About Craft & Hobby Association

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is an international not-for-profit trade association consisting of thousands of member companies engaged in the design, manufacture, distribution and retail sales of craft products worldwide. For more about CHA, the value of membership, or its award-winning Conferences & Trade Shows, please visit www.craftandhobby.org.

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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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 August 31. 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!

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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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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!

CHA MEGA Show Priority Points: The Deadline You Need to Make for Better Business Opportunities in 2016

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IMG_3484Use the Priority Points you’ve earned and reserve the best exhibit space possible at the
2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show
! The deadline to use your Priority Points is Tuesday, June 30 – that’s JUST one week away!

What is Priority Points?
It’s an exhibitor incentive program. Your company earns Priority Points each year it exhibits at the CHA MEGA Show. The more Priority Points you have, the greater your chances are for getting PRIME real estate on the Show floor!

How does it work?
CHA Member Exhibitors earn six (6) points for each CHA MEGA Show in which they exhibit and one (1) point for each 100 square feet (10’ x 10’) contracted. Non-Member Exhibitors earn three (3) points for each CHA MEGA Show in which they exhibit and one (1) point for each 100 square feet (10’ x 10’) contracted. Priority Points can also be earned through Sponsorship at the CHA MEGA Show. CHA Members earn one (1) point for every $1,000 of Sponsorship. Points are cumulative and build each year. However, if your company is not a CHA Member, you can’t use your points until your company becomes one.

Questions? Nadine Schwartz, our Director of Sales, can answer them! Contact her via 201-835-1203 or nschwartz@craftandhobby.org.

Remember to submit your completed contract to Nadine with payment by Tuesday, June 30! Don’t miss your chance to get the space you want!

Meet The Speaker: Meet Crystal Washington

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CHA’s NEW eCourses are a series of one-hour sessions where you will have the option of learning live, or at your own pace through recorded sessions. They are an easy and efficient way to expand your business knowledge throughout the year!

Social-Media-Speaker-Crystal-Washington-2-The upcoming eCourse, GET CLIENTS NOW! Training and Coaching Program, will be taught by social media marketing strategist Crystal Washington.

When powerful companies want their teams to take action online, they book social media expert and dynamic speaker Crystal Washington, who has worked with Google, Microsoft, GE and others in the USA, Africa and Europe. For this comprehensive knowledge on social media, she has been interviewed by ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS and numerous radio stations and magazines around the globe.

Crystal is well known for her ability to take complex Web and social media topics, and make them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people and small business owners. She owns CWM Enterprises, a social media instructional brand aimed at training everyone from Gen Y’s to Baby Boomers in strategically using social media. Educating consumers on the practical applications of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube is her passion.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I began my career in corporate sales. As the youngest manager at my company, I felt the need to prove I was a strong asset. So, I challenged myself and quickly became a top performer, closing contracts with Fortune 500 firms and exceeding all my sales goals. Soon enough, I was managing my peers and colleagues who were twice my age. Somewhere along the way I was bit by the entrepreneurial bug. I started my own marketing firm, CWM Enterprises, which has enabled me to help hundreds of organizations, big and small, leverage social media marketing to increase their bottom line.

Deep down inside, I’m a fun-loving and eclectic nerd. Often you’ll find me reading the newest book on social media, meditating with Buddhist monks, attending a West African Dance class or parasailing.

What are the top takeaways that students will learn by taking your class?
1. Effective marketing strategies specifically designed for you and your business.
2. Confidence and tools you need to implement your personalized marketing plan.

What’s the biggest challenge that small business owners will face when developing a social media marketing plan?
Small business owners always feel like they should be doing more to market their business, but don’t necessarily know exactly what they should be doing. There’s a laundry list of items to do, which can be overwhelming at first. Every owner needs an organized plan in place to make taking any action manageable and successful.

Each week you’ll be covering a different step on how small business owners can take their businesses to the next level. What new skills can participants expect to walk away with by the end of the course?
Do the work and you’ll walk away with a toolkit of sales and marketing techniques, enhanced problem-solving skills, and the ability to create and implement a plan that will make a positive impact on your business growth.

GET CLIENTS NOW! Training and Coaching Program begins July 14 and runs through August 18, 2015. Courses will take place every Tuesday from 8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Can’t make it to the live sessions on Tuesdays? No worries! We are recording the courses so you can access them at your convenience!

Here’s what you’ll learn and when you’ll learn it:
Week  1

– Effective marketing strategies
– How the strategies you choose impact your results
– How to diagnose what’s wrong with your marketing using the Universal Marketing Cycle
– How to design a marketing program that is suited not only to your business, but your personality, strengths and favorite activities

Week 2

– Select “Success Ingredients” to be more effective in your marketing efforts
– Design 10 specific daily or weekly marketing actions
– Draft and submit a 28-day marketing action plan to Crystal for review and feedback
– How to create a customized, affordable, reusable and realistic marketing plan

Weeks 3-6

– Implement the personalized marketing action plan you designed in the first two sessions. In each session, you will report what you did and didn’t do, and what results were achieved.
– Crystal will coach participants on accountability to your plan, help solve logistical problems, provide assistance with overcoming fear, resistance, and procrastination, and acknowledge your efforts and progress.

Register today!

Meet Fran Seiford of Stampendous!

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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 Fran Seiford, the founder and Chief Artistic Officer of Stampendous!

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You and your consumers are about to develop a passion for Stampendous’ newest stamp and cutting die sets. In Fran’s workshop, Poinsettia Passion, you’ll discover the range of creative project possibilities offered by Stampendous’ new Poinsettia Cling Rubber Stamp Set, template and coordinating Die, and Pop-Up Die Set. Plus, you’ll learn some techniques, like how to shade with color pencils and create 3D layers. You’ll take home two cards, either a Poinsettia pin or ornament, and inspirations for your store!

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am an entrepreneur, business owner and designer. I have designed rubber stamps for over 30 years. Even after all that time, I still get a thrill out of the excitement and creative options each new stamp image brings. A handmade card or craft speaks from the heart – that’s one of the many things my stamps can help people do.

What do you love most about the creative industry?
It’s endless energy. The craft industry is ever evolving and brings new twists on old themes. One time, I met a business consultant at a craft show who was thunderstruck from the moment he walked in; he had never seen anything like it. If you sell cement, you probably know what I mean.

What do you love most about teaching workshops?
It’s rewarding when participants get excited and have fun with the products. The best remarks are “Look what I made;” “I can do it;” “It was so fun;” “It was easier than I thought;” and, “It came out beautiful!” Plus, students always wow me. I have created the stamps with one look in mind and watched someone make the stamps their own with a style I had never even considered.

What value would you place on attending classes offered at live conferences such as the Paper Arts+ Show?
Hands-on classes are the foundation of effective new product sales. The more innovative the products, the more truth there is to this statement. No matter how much work goes into a new product, the catalog or the packaging, it is very troubling when someone looks at the unopened package and says, ”I don’t get it.” So, when there is an opportunity to try a product and learn from the person who designed it, that is an opportunity not to be missed.

What are the top takeaways that attendees will learn by taking your workshop?
Those who attend my workshop will get that must-have product experience. Having tried out Stampendous’ new products, attendees will take home the beautiful samples they made and be able to teach their customers with confidence. My hope is this workshop will be something they can repeat in their stores.

When you’re not teaching, what can we find you doing?
Busy designing, designing, and designing. Also, I make YouTube videos and am in the process of authoring a “how to” craft book.

The Paper Arts+ Show is around the corner and Show registration is open! Register for Fran’s Poinsettia Passion workshop today!

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where we will meet Debi Adams, instructor and concept designer at Spellbinders Paper Arts!