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CHA Makes Trade Show Executive Magazine’s Gold 100 List, Trade Show Network News’ Top 250 Trade Show in the U.S. and EXPO Magazine Names Tony Lee to its Industry Elite List

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is pleased to announce that its’ 2011 Winter Conference & Trade Show was once again named to Trade Show Executive (TSE) Magazine’s List of Gold 100 Trade Shows and Trade Show Network News’ (TSNN) Top 250 Trade Shows in the U.S. List. The TSE Gold 100 Awards honor the exhibition industry’s leading 100 shows in North American that set the standard of excellence within the Trade Show and Exhibition Industry.  The Tarsus Group’s Trade Show News Network (TSNN) Top 250 Awards represent largest trade shows in the country based on square footage.  The latest issue of Expo Magazine also name Tony Lee, CHA’s vice president of Meetings & Exhibits as one of twenty on the EXPO Elite List for 2012 recognizing individuals for their leadership and success in the exhibition industry.

“We are excited that our Winter Show has been again recognized for excellence and is included on this prestigious list alongside
other leading shows in the exhibitions industry,” says Tony Lee, CHA vice president, Meetings & Exhibitions. “I give credit to the industry, our Board of Directors, exhibitors, attendees and staff that make the Winter Show a joy to develop, enhance and promote.”


 The actual rank order of the TSE Gold 100 Awards winners is confidential and will be announced at the Fifth    Annual TSE Gold 100 Awards & Summit, October 3 – 5, 2012 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC. The rankings  were compiled by TSE’s editorial team during a year-long process that involved gathering data, resolving  discrepancies and obtaining certified statements of accuracy from the organizers.  This selection represents CHA’s fourth consecutive year of inclusion on the TSE Gold 100 Trade Shows list.

CHA is pleased to be featured on the 2011 TSNN Top 250 Trade Show list, snagging 115th place – up twelve places from 127th place last year. The rankings are based on the data supplied to TSNN by show management. The list represents the top 250 trade shows held last year in the U.S. ranked by net square footage.

“We are very pleased to have both our CHA Winter Show and Tony Lee honored by leading exhibition publications like TSNN, Trade Show Executive and EXPO Magazine. To have the craft industry recognized by having our Winter Show listed with other leading shows is a reflection not only on the member-supported programs and the responsive leadership provided by Tony, but by our entire team here at CHA,” explained Andrej Suskavcevic, President & CEO, CHA.


Canadian Consumer Awareness Program to Encourage Sewing

The Canadian section of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) today unveiled ‘Canada Sews,’ a national campaign designed to raise the awareness of sewing among Canadian consumers at the CHA 2012 Spring Trade Exhibition for Quilting, Sewing & Fibre held at the Calgary Stampede Grounds.

Canada Sews promotes sewing in all its formats whether fashion, quilting, home décor or crafting. The campaign includes month-long local sewing activities during October designed to highlight sewing activities in stores, online, and with the media. To support local retailers CHA has created free Canada Sews marketing tools to help celebrate, promote and participate in Canada Sews. Anyone interested in this program is encouraged to download the free promotional resources at www.CanadaSews.com.

“BrotherCanada’s origins are rooted in the sewing industry and remain a part of our identity. We are committed to encouraging the growth of this industry acrossCanadaand hope that our involvement with Canada Sews helps us in reaching this goal. For these reasons, we are thrilled to be part of such an organization. Not only does it bring enormous value to the craft and hobby industry, but it also allows different groups to meet and exchange ideas pertaining to their craft,” JoAnne Cockerton, Home Appliance Division Manager, BrotherCanada.

The campaign also includes participation in the Great White T-Shirt Challenge. This contest is open Canadian residents (excluding Quebec). Turn a plain white t-shirt into something special then upload images of your project to our Facebook page and include any relevant information.  Over $6,000 worth of sewing products will be awarded to finalists in each category. Winners will be announced at the fall Creative Festival October 12- 14, 2012. Any one can make their own unique contribution to the program by sharing their favorite sewing stories, products, blogs and sewing-related websites on www.Facebook.com/CanadaSews.  For more information about Canada Sews or to find a list of participating companies please visit www.CanadaSews.com.

For questions or additional information about Canada Sews contact CHA in Canada at 519.940.5969 or canadasews@craftandhobby.org. For more about CHA, the value of membership, or its award-winning Conferences & Trade Shows, please visit www.craftandhobby.org.

April 24th Workshop Lottery Deadline is Fast Approaching for Hero Arts, Ranger & Sizzix Classes!

In an effort to provide fair access to CHA’s fastest selling workshops, CHA has introduced a Workshop Lottery for Hero Arts, Ranger and Sizzix classes during the CHA 2012 Summer Conference & Trade Show. These classes will no longer be available through the CHA Conference Program registration site.To qualify for the workshop lottery, you must:

  • Be a current CHA Buyer Member
  • Not have attended a CHA Workshop by the sessions’ sponsor within the past two years

CHA will randomly select participants for these workshops after April 24th and notify participants via email no later than 5 pm ET April 30, 2012.    For more information, visit the Registration FAQs or email registration@craftandhobby.org.

Undercover Boss – Oriental Trading Company

In March 2012, CHA Member Oriental Trading Company was featured on the CBS-TV program Undercover Boss, where OTC’s CEO, Sam Taylor went undercover to take a closer look at the company while working incognito.  If you missed the broadcast, here’s all 45 minutes from YouTube.

What do you think?

Michaels Stores IPO in April?!

Michaels Stores

Michaels Stores

Reuters News, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have all joined the fray in reporting that North America’s largest craft retailer, and CHA Member, Michaels Stores may be ready for its initial public offering as early as April and have said it could be the year’s biggest IPO.  That’s pretty cool for what started as an independent craft retailer in Texas! See the following links for more:

New York Times – http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/michaels-stores-readies-for-an-i-p-o/

Wall Street Journal – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303404704577306254063668664.html

4Traders – http://www.4-traders.com/THE-BLACKSTONE-GROUP-L-P-51975/news/EXCLUSIVE-Blackstone-Bain-prepare-Michaels-Stores-IPO-14238890/

The 2012 CHA Summer Show Mixes It Up With Mixed-Media

The CHA 2012 Summer Conference & Trade Show will be returning to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL from July 16-19,2012. For more than 30 years, the CHA Summer Show has been the craft and hobby industry’s must-attend event of the season for buyers, exhibitors and designers, and this year’s Show will continue that legacy with a focus on Craft Fusion and mixed-media crafts.

Craft Fusion is the often-dramatic effect achieved by the combination of different craft materials in innovative and non-traditional ways resulting in intriguing art, unique gifts, spectacular fashion and other handicrafts. Craft Fusion represents sales and growth opportunities for the entire industry by helping the industry focus on interdisciplinary crafting that appeal to core crafters across different sectors, including younger crafters, artisans and creative enthusiasts across the world. Attendees at the CHA 2012 Summer Conference & Trade Show can look forward to receiving valuable information on:

  • Product Assortment: Expanding retailers’ product ranges offered in-store and merchandising effectively to complement current lines.
  • Project Inspiration: New, popular mixed-media projects to teach in-store.
  • New Distribution: Securing new points of distribution by presenting manufacturers’ product lines and designing sell-through tools for mixed-media applications.
  • Trends: Mixed-media and color trends from experts in the field.

“The Craft Fusion theme makes for an exciting Show floor, a greater exhibitor and attendee opportunity to experience the selling power of mixed-media,” explained Andrej Suskavcevic, President and CEO, CHA. “Focusing on mixed-media is an opportunity for the industry to collaborate on creative products, projects, cross-promotion and cross-sales. The chance to explore such a large and diverse selection of craft products under one roof should not be overlooked.”

Online badge registration opens Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 11am EST. The CHA Conference program (workshops, seminars, events, etc) opens Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 11am EST.  To learn more about the 2012 CHA Summer Conference & Trade Show, including a complete schedule of all programs and events, exhibitor listings, travel discounts and other Show highlights, visit www.craftandhobby.org.

2013 CHA Board of Directors Nominees Wanted


In a news release posted to CHA’s website yesterday, the CHA Nominating Committee is looking for CHA members to nominate other CHA members for Board service.  Deadline is June 1, 2012. Read the complete story below and download the nomination form at https://www.craftandhobby.org/eweb/docs/cha/2013BoardNomForm_final.pdf.


Elmwood Park, NJ (March 7, 2012) —The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the CHA Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2013 CHA Board of Directors, the Associations’ governing body. Nominations are being received through June 1, 2012.

CHA members can obtain the Board Director Nomination Form at www.craftandhobby.org or by requesting a copy through the CHA Member Services at (201) 835-1206 or via email at memberservices@craftandhobby.org. Any CHA member may nominate an Association member or self-nominate candidates to sit on the Board of Directors for terms beginning January 2013.

“The industry is at a cross-road where technology, our trade shows, and various industry segments are driving the industry into potentially different directions,” explained 2013 Nominating Committee Chair, Emma Gebo (Sierra’s). “We need to identify strong advocates for the industry and Association, to help us charter an industry path into the future.  If you, or someone you know is interested and qualified, please submit a nomination.”

The CHA Board of Directors consists of individuals representing the various sections of the CHA membership. Members of the CHA Board of Directors serve a three-year term in which they meet quarterly to address the needs of the industry from a strategic viewpoint, strengthen the ties between CHA members and the Association, and guide the focus of CHA to provide member value. Members of the CHA Board of Directors serve on a voluntary basis, through which they establish networking and business opportunities, advance their careers through industry leadership, and contribute their voice as advocates for CHA members.

All nominations will be considered by the committee. Board nominations must be received by the June 1, 2012 deadline to facilitate the review process. Nominated individuals who wish to be considered will receive a Board Nominee Profile Form to complete and return by June 15, 2012. If a Nomination Form was submitted and the nominee does not receive the Board Nominee Profile Form to complete within a few days, please contact CHA Member Services at (201) 835-1206 before the June 15, 2012 deadline. All Board Nomination Forms and Board Nominee Profile Forms (for those who have been nominated) must be submitted within the deadline period to the chair:

Emma Gebo
2012 Nominating Committee Chair
4150 Yellowstone Ste D
Pocatello, ID 83201

(208) 237-1014
Email: egebo@ssidaho.com


The 2012 Nominating Committee will review nominations and submit a slate of candidates for the 2012 Board of Directors to the membership. The membership will be notified in advance of the Annual Business Meeting to submit their proxy ballot as outlined in the Association Bylaws.

Nominees should reserve time for an in-person interview by the Nominating Committee on Monday, July 16, 2012, one day before the opening of the CHA 2012 Summer Conference & Trade Show. The Summer Show will be held July 17-19, 2012 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

In addition to the 2012 Nominating Committee Chair Emma Gebo, Board committee members are Mike Birkholm (Darice Inc) and David Murray (ACTIVA Products), with Mark Peters (iLoveToCreate) and Jan Kahn (Spinrite LP) as the first and second board alternates, respectively. The members-at-large elected by the membership to serve on the committee are Georganne Bender (Kizer & Bender SPEAKING!), Ted Hesemann (Herrschner’s) and Tiffany Windsor (Cool2Craft Network). Lorine Mason (Lorine Mason Designs) is the single member-at-large alternate. 

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Colorbök Announces New Partnership with Lazear Capital Partners, Ltd.

CHA Member Colorbök announces changes and partnership with Lazear Capital Partners.  See the entire release below.     



Colorbok, Inc. Announces New Partnership with Lazear Capital Partners, Ltd.


Ann Arbor, Michigan/USA

March 5, 2012-03-04

Ann Arbor based Colorbök, Inc., a nationally prominent creator and distributor of scrapbooking items, kids’ crafts and other related products, announces their new partnership with Lazear Capital Partners, Ltd., a Columbus, Ohio merchant banking firm. Lazear Capital partnered with key management in the purchase of assets of Colorbök, Inc.


Established in 1984, Colorbök, Inc. has built its success on entering into diverse product categories with licensed brands and has become a leading supplier, marketer and distributor in the craft and hobby industry over the last two decades. 


“I am pleased to be entering into this relationship with Lazear Capital Partners.   We see this as a significant investment in the future of Colorbök and the Crafting Industry.  With Lazear Capital’s expertise and Colorbök’s strong management team we believe we are poised for rapid growth in our industry,” stated Colorbök CEO Chuck McGonigle.


As part of the corporate restructuring Colorbök, Inc. will become a new entity known as Colorbök, LLC.   The new ownership and management will consist of Colorbök’s current executive team and Lazear Capital Partners.    



Michelle Principi


Colorbok, LLC

110 Parkland Plaza

Ann Arbor, MI  48103



A Virtual Celebration for National Craft Month

With 56% of households crafting at least one project a year the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) is proud to announce the 18th annual celebration of National Craft Month. Running the entire month of March, National Craft Month was started in 1994 as a way to help people discover the joy of crafting and all its many benefits. National Craft Month has grown from a handful of retailers and manufacturers into an international celebration of creativity with millions of participants underscoring the familiar and near-universal experience of crafting.

During National Craft Month retailers across the country offer product discounts, special classes, demonstrations, as well as tips and projects to help customers try and discover crafts. Here are five easy ways to celebrate National Craft Month this year whether online or in a craft store near you.

  1. Ana Araujo of WhenCreativityKnocks.com will be showcasing “must-have products” for the crafter, new techniques and project inspiration with contest giveaways each week at http://whencreativityknocks.com/mycraftspace .   .
  2. F+W Mediais celebrating National Craft Month with Stitch Craft Create, a new magazine devoted to a creative lifestyle. Crafters can go to www.sccmag.blogspot.com to read about great projects, meet and interact with designers like Katie Hacker and Rebeca Mojica, learn new crafting techniques and above all ignite creative passion.
  3. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is inspiring consumers with daily new how-to videos, an online craft contest and more at www.joann.com.
  4. Michaels Stores is celebrating with a new web-based craft competition called Craft Masters at www.michaels.com/craftmasters.
  5. Independent retailers and crafters everywhere can share National Craft Month experiences, stories, photos and videos on CHA’s Facebook page, YouTube Channel (CraftandHobby), and Twitter (#NationalCraftMonth).

To learn more about what is happening during National Craft Month, to locate the nearest craft store, or for additional project ideas please visit www.craftplace.org.