashtag: #PaperArts.

That’s it!  Our team will compile the entries and pick a random winner of an amazing prize package: a complimentary registration to the 2014 CHA Paper Arts Show in Atlanta, Georgia this July, INCLUDING hotel accommodation!  Wow!

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Responding to demand of the seasonally-driven paper arts industry, the Craft & Hobby Association has embarked on the NEW initiative to produce a vibrant mid-year CHA Paper Arts Show.

  • Attend the all-day hands-on, not to be missed, workshop experience on July 29
  • See the latest products in paper arts including paper, stamps, dies, inks, embellishments, adhesives, stencils and more – everything you’d expect to find in the Paper Arts world
  • Enjoy time to catch up with friends, network and unwind during the Tuesday night Welcome Reception, held right in the exhibit hall
  • Shop and find incredible bargains at one of the most spectacular ‘cash and carry’ events of it’s kind, just for you: The Open Market.  Participating vendors will feature close-outs, promotional goods, samples and more.  It’s cash and carry, so bring your empty suitcases!  Don’t miss this incredible one night only, extravaganza!

Want to expand your online exposure through the PAS contest at the CHA MEGA Show?  Have your photo taken with your newest associate, latest creation or design debut and add an additional hashtag to your post: #CHAShow.

What a wonderful way amplify the visibility of your “next best thing!”

We look forward to welcoming Paper Arts Section enthusiasts to Booth #541 at the CHA MEGA Show, January 10 – 14, in Anaheim, California. It is the hub for Paper Arts professionals where you can:

- Learn more about the section
– Receive latest information about the inaugural CHA Paper Arts Show
– Take advantage of the chance to win the opportunity to go to the CHA Paper Arts Show with FREE admission AND hotel included!*

*Please note: Winner must qualify as a buyer and the hotel is a 3 nights stay. Non-transferrable and no cash value.

An Update From the CHA Social Media Section

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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

5 Tips for Exhibiting Success: Turn Product Demos into Sales

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Exhibiting at CHA Conference & Trade Shows allows you to showcase your products in person for your customers. But how do you turn those product demonstrations and make-and-take projects into orders on the Show floor? Veteran exhibitors Advantus and iLoveToCreate share some tips for success.

1. Do a project over a demo. “Projects are typically more impactful than a demonstration, because creative people need to feel the product and make a personal connection with it,” says Alyson Dias of iLoveToCreate. The more impactful the experience, the more likely the customer will be to make a purchase. Choosing projects over demos also allows for more face time between the demonstrator and the customer, time that “fosters relationships and builds brand loyalty,” notes Dias.

2. Let the product speak for itself. By nature, craft and hobby customers are visual and/or hands-on learners, so seeing products in action will do more to convince them to buy than a hard sales pitch. “Customers don’t need to be told how wonderful a product is—they want to create and determine that themselves,” says Rana Coggins of Advantus. The more they determine how wonderful your products are first-hand, the more likely they are to buy.

3. Keep it simple. “Keep your projects simple and timed under 10 minutes,” Coggins warns. This allows you to make an impact in a short amount of time where a customer can walk away feeling inspired—and more likely to make a purchase.  “We love seeing the ‘a-ha moment’ when someone creates a project that was quick and simple but looks amazing!”

4. Make it fun. If customers enjoy making a project at your booth, they will be more likely to not only make a purchase but become loyal customers. “Have all the necessary tools and supplies kitted so they can be easily distributed,” suggests Coggins. And make sure the person in charge is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the products, so he or she can be informative while making the experience fun.

5. Let everyone join the fun. It may be tempting to only make your project open to buyers, but remember to include bloggers, designers, and members of the media as well. “Their positive experience with products will translate into inspiration and education via magazines, websites, blogs and social media—which then inspires consumers to purchase at retail,” reminds Dias.

Using projects and demonstrations will help you have even more success at the CHA Conference & Trade Show. Sign up to exhibit at the 2014 MEGA SHOW today!

Walnut Hollow: Success Secrets of CHA Show Exhibiting

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Walnut Hollow has been a leader in the craft industry for 41 years and a member of the Craft & Hobby Association since its inception. This inspiring company supplies fine wood surfaces, tools and accessories for hobbyists and crafters, and exhibiting at Craft & Hobby Association Conferences and Trade Shows has yielded them successful results for many years. Why do they have such successful results? Here are two secrets.

Success tip #1: Make personal connections.

Exhibiting at CHA shows gives you the opportunity to make personal connections with buyers, distributors, and other industry professionals. Face-to-face connections allow for optimal business and networking opportunities.

Walnut Hollow uses their exhibiting connections not just to make personal connections with buyers but to create partnership opportunities with other manufacturers for cross promotion. “Over the years we have built successful relationships with a variety of manufacturers to cross promote our products together,” says Christine Wallace, Marketing Communications Director for Walnut Hollow. “Buyers understand that their customers will not shop their stores for only our tools and wood products, but include other products in their projects.” Cross promoting with other manufacturers allows for extra exposure, as Walnut Hollow’s products can be showcased in partner booths as well as their own, so these personal connections really pay off!

Success tip #2: Showcase your strengths.

Exhibiting at CHA shows allows you to showcase your products in person directly to buyers, instantly inspiring them and answering any possible questions in the moment.

Walnut Hollow suggests you spend ample time considering various ways to showcase your products, narrowing down your ideas to what makes the best impression on the buyer. In order to sell their new and innovative products to CHA show attendees, Walnut Hollow makes sure knowledgeable staff members are on hand to demonstrate them and answer questions. “Sometimes interaction between those selling or demonstrating products and a buyer influences the buyer to help him or her understand why their customers would want to purchase Walnut Hollow products from their stores,” says Wallace.

Join Walnut Hollow and hundreds of others at the CHA 2014 Show. Make valuable business connections and showcase your products – exhibit today!

The 2014 CHA Hot 20

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Be among the first to get your hands on the BEST NEW
PRODUCTS at the 2014 CHA Mega Show!

We’re talking Creativity . Originality . Ingenuity . INNOVATION! And the CHA 2014 MEGA Show is the ONLY place you can see all of the newest and most innovative products to hit the marketplace – and all in one place! You won’t want to miss the NEW Product Preview VIP Event (open only to Buyers and Media), on Friday, January 10, 2014.

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Let’s talk CHA Hot 20!

What’s the CHA Hot 20? Just the hottest new items of 2014, hand-selected by an esteemed panel of industry experts, from this year’s new product submissions. Attend the New Product Preview VIP Event and you’ll be among the first to get up close and personal with a select number of never released, newsworthy products, and the companies that created them. You’ll also have an opportunity to speak with the innovators and trendsetters who are shaping the craft industry.

CHA is dedicated to providing you with the tools you need to help you grow your business! Don’t miss the New Product Preview VIP Event. Space is limited. Be sure to get your tickets when Education Program Registration opens on November 5. .

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P.S. Exhibitors: We want your new items! If you would like to participate in the 2014 New Products Program, please click here to enter product/product line(s) that will launching to consumers in 2014. Please note that any product available for sale in 2013 will not be considered for display or for the Hot 20). In order to be considered, entries must be received by November 29, 2013.

Social Media Section Update

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This summer I proposed that CHA consider a new Social Media Section.  This idea was warmly received and space for an inaugural meeting was facilitated and advertised by CHA at the Las Vegas conference in July.

Over 80 people signed up to attend the first meeting of the Social Media Section! Clearly there was interest so now we are moving forward with the creation of a new section.  We are looking for individuals who are content creators for CHA member companies who work daily to promote craft in one or all of the social media channels. So if your job responsibilities range from Social Media Manager to Blog Design Team Manager, the Section would be perfect for you! To read more about the Social Media Section, click here.

At the first meeting in Las Vegas we discussed our roles within our companies and went around the room describing various ways we share content through social channels for our companies. After the meeting we distributed a brief survey to the participants, which over 50% filled out. The survey was a simple one designed to just get a sense of who was interested in a proposed section and to gather information about areas of interest.  These are just a few highlights.  The whole survey will be available in the Social Media Section on www.craftandhobby.org by the end of the month.

This little block tells you about some of the social media roles participants were a part of.  92% are Facebook contributors.

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Most survey responders work part-time creating social media.  We do have full time managers however!

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Ongoing education and training was the number one recommendation for future activities.

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We have over 15 volunteers who offered to join the new Steering Committee for this section.  If you would like to join them, please send me an email.  I hope to set up our first conference call by the end of the month.

~ Carmi Cimicata
Social Media Section Coordinator
carmimail@aol.com


Participation in one of CHA’s new Chapters or Sections provides opportunities to interact with peers who share common interests, network at events and foster discussions on topics of professional and personal interest. CHA’s Chapters strive to create a welcoming and stimulating atmosphere for their Members based on geographical location, while the Sections are targeted to individuals who share a common interest in a particular segment of the industry. Chapter and Section Members do more than compare notes on business issues – they help establish lasting relationships community-wide.

 

CHA Behind the Scenes: Planning the 2014 Conference & Trade Show

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Be a fly on the wall for this meeting of CHA decision-makers to learn what they have in store for the 2014 “Mega Show”!

Badge Registration Opens: October 1, 2013
Education Program Registration Opens: November 5, 2013

Visit www.craftandhobby.org for more information.

CRE8TIME LIVE from the CHA Connected Gift Lounge at the 65th Emmy Awards!

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CHA has teamed up with Elena Lai Etcheverry from Charity Wings, to bring you CRE8TIME LIVE, an online streaming event direct from the CHA Connected Gift Lounge at the 65th Emmy Awards!  Elena will be interviewing craft manufacturers, celebrities, and guests throughout the day and we’ll be bringing this FREE event to you LIVE on Saturday, Sept 21st from 11 am to 4 pm PST.   Join us for all the fun and celebrity spotting!

Keep up with CHA at the Emmys by following us on Twitter, @craftandhobby and the official hashtags: #CHASwag and #CraftingtheEmmys. And don’t forget to join us for CRE8TIME LIVE from the Emmys by logging in here at show time!

Thank you to our Sponsors (current as of 9/17/2013):

Platinum
Beadalon
DCWV
Spellbinders

Gold
ICE Resin
John Bead Corp
Prima Marketing Inc.

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

CHA Exhibitor Spotlight: FabScraps

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Over the next few months leading up to the CHA 2014 Conference & Trade Show on January 10-14 in Anaheim, C.A., we’ll be profiling our exhibitors – giving you exclusive access into their business and how they benefit from exhibiting at trade shows.

FabScraps is the largest manufacturer of paper crafting and scrapbooking supplies in South Africa. This dynamic manufacturer creates trendy papers, spray inks and embossing powders, book- and journal-making kits, fibers, embellishments, and more; and next spring they will host their own scrapbooking event. We chatted with this fast-growing company about how participating in Craft & Hobby Association Conferences and Trade Shows helps build its business.

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Why does FabScraps exhibit at CHA trade shows?
CHA shows are the largest craft shows in the U.S., and specifically target the trade. As a scrapbooking manufacturer, our customer base is the retailer, and having a platform such as CHA shows to directly target them is a hugely worthwhile marketing and promotional opportunity.  Seeing our products in person on display and used in projects in our booth helps retailers see their subtle designs more clearly, which really convinces them to purchase.

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What are the top benefits you receive from exhibiting at CHA trade shows?
We get direct access to most U.S. craft stores, have an excellent forum to successfully launch new products, and take many orders at the shows.

What advice do you have to help manuf be prepared to exhibit for the first time at a CHA show?
Make sure your booth is designed well to enable maximum traffic flow. And ensure you have enough staff on hand to cover order taking, demonstrating product to prospective buyers and meeting with suppliers.

FabScraps booth design makes it easy for customers to see their products up close.

FabScraps booth design makes it easy for customers to see their products up close.

Visit FabScraps’ website to see more of their exciting products and find out more info about their upcoming 2014 event. And join them and other companies in exhibiting at CHA shows to help your business grow!

Download a copy of the CHA 2014 Exhibitor Prospectus today.

Click here for more information about the CHA 2014 Conference & Trade Show.

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.

CHA Canada Spins into Action at London, Ontario ArtWaves Show

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CHA Canada attended the ArtWaves creative show in London, Ontario August 15-17. This new show was a weekend long event profiling the many talents of North American paint and craft artists. CHA co-hosted a lively patio party for attendees on Thursday, August 15, handing out generous prizes from DCWV and Blue Moon Beads. There were “Spin to Win” events during the day at the CHA Booth featuring over 100 prizes from member companies and make-and-takes from Canadian CHA supplier members.

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Many thanks to Sizzix, Coats and Clark Canada, Northcott, Kroma Crackle, Westcott, Scrapbook and Cards Today, Canadian Scrapbooker and A Needle Pulling Thread for their generous donations.

ArtWaves was part of CHA Canada’s membership recruitment program that targets craft businesses that attend, exhibit or teach at consumer events. This event was one of 6 events CHA will participate in Canada in 2013, including the upcoming Creative Stitches show in Edmonton September 13-14, Salon des Arts Décoratifs in Montreal, October 18-19, and the Fall CreativFestival in Toronto, October 25-28.

~ Paula Jones, Membership Coordinator & Canadian Representative, Craft & Hobby Association

CHA Staffer Brings Craft Supplies to Jamaican Youth During Recent Visit

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On August 6, 2013 my children and I returned from a seven day mission trip to Jamaica, where we – amongst a group of 20 others – cared for hospitalized, orphaned and poor children in very rundown areas. While there we stayed at a camp in Bamboo located in Saint Ann’s Parish, where we were hosted by Caribbean Lifetime Missions, an organization that works to remedy poverty in the Caribbean and parts of Africa. We went all over from St. Ann to Kingston doing vacation bible school and arts and crafts with the children, painting their faces, tie dying shirts for them and painting their nails. Much of these activities were made possible by two of our member companies, iLoveToCreate and Jerry’s Artarama, who donated the majority of the supplies that were used and donated during our trip, along with acrylic paint, glue, foam stickers, tie-dye kits and wooden boxes gathered from our very own craft room here at CHA, which has been officially titled The CRE8TIME Room.

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iLoveToCreate donated Tulip® Body Art™ Face and Body Paint which were used to adorn the children at Bamboo Tabernacle in Bamboo and Majesty Transformation Fellowship at Majestic Gardens in Kingston.  They also donated Tulip® One-Step Tie-Dye Kits. Two of these kits were donated to the school at Faith Christian Fellowship Church in Claremont. One of them was donated to an underfunded school in Montego Bay, and the rest were used to tie dye shirts for the children and babies at Bamboo Tabernacle in Bamboo.

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Jerry’s Artarama  donated a First Impressions Complete Art Studio Set, which was also donated to the school at Faith Christian Fellowship Church in Claremont; Temporary Tattoo Dinosaur Hand Puppets, which were given out at Bamboo Tabernacle in Bamboo; a Snazaroo Ultimate Party Pack Face Painting Kit, which was used to paint the faces and arms of children at Bamboo Tabernacle in Bamboo and Majesty Transformation Fellowship in Kingston. They also donated acrylic paint and about  12-15 First Impressions Kids Art Smock and Brush Sets, which made it possible for my sister Adeola Ayinde, a graphic design artist for Opici Wine, to give an art class to the children at Majesty Transformation Fellowship without getting a single spot of paint on any of their clothes. After the conclusion of the class, the remaining supplies were donated to the church. Although their finances were minimal, these children demonstrated that their talent was limitless!

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All of these contributions of supplies, time and work were made in support of the mission and encouraging youth all over the world to #cre8time for community service, giving back and crafting!

By Omosede (Mo) Ayinde
Marketing Coordinator – Craft & Hobby Association.

Celebs Got Crafty at the #CHASwag Gift Suite – Teen Choice 2013 Recap

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We’re back from Los Angeles and just wanted to recap what an awesome time we had at the Connected Gift Lounge at the Teen Choice Awards! Together with our Sponsors: Spellbinders, John Bead Corp., and Kalmbach Publishing Co., we were able to promote crafting and creativity to a very welcoming Hollywood audience. Here are some of our favorite memories:

The Spellbinders team setting up their make-n-take table. Guests who stopped by combined creative fibers with a charm and a bezel for a fabulous bracelet!

The VIP’s all wanted to wear Fernando DaSilva’s jewelry from the Metal Complex Instant Glam by Fernando and Dazzle-It signature programs, part of the John Bead Corp. make-n-take table.

The teen celebs loved learning how to make their very own pair of trendy earrings using a metal riveting technique from the team at Brea Bead Works at the Kalmbach Publishing Co. table.

The Spellbinders team along with Dave from DCWV striking a pose!

Fernando DaSilva and Stephen Glickman from Big Time Rush on Nickelodeon. Stephen was a huge fan of Fernando’s work!

Everyone that stopped by the Spellbinders table loved embossing leather bracelets.

Jayden Maddux, who played “Young Buster Bluth” on Arrested Development, stopped by the Kalmbach Publishing Co. table to create some fashionable earrings.

Lauren Potter from Glee stopped by to participate in the make-n-takes and share why living a creative lifestyle is so important to her!

Rowan Blanchard from the new Disney Show, Girl Meets World, showing off her #pureMichigan “urban-coursage”, made by Detroit area children. Designer Sarah Hodsdon designed the bracelet and the children created them at Maker Faire at The Henry Ford museum. Many kids, not just the ones from Detroit, are in schools where the art program has been cut. By creating/designing hands on projects that integrate math and science concepts, we are able to “sneak” in the arts, and in doing so, safeguard that the next generation of minds will know the wonders of building with their hands and the incredible creativity that is fostered through the arts and crafts. The kids who built these will most likely never have a music class or an art class in school yet, their heroes, these teen choice presenters and award winners, touch them through the language that is universal…. art and music. When we #CRE8TIME to build, we connect in profound ways.

RJ Mitte from Breaking Bad stopped by to sign our marble-dipped surfboard donated by Peachtree Global. This surfboard will later be auctioned off to benefit the CHA Foundation, whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for the purpose of enhancing life through creative expression throughout the world.

We had a fantastic time and want to thank all of all of our wonderful sponsors, the celebs for stopping by,  and to all of you for following along and sharing in the fun! You can view more pictures from the event in our CHA Connected Gift Lounge Photo Album on our Facebook Fan Page.

#CRE8TIME Event Celebrates Creativity in California!

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Mothership Scrapbook Gal hosted a fun afternoon of card making with her signature “Crafty Happy Hour” CRE8TIME event on August 10, 2013, at Sandra’s CaliMex Restaurant in Chino Hills, California. Her goal was to get people crafting in a festive setting and that’s exactly what she did!

At Crafty Happy Hour, no crafting experience is required and event attendees pay just $5 to craft a handmade card and help themselves to a delightful selection of papers, buttons and endless embellishments. The event hosted over 40 people who crafted and enjoyed a delicious lunch buffet. Ladies, children and even one gentleman crafted birthday and greeting cards.
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Gonzales is very excited to have sponsorships from craft manufacturers including Clearsnap, iLoveToCreate and Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L.

“I am thrilled to be able to support and promote the CRE8TIME initiative – a portion of Crafty Happy Hour event proceeds are donated to the CHA Foundation,” says Gonzales.

Mothership Scrapbook Gal’s “Crafty Happy Hour” event is very popular in the Inland Empire. The upcoming Crafty Happy Hour will be at Chick-Fil-A, 450 Hidden Valley Parkway in Corona on September 7, 2013 from 9 am to 11 am.

For more information please visit: www.mothershipscrapbookgal.com

For more information on CRE8TIME Events please email: cre8time@craftandhobby.org.

CHA Members Getting Crafty at Teen Choice!

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We interrupt your regularly scheduled weekly activities for an important announcement: CHA will sponsor crafty make-n-take tables at an exclusive event to kick off the Teen Choice Awards this Saturday, August 10, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. PST. Countless people involved in the awards show (which airs Sunday, August 11 at 8:00 p.m. EST on Fox) will have the chance to drop by the Connected Gift Lounge, where they’ll get crafty trying out techniques to make trendy jewelry projects sponsored by CHA members.

Here’s a sneak peek of the make-n-take projects Hollywood-ites will get to create.

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Bezel Bracelet by Spellbinders

Guests will combine creative fibers with a charm and a bezel for a fabulous bracelet stopping by this table. All guests who share their creations using hashtag #Share5 will be eligible to win one of five $1000 donations to a Spellbinders charity.

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Medallion Necklace by John Bead Corp.

Guests will customize their own statement necklaces featuring a gorgeous medallion. Jewelry components are from the Metal Complex Instant Glam by Fernando and Dazzle-It signature programs.

Filename: BKS-67031-CV_08.psdRiveted earrings by Kalmbach Publishing Co.

Wendy Remmers from Brea Bead Works will show celebs how to create a trendy pair of earrings featuring a metal riveting technique designed by Irina Miech. The materials are from TierraCast.

We’re incredibly excited about this amazing opportunity to promote crafting to Hollywood, and we’d love it if you can help us spread the word. Use the official hashtags #CHASwag and #TeenChoice together when you tweet or post about the event. And follow @CraftandHobby on Twitter as the CHA staff tweets live from the event Saturday, reporting which celebs go into the lounge and what projects they make. We’ll also be updating our CHA Facebook Fan Page as well. So don’t miss out all of the action on our social media accounts.

In addition to getting crafty in the lounge, celebrities who come through the lounge will have the chance to sign a marble-paint dipped surfboard. This surfboard will later be auctioned off to benefit the CHA Foundation, whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for the purpose of enhancing life through creative expression throughout the world. Special thanks to Peachtree Global for donating the surfboard and to iLoveToCreate, Kiki Magazine and Sarah-n-dipitous Designs for donating items for the gift bags of SWAG (Stuff We All Get) that celebrity presenters take home.

With your help spreading the word, we’ll let lots of people know this craft connection to this trendy event. Don’t forget to follow along on social media Saturday and then tune into the Teen Choice Awards this Sunday!

The First Ever CRE8TIME Event in Riverside, CA

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On July 13, 2013, Mothership Scrapbook Gal hosted her monthly Crafty Happy Hour event for 2013 at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Downtown Riverside, California.

Crafty Happy Hour is an event where crafters and non-crafters are invited to make cards for upcoming holidays and celebrations.  The theme for this Crafty Happy Hour was Happy Birthday Cards.  Attendees purchased blank cards and envelopes for $5 per card/envelope set and used the “Card Crafting Station” embellishment selections, which included pre-cut and pre-punched scrapbook papers, buttons, flowers, twine, adhesives and the “Stamping Station” which included stamps and stamp ink pads.

“It was great to craft outside at our local Coffee Bean.  The weather was perfect and the crafters enjoyed the various embellishments that Mothership Scrapbook Gal provided for this craft project,” said Lori Gjelhaug, a return Crafty Happy Hour guest.

Crafty Happy Hour started this year in January and has developed a bit of a following.  “I wanted to make an event that crafters and non-crafters would want to attend.  I think it’s working out well.” Mothership Scrapbook Gal’s owner, Rina Gonzales said.  “My customer base actually requested a Happy Birthday edition of Crafty Happy Hour.”

This was also Riverside, California’s first CRE8TIME event!  Gonzales got the word out about CRE8TIME through social media – on her Mothership Scrapbook Gal Facebook page and Twitter.  “CRE8TIME is awesome because it says we all need to be creative and take the time to create,” said Gonzales.

In addition to being a CRE8TIME event, Mothership Scrapbook Gal has a couple of noteworthy sponsors including iLovetoCreate and Clearsnap.  On the Card Crafting Station there were embellishment selections and Aleene’s Turbo Tacky glue bottles and pens set out for the guests to use.  At the Stamping Station, there was a fun variety of Colorbox stamp pads set out for use as well.

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For more information on craft events held by Mothership Scrapbook Gal, contact Rina Gonzales at rinagonzales@gmail.com and check out her Facebook page www.facebook.com/mothershipscrapbookgal.

For more information on CRE8TIME Events contact Cathy Martell at cmartell@craftandhobby.org.

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

New CHA Bead Section is a Gem

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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

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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

Don’t Just Offer an Event – Make it a CRE8TIME Event!

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Michele Freitag, our local Horizons Teacher, invited me, Laurel Pollard, to join Village Elementary School as they celebrated Enrichment Day last week.

As both the owner of New England Paper Crafts, a widely respected regional promoter of paper crafts, and Team Leader of “Inspire! New England Paper Crafts” CRE8TIME team, I happily took advantage of the opportunity to share a number of delightful paper crafting products with some of our littlest friends.

As you know, no event is ever “small.”  No matter what the volume of attendees are going to be served, any event is going to require distinct investment, many of which I’m sure you’re all too familiar with.  Here are only a few to consider:

  • Project design
  • Sourcing and buying supplies
  • Kitting the project
  • Coordinating volunteers/staff
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Producing the event

Following the offer of this level of contribution, the question immediately becomes: “What CRE8TIME marketing tools are available that make it possible to capitalize on this investment?  What will broaden New England Paper Crafts’ reach beyond the event itself?”

In order to maximize our investment in time, money and energy I expect to put into organizing this event, I quickly found advantage by cross-branding our event with CRE8TIME.  The non-profit organization offered multiple promotional tools I could easily take advantage of for FREE:

The CRE8TIME brand immediately lends credibility to our team’s initiatives:

  • More appearances become available to us, resulting in added visibility and promotional options from this expanded network.
  • Industry suppliers are more likely to support, and, it turn, promote our efforts.
  • Media outlets take a closer look at our press releases and are more likely to cover our story.
  1. The CRE8TIME facebook fan page wall is “open,” giving us the opportunity to direct our message to upwards of 5,500 CRE8TIME enthusiasts.
  2. The pre-made CRE8TIME marketing materials, including fliers and bag stuffers, can quickly be customized for each event. This allows our marketing to reach well beyond the frame of any event – both visually through event photos posted after the event, as well as hard copies handed to each event attendee. They are immediately downloadable under the “file” tab on the CRE8TIME Facebook Group for Businesses.
  3. The online CRE8TIONS Gallery is available for posting photos of our projects, allowing for a list of supplies and step-by-step instructions.  Embedded with this process is the ability to add hyperlinks to source pages at will.  Once we have opted-in our CRE8TION as “viewable,” it then becomes picture-perfect content to take advantage of the social network sharing options available in the CRE8TIME Gallery, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

So, armed with card kits and two enthusiastic volunteers, Kate Pfirman and Joan Toomey, we hosted eleven bright-eyed kindergarteners for CRE8TIME at Village Elementary School’s Enrichment Day.  These active children came ready to dig in to the project and they loved the opportunity to cut out their own Sizzix Flip-Its cards!

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At the end of the session there was no stopping our new friends from jumping in for “free cut,” where they were able to pick from a stack of designer paper and use any of the steel-ruled dies available in order to make their choice of die-cuts to carry home with them to personalize other projects.  “Hello Kitty” remains a huge hit with the little ladies!!

We not only reached the eleven kindergarteners at the CRE8TIME make-n-take, we reached their families with the bag stuffers we created.  We connected with our local community through links posted in the Parent Group Facebook page (to which the school is affiliated) as well as a release with event details and photos to the local press.

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In addition, New England Paper Crafts tweeted, facebooked, pinned and CRE8TIME galleried all this terrific content – not only on our sites, but cross promoting via social media with industry suppliers (thanks AGAIN, Little Yellow Bicycle!) and CRE8TIME.

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With the promotional opportunities already structured within the CRE8TIME organization (**and fully supported by the responsive staff at CRE8TIME!), we were able to promptly turn an intimate event like ours at a local kindergarten class into an opportunity to broaden our reach to thousands of people!

Without a doubt, the “Inspire! New England Paper Crafts” CRE8TIME event for the eleven kindergarteners at Village Elementary School was a monumental success.  With a little extra effort and no additional fee, by partnering with CRE8TIME and combining our marketing power, New England Paper Crafts was able to increase our visibility exponentially. 

If your organization is preparing an event, why don’t you take advantage of these tools and make your next event a successful CRE8TIME event, too?

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Happy Day,
~ Laurel Lee Pollard
New England Paper Crafts
“The 411 on paper crafts in New England”
Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

CHA Membership Benefits: Support from Local Chapter Participation

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As members of the Craft Hobby Association (CHA) for more than 30 years, H.A. Kidd and Co. has benefitted in many ways, including the opportunity to see new products and conveniently meet with associates and partners around the world at CHA conferences and trade shows. As members of the Canadian Chapter, we benefit from being part of a local, focused group in several ways.

Local industry insights. The industry news and information that comes from CHA is incredibly helpful, and we’re able to discuss and digest this news in our local chapter to specifically understand how it applies to and affects us as Canadian business owners. The insights gained during these discussions helps our business remain strong.

Business support from local members. Because member meetings always include different strategies to support your business, we walk away from each meeting with inspiration and easy-to-implement tips to keep our company successful.

A source of local resources. Connecting and working together with other Canadian business owners in the crafting industry gives us additional business resources that are invaluable. Being a part of a local group gives us a feeling that we’re a part of an organization that not only keeps its finger on the global industry pulse but that recognizes our unique local needs as well.

I encourage you to participate in your local CHA section or chapter to gain these benefits to grow your business.

–Doug Earle, H.A. Kidd and Co.

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!

Create-n-Connect Conference & Trade Show: Connect * Discover * Learn

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The Create-n-Connect Conference & Trade Show is a sure bet!  Create the connections to help you grow your business, discover the latest and greatest creative products on the Show floor, learn from inspirational speakers and participate in innovative sessions that will set your business apart from the competition. Register today! http://tinyurl.com/cncvideo

Education & Inspiration: Perks of CHA Membership

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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!

Kept Creations Mails-In Support of CRE8TIME

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Kept Creations, owned by Kim Parkinson in Whitman, MA, recently joined CHA, having only been in business for a few months. Kim heard about the CRE8TIME Movement and the call for support from CHA Members. The message resonated with them on a personal level and they decided they HAD to support in some way!

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On May 4th, they held a FREE Mail-Art CRE8TIME Social Event.  The event was hosted by Mandy Fariello, in order to build awareness of Mail-Art and celebrate creativity with CRE8TIME. Mail art (also known as postal art), is visual art pieces sent by mail. Mail-Art can be anything that you send to friends, relatives or even to others that just want to receive art.

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During the Mail-Art Social, Mandy had CRE8TIME signage posted around the store and large pieces of paper that participants contributed art to.  The Collaborative Art is what you see acclaimed artist, Catherine Matthews-Scanlon, working on.  As a finishing touch, after the social the participants received a piece of the project in the mail.  What a great reminder to CRE8TIME every day!

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Be sure to CRE8TIME on Saturday, June 1st from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, for an encore of Kept Creations FREE DeNami Designs Make-N-Take CRE8TIME Event at the Kept Creations store.

The address is:
15 South Avenue
(Route 27)
Whitman, MA 02382

For more information about this, and much more, Kept Creations art news, check out their website at: www.KeptCreations.com.

What If We Did Creativity Small? A Month of Creativity, 8 Minutes At a Time

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By Jan Whitted, Artbeat LLC
http://artbeatonline.com/

At first I was thrilled to hear about the Cre8time movement. As the owner of Artbeat, a creativity store and studio, my goal is to encourage people to take time and make time for creative activities.

Then I read something about finding 8 hours a month to devote to creativity.

You’ve got to be kidding!

Who can possibly find 8 extra hours in their busy life? Not me!

Then the inspiration hit: if the challenge of finding extra time for creativity is that daunting, let’s do something really small. Small can be good. Small can be powerful:

  • Small meals are healthy.
  • Small businesses drive the economy.
  • Small cars are better for the environment.
  • Small babies are cute.
  • Small steps can lead to big gains.

What if we did creativity small, too – a month of creativity, 8 minutes at a time?CRE8TIME art square

I talked with my staff. Surely we could find 8 minutes every day to do something creative for ourselves!

We gathered five different materials (sticky canvas, Bristol board, Woolfelt, collage  boards and watercolor paper) and cut them into three-inch squares. We made bundles of 30 (6 of each type) so we’d have an easy kit for making something different every day.

Why 30? Studies show that it takes 30 consecutive days to establish a new behavior. On the 31st day of the month, we would have a set of creative Post-it notes that could be assembled into a visual quilt – or repurposed on greeting cards, book covers, as coasters, etc.

We all decided to give it a try for the month of March—National Craft Month. We came up with four simple rules:

1. Pick a time each day for an art break. Make it a habit!

2. Plan the materials you’ll use for each surface. Something simple is perfectly fine.

3. Play for eight minutes! Let your mind relax and your fingers move.

4. Post the results on our Facebook page.

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So, how’s it going for us at Artbeat?  Well, we were pretty prolific for a few days. I picked up a
box of watercolor crayons that are creamy and wonderful to use, and that I hadn’t touched in months. Karyn, who is a henna artist, sketched an intricate design with glitter glue. Kory painted an abstract design on a sticky canvas. I needlefelted a rainbow. We all loved it. It seemed do-able.

Then life interfered. I had to knuckle down and work on my taxes. Karyn had family come to visit. Kory went off to Barcelona for two weeks of study. None of us followed through on our thirty days – the first time around.

But we started. And that’s something.

Here’s what we learned:

It IS possible to schedule creative moments into a busy workday.Cre8Time-Karyn's Henna Design

8 minutes can be a long time. When you pick up your materials and enter the creativity zone with a single focus, time seems to stand still.

Community counts. Having each other to remind us, having to post to Facebook, sharing our ideas with the CRE8TIME staff, all are energizing and motivating.

An art break 8 minutes every day? We all can do it! Who knows, someday we may get to that 8 hours after all!

Cre8Time-Kory's Doodle

A Key To Retail Marketing Success

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By Bob Negen, Retail Expert, Author and Speaker, WhizBang! Training

There’s a Chinese proverb that says the weakest link is stronger than the most powerful memory. I know, I know, some of you are thinking, “Well, what in the world does that have to do with marketing?” The simple answer is everything.

A major key to success in all your marketing efforts is to build on past successes. To make sure that everything you did right last year, you’ll do right again this year. There is something you can do that will dramatically increase the probability that every marketing activity you engage in will be more powerful, more profitable, each time you do it.

Create a marketing book. In fact, as soon as you’re done reading this post, start creating a marketing book of your own, or nominate a trusty staff member to get it started for you. My colleague, Aubrey is responsible for maintaining our marketing books at WhizBang! Training. Aubrey prints out every marketing activity that we engage in here at WhizBang! Training and it is noted in this book.

For example, in our marketing book you can see printed documentation of our intensive training sessions, sales, and our public events like the Retail Success Summit, etc. Every email we send out and every Tip of the Week also gets printed and put in the book along with the reports from our email service provider with the open and the click rates. You see, we’re gathering information we need to make smarter business decisions in the future. Building success!

So make sure to put everything that is related to your marking efforts in your marketing book! Every time you get a press release printed in the media, it goes in there. Notes you make about special events and promotions, put them in there! Emails and social media posts you send about your promotions… well, you get it. It all goes in this book. It will be invaluable to you.

This is powerful stuff, folks! If you want to learn more great strategies to grow your business without spending a fortune, be sure to register for my Two Part Marketing Intensive Boot Camp at the CHA Creative Conference. I will be at the Stationery Show presenting Explode Your Sales: Part 1-Maximum Bang For Your Marketing Bucks on Sunday, May 19 from 3:30-5:00 pm. Part 2-Mining Diamonds In Your Own Backyard is on Monday, May 20 from 9-10:30 am.

I will share with you super easy and proven marketing tips and techniques on how to make more money in your store! Each of these programs was created to stand alone. But, of course, you will gain much more value when you attend both. In fact, I am so confident that I will give you a full refund from my own pocket if you don’t walk away with immediately actionable tactics on how to pull in new customers and boost your sales.

Don’t waste another dollar on your marketing efforts… join me at the Boot Camp!

Bob Negen discovered his entrepreneurial spirit at the young age of 23 and opened one of the world’s first kite stores. In 20 years he helped change the public’s perception of the kite from a child’s toy to an “eco-friendly” hobby for families and people of all ages. In those 20 years he grew his company from $17,000 to over $3 million in annual sales. In 1998 the company was named “Retailer of the Year” by the Kite Trade Association. Bob was also instrumental in helping create a nationwide yo-yo boom. At one time his company employed eight full time yo-yo professionals performing in schools, malls, nationally broadcast parades, professional sporting events, and other large entertainment venues. While building the national craze, his company opened “Yo-Yo Universe” kiosks in over a dozen malls, hired and trained over 150 employees using his unique training system, and sold over $2 million worth of yo-yos. All in a little over 6 months! His yo-yo adventure forced Bob to boil down 20 years of hard-earned experience about life as an entrepreneur into a fun, but no-nonsense, only-if-it-works outlook on business. This “make it fun, but get it done” attitude has given Bob an expert edge not only in marketing but also in practical, proven customer service practices, solid common-sense employee management, super efficient operations, and focusing the entrepreneurial spirit.

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.

Why YOU Should Be At The CHA Creative Conference – May 18-20, 2013

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The Early Registration Deadline for the Creative Conference at the National Stationery Show is May 14th. Register now to take part in any of the several conference programs focused on:

  • The online consumer
  • Best practices on how to maximize your marketing
  • Social media strategies
  • Certification to teach Mixed Media

For program details and to register, CLICK HERE.

QR Code Marketing for Your Creative Business

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By Mike Newman, stkr.it

By now, most people know what a QR code is if they see it – even if they don’t know it by name.  Those ugly, square bar code things that you see in magazine ads, on packaging and coke cans – even on billboards and gravestones – are everywhere.  But though the average consumer may know that they exist, that isn’t the same thing as knowing why they exist.  What is the point of a QR code, and do I have to use it in my marketing?

It is a valid question.  Marketers always love the hot “new” thing – whatever is creating a buzz.  (remember when Groupon was going to conquer the world?)  But the existence of a new tool – and using it effectively and memorably – are two very different things.  QR codes have ridden the buzz wave – but are they worth your time?

I hope you will join me on April 10th for QR Code Marketing: When, How and Why to Use a New Technology.  I’ll walk you through best practices for QR code marketing, how to design a campaign, measure it’s success – and avoid spending a lot of time or money doing so.

QR codes have gone from buzz, to backlash – and back again.  But they can be an effective tool in your marketing arsenal.  After our webinar, you will be ready to engage and educate current and future customers, no matter what your level of technical expertise.

Mike Newman is the founder and president of stkr.it, a software company dedicated to building tools to bridge the digital and physical worlds.  At stkr.it, he helps consumers attach video, audio and photo messages to cards, gifts and crafts – and works with companies on digital strategies for their own physical product lines. Mike has been a technology expert for more than a decade, and has been featured on The Today Show, NPR, and The History Channel’s Modern Marvels as well as in The New York Times, Associated Press and more.  You can learn more about stkr.it at www.stkr.it.

QR Code Marketing: When, How and Why to Use a New Technology
Date: April 10, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST

What makes one store great and another just a place to buy stuff?

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by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender, Kizer & Bender Speaking!, CHA 2013 Retailing Experts

What makes one store great and another just a place to buy stuff? Join us at 1:00 PM EST on April 3, 2013 for The Inside Secrets of Charisma Retailers™” and find out!

Here’s the deal: Today’s customers are busy, and maybe just a little bit bored with the “same old, same old” they find in too many stores. This makes your job tougher because these consumers expect more than ever before.

We’ve come to realize that there are two kinds of retailers today: Commodity Retailers who make no effort to do much more than they are supposed to do: open for business and hope for the best. Commodity retail associates are there just to collect a paycheck. There’s no customer buzz about town and no fizz on the sales floor, merely shelves full of stuff.

And then there are Charisma Retailers™ who thrive on creating a unique in-store experience that customers just can’t get anywhere else. Charisma retail associates share the same values as the store’s owner: they are there to serve and delight customers.

Any retailer, regardless of what they sell, can be a Commodity Retailer or a Charisma Retailer™; it’s a choice that’s yours to make. Charisma Retailers™ thrive on reinvention. They understand how to live in the present while keeping an eye on the future. They know that the special things they do for customers today, will be the expected things of tomorrow, so they are always on the lookout for new ideas.

We hope you’ll join us on April 1 for The Inside Secrets of Charisma Retailers™. We’ll share ideas and inspirations, and we’ll take your questions to help you unleash your inner charisma!

And afterwards, we hope you’ll take time sit down in a quiet room with a notebook and pencil. Let your mind wander, imagining what your store will be like a year from now. Who will be your customers and what will they demand of you?  What aren’t you doing today that you need to in order to meet future challenges? Keep this notebook handy and do this exercise for fifteen minutes each week.

In time, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the ideas begin to flow, multiply and become reality.  Before long, the retail status quo won’t be good enough for you – you’ll have crossed over from commodity retailing into the rare air Charisma Retailers™ breathe every single day.

Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. Companies internationally depend upon them for timely advice on consumers and the changing retail market place.

In 2010 KIZER & BENDER made Meetings & Conventions Magazine’s list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers; they’ve also been named “Two of Retailing’s Most Influential People.” And with good reason: Rich and Georganne are experts on generational diversity, consumer trends, marketing and promotion, and everything retail. They are widely referred to as retail anthropologists because they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: today’s consumer. Visit their website for more information: http://www.kizerandbender.com.

The Inside Secrets of Charisma Retailers™

Date: April 3, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM EST – 2:00 PM EST

Click Here to Register

How to Schedule Your Week in Social Media

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SocialMediaTCifali

by Theresa Cifali, Mixed Media Artist & Craft Designer, CHA Designer Council Member

Someone once said to me, “You can’t manage time. You can only manage yourself.” How profound…and true! As business owners, we often find ourselves talking and thinking about how to manage our time better. Let’s face it though…we are just not going to have more time. However, we can make better use of the time we do have.

When it comes to social media, time is definitely a huge issue. How much time we spend in those platforms can greatly effect other areas of our business. You know you do it! You go into Facebook to just put up one post and before you know it, an hour is gone….just like that.

It’s no different for me. Being a small business, there is a lot to do with few people to do it. So, in my own quest to “manage myself” better, I’ve put certain systems in place. More importantly, I utilize tools to help me better control my social media efforts. Does it take time to work in these tools? Sure, but the benefits are huge! One such benefit is that I can work inside of the tool rather than inside of the social media platform. This prevents me from getting all distracted by pretty, shiny things. Another plus is it forces me to focus and plan what I want to do and say. The combination of these factors free up other times of the day. I love that.

As a creative business owner, I feel very it is important to help other creative businesses…especially when it comes to social media management. Whether you are a manufacturer, a retailer, a professional crafter or a designer, you need to make social media work for you and fit into you marketing plan. It is really important. Not doing it simply because you “don’t have time”, is not a good enough excuse. Believe me, I get it. How many more hats can we all wear?

I’m here to tell you that you have the time! What you need are the tools. I know which tools will work for you…and I can show you how to use them.

On May 20, 2013, I will be presenting a seminar called How to Schedule Your Week in Social Media. This is just one of the many wonderful seminars the Craft and Hobby Association will host during their Creative Conference this spring. The Creative Conference will run in conjunction with The National Stationery Show, which is held at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC.

If you are attending the show, I invite you to join me for this powerful seminar. You will learn how to leverage specific web-based tools for scheduling, organizing, and more. These tools are designed to help YOU manage yourself better. I look forward to seeing you there!

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Theresa Cifali hails from Westchester County, NY and is the sole proprietor of TheresaCifali™ with nearly 20 years of experience working with consumers, manufacturers and retail businesses in the crafting industry.  Theresa is a seasoned designer with her own private studio where she maintains her business, instructs classes and continually experiments with new designs, techniques and class concepts. Theresa is also well versed in social media and emerging digital platforms, actively using these platforms to build genuine, dynamic communities where she can interact with individuals and promote her business.  Theresa consults businesses on best practices in social media and provides management and social strategy services in addition to her already vast repertoire of business services.

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.
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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

Taking Your Business to Europe? Be Aware of the Main Regulations

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By Paul Milne, Manager, Restricted Substances Testing Services, SGS and CHA 2013 Regulatory Resource

Having secured your commercial territory in North America, are you now looking to expand “across the pond”?  To enter triumphant into the European Union?  If so, be forewarned you’ll have shoals of chemical regulations around which it will be necessary to navigate.  While nothing can replace an experienced pilot in these matters, “know before you go” is always a good idea.

You will first encounter REACH, the EU’s comprehensive policy regarding the manufacturing and importation of chemicals.  This set of regulations has different requirements depending upon what you are bringing in and classifies chemicals as pure, mixed, or contained in an article.  Determining which of these three describes your product is the first step, then figuring out how much you’ll be sending in is the second step because there are different registration requirements depending upon the tonnage being imported.  Do your products contain any of the 138 chemicals on the list of Substances of Very High Concern?  Chemicals on the Restricted Substances List (know formally as Annex XVII)?  Compliance with US and Canadian regulations does not automatically confer acceptable status in the EU, as you may have guessed by now.

If your imports are classified as toys, then in addition to REACH you’ll have the European Toy Directive to consider.  Do your toys contain dried powders intended to be released (paints, chalk)?  Do your toys have a liquid component (finger paints, slime)?  Due to the nature of these products (i.e. for children), there are more chemicals to keep track of, mainly soluble heavy metals.  The limit for each metal is determined by how the toy is classified: the two above plus toys with scrapable surface coatings.  Furthermore, a Chemical Safety Assessment will be required, but fortunately this is not so different from the review you will have had done for LHAMA.

Do any of your products rely on electricity for at least one intended function?  Things like magnifying lamps, soldering irons, and sewing machines fall under the Restrictions of Hazardous Substances (RoHS).  Simply put, every single component of one of these articles, from the outer casing to the tiny screw that holds the circuit board in place, cannot contain more than 1000 ppm of mercury, lead, hexavalent chromium (Cr+6), PBBs, or PBBDs, or 100 ppm of cadmium.

Your packaging will need to comply with the European packaging directive, known as Classification and Labeling of Packaging.  This is exactly the same as the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse here in the US, but if you haven’t had to deal with that here, you will definitely need to check your packaging going into Europe.  Simply put, there cannot be more than 100 ppm total of lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium in any packaging component, including inks.  Packaging almost always ends up in landfills so this is the easiest way to avoid having these toxic substances end up in the environment.

These are the main regulatory hurdles facing businesses going into Europe.  Please join me on March 13, 2013, for a webinar hosted by CHA where I will go into each of these in more detail.  It is my hope that you will be better prepared to succeed in that market knowing the general shape of the chemical regulations you face over there.  In the meantime, you can contact me at pmilne@craftandhobby.org if you have any questions.  I confess, I may not be able to help with the paperwork, but as far as explaining what the chemical lists mean, I’ll give it a go.

Paul Milne is the Technical Manager for Restricted Substances Testing at the SGS Fairfield, NJ, location where he acts as the local expert for European REACH and RoHS, China RoHS, CPSC, Proposition 65, and FDA and EU Food-Contact regulations. He’s an active member of ASTM Committee F40; of AOAC, International; and a member of the American Chemical Society.  Prior to SGS, Paul worked for Pepsi-Cola R&D where he developed analytical methods for testing ingredients and finished products, and evaluated new analytical technology for use in Pepsi’s global laboratory network.  He holds a doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Cornell University.

Doing Business in Europe: A basic outline of restricted substances regulation

Date: March 13, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST – 2:00 p.m. EST

Click Here to Register

The Value of Presenting a Workshop or Seminar at a CHA Conference

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When you sponsor a workshop or present at a CHA Conference you:

- Directly impact hundreds of companies with your message
- Build credibility within the creative industry
- Increase exposure for your business and services

For more information visit www.craftandhobby.org/CNC or contact Keli Bell-Cole, CMP, kbell-cole@craftandhobby.org

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!

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

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

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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

Mobile is Not Just an Option Anymore – It Is Essential for Your Business

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Mobile Commerce and Computing for Business: Retailers, eTailers, Designers and Manufacturers

By Tony Ford, CHA 2013 Technology Expert; Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of ArtFire.com and principle consultant for Bounce Rocket Media

She walked into your store looking for inspiration, 10 minutes later she walked out empty handed. In four out of ten cases, it was her smart phone that caused her to leave without buying. By next year it will be 6 out of 10 times.

She had trouble using your craft product, so she used her tablet to look for instructions, but your site took too long to load on her tablet. So she posted something about her frustration with your product to her 800 fellow crafter followers and moved on to another project

She is going to spend big this year on Black Friday. She’s looking for the perfect craft kits for all the kids on her list. She wants them to love crafting the way she does. But, your site isn’t optimized for mobile commerce, so, she won’t be buying from you.

Mobile is not an option. Mobile commerce, mobile marketing, mobile reputation management and even mobile search and content are moving billions of dollars now and will only expand in the near future. Every day you wait to learn how to use these tools to help your business, you leave dissatisfied customers, untapped market share and real money on the table.

At ArtFire we saw our mobile sales double in a day when we optimized our checkout for mobile devices, the bare minimum we could do at the time with the many projects and constraints.

We have a long way to go. Mobile is so important that our entire re-build of the multi-million dollar ArtFire platform is designed, first for the phone, and then the tablet and only then do we design for the PC. We’re building “mobile first” for our future. You should be considering mobile first for yours.

Join me on February 20th for a one-hour webinar on mobile trends for 2013. We’ll look at the market, the growth, where the current craft customer is and what the future customer will be like. I’ll also give you specific strategies and concepts for you mobile future based on the type of CHA member you are designer, manufacturer, brick and mortar store or etailer.

That customer you’ve built your business around? Well, she’s got the tablet on the table, the smartphone in her purse and a new project in mind. Are you ready to provide her with the level of service she deserves?

Tony Ford is the co-founder of ArtFire.com and principle consultant for Bounce Rocket Media, a new media and social marketing consulting firm based in Tucson, Arizona.  Bounce Rocket provides social media marketing and new media marketing services including staff training, account management and education for a wide range of firms with a special focus on creative professionals in the art, music and literature space as well as small business and non-profits.  More information can be found at BounceRocket.com.

Click here for more information and to register for Mobile Commerce and Computing for Business: Retailers, eTailers, Designers and Manufacturers

What Will You CRE8TIME For…? (Show Us Your Hands!)

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At the CHA Winter Show iLoveToCreate asked, “What will you CRE8TIME for this year?

What will you Cre8time for? www.ilovetocreate.com  www.cre8time.orgWhat will you Cre8time for? www.ilovetocreate.com  www.cre8time.orgWhat will you Cre8time for? www.ilovetocreate.com  www.cre8time.orgWhat will you Cre8time for? www.ilovetocreate.com  www.cre8time.org

We LOVED that question, and decided to have CHA Staff participate:

I will CRE8TIME for... www.cre8time.orgI will CRE8TIME for... www.cre8time.orgI will CRE8TIME for... www.cre8time.org

You can view all of the photos on the CRE8TIME Pinterest page.


Now we’re asking for YOU to get your employees, co-workers and friends to JOIN US!

Here’s what to do:

Our goal is to collect 2,000 photos by the end of February.

Thank you for helping to spread the movement. It’s amazing what we can learn about each other through creativity!

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.

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The CHA “HOT 20” Announced for the 2013 Winter Show

The Craft & Hobby Association’s (CHA) celebrity media judges are pleased to announce their picks for the 2013 Winter “CHA Hot 20” list of products. The CHA Hot 20 are headlining products that will be introduced at the CHA Sneak Peek Media & Buyer Event on January 11, 2013 during the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California from January 11 – 15, 2013.

The CHA celebrity panel judges selected the “CHA Hot 20” from dozens of new craft products entered in the Innovations New Product Showcase. The following were selected as CHA’s Hot 20 products of the CHA 2013 Winter Show:

Faber-Castell – Mix & Match Gelatos Misting Kit enables the creation of colorful mists using a simple process and the tools using the 8 NEW Gelatos colors. Booth #1549.

Sticky Sticks LLC – Sticky Sticks are tongue depressor-sized craft sticks with the most amazing adhesive on one side of one end. They stick permanently to paper, ribbon, felt, foam, and wood. Booth # 2305.

CTF Enterprises, Inc. – FixNZip is a patented, zipper slider replacement that repairs zippers without tools or sewing. Booth #2105.

We R Memory Keepers – Envelope Punch Board is the first and only Envelope Punch Board on the market! Just punch and score for perfect envelopes. No scissors necessary. Booth #1664.

Ranger Industries – Tim Holtz Distress Paints are fluid water-based acrylic paints for multiple surfaces and are reactive with water just like Distress Inks and Distress Stains–perfect to accomplish a wide variety of artistic techniques. Booth #636.

Environmental Technology Inc. – EnviroTex Jewelry Clay® is a new professional grade Jewelry Clay® that will not shrink when cured. EnviroTex Jewelry Clay® will adhere to glass, metal and wood. Booth #1429.

Fiskars Brands Inc. – The AdvantEdge™ Punch System adds decorative borders to craft projects while the slide-and-lock technology keeps the paper in one place and slide the punch cartridge from one lock-in slot to the next, keeping every punch perfectly spaced. Booth #1000.

Fiskars Brands Inc. – Fuse Creativity System® is the only 12” system on the market that can die cut and letterpress in one easy pass through the machine. Booth #1000.

Beadalon – The Jewel Loom™ designed by International Jewelry Artist Julianna C Hudgins fits perfectly in the palm of your hand allowing for ease of use for a comfortable grip and ultimate control while bead weaving. Booth #1237.

Plaid Enterprises Inc. – Plaid FolkArt Handmade Charlotte Stencils designed by Rachel Faucett, include functional, family-friendly designs that come to life with FolkArt paint. Booth #1401.

Plaid Enterprises Inc. – Martha Stewart Crafts™ Glass Paint is specially formulated, high performance premium paints that are permanent, dishwasher safe, and UV/weather resistant. Booth #1401.

ImpressArt® Metal Stamps – ImpressArt® Design Stamp Packs offer jewelry and mixed media artists collections of metal stamps in themes ranging from weddings and family to sports and shabby chic. Booth #733.

Spellbinders Paper Arts – Spellbinders Imperial Gold is brings out the 4th dimension with die templates that cut, emboss, stencil and deboss. Never before have you had the ability to cut & create in multiple layers with a single die template. Booth #2565.

Katy Sue Designs – Silicone Molds for decorating cupcakes and candies are FDA compliant perfect for fondant, candy or chocolate top instantly. With developments in food safe colourings such as pens, crafters can now transfer colour techniques to their cakes. Booth #2725.

Purple Cows, Inc. – Encaustic Paint is handmade in the USA from the highest quality of naturally purified beeswax, damar resin with a 1:8 ratio and the finest dry pigments. Booth #2581.

Global Solutions, Inc.– Self Adhesive wax seals are an easy way to make your project special. Simply peel and stick the seals on to invitations, scrapbooks, cards, soap or wine bottles. Booth #610.

The DMC Corporation – Emma Broidery: Memory Thread How To Guide features more than 60 pages of instructive photographs and projects that educate, encourage and inspire crafters and stitchers alike. The book includes step-by-step instructions for trendy jewelry making and paper crafts as well as needlework applications. Booth #1337.

Craft Attitude – JEWELRY ATTITUDE™ is a way for jewelry makers to personalize their metal, leather, beads, charms and accessory jewelry items with photos and names. By printing right on the inkjet compatible film, photos and words are crisp and clear. Booth #477.

Krylon – Krylon® Glitter Blast™ Glitter Spray is a uniquely intense, sparkling glitter finish with exceptional depth that makes it easy to achieve an irresistible look on almost any surface. Booth #2508.

June Tailor, Inc. – T-Shirt Transformation Ruler Center, lets you mark and cut perfect T-Shirt blocks for quilts, tote bags, pillows and more. Printed grid lines and 45° markings to perfectly align and center t-shirt graphics. Booth #1291.

The CHA Hot 20 represent only a glimpse of the thousands of new products that will be launched or on display at the CHA 2013 Winter Show.

CHA media judges include Jenn Mason, mixed-media artist, designer and Editor of Cloth Paper Scissors Magazines; Nancy Nally publisher and editor of Scrapbook Update, a leading online source for scrapbooking industry news and information; Stephenson Darling a director for Northridge Publishing, a leading publisher of scrapbooking and crafting magazines and idea books, including Scrapbook Trends, Cards, Bead Trends, Create Idea Books and Creative Retailer Magazine; Julie Mc Guffee, author, craft industry veteran who is the current host of Scrapbook Soup; Jenny Barnett Rohrs is the founder and “craft evangelist” at CraftTestDummies.com, the “Consumer Reports” of craft product review blogs; Ana Araujo a 20-year industry veteran, author and Host and Executive Producer of the online Craft TV Channel When Creativity Knocks, and the host of the new show Mama Knows Best.