by Jenny Barnett Rohrs of CraftTestDummies.com
I’ve been crafty blogging for almost three years now, but have only been attending the CHA tradeshow for a year. My bread-and-butter posts are reviewing craft products, and where else is there to see the coolest, most buzz-worthy new gadgets, products and gizmos? Absolutely nowhere but CHA, baby!
That being said, what I consider “hot” falls into two categories- socks and hearts. No, really, stay with me here. The first, “socks,” translates into “That really knocks my socks off!!” Think big companies with new exciting products to reveal. For example, I got to see the unveiling of both the Gypsy and the Cricut Cake products by ProvoCraft, and the were both high on the “WOW!” factor. I am blown away by the high-tech crafting gadgets everytime, and I can’t WAIT to see what ProvoCraft is going to amaze us with next.
So…you are probably asking, “Well, what is Hearts, then?” Hearts are heartstrings! Companies or products that really touch you as a person, not just as a consumer. When I met Julia Andrus of Eco Green Crafts and heard her story of how her mission is to design, manufacture, and deliver crafting products that are better for the users and then environment, that really spoke to me. As a mom & friend of folks with horrible allergies, the ideas of sparing both factory workers and my loved ones from Volatile Organic Compounds resonated soundly.
Another newcomer to CHA, the Craft-N-Spin, also touched my heartstrings. I could see that this new invention wasn’t really sexy- I mean, it’s a turntable for painters (!)- but the idea of helping crafters with disabilities work more independently, feel more confident, and help return to sense of self-determination and dignity….well, my friends, that’s powerful stuff.
So there you have it. Innovations that knock my socks off and tug at my heartstrings- that’s not too much to ask, is it? BOTH can be found at the CHA Tradeshows. Can’t wait to see what’s in store this summer!