By Laurel Lee Pollard, White Collar Crafter
In 2014, the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Paper Arts Section (PAS) Steering Committee was asked to outline educational opportunities that would be appropriate for attendees of the newly-launched Paper Arts+ Show. Responding to industry demand, the 2014 inaugural event was generously hosted “to-the-trade” by CHA.
It was agreed that, in order to respond to the educational needs of the independent “indie” craft and hobby retailer, the PAS Steering Committee would need to pinpoint specific challenges that the indie retailer faces on an annual basis. To that end, the PAS Steering Committee, comprised of the following industry insiders, created the CHA Benchmark Survey:
- Denzil Quick of Spellbinders
- Missy Brozek of Crafters Home
- Lee Kellogg of Guadalupe’s Fun Rubber Stamps
- Katie Kohlmann of Ellie K Designs, LLC
- Laurel Lee Pollard, White Collar Crafter
The PAS Steering Committee took this opportunity and came up with the following goals:
- To establish a benchmark standard of comparison between similar craft businesses.
- To highlight business factors and practices that make an independent craft retailer successful.
- To share these standards and assist CHA in creating or highlighting existing educational/business opportunities to help businesses replicate this success.
- To share data with suppliers who can use the information to adapt their products and services to increase independent craft business success.
With the PAS Steering Committee’s long-standing influence within the craft industry, and with the backing of CHA, the Committee was able to glean remarkable results. Well over 350 indie retailers from across the broad spectrum of the craft industry, both CHA and non-CHA members, responded openly to the survey.
As a former indie retailer for well over a decade, I can attest that the type of information available in this survey is normally only shared by the indie retailer with its closest confidant. This CHA Benchmark Survey is a remarkable opportunity for indie craft retailers to gauge their success against others in the industry.
If you are looking to take advantage of this timely behind-the-curtain information, including the key findings of the top 15% of independent craft retailers, I encourage you to experience the archived CHA 2014 Benchmark Survey Webinar hosted by Denzil Quick and Katie Kohlmann. This information and expert craft industry commentary can be found nowhere else.
** Let’s keep this valuable conversation going. I encourage you to share your thoughts of the results in the comments below.**