2016 CHA MEGA Show Recap Told By Our Attendees

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It’s hard to believe that the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show was already over a month ago! Thousands of you, CHA members, creative product buyers, distributors, bloggers, designers and creative professionals joined us at the Anaheim Convention Center to take advantage of live, high-quality education workshops and seminars, and to see 12,000 new products from 370 exhibitors, representing 67 countries.

We could go on and on about how amazing the Show was, but we decided it would be more fun to share your experiences. Here are some of the videos, pictures and recaps we’ve seen online!

Hot Trends
Blitsy Crafts sought out the hottest trends for 2016. Watch this video to see the top five hot trends that the Blitsy team discovered on the Show floor.

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New, New, New
Watch these new product demo videos from PaperCrafter’s Corner, including a demo of the 2016 Hot Product Award winner for the Bead & Jewelry category, the Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool by Beadalon.

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The People
Without the creative people in our industry, there wouldn’t be a Show! Here’s a great visual blog recap by Nancy Nally of Scrapbook Update, who visited some of her favorite people on the Show floor.

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Best Booth Displays
Jenny Barnett Rohrs of Craft Test Dummies paid a visit to the booth of the 2016 Critics’ Choice Booth Award winner, Lion Brand Yarn. Watch her interview with London Kaye, the artist behind the crocheted display! Jenny also got a personal tour of Plaid’s booth, which won the 75th Anniversary Booth Award in spirit of the Show’s 75th year.

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More Pictures!
Check out our official Show photo album on Facebook to relive the Show from start to finish.

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Top Tweets

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Want more details? Read our press release for a full recap of this year’s Show.

Visit chamegashow.org for the latest announcements about exhibiting at or attending our 2017 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, January 19-23* at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ.

*Education starts January 19, 2017. The Trade Show starts January 21, 2017.

The Countdown to the MEGA Show is on!

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CHA MEGA Show

The CHA MEGA Show floor will soon be bustling with educational demos and inspiring make-n-takes. The schedules linked below include just some of the amazing opportunities for Show attendees to try new products and learn a few tips and techniques. Bring on the creativity!

Saturday Exhibitors

Sunday Exhibitors

Monday Exhibitors

Tuesday Exhibitors

Designers in Action

Paper Trail Designers

Don’t forget to use the official #CHAShow hashtag on social media to follow and join in the festivities!

Celebrating 75 Years of Creativity with Fairfield Processing

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FAIRFIELDNAMETAGCHA teamed up with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to pinpoint Places of Invention in the creative arts and craft industry. To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are sharing our members’ stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.

The Poly-Fil® brand Fiberfill is a staple product in the craft industry. Did you know it has ties back to hats?

In its early days as a company, Fairfield Processing manufactured natural fibers that were used to make hats and other apparel. When Sam Young, the company’s founder, noticed John F. Kennedy did not wear a hat during his inauguration, he sensed a culture change and sought new opportunities for his business. Sam learned some of the locals in Danbury, Connecticut were using the then new invention of polyester to stuff the toys that they handmade. Ever since, Fairfield Processing produces Poly-Fil® brand Fiberfill and other products to serve all facets of the fabrics industry, including general crafts, quilting and home décor.

Join us and Fairfield Processing in booth 1427 in Anaheim for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

Read Fairfield Processing’s full story.

Meet the Instructor – Julia Benben

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Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the past several weeks, we’ve introduced you to some of our Workshop instructors so you could hear about their live classes and what you could expect to learn from them.

Last, but certainly not least, today we meet Julia Benben!

Has your store hopped on the adult coloring bandwagon? Take Julia’s Workshop, Color Therapy – Learn How To Use Chameleon Pens to Drive Sales In The Growing Trend Of Adult Coloring, to learn how Chameleon Pens are great additions to your product line for this growing customer base.

Plus, Julia will lead a second Workshop, Coloring Faces and Hair – Blending Made Easy With Chameleon Pens, where you’ll learn how to master difficult coloring techniques and more about Chameleon Pens’ ability to blend colors.

Keep reading for more about what you will take away from her Workshop.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Julia Benben. I’ve been in the art and craft industry for almost 20 years. I started out as an on-air craft presenter on QVC for toys, home décor and crafts, but quickly fell in love with and got hooked on the craft side of the business.

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

I attended my first Show back in 1999 when it was HIA. I have attended pretty much every year since!

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show? 

The MEGA Block Party! Just kidding J. As much fun as the MEGA Block Party is, I actually love the fact that I get to meet up with all the great creative and like-minded people in the industry, and share new products, ideas and techniques in person! So much of what I do with the folks I work with is over Skype or email. There is no substitute for the personal face-to-face interaction.

How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?

Workshops are well worth attending for your business. They give you an opportunity to learn new and creative things about craft products and projects. Also, they offer a chance for you to chat about industry trends as well as what is working for your peers! Between seeing new things, finding out what is on trend and connecting with your industry counterparts – and doing it all in one place – they’re very efficient, and fun!

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

Buyers need to understand the hands-on experience of the products and projects their customers are buying. This knowledge makes them more capable of troubleshooting, understanding the key benefits and structuring selling to the end user; plus, it gives them ideas on how to cross promote with other products that they currently sell.

How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?

We really keep a close eye on what is trending by following social media conversations and talking to all our buyers and distributors. This helps us create projects that are timely for what the customer in your store is looking for!

What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran? 

Get in there and TRY some stuff! Don’t prejudge an item by what others might have said. Experience products for yourself and make your own call on what you like and dislike about items. I hear people chatting in the aisles, “Did you see anything exciting”…“No … not really” – that is their view. I know when I walk around, when I really take the time to look, I find cool, creative and innovative stuff everywhere. You just have to be open to it and take the time to look closely.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

The creativity, innovative ideas, pioneering spirit and dedication of the people involved.

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

Chugging along and coming up with new stuff every year. As technology and trends change so does the sort of things people do for crafts and creative outlets.

What do you love most about CHA membership?

Nadine. The staff is great to work with!

Register to take Julia’s Workshops, Coloring Faces and Hair – Blending Made Easy With Chameleon Pens and Color Therapy – Learn How To Use Chameleon Pens to Drive Sales In The Growing Trend Of Adult Coloring, and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out!

Thanks for tuning in for our Meet the Instructor blog series! Click here to read all of the blog posts in this series.

CRE8TIME Do-It-Yourself

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By Marjolaine Walker

Created Canvas

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Hello CHA friends! My name is Marjolaine Walker and today I have a quick tutorial using one of my new layering stencil sets that will be coming out soon. This is an easy project where you can quickly create a beautiful gift to give to a new mom to decorate her nursery. I hope you will give it a try!

Supplies:

Watercolor paper

Blending tool: Ranger

Sponge

Painter’s tape

Distress Ink: Ranger Ink

Ink: Tsukineko CO.

Created Layering Stencil Set: Twelve Stones Scrapbooking

Black cardstock: Bazzill

Adhesive: X-Press It Double Sided Tape

step1

Step One: Use painter’s tape* to tape down the first stencil over a 5”x8” piece of watercolor paper. Use a blending tool or sponge to apply the ink to the open area of the stencil. For more detail you can blend two inks together. Remove the stencil once complete.

*The painter’s tape helps to keep the stencil steady and does not tear the paper when removed.

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Step Two: Repeat step one with the second stencil to add the words. Make sure that the stencil is lined up properly to fit the words inside the silhouette. Use a contrasting color to make the words more visible. Remove the stencil when you are done.

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Step Three: Use the blending tool or sponge to apply ink around the silhouette, leaving a bit of white space around it to create a light effect. Repeat this step again with a different color of ink, blending both inks together.

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Step Four: With a brown ink and the blending tool or sponge, add shading around the piece of watercolor paper to frame the artwork.

Step Five: Adhere the finished piece of art to a black piece of cardstock.

Step Six: Repeat step one through six with the other two sets of words.

Step Seven: Adhere all three finished pieces inside a frame.

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Cheers to 75 Years – Celebrating Donna Cennimo

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To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are profiling our members and sharing their stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.

Today, we are not featuring a member, but rather a CHA employee who many of you likely know by name. Meet Donna Cennimo, Operations Coordinator, who commemorated her 21st anniversary with CHA this past Sunday. A fun fact about Donna – she can name the CHA MEGA Show locations for every year she has worked here in order!

donnanametagHow long have you worked at CHA?
I started working at CHA in November 1994 – before there were sections on the CHA MEGA Show floor! The company was the Hobby Industry Association (HIA) at that time. My first role was an office assistant. I answered the phones and helped each team in any way that I could. There were no cubicles in the office back then. The open space created a great learning environment. With my colleagues all around, I was able to listen to their conversations and catch onto the job pretty quickly.

What’s the best thing about being part of the CHA community?
The people. We work in a great industry. I’m proud to be part of it.

2016 will be the first time you attend the CHA MEGA Show. What are you looking forward to the most?
There’s so much that I am looking forward to! It’s the Show’s 75th anniversary and its last year in Anaheim. I can’t wait to meet everyone who I’ve spoken to by phone and email over the years – putting a face to the name.

Also, I’m a crafter who represents all craft categories. I’ve crocheted, sewed, scrapbooked, painted, and made jewelry; more recently, I’ve been into art journaling. I’m excited to see the new products in person and come home with a ton of new project ideas!

IMG_4298What is your most memorable CHA moment?
Honestly, there are too many moments to list. A memory that comes to mind is one year when we were preparing a shipment for the Show. An 18-wheeler truck showed up, which is kind of funny if you’ve seen CHA’s parking lot. There was no way the truck was going to fit. So, the staff formed an assembly line to carry boxes and load the truck. The perfect word to describe this – teamwork!

Join Donna at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to have FUN and celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations. Say hi and give her a high-five when you meet her!

Register today!

Share your “Cheers to 75 Years” story and we’ll feature it on the CHA Blog leading up to the 2016 CHA MEGA Show! Email marketing@craftandhobby.org or share it on Twitter using the hashtag, #WeAreCHA.

You can win $650 in the “See You at CHA” Blog Hop!

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Are you ready for the biggest, most epic blog hop ever? Nearly 60 CHA members from around the world are coming together to help us celebrate the CHA MEGA Show’s 75th anniversary for a whole week – Monday, December 7 through Friday, December 11.

Each blogger will highlight something special about the upcoming CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show. It could be a sneak peek of their new products being released, details about their workshops and make-n-takes, an inspiring project tutorial, or what they are most excited about doing and seeing at the Show.

You’ll have plenty of chances to enter to win our $650 Visa gift card each day of the hop, on any of the participating blogs. Everyone is eligible to win, whether you’re in the U.S. or international.

Here is the master schedule of bloggers. Happy hopping all week long!

Monday, December 7

Buttons Galore

DecoArt, Inc.

Eileen Hull LLC

Finders Keepers

Lorrie McCullers

Roberta Birnbaum

Santana Designs

Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L

Scrapsome!Scrapsome!

Seth Apter

Spellbinders Paper Arts

Technique Tuesday

Teri Anderson

 

Tuesday, December 8

Anita Scroggins

Beth Watson Design Studio

Carol Heppner LLC

Debbie Cole Designs

Einat Kessler

John Bead

PaperCrafter’s Corner

Stamps And Scrapbooks

Therm O Web

Fabric Editions

 

Wednesday, December 9

Charity Wings

Fairfield Processing

Jennifer Davey

Linda Ledbetter

Lisa Liza Lou Designs

Marjolaine Walker

Scrapbook Update

I Love Resin

SMBdesign

Stampendous

The Buckle Boutique

 

Thursday, December 10

ComposiMold

Deflecto

Julie McGuffee

Marilyn Gossett Designs

Marjie Kemper Designs

Rita Barakat Designs

The Creative Makery

The Digiscrap Geek Podcast

Tammy Tuterow

 

Friday, December 11

Annmakes

Crafty Card Gallery

Joe Rotella

EyeConnect Crafts

Laura Bray Designs

Lindsay Obermeyer LLC

Mothership Scrapbook Gal

Paper House

Craft Critique

Terry Ricioli

varyCarol Arts

 

 

 

 

Meet the Instructor – Marjie Kemper

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Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our Workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.

This week, we meet Marjie Kemper of Marjie Kemper Designs, LLC!

Interested in mixed media? Marjie’s Workshop, ‘Live Creatively’ Mixed Media Canvas, is for you! Register for it to create a custom piece of wall art using paint, ink, paste, stamps, stencils, and more that you can display in your store.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a mixed media artist, workshop instructor, and craft blogger from New York. Back in 1999 I started out as a scrapbooker and since have worked my way through all sorts of paper crafts, stamping, collage, painting, art journaling and mixed media.

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

This will be my third year attending as a Designer Member of CHA.

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

Networking! It is so great to meet people in person who you’ve developed relationships with online over the years. There are loads of opportunities to get together both formally and informally at the CHA MEGA Show.

How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?

The workshops can be quite fast paced as instructors want to share a whole lot of ideas and inspiration in just a few hours. I recommend getting there early to get settled so you are ready to roll the minute the class begins.

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

Mixed media and stencils are so hot right now, and customers want to learn how to play with all the new products. I’ll be teaching a fun project using DecoArt’s Media paints and mediums on a Claybord™ panel that is rich in texture and color. We’ll also be stamping and stenciling. It’s sure to be a hit for sales of paint, paste, stamps, stencils and embellishments.

How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?

In addition to the mixed media focus of my project, empowering sentiments are quite popular and the ‘live creatively’ sentiment will appeal to store owners and shoppers alike. Notice the ‘dream’ sentiment on my metal key earring as well. The addition of metal and the surprise word are sure to make you smile.

What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran?

My best advice is to plan ahead, make appointments well before you leave home, and (most importantly!) try to stick to your plan on-site. The days will fly by and you’ll need to stay focused on your main goals. Now’s the time to make lists of the things that are most important to you about attending the Show, because the holidays will come before we know it and you probably won’t have a lot of planning time in late December.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

I’m a believer in the saying that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’, and it’s been my experience in the creative industry that most artists feel the same way. Mentoring someone and even sharing what’s worked (or not worked) for you in an online forum is a great way of lifting all the boats.

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

I see a rise in handmade home décor art in the future, and I wonder what the ‘hot new thing’ will be. Many things that are trending now were popular 10-15 years ago (for example, hand lettering, doodling, etc.), so perhaps we’ll see a comeback of something we’ve all put on the back shelf.

What do you love most about CHA membership?

The networking and relationship building with other members is a huge benefit of CHA membership. I also really enjoy and learn a lot by attending the business sessions at the MEGA Show.

Register to take ‘Live Creatively’ Mixed Media Canvas and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog next week when we will meet Sharyn Sowell!

Meet the Instructor – Yana Smakula

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Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our Workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.

YANAThis week, we meet Yana Smakula! Yana will be teaching the Workshop, Simple Stamping With Altenew Stamps and Inks, at the MEGA Show in January. Watch her video or read her interview below to learn more about why you need to take her class! All you need to bring are scissors and adhesive!

Yana will also be taking you on a  Creative Card Making journey Workshop with Hero Arts at the MEGA Show. Be sure to sign up for her classes today!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello, I am Yana Smakula, a paper crafter, stamper and cardmaker! I love to teach and educate others, and spread the joy of cardmaking, stamping and die cutting.

I have been making cards for about seven years now. I’ve done a number of educational videos and recently started teaching live workshops.

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

This year will be my fourth year actually visiting the Show; however, I’ve been following CHA for about six years now.

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

My favorite part about the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is the ability to visit a number of wonderful Workshops, classes and make-n-takes, and learn about new products and techniques all in one place!

How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?

If you have never been to a live Workshop at CHA, you are missing out! Live events give you the perfect opportunity to not only learn about new products and try them out, but they also let you meet the people behind the company and really become part of the industry.

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

If you are looking to learn about new products and techniques, I am your gal!

How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?

Be on top the game by working with the newest supplies and learning the cool techniques! Be sure to attend my Workshop to learn what is popular in the creative industry and what is trending right now!

What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran?

Whether it’s your first time attending or you are an industry veteran make sure to enjoy the education days that CHA MEGA Show has to offer! Don’t just visit the Show floor; there is so much more to this Show! Attend a Workshop or two, sign up for a seminar and learn away!

What do you love most about the creative industry?

I absolutely love this creative industry for the people who are in it. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the most kind-hearted people I know; that makes this industry simply awesome!

Be sure to join and I’m sure you will feel the same way!

Register to take Simple Stamping With Altenew Stamps and Inks, and Creative Card Making by Hero Arts with Yana and don’t forget to check out our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog next Tuesday when we will meet Tracy Weinzapfel!

Meet the Instructor – Marilyn Gossett

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Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our Workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.

marilynThis week, we meet Marilyn Gossett! In the spirit of the Show’s 75th Anniversary, Marilyn will help you create amazing event signage using a variety of mixed media along with Deflecto message holders and frames. Sign up for her Workshop, “Create | Display | Enjoy™” with Deflecto, to experience this fun filled session complete with cupcakes and inspirational ideas to use for any celebration!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am Marilyn Gossett. I have worked in the craft industry for 25 years as a freelance designer, product developer, consultant and teacher. I am a wife, mom and guardian of two fur babies.

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

23 years off and on. I joined as a CHA Designer the first year that CHA opened up the category for membership.

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

My favorite part is seeing all of the new products and designs. It is inspiring and overwhelming all at the same time. Almost equal to that is seeing old friends and catching up!

How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?

It is an exciting opportunity to get hands-on knowledge of the product and a fun time; Plus, they will have a finished sample to take back to their store or business!

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

Deflecto is new to the craft industry, but has been around as a worldwide office supplier/manufacturer for many years. We provide innovative storage products and craft surfaces to showcase any medium and support all craft supplies. We are planning new products all of the time. It is great to have access to new surfaces to be creative with.

How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?

Deflecto has product appeal to many different genres of art: photography, paper crafting, and general crafts; and, who in this industry doesn’t need innovative storage solutions, surfaces and displays?

What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran?

Pack a pad and pencil for taking notes; attend some workshop, and visit all of the make-n-takes for business education and fun!

What do you love most about the creative industry?

New products, kindred spirits and lots of fun!

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

I see a resurgence of grassroots companies starting up in the United States. People are looking for less clutter, more useful and repurposed items. Paper crafting will take on a new edge with the introduction of 3D printers. People are always looking for faster and easier ways to create something they love; handmade gifts, memory keeping, and home décor all seem to be trending with a down-home appeal and return to simpler days. Burlap will be around for a while. Parties will never go out of style!

What do you love most about CHA membership?

One word – ACCESS!

Register to take “Create | Display | Enjoy™” with Deflecto and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog this Friday when we will meet Yana Smakula!

 

Meet the Instructor – Cindi Bisson

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Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our Workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.

cindibissonThis week, we meet Cindi Bisson. Cindi will be teaching the Workshop, “At the Beach” Mixed-Media Canvas. Join her to create a mixed media home décor canvas, and learn various tips and techniques for using Makin’s Clay® tools, Makin’s® Push Molds and Texture Sheets, and other products in projects for all mediums and ages.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

For almost 15 years I’ve been lucky enough to have a career as a Mixed Media Designer.  I enjoy designing with paper, clay, resin, fabric, paint, metal and more to create mixed media, wearable art, paper crafts and a wide variety of other creative projects.  I love to experiment with combining mediums and using products in unique ways.

As co-host of the “When Creativity Knocks” online television crafting show (which will be exhibiting in the Consumer Connections Pavilion at the Show), I have been able to share my love of crafting with a worldwide audience.  My creative journey most recently led to the opportunity to represent a manufacturer on television on HSN.  I’m an active blogger and you can find me online on my blog – Cindi Bisson McGee – Behind These Eyes™, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn.  I’ve also been published in multiple books, magazines and online.

My motto is “Dare to be Different” and I believe there is no wrong in art – just ways to create things differently!

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

After years of watching Carol Duvall on television and daydreaming while she did her CHA Shows about how some day I’d love to experience one, I attended my first Show in 2006 in Las Vegas. Since then I’ve looked forward to each Show with anticipation!

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

I love exploring the new product lines from various manufacturers, and networking with fellow artists.

How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?

The workshops at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show offer a tremendous variety of projects for attendees to learn something new in almost any crafting medium.  They are a great way to learn from leading industry instructors about a wide assortment of products, or to learn new tips and techniques to ensure the future success of their creative businesses.

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

Our Makin’s USA® workshop – “At the Beach” Mixed-Media Canvas – project is designed to teach attendees about the wide variety of creative options of using Makin’s Clay® and Makin’s Brand® tools in their projects. This versatile product line can literally be used in almost any craft project from children’s projects to fine art. We invite buyers and creative professionals to explore the many possibilities of designing with Makin’s Clay®.

How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?

Mixed media continues to maintain its status as a trend that is here to stay. Products that offer a wide variety of versatility are key and a great way for individual crafters or retailers to expand their creative options. Our workshop will show attendees some of the many ways that Makin’s Clay® can be used in not only mixed media, but in paper crafting, jewelry making, children’s crafts, fine art, and more.

What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran?

Take advantage of the many options that the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show has to offer by selecting workshops or seminars to further your education, but also allow time to truly explore the Show floor and see the vast array of products being offered by displaying manufacturers. The Show is a great opportunity to network with fellow professionals in the arts and crafts industry – so also make time to take advantage of the different networking events offered.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

I love the endless creativity that those involved in the industry share with the world. Creative people think differently – we think outside the box.  We enjoy expressing our feelings and emotions through art, and many of us thrive on the opportunity to expand our own artistic knowledge, and share our creative ideas with others via teaching.  The CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is the perfect way for us to achieve both those goals!

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

The creative industry will continue to thrive. In my “perfect world” there would be a return of creative style programming to television so that the many options of “crafting” can be explored and discovered by new emerging artists of all ages. The Internet continues to be a great source for inspiration and education, so online opportunities for expanding creativity should also continue to thrive. The benefits of creativity go far beyond making pretty things to beautify the world; it can be therapeutic, can be a career, or can just be something that brings people together.

What do you love most about CHA membership?

Membership offers participating manufacturers and individuals a way to reach a broad audience of buyers, retailers, and creative professionals of all levels with which to share their product lines. The events and educational opportunities offer a wealth of networking options not found elsewhere.

Register to take “At the Beach” Mixed-Media Canvas and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog next Wednesday when we will meet Marilyn Gossett!

Cheers to 75 Years – Celebrating Scott Remmers

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To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are profiling our members and sharing their stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.scottremmers

In 2002, Scott Remmers and his wife Wendy opened Brea Bead Works in Southern California to offer a broad selection of quality gemstones, crystals, handmade glass beads, and other beads to crafters. In addition to selling beads, the team educates and inspires customers through offering jewelry making workshops. Brea Bead Works has been recognized by Bead Style magazine as one of the best bead stores. More recently, Scott and Wendy helped to establish the CHA North America Bead Association (NABA) Section. He has been the leader of NABA since it was founded in 2013, and is an advocate of bringing bead industry professionals together.

How long have you been a CHA Member?

My wife Wendy and I have been CHA Members for 10 years.

What’s the best thing about being a CHA Member?_67a9590

The best thing about being a CHA Member is learning and being inspired by others in and out of the bead industry. Seeing what others in the craft industry are doing creatively is just amazing! Gathering with members at various CHA events just makes us want to do better in our store as creative and business professionals.

A few years ago, a group of brick-n-mortar retailers, vendors, and designers joined together as the CHA North America Bead Association (NABA) Section. NABA was started to get a conversation going between all the parties on what could be done to better the industry, whether that be through consumer awareness, B2B relations, or something else. While the Section has had some growing pains (what group doesn’t?), it has been able to move forward with the support of CHA. We encourage any bead retailer, vendor or designer to join the Section to share their ideas and make their industry stronger.

Why do you love attending the CHA MEGA Show?

I love interacting with everyone! You can’t get that when talking on the phone or through an email. It is vital to everyone, especially a store owner, to invent in taking a class, learning something new, or enrolling in a seminar to listen how to make his/her business better. There is always something to take away from a seminar to better your business.

What is your most memorable CHA Show story?

It’s embarrassing. Two years ago at the Show, everyone recognized Wendy and me from the photo on the front cover of CHA’s Craft Industry Today magazine. We had a story in there about our store, and the start up of the NABA. We would be at vendor booths, walking the Show floor, or whatever and people would just blurt out, “I saw your picture!” It was fun and brought up great conversation!

Join Scott and Wendy at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to have FUN and celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

Register today!

Share your “Cheers to 75 Years” story and we’ll feature it on the CHA Blog leading up to the 2016 CHA MEGA Show! Email marketing@craftandhobby.org, or share it on Twitter using the hashtag, #WeAreCHA.

Meet the Instructor – Trish Hansen

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Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our Workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.

This week, we meet Trish Hansen, who will be teaching Mixing the Media with Hampton Art and DecoArt. Retailers – take Trish’s Workshop to learn make-n-take classes that you can replicate in your store. You’ll use Hampton Art Stamps and Surfaces, and DecoArt Glass Media to create a “stained glass” lantern and a magnetic message board. Plus, you’ll takeaway techniques that you can use to develop additional mixed media class projects for your customers.

TrishHansenTell us a little bit about yourself.

When I was growing up, I was happiest when playing with paints, crayons, paper-mâché, markers, and papers; a day with my hands covered in ink and my face with glitter was always a great one!

I was fortunate enough to take a temporary job in the accounting department at Personal Stamp Exchange 22 years ago. Within a short time I had moved to sales and my “temporary” job lasted until 2003 when the company sold and subsequently closed. I learned the industry from the best in the industry; I learned to organize and instruct workshops from the best as well.

As a sales representative working with independent retailers, I know how important it is to cross merchandise. As a designer and instructor, I understand the benefits of classes that are easy to teach but inspire participants to explore crafting in new ways. It’s been several years since I instructed a class at the CHA MEGA Show, and I’m really looking forward to this one in January!

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

I’ve participated in the Show for over 20 years!

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

Inspiration! I love to see new products and how designers are using them. It’s wonderful to see everyone, and to have the opportunity to share the experience together.

How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?

What better way to learn a product than from the people who developed it or work with it every day? The Show is where you get the tips and tricks that you never learn from how-tos and YouTube videos.

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

We will be using a single medium – one created for glass – on three different surfaces. From this workshop you’ll have three classes to teach in your store, and ideas for a few more (plus access to instructions for them). It is an evening class, so we’ll set it up so you will be able to pick up your kit or stay and complete one or all of the projects, as you desire.

How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?

My classes are fun DIY/home décor/party projects with products that will fit easily into almost any craft store’s merchandise mix. Many crafters are enjoying the freedoms of working in the less structured “mixed media” genre.  While the motif we chose for this class is a simple floral and is structured, there will be plenty of samples using the same surfaces and media to create more fluid art projects. The goal of this workshop is not only to help retailers teach, but to help them SELL.

What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran?

Don’t put yourself in a box. Walk the entire floor with an open mind. If you have a paper craft/scrapbook store, don’t limit yourself to those booths. Visit yarn, bead and art supply booths for ideas on how to enhance your inventory mix. Likewise, if you own a yarn or quilt store, you are sure to find products or ideas that you can apply to your store at other booths. This is your opportunity to see items you may have never considered – think creatively.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

The people – without a doubt.

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

I’m not great at predictions, but I hope to see more local and independently owned stores.  Crafting is tactile as well as visual; the big box and Internet stores have their place, but the best way for people to learn to love crafting is to have access to people who know and love their medium, and who are excited to share it with others.

What do you love most about CHA membership?

I love the CHA MEGA Show and the Member e-Newsletter. CHA provides a vehicle for all of us to communicate and keep up with trends and events in the industry.

Register to take Mixing the Media with Hampton Art and DecoArt and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog this Friday when we will meet Cindy Bisson McGee!

Hot Product Showcase Success Story – Fox Chapel Publishing

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The Hot Product Showcase at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show recognizes outstanding innovation, design and function in consumer craft products. In addition to getting eyed by thousands of buyers, these products are judged by a panel of media, celebrity and industry judges for a chance to earn the prestigious title of the Hot Product Award winner. The panel critiques products submitted in each of eight categories (Bead & Jewelry, Cake & Food Decorating, Fabric & Needle Craft, Floral Craft, General Craft, Kids Craft, Paint & Art, and Paper Craft), and ultimately selects the Hot Product Award winners from each.

foxchapelSo, how does being a Hot Product Award winner make your product hot? Here’s what Ray Wolf, Sales & Business Development at Fox Chapel Publishing, knows. Last year, Trend Books for Kids by Fox Chapel Publishing won the 2015 Hot Product Award for Kids Crafts. HotProductLogoFINAL2016 ol-01

“I can tell you (the Hot Product Award) has helped us in our marketing efforts quite a bit. We have made use of the award in outbound emails; we take it to trade shows and feature it in our booth, and; we have featured it in our literature. We believe it certainly helps to differentiate us from our competition. For others thinking of entering, I would say make sure you have a plan in place in case you win. We were caught a bit by surprise, and it took us a few weeks to begin to integrate the award into our marketing efforts.”

Submit your new craft product or prototype to the 2016 Hot Product Showcase by November 16 for a chance to be the next Trend Books for Kids”. Stay tuned next week for more success stories from our Hot Product Award winners.

ENTER NOW!

Breaking: Duncan Enterprises’ Mark Peters to Retire – Larry Hermansen Named President & COO

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In a news release issued earlier today, CHA Member iLoveToCreate/Duncan Enterprises announced former CHA Board member, Mark Peters, will be retiring after a 20-year career with the company. We congratulate Mark Peters on his retirement and wish him the best.

Duncan Enterprises also announced that Larry Hermansen will transition into the roll as the company’s new President and Chief Operating Officer.

See the complete release listed below.



Duncan Enterprises Names Larry Hermansen President and Chief Operating Officer


Mark Peters to transition responsibilities to Hermansen and retire after a 20-year career at Duncan Enterprises

Fresno, Nov. 5, 2015 – On November 3, Duncan Enterprises welcomed Larry Hermansen as the new President and Chief Operating Officer. In his new role, Hermansen will lead the sales, marketing, new product development, finance, human resources, operations, manufacturing, distribution and infrastructure teams for the company, reporting directly to Larry Duncan, Chairman of Duncan Enterprises.

Hermansen, a Craft and Hobby industry veteran, brings nearly 30 years of leadership expertise to Duncan Enterprises. “Larry has a deep understanding of our industry, sensitivity for best-in-class business practices and cultures and an appreciation for creative consumers and the experiences that can be crafted for them,” said Duncan. “His leadership style is known to be very open and transparent, with clear and direct communication coupled with high trust, recognition and accountability. He is a perfect fit with our culture of high performance and our commitment to make it easy for the consumer to experience creativity.”

“Larry has the strength and ability to drive Duncan Enterprises to stronger and faster growth,” said Peters. “He has an outstanding track record of building businesses.”

Most recently, Hermansen served as the General Manager of E.K.Success Brands in Kansas City, the paper craft division of parent company, Wilton Brands. Prior to Wilton, Hermansen spent 13 years developing and operating two creative consumer products companies that he eventually sold and six years as an owner/partner of Chatterbox LLC with responsibilities for sales & marketing.

“I have a passion for developing and bringing to market products that inspire consumers to be creative,” said Hermansen, “but even more than that, creating a culture and atmosphere in which team members love their work and are motivated to be their best—that’s what really drives me.”

Peters, COO since 2006 and President since 2011, will begin turning over the business units to Hermansen, beginning with the craft, mass and alternate channel businesses, and continuing in 2016 with the ceramic and DIY farm & garden business. Peters will retire to work in the family ranching business but stay involved with Duncan Enterprises as its Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.

About Duncan Enterprises

Duncan Enterprises is a privately-held, family-owned, Fresno, California based company that has led the Ceramic Arts industry since 1946 with the Duncan brand, has been a major leader in the Crafts & DIY industries since 1988 with the Scribbles, Tulip, Aleene’s and Puffy brands doing business as iLoveToCreate and has recently entered the DIY Farm & Garden market in 2014 with the launch of the SummerHawk Ranch brand. As a manufacturing, marketing, sourcing and distribution organization, Duncan Enterprises maintains a solid reputation for excellence in product development, quality, education and health & safety.

Meet the Instructor – Wendy Watson

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Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our Workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.

watsonThis week, we meet Wendy Watson, owner of Wendy’s Red Door Painting Studio and Collectibles and Board President of the Society of Decorative Painters. Take Wendy’s Workshop, Look At My Rooster, to experience the perfect painting party that can be redesigned for your customers. You will learn how to create multiple values and shading with a wet-on-wet technique.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have been involved in art in one way or another for most of my life. Yet, there was a point when I realized that I hadn’t learned the “how to” skills necessary to achieve the desired end products. I discovered the Society of Decorative Painters in 1986 and have been a member ever since. Through the Society and its teaching methods, I finally found creative satisfaction. Whether you are a beginner painter or an advance painter, the Society has something to offer you too.

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

I am a new convert! This will be my third year.

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

I love seeing how new and traditional creative products can be used. I love being around creative people. It really helps motivate me to try new methods and products.

How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?

Most creative people learn best by sight.  The CHA MEGA Show workshops give you a unique opportunity to learn from some of the best in their field. No training is wasted, even if you take away only one small gem from each instructor.

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

My workshop is designed for the non-painter and will teach you some of the basics. You will leave with a better understanding of why so many consumers have a great interest in painting!

How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?

Painting parties have sprung up all over the United States and are attended by all ages. My Workshop design was created with that in mind.

What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran?

As creative people, we require stimulus for continued growth. You may be an artist who has never used paper products in your work or a business professional who has never heard that one idea that could save your business. What better motivation is there than attending a Show filled with product and business ideas? You owe it to yourself and your business to take this opportunity for growth.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

Tough question! Too many things come to mind. If I had to narrow it down, I’d have to say it is the creative people and process that I love best.

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

As more Baby Boomers retire, they are looking for the creative outlet they had to put aside to earn a living. Most of my new painting students are retirees. I also see millennials and younger generations becoming more interested in recreating the creative ways of traditional crafts, making them their own.

What do you love most about CHA membership?

I am a newbie! I love that there is a trade organization that is there to help build and maintain the creative industries.

Register to take Look At My Rooster and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog this Thursday when we meet Gail Green of Gail Green Licensing & Design!

Hot Product Showcase Success Story – Beadalon

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logoThe Hot Product Showcase at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show recognizes outstanding innovation, design and function in consumer craft products. In addition to getting eyed by thousands of buyers, these products are judged by a panel of media, celebrity and industry judges for a chance to earn the prestigious title of the Hot Product Award winner. The panel critiques products submitted in each of eight categories (Bead & Jewelry, Cake & Food Decorating, Fabric & Needle Craft, Floral Craft, General Craft, Kids Craft, Paint & Art, and Paper Craft), and ultimately selects the Hot Product Award winners from each.

So, how does being a Hot Product Award winner make your product hot? Here’s what Yvette Rodriguez, Event Manager & Marketing Coordinator at Beadalon, knows. Last year, Artistic Wire™ 3D Bracelet Jig by Beadalon won the 2015 Hot Product Award for Bead & Jewelry.

IMG_4044“It was a perfect opportunity to have a formal presentation to an influential group in the craft industry. Our company’s goal is to bring innovative products and beading supplies for the DIY jewelry making market in the craft industry, and having the one-on-one time was more valuable than just presenting it in our booth (which can sometimes be overlooked).

‘Hot Product’ is a honorable title to hold! It is a ‘badge’ that we proudly showed off to our wholesale customers and consumers, which helped with communicating that our new product was worth considering.

This program is a great platform where companies can present their innovative products to the industry.”

Submit your new craft product or prototype to the 2016 Hot Product Showcase by November 16 for a chance to be the next Artistic Wire™ 3D Bracelet Jig”. Stay tuned next week for more success stories from our Hot Product Award winners.

ENTER NOW!

Last Chance for Early Bird Hotel Specials at MEGA Show

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Don’t get spooked, but tomorrow is the last day you can take advantage of great early bird hotel rates* if you book with these hotels in CHA’s housing block. And since tomorrow’s Saturday, we highly recommend you book today.

hotel-travel

Hotel Rate
Stanford Inn & Suites $90 single/double
Clarion Hotel Anaheim Resort $99 single/double
Desert Palms Hotel & Suites $102 single/double
The Anabella Hotel $119 single/double
Hotel Indigo Anaheim $119 single/double
Embassy Suites Anaheim South $124 single/double
Hyatt Place at Anaheim $130 single/double

Book your hotel right here!

Be sure to add your hotel rewards number when booking to receive points for your loyalty program.

If you don’t see your preferred hotel available after searching for the dates you need, please contact onPeak at (855) 992-3353, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST or email CHA@onpeak.com.

onPeak is the ONLY official housing company partnered with CHA. Beware of other hotel resellers contacting you soliciting Anaheim hotel room reservations; they are not endorsed by or affiliated with CHA. onPeak is the ONLY housing company that can guarantee your reservation and CHA’s guaranteed low rates. CHA advises all participants not to book through these other companies and to contact us if someone approaches you. Please email awilliams@craftandhobby.org if you are solicited by someone other than onPeak, LLC.

*RATES DO NOT INCLUDE TAXES AND/OR ANY OTHER APPLICABLE HOTEL FEES. PARKING FEES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Cheers to 75 Years: Celebrating Linda Swingle

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To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are profiling our members and sharing their stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.

lindaswingleAs an entrepreneur and professional artist, Linda enjoys a professional journey filled with unlimited possibilities while working with the finest clientele and companies spanning the globe. She is the President of Linda Swingle Professional Art Services, and also serves as Editor and Columnist of the CHA Designer Section Trends Report.

How long have you been a CHA Member?

I first became a CHA Member in 2006 and continued with the membership until 2008. Life presented different plans in 2009, but in 2010 I renewed membership. Renewing my membership was the best move I made for multiple reasons. My journey with CHA continues to be an enjoyable one!

What’s the best thing about being a CHA Member?

As a CHA Designer Member, I enjoy close ties with designers, manufacturers, artisans and craft enthusiasts: all whom I consider my circle of creative homies! Volunteering and serving on CHA Committees provide tremendous opportunities for personal growth and development, in addition to benefits gained through business association. Serving as the Lead and Editor of the CHA Designer Section Trends Committee’s Trends Report brings tremendous joy to my creative soul. Combining a passion for art, writing, and a love for people is a remarkable experience, and it all started through volunteering as a contributing reporter back in 2013. Five years ago, I truly had no idea of the possibilities compared to what I now know.

LSPhoto20122Why do you love attending the CHA MEGA Show?

Oh my goodness! I can revert to fun times experienced during childhood while messing around with art and craft supplies – except this time, without being yelled at! Seriously, where else can one have so much fun? Playing with new products during the CHA MEGA Show beats playing at Disneyland any day of the week! I like to refer to the CHA MEGA Show as the “Cathedral of Creativity” . . . the inner sanctum of endless possibilities if you will!

What is your most memorable CHA Show story?

Honestly, singling out a favorite is a bit difficult due to the treasure trove of fond memories collected thanks to CHA. I would say exhibiting for the first time as a new CHA Designer Member in 2011 and participating in the Designer Showcase was an extremely enjoyable experience. The first Show opened doors as well as opened my eyes to the tremendous opportunities ahead! A funny story relating to a particular make-n-take always makes me chuckle. While participating during a quick painting class held on the Show floor, as I sat and applied techniques taught, the owner of the company, a kindly gentleman, leaned over and asked if I had ever enrolled in painting classes prior to that day. Sheepishly, I stated that I had not. He quickly commented how impressed he was by the natural talent possessed. After completing a quick painted rendition of a snow-capped mountain, the man took me aside to encourage me to pursue training as a painter and asked that I stay in touch with him. At that point, it was impossible to hold back a giggle as I handed him my business card with images of murals painted professionally for commercial installations. That day, we both enjoyed a good laugh, and yes, despite the teasing, the kind man and I remain friends!

Join Linda in the seminar, CRAFTING TRENDS: What’s In and Hot For 2016 & Beyond, at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to have FUN and celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

Register today!

Share your “Cheers to 75 Years” story and we’ll feature it on the CHA Blog leading up to the 2016 CHA MEGA Show! Email marketing@craftandhobby.org, or share it on Twitter using the hashtag, #WeAreCHA.

Celebrating 75 Years of Creativity with Fiskars

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CHA teamed up with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to pinpoint Places of Invention in the creative arts and craft industry. To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are sharing our members’ stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.

Fiskars revolutionized scissors with the launch of the world’s first plastic-handled scissors in 1967. The now-iconic Original Orange-Handled Scissors improved ergonomics and provided a high-quality option at an affordable price, making the everyday tool more easily accessible for everyone.

fiskars

Join us and Fiskars in booth 2745 in Anaheim for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

Read Fiskars’s full story.

“Meet the Instructor” Blog Series: Donna Salazar

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Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our Workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.

This week, we meet Donna Salazar! Take on Donna’s Workshop with Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®, Girlie Grunge Mixed Media Canvas, and create an amazing mixed media canvas masterpiece. You’ll explore new techniques using new products in adhesives and discover Donna’s signature “Girlie Grunge” look.

Watch this video to get more information about Donna’s Workshop and her favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show!

donna salazar

Register to take Girlie Grunge Mixed Media Canvas and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog next week when we meet Wendy Watson!

Sing your way to the CHA MEGA Show: Lip Sync Battle Contest

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Submit your lip sync video of the official CHA MEGA Show song by November 30 for your chance to win one fabulous grand prize!

LipSync 810x300How to enter:

Step 1: Watch our lip sync video.

lipsync

Step 2: Download the song.

Step 3: Learn the lyrics.

(T-Rhythm)

Yeah! The CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show

The 75th Anniversary let’s go!

It’s coming up fast,

we’re counting down the days…

The best annual trade show in every way!

So come on down and enjoy the fun,

Celebrate the 75th with everyone!

Swing by the website to learn more…

chamegashow.org!

Step 4: Record a video with just you or a group. Make it fun. Make it crafty. Make it YOURS!

Step 5: Submit your video to marketing@craftandhobby.org.

One lucky winner will receive:

2 x tickets to Disneyland
$100 AMEX gift card

PLUS!
The winning video will be played at the Keynote Presentation at the CHA MEGA Show!

Good luck! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Hot Product Showcase Success Story – Sizzix/Ellison

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hotprodsThe Hot Product Showcase at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show recognizes outstanding innovation, design and function in consumer craft products. In addition to getting eyed by thousands of buyers, these products are judged by a panel of media, celebrity and industry judges for a chance to earn the prestigious title of the Hot Product Award winner. The panel critiques products submitted in each of eight categories (Bead & Jewelry, Cake & Food Decorating, Fabric & Needle Craft, Floral Craft, General Craft, Kids Craft, Paint & Art, and Paper Craft), and ultimately selects the Hot Product Award winners from each.

SizzixInksheetsSo, how does being a Hot Product Award winner make your product hot? Here’s what Cara Mariano, Art Director at Sizzix/Ellison, knows. Last year, Sizzix Inksheets by Sizzix/Ellison won the 2015 Hot Product Award for Paper Crafts.

“We entered the Hot Product Awards because we felt our Sizzix Inksheets complement our entire Sizzix product line and allow consumers to craft creative, inspiring projects.

We’re thrilled to have been recognized for product ingenuity and to have our Inksheets flying off the shelves! Due to growing consumer demand, we are releasing three new colors this fall and will continue to add additional color options.

The Hot Product Awards serves as a great platform for manufacturers to have their product seen by key market people including social media bloggers and major retail chains, which can result in fantastic opportunities!”

Submit your new craft product or prototype to the 2016 Hot Product Showcase by November 16 for a chance to be the next Sizzix Inksheets”. Stay tuned next week for more success stories from our Hot Product Award winners.

ENTER NOW!

Straight from the Bloggers – the Benefits of CHA Blogger Membership

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Bloggers play a critical role in creating awareness in any industry. The craft industry is no exception. That’s one of the main reasons why CHA created a membership for craft bloggers.

CHA Blogger Members receive all of the benefits that come with CHA Membership. How does that aid their businesses? We asked a few bloggers that question. Here’s what they said.

Nancy_Nally_profile1“I advocated strongly for the creation of a new membership category to serve the craft industry’s online publishers. Being a CHA Blogger Member gives me access to the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, networking groups, webinars, and information that CHA provides, all of which are important to my ability to succeed. But perhaps even more important is that being a member gives me and other bloggers a voice in the future direction of the Association,
and through that, the future of the craft industry.”
-Nancy Nally, Scrapbook Update

Bettijo B. Hirschi“Being a member of CHA helps keep our blog fresh and exciting. PagingSupermom.com features a lot of kids craft and DIY home décor ideas. We have found that being members of CHA and attending the CHA MEGA Show allows us to develop productive working relationships with our favorite crafting brands and to see the emerging trends in crafts. We also love to be among the first to see and experiment with new products. As crafting innovators, things can seem to get stale quickly and it can sometimes feel hard to come up with something new and creative; we always come away from the CHA Show inspired
and ready to create.”
– Bettijo B. Hirschi, PagingSupermom.com

Niki-Meiners_web“Being a CHA Designer and Blogger has given me the best of both worlds. As technology started to become more prevalent in the craft industry, I knew I needed to be a part of the change. About seven years ago, I started a personal blog and incorporated some of my designer work into it. Manufacturers liked having an extra outlet to showcase their newest products and I liked working with them. As requests for blog posts and creating content for specific companies became the norm, I decided I should build a website; www.365DaysofCrafts.com was my brand. My blog gives me an outlet to demonstrate all facets of my art, as well as my technology, marketing and public relations skills. I actively create projects for manufacturers for both their sites and mine. Plus, I consult several manufacturers on digital public relations and social media management. My involvement in CHA aided with me forming many of these relations. It helped me create 365 Days of Crafts, which has grown to have a very loyal audience who loves crafts and always come back for more.”
– Niki Meiners, www.365DaysofCrafts.com

Join CHA to amplify your voice in the craft industry, and attend the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show for free. Join online today!

Celebrating 75 Years of Creativity with Carol Foldvary-Anderson

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To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are profiling our members and sharing their stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.

caroledited

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I began creating art at a very young age and was recognized early as a creative thinker. My background and first love was drawing and coloring, and later painting. I also enjoy thinking in 3-D and working in wood, metal and beads, and sculpting with paper! I have had the opportunity to have produced several public works of art in my career. I enjoy teaching and creating things of beauty. I find joy in sharing my experience in working with different mediums with my students in the many classes/workshops I offer.

carolcicleWhat’s the best thing about being a CHA Member?

I believe we are here to grow, share and make a difference in the world and in other peoples’ lives. Being a CHA Designer Member has been my vehicle for creating, sharing, teaching and producing art that sells. I have grown my business and watched designers move forward with their careers. It is rewarding to see their success and to have peers that support you and your efforts of involvement in the industry.

What is your most memorable CHA Show story?

Years ago, I met a CHA Member manufacturer/distributor who noticed my oil pastel works. It was at that time I realized I had something of value to contribute to education and the arts. Over the next few years, I developed a team of arts and craft product co-sponsors and presented OIL PASTEL SMUDGE to the craft and hobby industry.

I see the application of OIL PASTEL SMUDGE fitting into the emerging trend of mixed media – layering different mediums, and in the use on new and different surfaces.

Carol Foldvary-Anderson - collage 2Why do you love attending the CHA MEGA Show? Last year was the first year my 28 year old daughter was able to attend the Conference. I was ecstatic to finally share the experience with her. Her exact words were, “This place is like a craft store on steroids!”

I remember the very first Show I attended – I was on overload. I was so excited to be in a place that wherever you looked you saw all the products and materials you worked with every day. I was excited to be a part of the industry where I could share my work, ideas and art. That’s why I love attending.

Carol Foldvary-Anderson - collage 3

Join us and Carol Foldvary-Anderson in her workshop, Oil Pastel Smudge, in Anaheim for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

Register today!

Share your “Cheers to 75 Years” story and we’ll feature it on the CHA Blog leading up to the 2016 CHA MEGA Show! Email marketing@craftandhobby.org, or share it on Twitter using the hashtag, #WeAreCHA.

Watch Carol’s video on the OIL PASTEL SMUDGE technique:

CAROLVIDIMAGE

Hot Product Showcase Success Story – FABRIC ELEMENTS

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hotprodsThe Hot Product Showcase at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show recognizes outstanding innovation, design and function in consumer craft products. In addition to getting eyed by thousands of buyers, these products are judged by a panel of media, celebrity and industry judges for a chance to earn the prestigious title of the Hot Product Award winner. The panel critiques products submitted in each of eight categories (Bead & Jewelry, Cake & Food Decorating, Fabric & Needle Craft, Floral Craft, General Craft, Kids Craft, Paint & Art, and Paper Craft), and ultimately selects the Hot Product Award winners from each.

fabriceditionsSo, how does being a Hot Product Award winner make your product hot? Here’s what Libby Brooks, National Sales Manager at Fabric Editions, Inc., knows. Last year, FABRIC ELEMENTS by Fabric Editions, Inc. won the 2015 Hot Product Award for Fabric & Needle Crafts.

“2015 was our second year exhibiting at the CHA MEGA Show; we had been working on a new program with a licensed designer Rebekah Meier, so we were very excited about the mixed media program using fabric called Fabric Elements. We felt that is what CHA is all about, showing stores how to combine product they already have with other products.

We knew we had a product that no one else had seen or heard of before, so we entered it into the Hot Product Award competition. We saw this as a chance to validate our excitement by getting an early pulse on what the market would say about the program. We have had great success with the program. We have placed SKU’s in three large chain stores and several independent retail stores. It has also challenged us internally to meet the bar of the success of Fabric Elements. With each new program we create we ask ourselves if this is worthy of entry into the Hot Product Award competition. (And yes, we will be entering again this year!)

Store owners and chain store buyers go to CHA to see what’s new! What better opportunity to show off a new product than in the Hot Products program. We know we never miss that section of the Show, and often busy buyers go there first! As part of the finalist round, we got to meet new designers and other manufacturers that had great new products. It gives you an opportunity to build new relationships with others whose products are different than yours. It is also a great kick-start to conversations in any sales setting to say that we were the winner of the award in 2015.”

Submit your new craft product or prototype to the 2016 Hot Product Showcase by November 16 for a chance to be the next FABRIC ELEMENTS”. Stay tuned next week for more success stories from our Hot Product Award winners.

ENTER NOW!

Cheers to 75 Years Celebrating 75 Years of Creativity with Jill MacKay

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To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are profiling our members and sharing their stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.

jillmac

Jill MacKay is an accomplished designer, author and consultant. Her genuine enthusiasm, combined with over 25 years creative work experience makes Jill one of the most skilled, diversified and sought after designers working in the creative industries today. Jill is best known for having been the jewelry designer for the daytime drama: The Guiding Light, and for her past work on Paramount Studio’s, Star Trek: The Next Generation. In addition, Jill is the woman behind Liteseeds LED Stickers, which are stickers that crafters can use to add illumination to paper crafting, scrapbooking, paper computing and many other types of projects. The Jill MacKay brand continues to evolve and charm the jewelry makers and buyers of the industry. MacKay’s jewelry currently sells in over 2,000 stores internationally, on television, and online.

How long have you been a CHA Member?jill4

I have been a CHA member since 1992.

What’s the best thing about being a CHA Member?

The best thing about being a CHA member is the home I have found. I used to design for Hollywood types and it wasn’t at all for me; the people weren’t very down to Earth. When I attended my first CHA Show, everyone was so on my wavelength. The genuine quality of the people struck me in the way that I knew I had found a home, and I have been here ever since! The quality of people in our industry is amazing, and I have made good friends with many along the way with CHA.

Why do you love attending the CHA MEGA Show?

Jill2I love attending CHA Shows because it is so exciting to see all the new products, watch what is evolving, understand how the market changes from year to year, and, of course, spend a little time with all my old friends.

What is your most memorable CHA Show story?

Every year is special because the Show is the only time I get to see some of the people I love from CHA. So, our time together is precious. When the Show was in Las Vegas, every day the Jill3
Show would let out and there was a very long line (what seemed like a mile long as there were never enough taxis). Well, I am not very good at waiting. While approaching the taxi line one evening, I glanced over and saw this young man standing in front of a party bus. I ran over and asked him how many people I would need to rent it, and then I ran back and gathered up that many friends. In a matter of minutes we were off and no more waiting! We hopped on that bus and felt like we had just gotten away jill1with something; we were laughing and had so much fun!  Oh my gosh – I cannot tell you how hard we laughed! We took turns pretending that we knew what that pole in the back was for (wink, wink)! As I recall, that same night some of us from the bus ride had dinner together; we were having so much fun at dinner that perfect strangers came up and asked if they could join our table because they wanted to have as much fun as we were having!! At CHA, we know how to work hard all day, and have fun (on the way to) and over dinner!

Join us and Jill in the workshop, Inspire, Imagine and Create Leather Jewelry with Sizzix, at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to have FUN and celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

Register today!

Share your “Cheers to 75 Years” story and we’ll feature it on the CHA Blog leading up to the 2016 CHA MEGA Show! Email marketing@craftandhobby.org, or share it on Twitter using the hashtag, #WeAreCHA.



Celebrating 75 Years of Creativity with Liteseeds LED Stickers

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liteseedCHA teamed up with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to pinpoint Places of Invention in the creative arts and craft industry. To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are sharing our members’ stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.

Jill MacKay had been working with a group of developers to prototype conductive paint and ink. Making simple circuits by drawing and painting instead of using wires – Brilliant! Jill could see many applications for it in the craft industry, and decided that there needed to be an LED sticker to go with it. A year later, Liteseeds LED Stickers were born.

Join us, Jill MacKay and Sizzix in the workshop, Inspire, Image and Create Leather Jewelry with Sizzix, in Anaheim for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

Read Jill’s full story.

Meet the Instructor: Meet Marie Browning

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Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our Workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.

CHA Instructor

This week, we meet Marie Browning of Tombow! Marie will be teaching Custom Lettering Decorations for the Perfect Party. After taking her Workshop, you will be able to educate your customers on how to personalize their next party using tips, techniques and Tombow products!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a consummate craft designer who lives on Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island in Canada, and has made a career of designing products, writing books and articles, and teaching.

As a bestselling author, I have written numerous books with over three million in print and reprinted in nine different languages. I became a Certified Zentangle Teacher in October 2010. I am also the author of Time to Tangle with Colors, the first book on coloring Zentangles published by Design Originals, and contributor to the book Joy of Zentangle.

In addition, I am a Creative Consultant, assisting manufacturers in developing innovative products and identifying new ways to market their products to the craft consumer. I teach classes, demonstrate at trade shows as well as appear on TV and in videos. Currently, I am the Signature Designer for American Tombow.

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?
I’ve been attending CHA Shows since 1999, before they were CHA but rather Hobby Industry Association (HIA) Shows. Since then, I have missed only two Shows.

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?
My favorite part is dealing directly with clients and other participants. I also love seeing and catching up with all of the friends I’ve made over the years.

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?
I design my workshops to be energizing, informative and inspiring. Plus, I make sure there’s lots of swag so attendees don’t go home empty handed!

How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?
This year my workshop is on trend with two growing areas of craft; a party theme with creative lettering using Tombow’s Dual Brush Pens; and drawing with pencils and colored pencils. Both of these trends are huge, especially with many scrapbook paper manufactures branching out into the party and art market.  At a recent show, I asked everyone who stopped by the Tombow booth what they thought the emerging trend is right now and almost everyone said ‘hand lettering’.

What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran?
Come with enthusiasm and a smile, and be open to absorb everything. Oh, and wear comfortable shoes.

What do you love most about the creative industry?
The people. I love how everyone shares in this industry. I love to surround myself with all the creative professionals at the Show!

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?
We may face some growing pains with new technology; however, technology will never replace the value of face-to-face meetings, an in-person workshop, or meeting new, enthusiastic store owners on the Show floor.

Register to take Marie’s Workshop on Friday, January 8, 2016, and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog next week when we meet CHA member and instructor Seth Apter!

What’s the big deal about the Hot Product Showcase?

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hotprods
Dreaming up the next big product is no walk in the park. And once you do, your job only gets harder. You need to get buy-in, manufacture it and then bring it to market only to hope it flies off shelves. You don’t need us to tell you it’s a lot of work. However, you should listen to us when we tell you about a program that can help take your craft product to the next level.

hotprodsThe Hot Product Showcase at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show recognizes outstanding innovation, design and function in consumer craft products. In addition to getting eyed by thousands of buyers, these products are judged by a panel of media, celebrity and industry judges for a chance to earn the prestigious title of the Hot Product Award winner. The panel critiques products submitted in each of eight categories (Bead & Jewelry, Cake & Food Decorating, Fabric & Needle Craft, Floral Craft, General Craft, Kids Craft, Paint & Art, and Paper Craft), and ultimately the Hot Product Award winners.

Hazel&Ruby_DIYDecorTape
So, how does being a Hot Product Award winner make your product hot?
Here’s what Lindsay Moore, VP of Sales at Hazel & Ruby, knows. Last year, DIY Décor Tape by Hazel & Ruby won the 2015 Hot Product Award for General Crafts, one of the most competitive product categories.

Kudos to the CHA staff for putting on such a great event. It was all first class. Having not participated in the past, we didn’t realize how important this was to our company and our industry. 

 Immediately after we were announced as a winner, our peers were so gracious about congratulating or complementing us on our achievement. Everyone was very kind and supportive. Competing manufacturers and retailers alike, took the time to stop and visit. We love this industry because of the people in it. Whether it’s the retailers, other manufacturers, the CHA staff, or sales reps. We are all rooting for each other and this is something we experienced firsthand. Make no mistake, we cheered for every manufacturer nominated as a finalist. We are some of their biggest fans. It takes a village to raise and keep a vibrant craft industry.

 Being a relatively new brand, trying to capitalize on a new growing trend, this event was something that helped give us credibility and validation for the vision of our company. Being a finalist opened doors that we believe would have taken nothing short of a miracle to happen on our own. We met wonderful, new retailers that we attribute directly to participating in this event.

 This event is needed for new companies and companies that have been around for a while to help grow the industry. I would encourage anyone and everyone in this industry to experience it. It’s a no risk, high-high reward situation.”

Submit your new craft product or prototype to the 2016 Hot Product Showcase by November 16 for a chance to be the next “DIY Décor Tape”.  Stay tuned next week for more success stories from our Hot Product Award winners. 

ENTER NOW!

Cheers to 75 Years Celebrating 75 Years of Creativity with ICE Resin®

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To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are sharing our members’ stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.

MYNAMEISMaster silversmith and mixed media artist Susan Lenart Kazmer developed a jeweler’s grade resin for the use in art jewelry in 2006. She brought it to market in 2007 and sold out of her new signature product in less than an hour. Today, artists and professional jewelers from all over the world use ICE Resin® to create their unique art pieces because of its crystal clear and glasslike finish.

How long have you been a CHA Member?

My company, Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin®, has been a member of CHA since 2010.

SLKnewbiopicWhat’s the best thing about being a CHA Member?

It’s been very eye opening for me to see the big business of crafts and the opportunity to work with so many different levels of people in one place. Through CHA, I’ve been able to work with designers, sales reps, buyers, independent store owners, industry consultants, CEOs and presidents of other companies, as well as various CHA staff members. Exhibiting and teaching at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show has definitely helped grow my company into a much larger organization. The networking and authentic connections I’ve made from the annual Shows has contributed to my company’s success.

Why do you love attending the CHA MEGA Show?

I’ve had the opportunity to teach my products, demo my products and connect with people both in the United States and internationally, year after year. This has helped me grow a truly global business. I look forward every year to personally reconnecting with the people who are moving and shaking, and getting products manufactured and sold in the industry. I’m really excited about this new opportunity of working hand-in-hand with Ranger Industries to debut my new product line of really exciting pieces, parts and elements that work with ICE Resin®. I think the artists and makers are going to love the new ideas and looks they are going to be able to do with ICE Resin®.

What is your most memorable CHA Show story?

One of the most rewarding parts of the CHA MEGA Show is, with the addition of the artisan workshops, I’ve been able to bring my studio style of teaching that I’ve done nationally and internationally for the past 15 years into the craft industry workshop format. It’s been so impressive for me to see my students grow in their ICE Resin® work year after year. They wear their jewelry to the Show, they bring it to my classes and they show up at our booth excited to share their passion for our products. I love it.

One of the other memorable parts of the Show every year is that I always get to connect in person with many members of my design team. We always go to Buco di Beppo for a team building dinner where we just relax, have fun, and enjoy each other’s company. It’s a tradition to wear fake mustaches when we walk into the restaurant and to share them with our waiters. One year, we even had a little extra fun going ‘stash crazy’ in the Pope room. We returned the next year only to have the same waiter still sporting his mustache on his leather order-taking book, so it must have been memorable for him too. It’s nice to unwind after long and busy days of doing business on the Show floor.

Join us, Susan, ICE Resin® and Ranger Industries in the workshop, Transparent Text with Susan Lenart Kazmer, at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

Register today!

 Share your “Cheers to 75 Years” story and we’ll feature it on the CHA Blog leading up to the 2016 CHA MEGA Show! Email marketing@craftandhobby.org, or share it on Twitter using the hashtag, #WeAreCHA.

“Meet the Instructor” Blog Series: Meet Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

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Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our Workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.

julie fei fan

This week, we are kicking off the “Meet the Instructor” blog series by meeting Julie Fei-Fan Balzer! Julie has attended the CHA MEGA Show as a buyer, sales person, demo artist, designer and exhibitor. This year, she’ll be attending as your instructor for Beautiful Boxes, sponsored by Brother International Corporation.  In this Workshop, you will explore the ScanNCut 2, the world’s only electronic cutter with a built-in scanner, and learn to make mixed media boxes that will look great on display at your store.

Watch this video to get more information about this Workshop, plus Julie’s seasoned advice for attending the CHA MEGA Show!

Celebrating 75 Years of Creativity with Momenta

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momentsa

CHA teamed up with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to pinpoint Places of Invention in the creative arts and craft industry. To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are sharing our members’ stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.

Judith Joyce was an avid stenciler and the owner of American Traditional Stencils, a Northwood, NH based craft supplier whose products were sold in over 4,000 retail stores in the United States. In 1981, she invented a process for laser-cutting Mylar® film to create stencils for home decorating. As a result of this invention, American Traditional Stencils became the leader in laser-cut stencils selling millions of stencils over the next decade, and helped a generation of crafters stencil their homes, furniture and clothes. Today, the company is Momenta, and continues to sell laser-cut stencils.

Join us and Momenta in booth 821 in Anaheim for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

Read Momenta’s full story.

Celebrating 75 Years of Creativity with Faber-Castell

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CHA teamed up with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to pinpoint Places of Invention in the creative arts and craft industry. To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are sharing our members’ stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.

Take a trip down memory lane with Faber-Castell and learn how its Texture Cards for Design Memory Craft allow creative people to simply be even more creative.

Join us and Faber-Castell in booth 2701 in Anaheim for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

FaberCastell

 

Meet the Webinar Host

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JoeRotella_400x400Meet Joe Rotella of Delphia Consulting. Register to attend his webinar, Hosting and Marketing a Special Event, live on September 30, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST, at no additional cost to your CHA membership.

Professional Experience

My professional focus has been on the user experience with new technology since I started my career in the early 1980s, working on the first PCs developed by IBM. After a distinguished career at Bell Labs, I became an Officer at Delphia Consulting. I now serve as Delphia’s Chief Marketing Officer and lead its Internet marketing practice.

I’ve also been a designer for as long as I can remember. My mother started my family on crafting. She crocheted, and when she brought home a Brother knitting machine, I was fascinated. Soon enough I was creating designs from christening dresses to ski wear. I’ve dabbled in macramé, string art and latch hooked rugs when they were hot in the 70’s. Now, at 50 years old, my eyes are on paper crafting. My work has appeared in Scrap & Stamp Arts, Just Steampunk! and Somerset Studio Gallery magazines. Also, I filmed a segment of Crafting at the Spotted Canary, hosted by Joy Macdonell, in 2011, and many segments for Scrapbook Soup TV.

Biggest Problem My Clients Face

Competition for audience share in the craft and hobby space is getting fierce. As parts of the industry consolidate, the pressure to get customers – like visitors to your site, readers to your blog or customers for your products, is growing. My clients are typically small independent stores or professional crafters that are looking for creative ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. Their resources are limited and they are looking for the biggest bang for their investment.

Why Should Business Owners Attend This Webinar

Special events can be a great way to attract new customers, retain existing customers and reinforce your brand. The challenge is learning how to market your event to attract attendees and them give them a “Wow!” experience so they will come back – and bring their friends! By investing an hour in this webinar, you’ll learn about the benefits of hosting events – demonstration, classes, workshops, trunk shows – get tips on how to do it well and hear ideas to make your events special.

CHA Webinars feature top speakers and leaders sharing tips, resources and solutions for today’s business world. CHA members have unlimited access to webinars for no additional cost to their dues. Visit www.craftandhobby.org to learn more about CHA education programs and membership.

Importance of Volunteering on a Board

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By Mike Hartnett

Industry Awards- Mike HartnettI became aware of HIA, CHA’s predecessor, in 1979 when I was hired as Assistant Editor for an industry trade magazine, Profitable Craft Merchandising. I had no idea what a trade association was or what it did.

I quickly realized how important a trade association is to the success of its members and industry. It provides a venue for members to conduct business (trade shows); educates its members (seminars and webinars); and is the industry’s public relations arm (awareness). If I care about my readers’ success, I better help HIA.

As time went by, I served on various committees, and then on the HIA Board; I followed that by serving on ACCI (another CHA predecessor) committees and the Board. Finally, I served on the CHA Board.

Why did I spend so much time doing all this? Looking back, it was the best investment of my time in the industry. Here’s why:

If you’re on a committee, you can make real changes. For example, years ago, CHA MEGA Show exhibitors of a certain type were not scheduled together in one area of the Show floor. Why? Major Paint Company A did not want the booth to be anywhere near Major Paint Company B. Finally, retailers got together and complained to the Trade Show committee, whose members recommended a change, which the Board approved. So, now the Show has sections and the paint buyer doesn’t have to walk two miles to see three particular exhibitors.

When I was on the HIA Board, designers formed a committee and petitioned the Board for money to produce a pamphlet listing all of the freelance designers’ contact information and areas of expertise. That never would have occurred to me (because Board members and the staff aren’t mind-readers) if not for that committee; it was a great idea. Often new manufacturers have a product, but don’t know any designers who could create projects for them. The brochure helped both manufacturers and designers, yet it never would have existed without input from members.

The time required for serving on a committee is not much. Usually, there is a meeting at the Show and a few conference calls each year.

As for serving on the Board, you get a much broader view of the industry and how it works. It’s truly a revelation. If you’re a retailer, you’re focused like a laser beam on your business – as the overall industry continues to change all around you. The same is true if you’re a manufacturer, publisher, importer, designer or distributor. It’s so intellectually stimulating to focus your brain on a broader picture for a change.

More time is required – two weekend Board meetings a year; however, even that extra commitment is worth it because of the wonderful friendships you make with fellow Board and staff members.

Truly, serving on committees and/or the Board is well worth it.

Meet the Webinar Host

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S125 Tammy Browning-SmithMeet Tammy Browning-Smith of Browning-Smith PC Law Firm. Register to attend her webinar, Legal Tips On Using Social Media For Contests & Giveaways, live on September 16, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST, at no additional cost to your CHA membership.

Tell us a little bit about your professional experience.
The Browning-Smith PC Law Firm is honored to say that it has been working with those who create since 2000, and exclusively with those who create and innovate for the past 10 years. There probably isn’t one type of art, hobby or craft that we have not worked with in some manner. While representing clients of all sizes, we enjoy working as a team with our clients to help them anticipate and address situations before they become problems. Our firm handles business needs relating to copyright, trademark, cyberlaw and licensing.

What is the biggest problem your clients face?
The biggest issue facing our niche clientele remains anticipation. It is a challenge to both create and anticipate the problems a business could encounter.

Why should business owners attend your webinar?
This short and information-packed webinar will give attendees checklists and guidelines for utilizing new and expanding avenues for marketing – online promotions, giveaways, contests and prizes. This “win a prize” marketing strategy is wildly successful! However, businesses need to be aware of the requirements and concerns raised by this strategy.

CHA Webinars feature top speakers and leaders sharing tips, resources and solutions for today’s business world. CHA members have unlimited access to webinars for no additional cost to their dues. Visit www.craftandhobby.org to learn more about CHA education programs and membership.

Part Two: Expanding Our Creative Toolbox and Our Horizons by Carmen Flores Tanis

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Our Craft Industry Today Fall 2015 issue explored new technologies that CHA members using to add value to their business success. Carmen Flores Tanis sat down with a few more CHA members to learn the innovative approaches they are taking to turn their ideas into tangible products.

The Value of Prototyping
Build It Workspace interior by Carmen Flores Tanis
One of the beauties of print on demand is the ability to test a design before committing to print two, three or 100 items. Did you know this prototyping process is available on other kinds of machines? Catherine Lengsfeld of Build It Workspace uses an electronic die cutter to test designs for wedding favors before having them turned into steel rule dies for her traditional hand-cranked die cutting machine. Electronic plotter and vinyl die cutters, common tools of the trade for sign and banner shops, have shrunk in size and have been adapted to cut fabric and cork, in addition to vinyl and paper materials, and even engrave metal. Lengsfeld explains that while the digital die cutter is not meant for high rate production, it works beautifully for prototyping designs, which can then be mass produced on a different machine.

Lisa Elston, Product Manager at Ellison/Sizzix, is very involved with STEAM education programs and  agrees with the importance of prototyping. (STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, a movement championing the integration of creative skills with scientific thinking in school and business environments.)  Elston explains that this ability to try ideas with electronic die cutters allows students to make mistakes and apply what they learn to subsequent design variations. “Students are able to create ideas faster and with fewer issues and problems.”

Manufacturing at Home
Rob Bostick of  JudiKins uses his laser cutting machine for a different purpose. Up until recently, Bostick would design stencils using the graphics program Illustrator. He would import his design into a Sizzix eclips electronic die cutting machine for testing. Once he was happy with it he would send it to a vendor who would then manufacture the plastic stencils for him in large quantities. That all changed when his vendor upped the prices.

After doing the math, Bostick decided to purchase his own laser cutting machine. In one fell swoop, Bostick changed his workflow and became the manufacturer for  the JudiKins line of plastic stencils. “The biggest problem was running the minimums,” says Bostick. “Doing the manufacturing in-house allows us to create new products on the fly. We can dream of something, design it, make it, test market it and not have to worry about putting a lot of investment into having one stencil made up. We can make just one or 20 to take to a show.”

Bostick says, “When it comes to designs, you really have no clue how they are going to sell until you get out in the marketplace. Now we can make really short runs to test the market. Then we can invest more in the designs that sell. It helps us to create more images faster and to try different designs easily.”

Customization
Laser engraved pumpkin by Catherine Lengsfeld

Designer Tracy Alden is a master of mold making and resin casting. Although these materials are not new, they are resurging in popularity. Alden works with curators to make replicas of pieces for small museums and underprivileged groups that cannot afford to travel and view the original artwork. As a member of the Alumite design team, Alden starts her projects by sculpting an original work out of polymer clay or non-drying artisan clay. From the original, she casts a mold that she can then fill with any number of materials – plaster, clay, resin, paper maché, or even chocolate!

For her jewelry pieces, Alden casts between 20 to 100 pieces for a particular mold and makes each one slightly different through the careful use of inclusions, such as glitter and leaves. “It’s a simple way to customize and make one-of-a-kind pieces,” says Alden. I take personal pride in being able to mold my own creations and in pushing the boundaries of the materials. And there has to be a joy in what you’re doing. Then you’ll feel encouraged to make more and that means more sales and more money.”

Missed “Part One” of this series? Download the digital version of Craft Industry Today Fall 2015 to read learn about more technologies, including print on demand, screen printing and more.

Meet the Webinar Host

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Meet David Mehlman of MadeClose. Register to attend his webinar, Connecting To & Growing Your Target Audience, live on September 9, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST, at no additional cost to your CHA membership.

Tell us a little bit about your professional experience.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Lehigh University, I began a career in finance at Sanford C. Bernstein as a sell-side equity research analyst covering the U.S. beverages, U.S. regional banks and U.S. semiconductors sectors. After Bernstein, I transitioned to the buy side, where I was an analyst at Eminence Capital, a multi-billion-dollar equity hedge fund.

Why did you start your business, MadeClose?

I always had the entrepreneurial “itch”. So, I teamed up with a few of my good friends to start an organization with the mission to become the leader in the conscious consumerism movement, and to educate people to make better and more informed purchase decisions. Soon enough, MadeClose was born.

Why should business owners attend your webinar, Connecting To & Growing Your Target Audience?

Business owners will have a better understanding of and a strong commitment to their company’s mission. Investing time in building your brand identity, and sticking to it, is what helps find and grow a loyal customer base.

CHA Webinars feature top speakers and leaders sharing tips, resources and solutions for today’s business world. CHA members have unlimited access to webinars for no additional cost to their dues. Visit www.craftandhobby.org to learn more about CHA education programs and membership.

CHA: “Not just an expense, but an investment well made”

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Not just an expense, but an investment well made, as we continuously see the value when we meet new potential national and international customers at the Show.
– Sonia Viteri, Tombow

The 2016 CHA MEGA Show is a big expense if you’re not a member of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA). Whether you’re exhibiting or not, Non-Members pay more to be at the largest craft industry event in North America.
IMG_3476The CHA MEGA Show is the only trade event of its kind in North America, bringing together the global creative and craft industries to conduct business. Buyers from these categories, who represent over 35,000 storefronts and 55 countries, will be at our Show in January.

  • Art materials
  • Business services
  • Containers & storage
  • Digital craft
  • Furniture & lighting
  • Home décor, DIY & framing
  • Holiday & seasonal
  • Instructional channels
  • Jewelry & bead
  • Kids crafts & kits
  • Leather & metal crafts
  • Models, hobbies, collectibles
  • Needlecrafts, sewing & textiles
  • Paper crafts
  • Woodworking & more!

Join CHA and receive a better return on your investment. You’ll save 40% on booth and badge prices! When you exhibit, you will receive a 10’X10’ booth where you can demonstrate and sell your new products to our buyers, plus four badges to walk the Show floor.

In addition to incredible savings, CHA membership will give you access to:

  • Webinars for no additional cost to your dues, which are available 24/7 and designed to enhance your business skills
  • Craft Industry Today magazine and industry news in monthly newsletters
  • Research on trends and the state of the industry
  • Discounts on education and business products and services
  • Listings in online directories
  • Product specific communities

Make the investment and start saving – JOIN TODAY!

Ways to save: Make the 2016 CHA MEGA Show your most efficient business trip ever

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CHA MEGA Show

Everyone’s getting pumped for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show. With registration only a month away (September 16!), you may be thinking, how can I afford the trip? CHA wants this to be your most efficient business trip ever. Use these tips to start saving now.

Before the Show

Register Early

Register by Monday, December 21 and it won’t cost you a penny to get on the Show floor. CHA buyer and industry professional members who register early attend for no additional cost to their membership dues; CHA buyer and industry professional members who register after Monday, December 21 pay $25 to attend.

Book Ahead

Reserve your hotel room through onPeak, CHA’s official housing partner, by October 31, 2015 to take advantage of the early bird promotion rates at CHA’s hotel partners, which are as low as $90 per night! Start monitoring flights now using websites like Kayak and Trivago so you can find the best rate on the best airline and book on the cheapest day of the week.

Save Your Money

Set aside money every day until the MEGA Show. If you set aside $5 a day, you will save enough money for a six-night stay at several of CHA’s hotel partners.

Find a Roommate

Cut the cost of your hotel room in half when you share a room with your business colleague, friend or another Show attendee. Don’t know anyone? Join the See You at CHA Facebook group and meet one of your peers who is in the same situation.

Budget

Evaluate how much money you will spend on daily expenses, such as food, and education seminars and workshops. Some of our events include food and drinks, which means fewer meals you will have to pay for out of pocket.

At the Show

Shop the Grocery Store

You don’t have to eat out every night. There are several grocery stores in the area, like Krogers, where you can purchase meals for less than the cost of restaurants.

Free Transportation

All of CHA’s hotel partners offer a complimentary shuttle service or are within walking distance of the Anaheim Convention Center. A couple of hotels offer complimentary parking too.

Rental Car Discounts

Discounts for car rentals and shuttle service to and from the airport will be listed on the CHA MEGA Show website soon. Take these vehicles when your destination is further than walking distance – they’re cheaper than a cab ride!

Show Your Badge

Local restaurants and venues will give you a discount when you flash your CHA MEGA Show badge! A list of participating businesses will be shared online closer to the event. These discounts are in addition to the low cost dinner options you can explore in Anaheim (ask the hotel staff about their favorite places!).

Network, Network, Network!

Make your trip worth your while. The more people you meet and events you attend, the more business opportunities you will have to maximize the return on your investment.

After the Show

Follow Up

Stay in touch with the people you meet at the Show so your newly formed relationships don’t dissipate.

Plan for 2017

The next CHA MEGA Show is in January 2017. Start thinking about it after your 2016 adventure in Anaheim to give yourself even more time to budget, plan and save.

The CHA Designer Section Trends Committee Report

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By Linda Swingle
CHA Trends Committee Lead

The CHA Designer Section Trends Report provides a close-up and intricate perspective of current trends in arts and crafts.

Trends Committee members are professional designers with extensive experience and ties to manufacturers. Through CHA’s global network, our members provide vital information regarding the overall direction of the industry. Additional resources used to compile the Trends Report include multiple social media platforms, digital publications, printed publications, and good old-fashion reporting techniques, like interviews with select companies, industry associates and leaders.

Our dedicated columnists submit bi-annual reports featuring what’s trending now as well as creative ingenuity that is coming down the pike. As trends develop, the landscape of the craft industry develops with them. Artistic license drives sales. In turn, manufacturers develop supplies tailored to trends while keeping traditional supplies available. It is an interesting perspective, as I do not believe one can exist entirely without the other. Viva! The evolution of creative trends is born!

As craft and art techniques continually intersect, rules no longer pertain to the creative process. Mixing various materials with unique or accepted techniques paves the road to new trends. This is especially true as professional crafters and artisans express ideas to various publications and posting through social media.

Our 2015 Designer Section Trends Report covers the following categories:

General Crafts
generalcrafts

Mixed Media
mixedmedia

Children’s Crafts
childrenscrafts

Needle Arts
needlearts

Home Décor
homedecor

Paper Crafts
papercrafts

Jewelry Arts
jewelryarts

Wearable Arts
wearble

By providing avenues of interest through various product categories, our Committee will expand its research and findings for future CHA Designer Section Trends Committee Reports. Anticipated growth will enhance our studies while providing opportunity for members to expand and grow their businesses through professional association and recognition.

The success of the Designer Section Trends Report is due to contributions by our volunteers. The level of appreciation and respect for our Committee members is beyond words. It is a win-win creative situation as we grow and develop skills on a personal and professional level!

For more information, or to join our committee, please refer to postings in the August CHA Member News, through our CHA Designer Section Facebook group or message Linda Swingle on Facebook.  

Community Events Engage

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by Ruth Garcia, CHA SoCal Chapter President, Curacao

Social media is a great tool for engaging the community and the content of your posts are the ones that keep your organization going. At our CHA Southern California (SoCal) CHA Facebook page, the participation is definitely there when we post pictures of our activities.

chasocal

The event around the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and Orange County increased our reach to current members and brought us new members. The more interesting content we share, the more we can involve our members and evolve our chapter. Check out our recent Facebook page activity in these charts:

chasocal1 chasocal2

Share your story of innovation in arts and crafts with the Smithsonian National Museum

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banner-homeThe Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History launched a project to pinpoint where in the world inventions happen. The goal of the project is to answer the question, “What kind of place stimulates creative minds and sparks a surge of invention and innovation?” The Museum is compiling an interactive map that depicts these places. Yet, it’s currently missing something – stories about innovation in the arts and crafts industry! Help CHA fill the gap by telling your Place of Invention story, where and how you and your company made its mark in the history of our industry.

How can you add a story to the map? Think about the following three questions:

  1. Place: What’s special about this location?
  2. Invention: What was invented there?
  3. People: Who made it happen?

Submit your Place of Invention story. After you complete the online form, check back in a couple of days to see your story on the Places of Invention virtual map. Visitors from around the globe will read your story on the website and in person at the Places of Invention exhibition gallery at the Museum in the Lemelson Hall of Invention and Innovation.

For more information, visit http://invention.si.edu/tell-us-your-places-invention-stories.

Crafters’ Home Showcase at the Paper Arts+ Show

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By Missy & Trisha, Crafters’ Home
Missy Brozek – Vice President & Creative Director
Trisha Studer – Member Relations Coordinator

We’re excited to be here on the CHA Blog today to tell you a little more about our upcoming Crafters’ Home Showcase event, July 19 – 20, preceding the CHA Paper Arts+ Show. Crafters’ Home is a dynamic group of independent brick-and-mortar paper crafting retailers and vendors dedicated to helping the independent retail channel grow and continue to stay strong. Here at Crafters’ Home, we are committed to fostering connections between retailers and vendors through retail advice, exclusive discounts, promotions, education, discussion groups, book clubs, and of course, our Crafters’ Home Showcase events!

Crafters' Home Showcase - Image One

A huge thanks to CHA for inviting us to be the title sponsor for this summer’s Paper Arts+ Show and for its efforts to organize a valuable Show – giving retailers and exhibitors much needed face-time as they prepare for their fourth quarter and holiday season buying.

The Crafters’ Home Showcase is a two-day education and buying event exclusively for our member retailers and partner vendors. We have a bursting schedule for this summer’s Showcase and are excited to be able to offer an excellent variety of hands-on education, retail education seminars and new product presentations. We’ll wrap up our two-day event with the Sample Showcase – which, for the first time ever, is open to ALL CHA brick-and-mortar independent retailers. Keep reading for more details about how you can join us!

Crafters' Home Showcase - Image Two

Our member retailers are going to be spoiled with our line up of activities and events! With workshops from vendors like Graphic 45, Art Impressions, Sizzix, Heartfelt Creations, Lawn Fawn and Linnie Blooms, as well as a couple of our incredibly talented and thriving retailers, we have no doubt this is going to be a win-win for our vendors and retailers! We’ve invited Cathy Donovan Wagner from Retail Mavens, Katie Kohlmann from Ellie K Designs, and David Nawrocki from Retail Studio Effect to lead our retail education seminars and share their expertise. Vendors joining us to present their newest products and services include Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft, Reminisce, Sizzix, Tonic Studios, Bella Blvd, Simple Stories, Echo Park, Kaisercraft, Retail Mavens and Retail Studio Effect – we’re so excited to see what they have in store for us! A few vendors who aren’t able to join us will be participating in our Product Spotlight by sending their catalogs, order forms and samples to our event for attendees; thanks to Authentique Papers, SRM Stickers, Pink and Main and Paper House Productions (we have a feeling this list might continue to grow) – we appreciate them joining us from afar!

We’ll wrap up our two-day event with the Sample Showcase – Monday, July 20 from 6:00 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.. We are inviting all CHA brick-and-mortar independent retailers to our Sample Showcase event (6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. is exclusive to Crafters’ Home retailers – non-Crafters’ Home retailers are invited to stop in between 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.)! We encourage you to take this opportunity to learn more about Crafters’ Home and our dynamic group of retailers and vendors. Take time to visit with our vendors – Sizzix, Retail Studio Effect, Retail Mavens, Ellie K Designs, Lawn Fawn, Reminisce, Echo Park, Simple Stories, Linnie Blooms, Art Impressions, Dare 2B Artzy, Deflecto, Tonic, Faber Castell Design Memory Craft, and Scrapbook Adhesives; stop by for make-n-takes and demos; and, chat and network with our retailers about their experience as a Crafters’ Home retailer. We’ll have treats and refreshments, and hope you’ll join us for a fun, exciting Showcase finale before the Paper Arts+ Show floor opens!

Registration is required – $25 for CHA Members (brick-and-mortar independent retailers only).

To learn more about becoming a Crafters’ Home retailer or partner vendor, please visit www.craftershome.com, email info@craftershome.com or stop by our booth on the Paper Arts+ Show floor!

Join the “See You at CHA!” Blog Hop

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seeyouCHAblogbadge

You are invited to participate in the See You at CHA! Blog Hop to celebrate coming together at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show!

Hosted by the Social Committee of the CHA Designer Section, this big behemoth of a blog hop will be a tremendous opportunity for all CHA members to reach loads of colleagues and customers as we share our plans and promotions for the Show.

The link to an online registration form is at the end of this post – sign up early and plan ahead to generate lots of excitement for your week at the MEGA Show in January!

Hop dates: December 7-11, 2015
You will pick a date within this week to post on your blog. The master hop schedule with links will be posted on the CHA blog in November. Right-click and save the banner graphic above to use as a blog hop badge.

Participants: CHA members and craft media sites who/that plan to attend and/or exhibit at the MEGA Show (all membership categories).

Hop theme: The 2016 MEGA Show and CHA’s 75th Anniversary
Your blog post can be about any of these topics:

• New product sneak peek(s)
• Demo, class, seminar and/or make-n-take schedules
• Show specials and/or related offers
• Project inspiration and/or tutorials
• Memories of past Shows and/or craft industry anecdotes
• What you’re excited about seeing or doing at the 2016 Show
• Tips for getting the most out of the Show
• Behind the scenes Show and/or travel prep

IMPORTANT – Joint $$$ giveaway!
No blog hop is complete without a chance for people to win something fabulous!

Each blog hop participant will be required to contribute a minimum of $5 to the prize pot. We’ll be using Tilt.com to securely collect funds online from participants. The final sum of funds in the prize pot will be used to purchase a VISA gift card for the winner.

The more money in the pot, the bigger the prize value and the more traffic and excitement it will generate for everyone! You’ll receive a code for a Rafflecopter prize drawing widget to put in your post. The entry options will be limited to just three: a blog comment, a tweet or a pin. All blog hop participants (CHA employees excluded), their staff, and their customers, fans and followers are eligible to win – both domestic and international.

Click here to sign up today – the deadline to join is September 30. 2015.

Feel free to post any comments or questions you might have about the hop in the See You at CHA Facebook group. You can also email the blog hop organizer with questions: Lisa Fulmer – lisa@lisafulmer.com.

About the Social Committee of the CHA Designer Section:
We moderate a Facebook group called See You at CHA, where attendees and exhibitors can connect, socialize and network prior, during and/or after any CHA Show. CHA members in all membership categories are welcome to join, as well as craft media reps. The Social Committee is here to help you navigate the Show, share experiences, meet new people and learn about fun things to do at the Show. You can even use the group to find a hotel roommate, airport shuttle pal, or dinner companions – we want to do whatever we can to help you have a great experience at CHA!

Meet Eileen Hull of Ellison/Sizzix!

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We are getting to know some of our Paper Arts+ workshop teachers in this “Meet the Teachers” blog post series. Through the series, you will learn about their art and inspiration, the value in attending their workshops, and what you can expect to learn. This week we meet Eileen Hull, designer at Ellison/Sizzix!

ehull

Roll up your sleeves for Eileen’s workshop, Sizzix Faux Wood Grain Sewing Basket! You will craft an adorable (and functional) fold-out sewing basket! Eileen will teach you a unique inking technique using her ColorBox Blends inks that mimics a real wood grain effect. When you show your customers the finished product, they will NEED to make at least one! Plus, you can count on getting some swag to take home!

What was your first experience with crafting?
When I was a little girl, my sisters and I loved to play with dolls. We made doll dresses, accessories and, my personal favorite, doll furniture. We would find scraps of fabric and cardboard, and spend hours creating together while singing along with the Sound of Music.

Did you always know that you wanted to be an artist/designer?
Not really! My schooling is in community health education, so I always figured I would do that when I grew up. Then I married a military man, and it was hard to keep a job when we were moving around so much. I started to cross-stitch to make wedding and baby gifts, and visited the arts and crafts shop on post to frame my work; that’s when I fell in love with mat board. Then I had kids, so designing seemed to be a good way to make a little money while staying home with the four of them.

Eventually, I accumulated way more supplies than I needed and decided to see if I could exhibit at some craft shows. I wound up doing craft shows for years and learned a lot about business. That was the turning point for me.

What inspires you?
Creative people, nature, music and patterns – pretty much everything! I always have a notebook nearby so I can jot down all of the ideas that run through my head. The other day I had an idea for a die right as I was waking up. I immediately sketched it out and when I made it, it worked! Hooray for notebooks!

Tell us how you started your Paper Trail teaching with your vintage trailer, Scotty?
In 2013, I bought my 1976 vintage Serro Scotty trailer, outfitted it as a mobile studio and took it on the road. I traveled around the country teaching classes using my Sizzix dies and Clearsnap inks. I have logged over 13,000 miles, visited 22 states, taught in 39 stores and venues, and met hundreds of people. It has been the most exciting adventure I’ve ever taken. My kids are grown and my husband is very patient, which allows me to road trip guilt free!

What value would you place on attending classes offered at live conferences such as the Paper Arts+ Show?
There is nothing like seeing new products in person to truly understand all the possibilities for using them. Meeting with manufacturers and retailers face-to-face is very important to me. Getting to know them has been invaluable for my career.

What are the top takeaways that attendees will learn by taking your workshop?
I am excited to be teaching a class on a brand new kind of die that I designed. You can expect to learn tons of tips and tricks, like how to extend the lifespan of your dies. Also, something really fun will be happening with Scotty! Follow CHA and me on social media to find out what it is!

The Paper Arts+ Show is around the corner and Show registration is open! Register for Sizzix Faux Wood Grain Sewing Basket today! Online registration closes on Tuesday, July 14!

Watch this video to learn more about Eileen and how she got her start as a designer. Follow her blog and Facebook to stay up to date on her upcoming adventure to the Show!

Did you miss one of our “Meet the Teachers” blog posts? Click here to read the complete series!

Tips on how to prepare for business “dates”

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CHA’s Southern California (SoCal) chapter is hosting a speshutterstock_269729930ed dating themed Roundtable Breakfast for businesses on Thursday, August 13. You’ll go on the best seven-minute “dates” ever with 15 retail experts. Our retail experts will offer advice that has been proven to improve your business operations. “Flirt” with them on everything from advertising to loans, and everything in between!

How can you plan to make the most of your seven minutes? These five tips will prepare you for your dates!

  1. Research your optionsClick here to read the experts bios and their topics of specialty.
  2. There are no bad questions – Jot down and prioritize your questions so your most important questions get answered.
  3. Don’t give a fake number – Pack your business cards so exchanging contact information doesn’t cut into networking.
  4. It’s okay to talk about yourself – Bring informational material to give the experts a better understanding of your business situation.
  5. Bring a wingman – Invite a colleague or peer to attend to double your time with the experts.

Don’t keep your dates waiting. Click here to RSVP!

Event Information

Date:         Thursday, August 13, 2015
Time:         7:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Location:  Steven’s Steak & Seafood House, 5332 Stevens Place
                  City of Commerce, CA

For additional information, please contact Nidia Negron at nnegron@craftandhobby.org.

Special Event: Ken Oliver to demonstrate his latest invention at the CHA Paper Arts+ Show

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OliverKen

See the latest crazy in color when you stop by Product Performers’ booth at the CHA Paper Arts+ Show in July! Celebrity crafter Ken Oliver will wow you with the power of powder when he exhibits his newest creation, Color Burst.

Color Burst is a watercolor product that enables you to create beautiful art with just a little sprinkle and spritz. It’s is already getting attention from retailers and customers around the globe, from India and Australia to the United States!
Stop by Product Performers’ booth 405 to see the following, plus more!colorburst

  • Six new Color Burst colors
  • Color-a-card demonstrations using Color Burst
  • An amazing Watercolor Mat Board that was just launched

Haven’t heard of Color Burst? Watch this video for a quick look at how dynamic it can make arts and crafts.

Don’t miss this special event. The Paper Arts+ Show is less than a month away! Click here to register now!

Meet Debi Adams of Spellbinders Paper Arts!

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We are getting to know some of our Paper Arts+ workshop teachers in this “Meet the Teachers” blog post series. Through the series, you will learn about their art and inspiration, the value in attending their workshops, and what you can expect to learn. This week we meet Debi Adams, instructor and concept designer at Spellbinders Paper Arts!

debi adamsIn Shaping a Beautiful Life with Platinum, Debi will teach you all of the amazing things you can do with the new Platinum machine by Spellbinders. Featuring Versacut technology, the Platinum machine has an 8 1/2″ cutting platform, and is stronger and requires fewer turns than other machines on the market. Cut up to eight layers of fabric at a time while being able to cut over 40 different substrates with Spellbinders’ new Contour steel rule dies!

Tell us a little about yourself.
My degree is in education, but my passion is art. I’ve been involved in the art industry for more than 30 years. In that time, I’ve worn a ton of hats: paper crafter, sewer, floral arranger, party planner and decorator, wall mural painter, cookie decorator, jewelry maker, set and prop stager and most recently, photographer. I feel blessed to have been interviewed in a myriad of magazines, including Somerset Studios, and Apronology and Scrapbooks, and to have worked with licensed designers like Tim Holtz, Brenda Walton, Jo Packham and Lori Whitlock.

What do you love most about the creative industry?
I love our industry because it provides countless tools, techniques and supplies for creative folks to create or “think” outside the box.

What do you love most about teaching workshops?
I never get tired of seeing the “light bulb” go on. Often times I hear someone say, “I never thought I could do that.” That always makes my day!

What value would you place on attending classes offered at live conferences such as the Paper Arts+ Show?
Attending Paper Arts+ workshops is so valuable. You get to be the first to see and experience the latest trends in crafting and invaluable tools for your store.

What are the top takeaways that attendees will learn by taking your workshop?
My workshop will equip you to sell Spellbinders’ dies and machines to your customers. You’ll take home essential knowledge, capabilities and applications of all the products you’ll use to apply in your store and/or classroom.

When you’re not teaching, what can we find you doing?
I love scavenging for treasures at estate and garage sales, as well as in stores like Goodwill. I use these items as art materials or upcycle/recycle them as home décor for my new home in Arizona. Also, every chance I get, I love getting together and hanging out with my four adult daughters.

The Paper Arts+ Show is around the corner and Show registration is open! Register for Shaping a Beautiful Life with Platinum today! Online registration closes on Tuesday, July 14!

Learn more about Debi on the Spellbinders Paper Arts blog and her personal blog.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where we will meet Eileen Hull, designer for Sizzix/Ellison!

Meet the instructor – Tammy Tutterow


Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.

This week, we meet Tammy Tutterow of Tammy Tutterow Designs!

tutterow
All buyers are invited to register for Tammy’s workshop, Made From Scratch Mini Album, to learn how to make a fun mixed media mini album, using fabric and chipboard, with interactive page elements and pockets, using pocket inserts and ephemera! Register for her workshop before online registration closes on January 3, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. EST!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in southern Illinois just outside of St. Louis, MO. I live in a little yellow 1923 bungalow with my husband, who is a police officer, our daughter Emma, and our Boston Terrier Cracker Jack. I love to garden, and shop for antiques and vintage treasures.

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

I think I have been participating for about 10 years! I have attended in so many capacities, too! I have been as a small online store owner, a teacher, an employee of an exhibiting manufacturer, and now as a product designer!

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

I love to walk the Show and see all of the new products! As a creative person, it feels like Christmas time seeing so many things I want to have and create with. I also love working in a booth and visiting with store owners from around the world. It is so amazing hearing about what is working in their stores, and what types of creative projects and classes their customers are enjoying.

How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?

Workshops at the CHA MEGA Show are such a great opportunity to learn from manufacturers and experienced educators. It is the perfect opportunity to get products in your hands to try them before committing to buying them. You get to learn tips and marketing ideas. Also, it is a chance for store owners to get to be the student and create, something they don’t get to do often while running their stores.

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

As an instructor, I always try to present a creative project that incorporates techniques. I love to give people “tools” that they can use again in other projects. For me it isn’t about copying a sample project, it’s about learning new things.

What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran?

Bring comfy shoes! You are going to be on your feet a lot and you don’t want your feet to give out on you. I bring a different pair for each day of the Show. I choose comfort over fashion so that I can keep going all day long!

What do you love most about the creative industry?

I love the feeling of community. I travel and teach. With each store I visit I hear customers share how much of a social hub their local store has become for them. I love that the people in our industry can come together, share their common interests in creating, and form long lasting friendships.

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

More and more, I see people just creating and shedding labels. They aren’t just card makers or scrapbookers; they are branching out and trying new mediums and new surfaces. I hope that people will continue to experiment and be willing to grow in their creativity.

Register to take Made From Scratch Mini Album and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog next week when we will meet Julia Benben of Chameleon Pens.

 

Meet the Instructor – Sharon Sowell


Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.

This week, we meet Sizzix Designer Sharyn Sowell!

sowell

Take her workshop, Sizzix Designer Showcase, to get a first, fun look at the newest products from Sharyn and her fellow Sizzix Designers Tim Holtz, Jen Long and Lori Whitlock! Plus, you’ll receive a special FREE V.I.P. swag bag loaded with Sizzix products! Register for her workshop before online registration closes on January 3, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. EST!

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My favorite manicure is ink-stained fingers. When I travel I usually pack two outfits and a suitcase jammed with scissors, sketchbooks, inks, brushes, and a ridiculous number of pencils.

The light in my studio burns into the wee small hours because I forget to notice what time it is. Creativity is so energizing.

I’m thrilled to partner with some of the very best manufacturers to marry my art with their products. When I count my blessings the list is endless.

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

I can’t even remember when I went to my first CHA; it was that long ago! But every year seems better than the one before. Not only have I had the joy of seeing my designs featured on products from the best manufacturers in the industry, but I get to “ooh and aah” over new products all over the Show floor!

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

Best of all is getting to see my art come alive as product! It’s so wonderful to see people enjoying and crafting with what my scissors, brushes and inks began. Wandering the Show floor and getting to explore all the creative goodness in the form of crafting materials is like a shopping trip in the most amazing artsy shop on earth. It’s where I find the tools to fuel and inspire my further creativity as an artist and a designer.

How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?

Imagine sitting down with your newest group of friends – the most creative and gifted designers in our industry – to laugh, connect and craft together. That’s a live workshop!

I hope you will be attending my workshop because I’d love to meet and share my secret crafting tips with you!

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

It’ll be a lot of fun! Yet, the real reason a buyer should attend is – bottom line – it will help you sell more product. I love the joy of crafting together, but the fact is that knowing more about the designer, the way they use the materials in ways that are fresh and different (and the fact that you’re rubbing shoulders with the top artists in the industry), will give you an edge and improve your sales figures.

How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?

Crafters want to feel like THEY designed the projects, and they want them to look absolutely fantastic. They want every dime they spend to bring more value to their crafting stash. This workshop will show you how to achieve that.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

I love being a maker. This industry offers me the tools I can use to leap in any creative direction I choose. There is a whole world of possibility in something as simple as a bottle of ink or pair of scissors. How could anything be more exciting than that?

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

I’m not at all certain where this industry will go, but I know for sure that consumers will always be looking for the next wonderful tool to enhance their own individual creative journey. Manufacturers and distributors that offer the tools that appeal to a consumer’s “gotta see what I can do with THAT!” mindset will never lack an audience.

Register to take Sizzix Designer Showcase and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog later this week when we will meet Tammy Tutterow of Tammy Tutterow Designs.

 

Meet the Instructor – Cathy Andronicou


Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing you to some of our Workshop instructors so you can hear about their live classes and what you can expect to learn from them.

This week, we meet Cathy Andronicou!

How can you master one of the more difficult coloring techniques? Register to take Cathy’s Workshop, Coloring Faces and Hair – Blending Made Easy With Chameleon Pens, to learn how easy it can be using Chameleon Color Tone Pens! Keep reading for more about what you will take away from her Workshop.
ctahy

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Cathy Andronicou, and I am addicted to crafts. Ever since I was little, I dabbled in many crafts and have been fascinated with coloring. My first experience coloring was using the paint books where you just added water and color would magically appear!

I live on the South Coast of England and I am a proud mum of two grown up children, supported by a loving husband. I work for several large craft companies and love getting inky, stamping and coloring.

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

This year will be my third year at the CHA MEGA Show. I am so excited to return!

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show? 

As a craft addict, I love seeing the latest thing; be it a new machine that I must have, a die, a stencil or a new, cute rubber stamp!

How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?

To me a craft workshop is a chance to have dedicated time to learn and get to know how to use products to get the most out of them. Those products can then be showcased to customers back at the store in order to help maximize sales; plus, you get to learn a new skill!

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

Buyers need to know products well and love them. If you love something, you will be passionate about selling it. Also, understanding the product helps to field questions about the product from customers and sales staff. Creative professionals will already have developed skills over the years; yet, it is important to continue to learn, develop new skills and have awareness of new products so you can stretch your knowledge and grow.

How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?

There are two main factors that this workshop aims to address:

  1. Stress is a key issue for the modern world of work. It has recently been identified that coloring can reduce stress. The trend of adult coloring has grown significantly in the last year and customers are seeking new skills to enhance their coloring skills. Colorists have moved away from traditional zentangle style designs to complex animal and human designs. The need to learn how to add highlights, texture and shading to enhance results will be covered.
  2. The most common issue that crafters present us with is how difficult they find it to color faces and hair using any medium. My workshop will show easy ways to achieve great results; we will cover how to get shade variation in hair and how to make faces look less flat. All these skills will be easy to learn and then easy to share with your customer.

What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran? 

Take a look at the floor plan, pick an area and work methodically up and down the rows to get a quick look at everything that is available. Make a note on your map of the booths that you want to visit and spend more time at. (Check with the booth if you can make an appointment if the stand is super busy.)

What do you love most about the creative industry?

Everyone is so friendly! I love the way companies cross promote and share inspiration.

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

With the continuation of TV reality shows for sewing, cake baking and art, the opportunities for industry exposure and growth are great. We need to harness this enthusiasm and build on this initial interest.  Such exposure with help introduce new customers to the creative market, and as they visit stores for materials they can be inspired to try new things. This can only mean one thing – the craft market will grow even bigger than it is now.

What do you love most about CHA membership?

I love the information that CHA provides for education and the insights into the latest industry trends.

Register to take Coloring Faces and Hair – Blending Made Easy With Chameleon Pens and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog this Friday when we will meet Marjie Kemper!