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.

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
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Mixed Media
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Children’s Crafts
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Needle Arts
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Home Décor
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Paper Crafts
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Jewelry Arts
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Wearable Arts
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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.

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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!

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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.