About Craft & Hobby Association

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is an international non--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.

Post-Show Seminar Throwback Series: Inventory Management 101 and Rejuvenating Your Inventory Mix

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So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

Are you turning over your inventory every 90 days?

This week we’re doing a throwback to Lee Kellogg’s seminars: Inventory Management 101 and Rejuvenating Your Inventory Mix.

Watch this video for a recap of what Lee says are the top three ways you should be managing your store’s inventory.

Post-Show Seminar Throwback: Evernote: Your Brain on Steroids

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So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

Have you started using Evernote yet?
CHAMEGAShow_evernote
This week we’re doing a throwback to this seminar: Evernote: Your Brain on Steroids, taught by Charlene Anderson. Charlene told her seminar attendees everything there is to know about Evernote, including how to use it to make your work and personal lives more efficient.

Click here to download her seminar recap, or read her recap below.

Evernote: Your Brain on Steroids
By Charlene Anderson

In the age of information overload, there are thousands of software programs, books, tools, and courses that claim to help you organize your work and your life. Standing heads and shoulders above all of these solutions is Evernote, what I like to call “my brain on steroids.”

What is Evernote? It’s a cross-platform tool to help you manage your life. Evernote is a website; it’s an application for your desktop computer and an app for your smartphone and tablet. All of these pieces of Evernote work together seamlessly to keep all your information at your fingertips. Using Evernote means you don’t have to remember those thousands of details that are part of our lives. If it is in Evernote, you can access it from any of your devices.

What can Evernote do?
What can you do with Evernote? And more importantly, why should you do it?

Evernote captures information in a variety of ways. You can drop a PDF or other file (including movies) into Evernote. You can snap a picture of a sketch or project idea right in Evernote. You can take notes right in Evernote, or import documents, like Word files or Excel spreadsheets that others have sent you. Using the Web Clipper, two mouse clicks will bring any web page into Evernote, graphics and formatting intact.

Evernote can be your digital file cabinet, note-taking tool, project management system, craft pattern-keeper, daily journal and more.

What does it cost?
There are four pricing tiers for Evernote.

  • Free
  • Basic: $24.99 per year
  • Premium: $45 per year
  • Business: $120 per user per year

A free Evernote account is how most users start, but to truly unlock the power of Evernote you’ll need one of the paid levels. I recommend the serious Evernote user have a Premium account. At 12 cents a day, it is an incredible bargain.

How do I get started?
If I’ve convinced you to give Evernote a try, you are probably wondering how you get started. It’s easy! Go to www.evernote.com and sign up for your free account. Next, download the application for your computer and the Evernote app for all of your mobile devices. I also recommend that you install the Web Clipper into each of the web browsers on your computer. Remember, you can upgrade to a premium Evernote account at any time, but starting with the free version will allow you give Evernote a good test run.

What kinds of things do people keep in Evernote?
Evernote’s ability to manage a huge variety of information is what makes it a brain on steroids. You don’t have to remember things if they are stored in Evernote.

Since I use Evernote in my business and personal lives, I use it to store a wide variety of information, including:

• Wholesale catalogs and price lists
• Pending orders and receipts
• Product sourcing ideas, including photos
• Color palette ideas
• Instruction manuals and how-to guides
• Copies of business documents (tax licenses, etc.)
• Postage and shipping charts
• Photos of eyeglass and medication prescriptions
• Locker combinations
• Knitting patterns
• Craft project instructions
• Home decorating ideas and gardening plans
• Recipes and take out menus
• Car service history
• Meeting notes and agendas
• Client notes and progress reports
• Travel plans
• Gym class schedules
• Motivational quotes
• Bucket list

How can I share my content?

Evernote makes it easy to share notes with others. There are several ways to share:

You can copy and paste a public link (URL) to a note and share it via email or text. Every note in Evernote comes with a unique URL you can copy and paste to any application.

You can use Evernote’s Work Chat to send messages, notes, or notebooks to anyone, whether the recipients use Evernote or not. When you share in a chat with others you can easily exchange ideas and solicit feedback about what you’ve shared.

You can also email a note to someone, and you can even share an entire presentation right in Evernote. When you’re in a group setting or at a meeting, you can use presentation mode to share a full-screen version of your notes on your desktop or laptop computer, or secondary monitor.

How can I be more productive with Evernote?
As with many things in life, the more you use Evernote the more ways you will find to use it in your daily life. I have a few tips to help you quickly integrate Evernote into your work and personal life.

• Commit to using Evernote; then it will become a habit.
• Use Evernote on all of your devices.
• When in doubt, put it in Evernote.
• Set up notebooks that make sense to you.
• Use tags to aid in search.
• Periodically archive or trash items you don’t need.
• Regularly check the Evernote website for updates, blog posts, add-ons, tutorials and more.

Where can I learn more?
Not surprisingly, the Evernote website is a wealth of information about using Evernote. On the site, you’ll find videos, hints, suggestions and real world case studies. Also, be sure you check Amazon for free (and paid) Kindle books about Evernote. My favorite Evernote book is Master Evernote by S. J. Scott.

Also, there are numerous blogs and podcasts about Evernote. Just do a Google search on “Evernote” and you’ll find pages and pages of results.

I really hope you’ll give Evernote a try. It can help relieve you of information overload, and make your work and personal life more organized and efficient.

Post-Show Seminar Throwback: Tips for Better Email Marketing

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So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Have you implemented what you learned to better your business yet?

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

This week we’re doing a throwback to this seminar: Capture Their Attention and Leave ’em Wanting More – Tips for Better Email Marketing, taught by Lisa Fulmer and Carolina Moore.

Read their seminar recap below and watch this quick slideshow to remember the key points discussed.

Seminar Recap
By Lisa Fulmer and Carolina Moore

emailmarketing_CHA

You may have heard that email marketing is, at worst, dead…or at best, old-school. But email is still very much alive and still totally cool, even in this age of social media, texting and instant messaging.

Email marketing is an integral part of your overall sales and marketing efforts. Email helps you capture quality fans and followers who are more likely to become paying customers. By creating customer-centric emails that support your brand, you can build more loyalty.

Successful email campaigns are like a favorite TV show. If you produce great “can’t miss” stories with characters they love, your customers will want to watch every episode, then tell their friends…and they can’t wait for the next one!

Here is a quick slideshow on the topic that we gave in a seminar at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show. If you missed it, here are some of the key points we discussed:

  • Email is vital for bringing customers through each stage of the marketing funnel and it augments your customer service.
  • You can attract new customers, deliver exceptional value and generate repeat business with email campaigns.
  • Email allows you to provide exclusive, subscriber-only content that helps you build stronger relationships and makes your customers feel special.
  • You can craft more commercial messaging with email than you can with social media to build revenue – just make sure you comply with CAN-SPAM laws!
  • Email marketing is highly measurable with many automation features, plus you can test and target by demographics and interests.
  • Many email services are free at first, then fees kick in as your subscriber list and/or email frequency grows. Most can be fully integrated with your customer database and social media platforms.
  • There are many tactics for making your emails more engaging and effective – an easy way to start is by taking note of the mass emails you receive from the lists you subscribe to. What do you like or not like about them, what impression does the email give you, how compelled are you by the message and visuals?
  • Content is king – whether you’re sharing inspiration, special offers, company news or funny trivia. Give them great reasons to look forward to your emails.

Let us know if you have questions or need help with your email marketing!

Lisa Fulmer

Carolina Moore

Let’s talk insurance!

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AHP

What you might not know is that CHA is part of a national pool of over 300 national associations, which allows us to offer our members special health and business insurance plans and rates through our partner, Association Health Programs.

Our year-round health and personal insurance programs are off to a big start in 2016.  Many of our members are saving as much as 50% on their premiums!  The program is a great opportunity for members who don’t have health insurance or can’t afford the very expensive plans offered through Healthcare Reform.

Visit www.associationpros.com/cha today to learn more!

In addition to regular health insurance, there are 5 basic types of personal insurance.  Many people don’t realize that incorporating at least one of these can help alleviate a financial hardship later on.

  1. Disability Insurance provides you with a monthly payment which replaces part of your lost income due to an illness or injury. It allows you to maintain your standard of living if you are disabled or unable to work.
  2. Critical Illness Insurance pays you a lump sum amount on the first diagnosis of a serious medical condition (such as cancer, heart attack, etc.) covered by your policy. The payment allows you to cover additional costs incurred by the illness or to use for any other purpose during or after your recovery.
  3. Long Term Care Insurance provides payments if you require care in your home or in a facility, and allows you to cover some or all of the cost of long term care instead of using your savings. As a reminder, Medicare does not cover long-term care.
  4. Life Insurance pays a tax-free lump sum amount to your named beneficiaries upon your death. This allows your beneficiaries to pay off your debts and maintain their standard of living after you die.
  5. Supplemental Health Insurance covers a remaining portion of health care costs not covered by your regular health insurance, including Accident, Dental and Travel Insurance. These give you and your family access to health care you may need at home or abroad.

If you’re interested in learning more about CHA’s Health or Business Insurance Programs, contact Jason Baum, Director of Membership, today at 201.835.1218 or jbaum@craftandhobby.org.

 

 

Post-Show Seminar Throwback Series

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So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Have you implemented what you learned to better your business yet?

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.
This week we’re doing a throwback to Kizer & Bender Speaking’s seminar: Feed Your Brain: Engage Customers and Take Your Sales to Insane New Levels. Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender taught you all the things you have to do to be connected to your customers online – listen, interact, react and sell.

Watch this video for a quick recap of key online marketing techniques for your day-to-day business activities.

Time to Start Being the Change

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By Laura Kelly-Walters

My creative life is a never ending journey and one that causes great joy for me and many others.  I started on this path when I was first pregnant and that baby is now TWENTY.  After 20 years of doing the same things (all things that I love like doodling, painting and making), I decided it was time to keep doing these things but also make a big change.

I love licensing my art and am proud of my relationships and partnerships in the craft industry, including with Sizzix, AdornIt, Tombow, Sculpey and Kunin Group.  With so much growth, I decided that it was time to start sharing my designs in a bigger way and to change the way I thought about social marketing myself and my works.  I have been doing everything on my own for 20 years.  I decided that I was ready to change and be the leader of a team, a design team that is all about me and my mission.  I wanted to create a team that would support these manufacturers through the sharing of my doodles and designs because when it all comes down to it, we are in this together.

I put an application out there and was floored at the crazy huge number of responses.  More than the shock and excitement, I was empowered and honored.  I thought this change would be challenging, but truth is, it has been a blast.  I struggled to choose who to put on the team and wish I could have chosen them all.  It is like I created a big creative party with a team of amazing and talented colleagues who not only support me 100% but also each other.  We are a winning team filled with love, passion and creativity.

I am convinced that my journey starts with me. If I want change, I get to cause it. I guess that is why I love Gandhi’s quote so much…”BE the change you wish to see in the world.”  I accessed my courage and caused change for me and the members of my team.  I am now BEING change and it is awesome sauce.

Meet the inaugural Laura Kelly Design Team and learn how they will be sharing different ways to make Laura Kelly products, designs and doodles part of your life.

Collage_Named_Jo

laura_kelly

Laura Kelly-Walters
Licensed Doodle Artist/Designer/Project Maker/Mom/Tombow Senior Ambassador
www.laurakellydesigns.com

 

31 Days of Crafting: Challenging Your Crafting

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

“Isabella is seven years old and enjoys crafting on a daily basis. She learns how to make various things using Youtube Rainbow Loom tutorials. Most recently, she took on creating a Star Wars C-3PO character using Rainbow Loom elastics.

Isabella1

This year for National Craft Month Isabella is going to spend her crafting time challenging herself to see what else she can create using her Rainbow Loom.”

Isabella2

Listen to Isabella share with us how she is celebrating!

That concludes our 31 Days of Crafting series for National Craft Month!

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.

 

 

31 Days of Crafting: A Unique Craft Coming Soon to Ridgewood, New Jersey

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

CHA staff member, Alison Muldoon, found her creative inspiration when she least expected it:

“I wish I had the crafting spirit and talent of my neighbors, Leslie and Stephen Kolvek! One recent Saturday, Stephen showed up on our door step and asked if we had any extra wire hangers; my mind was immediately racing. What for? A closet project? A problematic clog? What could the Kolvek’s be up to now?

I made it my business to visit them later that afternoon to discover the most heartfelt and inspirational crafting project just beyond my own front door.

Leslie Kolvek serves on the Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands and is helping to organize the third annual Daffodil Festival in Ridgewood, to be held on April 17. This festival celebrates so much within the community. It’s an arts festival and spring celebration all rolled into one event. And the planting initiative of daffodils around the Village of Ridgewood is just one small part of this special day.

And it is here where my moment of craft awe and inspiration happened…

My neighbor and her husband are creating giant daffodils by repurposing wire dry cleaning hangers and covering them with crepe paper. After searching the Internet for a picture and crafting inspiration, Leslie created her own larger than life wire framed daffodil.

Below are pictures of the frame in process, and of course the finished product! These daffodils on my suggestion could even be a fundraising vehicle of sorts. They are so photo worthy, what parent wouldn’t think twice to pay to have their munchkin peeking out from that crepe paper craftiness?

flower1

Leslie and Stephen are crafters who immerse themselves 100% into their crafting moment. They give their projects their all, absolutely love crafting, and in this case are giving back ten-fold to the community!

The Kolvek’s are my crafting inspiration. I hope to one day watch my crafting ideas flower like theirs!”

flower2

flower3

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Prepping for the Paper Trail

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

To celebrate National Craft Month, CHA Designer Eileen Hull is getting Scotty and Big Daddy ready for Paper Trail 9!

Scotty-rides-again

In 2013, Eileen bought a vintage trailer and outfitted it as a mobile studio. Since then she has been touring the country in Scotty and teaching classes in independent stores, art galleries and at events, retreats and trade shows. You may have spotted the pair on the Show floor at the CHA MEGA Show in January doing #Cre8time make and takes! The projects were designed and taught by many well-known CHA Designers using products generously donated by the Paper Trail sponsors: SizzixCrescent CardboardThermOWebCrafter’s HomeGraphic 45ClearsnapSakuraBeacon AdhesivesLittle BDecoArt, and M-D Hobby and Craft.

One of the highlights of the Paper Trail 9 is the Quartermain House Creative Retreat. CHA Designer members Lorine Mason, Cheryl Boglioli, Marie Browning and Laura Kelly are headed north to Fredericton, Canada for an art retreat at fellow designer friend Debra Quartermain’s B & B. The cost of $350 includes a Friday night reception, two full days of workshops (all supplies included), and lunch both on Saturday and Sunday. All are invited to attend!

Read more about Eileen’s journey on her blog.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media and we will share it!

31 Days of Crafting: Aunt Maureen’s Art Club

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Nothing gives Maureen Walsh, CHA’s Vice President of Membership and Marketing, more joy than spending time creating with her nephews and nieces. Read about the “side business” she runs after work and on the weekend, where she gets paid in paint, smiles and sugar crafts.

“I’ve always been the ‘artsy’ one in the family and enjoy sharing my talents with the next generation. I started sharing my love of all things creative many years ago with my first two nephews, Jack and Alec, who are now college age and fabulous people! I’ve continued to invite my nieces and nephews to join me for creative projects and lessons.

Maureen1

My siblings are quite happy to send the children to Aunt Maureen’s Art Club, where they learn painting and drawing techniques, or often choose a new and interesting creative process to explore. We will be gathering this March for an official meeting and mosaic project!

Last Spring we made our Club official, painted a sign, elected my nephew Tyler as president, and got down to some serious acrylic painting. Another meeting involved shamrocks, glitter, glue, clay and 3D St. Patrick’s Day cards for Grandpa and Grandma!

Since that time, I’ve watched my niece Katie and nephew Tyler blossom into talented young artists. Tyler has his own sketch pad and draws regularly; Katie has won an award for her work. A bit like Cezanne in technique, certainly the most passionate about creativity, Tyler told me he likes that you can ‘design anything you think of and make it into something beautiful.’ His words, not mine.

And recently, my nephew Liam drew an amazing sailboat for his Grandma as a gift. While my nephew Dylan is more into sports than artwork, he too has been part of our Club and shows his stellar intellect and talents in everything he does, especially when he convinces me his time would be better spent watching hockey and calling the play-by-play! He’s a better artist than he realizes!

Generally, Art Club is a sleepover event and involves some sugar craft when we’re done with our projects, which generally ends with sprinkles, icing and frostings smeared on faces and fingers and walls and gigantic smiles on all the Art Club members.

This family creative adventure has become so important to all of us and is as much about sharing love as it is about sharing our imaginations and creative energy. I have seen my very special group grow in confidence, self-esteem and pride as we come together to make stuff! This year we will welcome two new members, Ainsleigh and Brendan, who are just old enough to put on their smocks and get busy. Ainsleigh already loves purple crayons, especially on the wall. And we have another little one ready to join us next year, Gracie ‘Van Gogh’. Her first art project from day care is already framed and hanging in my living room.”

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.