This is a guest post by Jen Goode, 100 Directions.
I joined the Craft and Hobby Association as a Designer member in 2010 and have loved getting involved. Over the years my craft know-how has grown and so has my business. My CHA membership has provided me fantastic opportunities… let me tell you what I love about it.
As a Designer member, I’ve been able to enjoy benefits of the Designer Section, a community for creative professionals to network, collaborate and work with other members in the industry including manufacturers and craft retailers. I’ve lead discussions during the Designer round table session on education day. My art has been displayed through various Designer specific events like the new Designer Cafe during the upcoming trade show. Collaborating with some of the best brands in the business has definitely been a result of the connections made on the show floor during various CHA events. There’s no better opportunity to meet the companies that make the products we love to create with than the Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show aka Creativation.
You might be asking, What is a CHA Designer Member?
There’s a variety of different membership types. The CHA Designer Members are creative professionals that work with craft brands to help teach, promote and build awareness. They create art for licensing, demonstrate product use and techniques, help develop products and project ideas with industry brands and consult on a variety of design and promotion related topics. CHA Designer Members bring great value to the organization on so many levels and in turn, the organization provides a place for community, networking and growth for the Designers that get involved.
One of my favorite CHA Designer benefits is getting involved in the Designer Display. This year the event has been renamed to the Designer Cafe. This is a gallery and networking style presentation set up to showcase designer work, located on the exhibit floor during the entire trade show. Designers can sign up for different display options depending on the kind of work they’d like to feature. I’ve been able to show off illustration and project design from my portfolio, demonstrate some of my design skills and techniques during live demos and network with other CHA members during a special meet-n-greet. I have also found many connections for work by participating in this event. It’s a great opportunity to build business relationships during the CHA show. These same opportunities and benefits are open to all Designer Members. You can get involved in so many different facets of the organization. Join in and share ideas or sit back and take it all in.
If you are looking for more opportunities to learn, network or connect, CHA Designer members get the best of all worlds. Your badge will allow you to attend a wide variety of classes, workshops and presentations. You can teach, show off your art, work in a brand’s booth, participate in show floor activities and connect with other designer members. Check out all the benefits a CHA membership has to offer.
In over 6 years as a CHA Designer Member, I’m still excited to be a part of this organization. I look forward to attending the winter show and connecting with old and new friends. It’s so much fun to explore new ideas and encourage others to make something. I hope to see you there!