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.

Top 5 Reasons to Sponsor a Workshop or Seminar at the CHA 2016 MEGA Conference & Trade Show!

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Interested in speaking or hosting a workshop at the CHA 2016 MEGA Conference & Trade Show? Applications are now open! This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise with buyers.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider signing up:

1. Get your products in the hands of serious buyers off the Show floor
SAMSUNG CSC 2. Raise brand awareness
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3. Increase booth traffic through product knowledge
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4. Build credibility in the creative industry
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5. Get buyers’ undivided attentionSAMSUNG CSC

APPLICATION DEADLINE:
Seminar/Demo-nar applications are due by August 14, 2015. The deadline to be included in the Show Preview Guide is June 1, 2015.

APPLY NOW!
Due to size limits, filling out an application does not guarantee acceptance. Please make sure to complete the application in full, including your complete bio, references, and both a long and a short description of your subject for marketing purposes.

Fill out the online application today.

“Meet the Exhibitors” Blog Series: M-D Hobby & Craft

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MeetTheExhibitors2The next exhibitor in our “Meet the Exhibitors” series is M-D Hobby & Craft, a recently created line of M-D Building Products. The M-D name is over 90 years old and has its roots in Oklahoma, where it started out of necessity during a dust storm. L.A. Macklanburg built his first form of weatherstrip in order to keep the dust from coming under his front door. He then built a brass-folding hand-crank weatherstrip machine and took his product to the Oklahoma State Fair. Together with H.M. Duncan, his lead salesman, L.A. incorporated Macklanburg-Duncan in July 1920.

MD-HOBBY-CRAFT-LOGOOver the next several decades, the company grew and became popular in the DIY community. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s have stocked M-D products since their inception. Macklanburg-Duncan, later renamed M-D, made a commitment early on to manufacture in the USA. It owns two domestic facilities: one in Oklahoma City, OK and the other in Gainesville, GA.

M-D has become well known for its variety of products, including weatherization, flooring tools, flooring accessories, digital levels and – now with its new line business – craft supplies.

What products are you most excited about featuring at the Paper Arts+ Show?
We are excited to begin distributing the Liquid Nails Brand into the Hobby & Craft Channel.

Why should people stop at your booth?
To check out all of our new products, of course!

Why should buyers come to Paper Arts+?
The Show is a great way for buyers to get a more personal buying experience with multiple vendors. It’s also a great opportunity for them to see new products before the big reveal at the CHA MEGA Show in January.

Beyond your products, how can you bring additional value to the buyer?
M-D Hobby & Craft has its own in-house design team, so we’re able to send buyers custom-made marketing materials for their store!

You can visit M-D Hobby & Craft at the Paper Arts+ Show in booth #401. Registration opens on June 3, 2015. For more information, visit www.craftandhobby.org/paperarts.

MEET THE SPEAKER: DEBRA VALENCIA

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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!

The upcoming eCourse, Licensing Your Art & Earning Royalties, will be taught by licensed designer Debra Valencia.

debra-valencia-picDebra Valencia is a surface designer, textile artist, graphic designer, product inventor and business entrepreneur. She has worked in the design field as a creative director for several award-winning firms, having worked on multi-disciplinary projects worldwide. Debra lectures nationwide at major colleges, universities and creative professional organizations, and teaches seminars on the art licensing business. In addition, she has 14 years of experience teaching both studio and business courses at art colleges.

Debra’s surface designs are currently licensed with 32 manufacturers and produced on 1,000+ products in stationery, textiles, home décor, gift, beauty and fashion accessories. Debra’s expertise in branding, consumer trends and product design makes her a key resource in providing strategic direction for product line development to manufacturers.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been an artist and a crafter since my childhood. I studied graphic design in college and have been working in the creative field ever since. I took an interest in greeting card design and textile design. In 2008, I switched gears to focus on licensing my designs.

What are the top takeaways that students will learn by taking your class?
1. How to market yourself as a licensed artist.
2. How to make submissions directly to manufacturers without a trade show or agent.

What’s the biggest challenge that artists/designers/graphic designers face when starting an art licensing business?
The revenue stream is extremely long. You have to be willing to do the work now and not get paid for 12 to 18 months as deals are secured and products are brought to market.

Each week you’ll be covering a different step on how artists can take their businesses to the next level. What new skills can participants expect to walk away with by the end of the course?
Students will learn how to prepare a portfolio properly, which is crucial for success in licensing. They’ll learn the importance of building art in collections and showing product mockups, as well as how to research manufacturers and find licensing opportunities.


Licensing Your Art & Earning Royalties begins April 30, 2015 and runs through May 15, 2015. Courses will take place every Thursday from 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST. Can’t make it to the live sessions on Thursdays? No worries! We are recording the courses so you can access them at your convenience!

During this three week eCourse Debra will take you step-by-step through the following:

Week 1:
What Is Art Licensing?
Overview of Opportunities
How to Get Started

Week 2:
Understanding the Business Side
Marketing
Making Submissions

Week 3:
Agents vs. Self-Representation
Working with Manufacturers
Resources and Strategic Plan

Register today!

Independent Craft Retailers Reveal Long-Held Secrets

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By Laurel Lee Pollard, White Collar Crafter

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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:

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.**

Craft on!

Laurel Lee Pollard
White Collar Crafter
WhiteCollarCrafter.com
Social: @WCCrafter
LinkedIn

The CHA Foundation Hosted a Kids Crafting Day at Bradley Hospital

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On April 2, 2015, the Craft & Hobby Association Foundation partnered with The Rit Studio, Craft Attitude and Michaels Stores to host a “Kids Crafting Day” at Bradley Hospital in East Providence, Rhode Island. Together, we celebrated National Craft Month and promoted the many benefits art can offer those with mental health conditions.

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Bradley Hospital, licensed by the Department of Children, Youth and Families, provides a range of family-focused, high-quality mental health care to infants, children, adolescents and young adults with emotional disorders and/or developmental disabilities.

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During the Kids Craft Day, children attending Bradley Hospital’s various inpatient and partial programs participated in a day filled with creative projects to celebrate the notion of CRE8TIME – a movement which raises awareness for the need to devote more time for creative expression, and provide a forum for individuals to share their experiences with the creative community at large. The project of choice was painting laser cut frames from Michaels using Rit Dye and embellishing with crayon drawings, shapes cut out from scrapbooking paper and stickers. Each child drew pictures that they were able to display in the frames.

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All of the projects were led by CHA Staff and craft specialists from The Rit Studio, including Rebecca Fretty, Jasmin Chang and Ruth Gallogly; and Andrea Atwater, representing Craft Attitude.

The children had a wonderful day learning about #CRE8TIME, celebrating creativity and creating their own masterpieces! More pictures of the event can be seen on the CRE8TIME Facebook page.

If you are interested in hosting or sponsoring an event, please contact cmartell@craftandhobby.org.

MEET THE SPEAKER: MIKE PERIU

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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!

Our first eCourse, The 5 Step Path to Getting Your Business Loan Funded, will be taught by small business expert Mike Periu.

mike-periu-experto-financieroMike has degrees in Finance and International Business from Georgetown University and is a seasoned executive with over 15 years of experience in small business finance. He is the founder of Proximo, LLC., a leading provider of small business financial education and training services. Mike is also a leading national voice for individual empowerment through financial education and entrepreneurship, having been interviewed over 500 times by national and international media. His appearences include NBC, Univision, CNN en español, Telemundo, HITN, TVE, RTE, SBS, MegaTV and others. Mike also publishes a small business finance blog available here.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m originally from New Jersey, but live in sunny Miami now. I have been a business owner for over 15 years and also invest in and advise other small businesses across the country. I studied finance and started my career in the corporate world, but quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. I wanted to use my talents to help families, entrepreneurs and small business owners make better financial decisions. That’s what I’ve been doing for years and that’s what I plan to do for a very long time.

What are the top five takeaways that students will learn by taking your class?
1. Attractive alternatives exist for borrowing money designed for small businesses.
2. How to select the right lender for your particular circumstances.
3. How to prepare your loan request.
4. How to negotiate to get the best terms possible.
5. How to calculate how much money you’ll really need.

What’s the biggest challenge owners face when applying for a small business loan?
The biggest challenge is being small! Traditional lenders are not interested in lending money to small businesses at a low interest rate. They are in the “wholesale money” business; they like to loan millions of dollars at a time. When they have to sell “retail money” – anything under one million dollars – they either decline or charge very high interest rates. My course will teach small business owners how to deal with wholesalers and how to tap new alternative options that are specifically designed for them.

Each week you’ll be covering a different step on how businesses can borrow money effectively. How is this style of learning effective?
Most craft and hobby business owners are busy working on the day-to-day responsibilities of their stores. They usually don’t have much free time, so it isn’t realistic for someone to take two days to attend an intensive training seminar. A couple of hours of lessons and assignments each week is a realistic commitment. Also, by spreading it out over time, students will have the opportunity to absorb all of the information that I’m going to share.

You mention the tide is turning and that money is now available. What do you attribute that to and how can retailers cash-in?
It’s only recently that new technology has allowed the creation of alternative small business lenders that offer reasonable interest rates. In the past, the only options were traditional loan products or very high-interest merchant loans. Today, small business owners are empowered through greater choice. They can cash-in by literally cashing-in! Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to raise money for a business. Interest rates will start going up soon, which will make financing more expensive. The sooner one can lock in a loan, the better the chances that it will be at a lower interest rate.


The 5 Step Path to Getting Your Business Loan Funded begins April 14, 2015 and runs through May 12, 2015.

During this five week eCourse, Mike will take you step-by-step through the following:

Week 1: Figuring Out Your Financial Need vs. How Much You Should Ask For
Week 2: Gathering Your Paperwork
Week 3: Finding the Right Lender
Week 4: Reviewing Your Loan Options
Week 5: Negotiate and Close Like a Pro

This course consists of a one-hour lecture and 30 minutes of discussion. Participants who successfully complete the course will be given access to a complimentary application review.

Register Today!

“Meet the Exhibitors” Blog Series: Art Impressions

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MeetTheExhibitors2Art Impressions is the next exhibitor in our “Meet the Exhibitors” series. Art Impressions is a family-owned business, which opened in 1987. Since starting out primarily selling educational stamps, the company has grown significantly over the past 28 years. Today, Art Impressions is well known in the craft industry for its comical characters, whimsical designs and interactive stamping techniques. What makes the company stand out is its incredible diversity of images, each one created by the company’s sole designer and co-owner, Bonnie Krebs. All of Art Impressions’ products are made in the USA.

Art Impressions LogoWhat products are you most excited about featuring at the Paper Arts+ Show?
We will feature some of our brand new Watercolor releases as well as some new interactive stamping ideas! You won’t want to miss seeing our new Spinners and holiday images.

Why should people stop at your booth?
We love attending CHA shows and spending time with our customers. Whether you order from us or a distributor, we always want to support our stores in any way we can. Stop by for some free stamps, promotional products for your store, demos and make-n-takes!

Why should buyers come to Paper Arts+?
We attended Paper Arts+ in 2014 and loved the experience. Spending quality time with our storeowners is truly invaluable. Events and food breaks were contained to the Show floor, which gave us extra time to mingle. We can’t wait until July to do it all over again!

Beyond your products, how can you bring additional value to the buyer?
Many of our current storeowners know that we love to do whatever it takes to help our independent retailers. At our booth, we love to show off new product and give you the tools to better promote it. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to grab some freebies and promotional products, as well as literature and packets for upcoming wholesale promotions, including our semi-annual Catalog Party. In addition, we will include card samples, posters and window clings when requested with wholesale orders!

You can visit Art Impressions at the Paper Arts+ Show in booth #301. Registration opens on June 3, 2015. For more information, visit www.craftandhobby.org/paperarts.

Online Education at Your Fingertips

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The Craft & Hobby Association has a new focus on its education offerings this year. That focus is on your success, by whatever means necessary. We’re going to be providing you with different formats to easily access the can’t-miss education you’ve come to expect from CHA, without ever having to leave the comfort of your home or even your business. All you need is a computer and internet connection.

Here’s what’s available today

eCourses
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Deep-dive online courses that are set up in a series of one-hour sessions where you will have the option of learning live, or at your own pace, through recorded sessions. eCourses are an easy and efficient way to expand your business knowledge throughout the year. Programs include the following:

Recorded Seminars
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Did you miss any seminars at the CHA 2015 MEGA Show? Here’s your chance to catch up!

Webinars 24/7
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Education at your fingertips! Join our 60-minute educational power-hour webinars conveniently scheduled, recorded, and archived for your access anywhere, anytime of the year.

Thought Leaders
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Each quarter, interviews will be conducted with top business leaders from within and outside of the craft industry. These thought leaders will answer your questions in addition to providing advice and insights through a web-streamed interview. Here’s the schedule:

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Coming soon in 2015

Online Workshops
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An exciting new opportunity to learn projects and skills at your convenience, CHA’s online workshops are video craft classes filled with creative inspiration and art instruction. You’ll learn a variety of techniques that you’ll be able to implement immediately in your store or business.

If you are a designer or supplier member of CHA and you are interested in presenting an online workshop, or are an instructor interested in teaching an eCourse, please contact education@craftandhobby.org.

CHA remains committed to providing our members valuable education to keep your businesses ahead of the competition. For more information visit www.craftandhobby.org.

CHA Hall of Fame 2016 Class Nominations


Do you know someone who has made a significant contribution to the craft industry?

Nominate them for the CHA 2016 Hall of Fame!

Members of the CHA Hall of Fame are industry veterans and pioneers who have made extraordinary contributions leading to the growth and success of the Association and the creative arts industry. The inductees are chosen annually by the CHA Hall of Fame Committee, which is comprised of CHA Board Members and member volunteers.

Download the CHA Hall of Fame Nomination Form Today!

Fax or email completed forms to Tracy Soto at (201) 835-1260 or tsoto@craftandhobby.org no later than May 31, 2015.

“Meet the Exhibitors” Blog Series: Meet Stampendous

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MeetTheExhibitors2CHA is returning to the Chicago area for the Paper Arts+ Show, July 21-23, 2015 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center. Once again, the Show will host exhibits featuring the industry’s leading manufacturers. We will highlight this year’s exhibiting companies in a blog series called, “Meet the Exhibitors”.

Over the next several weeks, we will introduce you to some of our Paper Arts+ Show exhibitors so you can learn more about the companies, products and what you can expect to see at the Show.

The first exhibitor in our series is Stampendous.

Stampendous has been in business for over three decades under the sole ownership of Fran Seiford, CEO & Chief Artistic Stampendous_Logo_450X350Officer. Fran’s first investment in the craft industry was a $25 order of custom rubber stamps made from her own illustrations. Soon her investment developed into a wide range of craft tools and products to help others in their creative expression.

Today, Stampendous is the manufacturer of products including Fran•táge Embossing Enamels, Essential Elements, Wood Mounted Rubber Stamps, Perfectly Clear™ Stamps, Cling Rubber™ Stamps, Class A’Peel™ Stickers, Stack Art, Creative Palette, Glitzy Glitter, PEARLustre™ Embossing Powder, Fuzzy Fun Flock™, and Stuftainers™, 86 percent of which are manufactured in its facility in Anaheim, CA. In January 2015, Stampendous purchased Dreamweaver Stencils, a line of stainless steel stencils along with Embossing Paste and Tools. Stampendous’ licenses include House-Mouse®, Nathalie Kalbach and Andy Skinner.

What products are you most excited about featuring at the Paper Arts+ Show? 
A new line of Halloween, Fall, Christmas and Winter Stamps, Dies and Stencils, with traditional, whimsical, inspirational and nostalgic designs. We’re also excited about our new Holiday House-Mouse® designs and Board of the Month programs and surprises!

Why should people stop at your booth?
We will feature amazing models by our talented design team to inspire how to use all of the new products. Attendees will learn new techniques as we demo in two areas using our new designs in Stamps, Dies and Stencils.

Why should buyers come to Paper Arts+?
Fourth quarter sales are the most important time for any retail store. Buyers must entice consumers to make their store their holiday shopping destination. Buyers should not miss the opportunity to see the very latest in what creative new products are being introduced at Paper Arts+ to lure shoppers into their stores.

Beyond your products, how can you bring additional value to the buyer?
Stampendous is teaching a workshop and providing two demos every day, all day, in our booth. Also, we also cross merchandise our product with other manufacturers’ products that will be exhibiting. Our stamp line and accessories are not just for paper crafting, but enjoyed for jewelry making, painting on canvas, wood and fabric, clay designs and all types of mixed media.

You can visit Stampendous at the Paper Arts+ Show in booth #402. Registration opens on June 3, 2015. For more information, visit www.craftandhobby.org/paperarts.