Meet Debi Adams of Spellbinders Paper Arts!

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We are getting to know some of our Paper Arts+ workshop teachers in this “Meet the Teachers” blog post series. Through the series, you will learn about their art and inspiration, the value in attending their workshops, and what you can expect to learn. This week we meet Debi Adams, instructor and concept designer at Spellbinders Paper Arts!

debi adamsIn Shaping a Beautiful Life with Platinum, Debi will teach you all of the amazing things you can do with the new Platinum machine by Spellbinders. Featuring Versacut technology, the Platinum machine has an 8 1/2″ cutting platform, and is stronger and requires fewer turns than other machines on the market. Cut up to eight layers of fabric at a time while being able to cut over 40 different substrates with Spellbinders’ new Contour steel rule dies!

Tell us a little about yourself.
My degree is in education, but my passion is art. I’ve been involved in the art industry for more than 30 years. In that time, I’ve worn a ton of hats: paper crafter, sewer, floral arranger, party planner and decorator, wall mural painter, cookie decorator, jewelry maker, set and prop stager and most recently, photographer. I feel blessed to have been interviewed in a myriad of magazines, including Somerset Studios, and Apronology and Scrapbooks, and to have worked with licensed designers like Tim Holtz, Brenda Walton, Jo Packham and Lori Whitlock.

What do you love most about the creative industry?
I love our industry because it provides countless tools, techniques and supplies for creative folks to create or “think” outside the box.

What do you love most about teaching workshops?
I never get tired of seeing the “light bulb” go on. Often times I hear someone say, “I never thought I could do that.” That always makes my day!

What value would you place on attending classes offered at live conferences such as the Paper Arts+ Show?
Attending Paper Arts+ workshops is so valuable. You get to be the first to see and experience the latest trends in crafting and invaluable tools for your store.

What are the top takeaways that attendees will learn by taking your workshop?
My workshop will equip you to sell Spellbinders’ dies and machines to your customers. You’ll take home essential knowledge, capabilities and applications of all the products you’ll use to apply in your store and/or classroom.

When you’re not teaching, what can we find you doing?
I love scavenging for treasures at estate and garage sales, as well as in stores like Goodwill. I use these items as art materials or upcycle/recycle them as home décor for my new home in Arizona. Also, every chance I get, I love getting together and hanging out with my four adult daughters.

The Paper Arts+ Show is around the corner and Show registration is open! Register for Shaping a Beautiful Life with Platinum today! Online registration closes on Tuesday, July 14!

Learn more about Debi on the Spellbinders Paper Arts blog and her personal blog.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where we will meet Eileen Hull, designer for Sizzix/Ellison!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 10 Reasons to Exhibit at the CHA MEGA Show

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The 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is taking place January 7-12, 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. As an exhibitor, this is your opportunity to exhibit at the oldest and largest craft industry trade show in the U.S. and get your product in front of thousands of buyers!

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Incase that’s not enough of a reason to convince you, here are 10 more reasons to exhibit at the CHA MEGA Show:

  1. Generate new sales leads with thousands of big box and independent retail buyers who are ready to place orders
  2. Join 400+ exhibiting companies that are showcasing more than 9,000 SKUs
  3. Get exposure – Promote your brand and products to more than 150 global media outlets
  4. Leverage face-to-face networking opportunities
  5. Up-to-the minute exposure to all of the latest product trends and forecasts you need
  6. Expand internationally by reaching valuable buyers and media from more than 55 countries
  7. Develop new partnerships and expand your professional contacts
  8. Launch new products
  9. Increase brand awareness
  10. The only place you can conduct a year’s worth of business in four days

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Valuable buyers from more than 35,000 stores want to place orders with you!

Sign up to exhibit today!

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For U.S. inquiries, click here or contact Nadine Schwartz via nschwartz@craftandhobby.org or 201-835-1203.

For international inquiries, click here or contact Andrew Morton via amorton@craftandhobby.org or +44 1425 271964.

10 Reasons Why You Can’t Miss the CHA MEGA Show

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The 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is taking place January 7-12, 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.
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The MEGA Show comes around once a year and is the craft industry’s largest trade show in the US! Global industry manufacturers and buyers attend the Show year after year in order to conduct business, network and discover the industry’s latest trends. It’s your chance to get an entire years’ worth of business done in just six days!

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Here are the Top 10 reasons why you must attend the CHA MEGA Show in January!

  1. The latest craft industry trends and forecasts are presented on the Show floor and in classrooms
  2. Five days of education, including the EXTRA day you wanted on Thursday, January 7
  3. 400+ manufacturers featuring 12,000+ new products
  4. Exciting special events to celebrate the Show’s 75th anniversary
  5. Everything you want to see – specific product and new exhibitor pavilions, and NEW Show floor exhibits showcasing products in action
  6. More hands-on product workshops led by the industry’s favorite designers
  7. Free retail education from industry experts, sponsored by the Independent Retailer Conference (IRC)
  8. New Business Solutions Pavilion with companies to help boost your efficiency and profitability
  9. Valuable networking opportunities with key industry players
  10. The only place you can conduct a year’s worth of business in SIX days

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Save the Date:
Registration opens this September!
Stay in touch for the latest updates:

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CHA TWITTER
SEE YOU AT CHA! PAGE
CHA WEBSITE

CHA 2015 MEGA Show Brings Industry Together To Showcase Hot New Products

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The CHA MEGA Conference and Tradeshow, the largest event for the craft and hobby industry, concluded a successful 74th annual event, January 9-13, 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.  The CHA MEGA Show, produced by the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA), brings together the entire industry for five days of education, networking and product innovation.

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Exhibitors began setting-up on January 8th and they quickly brought their booths to life, as they, along with Show staff and the decorators, worked quickly to get the Show floor ready for opening on Saturday morning.

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The CHA 2015 MEGA Show drew thousands of buyers from 56 countries to see the newest products coming to market. Good Housekeeping TV, MSNBC, Better Homes and Gardens and a host of other global media outlets were present to get a glimpse of tomorrow’s craft trends, interview small business entrepreneurs, and report on innovation, new products and industry awards of excellence.
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As a hub for learning, the CHA MEGA Show Conference offered more than 100 programs including Business Seminars and Workshops, Demo-nars®, Feed Your Brain seminars, Hands-On Labs and Artisan Workshops. Seminars with a focus on technology and social media were popular among attendees.

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Rachel Shechtman, owner of STORY in NYC, delivered an inspiring Keynote Address on “Rewriting Retail: From Making Sales to Creating an Experience.”   She gave attendees plenty of good ideas on how to re-think their retail space and make it a multi-sensory experience for customers.

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Show opening day on Saturday morning saw the registration area packed with attendees lining up and exhibitors making last minute touches to their booths. The Show floor featured an array of education and interactive activities including an Independent Retailer Conference, product workshops, a Makerspace with live demonstrations a Designer Showcase featuring the hottest craft designers, celebrity appearances, and fashion shows.

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New additions to the Show floor also included an Art & Paint Pavilion, sponsored by the Society of Decorative Painters, that featured the latest art materials and paint suppliers, live hands-on painting demonstrations and a curated art gallery showcasing artists’ best hand-made decorative paintings from all over the world.

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The Hot Product Showcases were a top destination area for Show attendees and featured 24 nominees in eight categories.  The winners of the Hot Product Awards, selected by a jury of expert media and celebrity judges, were announced at the CHA 2nd Annual Foundation Gala on Sunday, January 11, 2015. Click here to view the 2015 Hot Product Winners by category.

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The Show had its own Maker Space area, combining tech influenced DIY and inspiring presentations by craft industry innovators, Sarah Hodsdon and Jill Mackay.

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The Independent Retailer Conference — dedicated entirely to the unique lifestyle and responsibilities of retail small business owners—was an incredibly popular new Show floor feature that included 15 minute power seminar sessions presented by top small business experts.

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More than 400 people attended the CHA Foundation Gala, a charity event to benefit the CRE8TIME Movement, the CHA Foundation’s consumer outreach program that is designed to inspire creativity in everyone.

In addition to the CHA Hot Product Awards other presentations at the Gala included the launch of a grant program with the Kids in Need Foundation (KINF) to support art education in public schools, Industry Awards for Exhibiting with Excellence and the 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Click here to view all awards recipients.

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In 2016, the CHA MEGA Show will celebrate its 75th anniversary edition, January 8-13, 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.  For more information visit www.craftandhobby.org.

Click here to view the MEGA Show Facebook photo album.

Industry Celebration and Giving Back Were the Prominent Themes of the 2nd Annual CHA Foundation Gala

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Wow, what a night! The 2nd Annual CHA Foundation Gala & Silent Auction, sponsored by Michaels, lived up to its billing of dinner, dancing and inspiration. The themes of the evening were celebrating the industry and giving back, and we accomplished both in a BIG way this year!

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Everyone was greeted by a glass of champagne and walked down the “blue carpet” as they entered a “Hollywood awards ceremony” just for our industry!

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The first hour was spent at the cocktail reception and silent auction, the proceeds of which benefitted CRE8TIME and The Kids in Need Foundation.

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We had two amazing hosts in Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender of KIZER & BENDER – who should be, if they aren’t already, auditioning for the hosting gig at the Golden Globes next year!

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The program kicked-off with the celebration of the CHA 2015 Industry Award Winners.

The CHA 2015 Industry Award Winners went to:

  • Meritorious Award: Herb Lantinga, Notions Marketing

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  • Industry Achievement Award: LaDorna & Robert Eichenberg, Ellison

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  • Special Recognition Award: Joann Pearson, Michaels

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For more about the winners and the Industry Awards, read the press release here.

The program continued with the Exhibiting with Excellence awards, which went to those exhibitors who were judged on overall visual booth appeal; clarity of product being sold; access to make-n-takes; engaging booth flow; as well as enthusiasm and friendliness of Booth staff.

The winners of the CHA 2015 MEGA Show Exhibiting with Excellence Awards were:

  • Island & Peninsula Group – Spinrite

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  • Linear Booth – ClearBags

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  • New Exhibitor – Little B

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  • Critic’s Choice – Spellbinders PaperArts

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CHA’s President & CEO, Andrej Suskavcevic, provided an update on the CHA Foundation’s goals for the future, including partnering with other like-minded organizations to continue to drive the momentum of raising awareness for the need to devote more time for creative expression. In addition to the CRE8TIME movement, proceeds from the silent auction and raffle went to support the Kids in Need Foundation (KINF).

Gala17Every year for the past 12 years, CHA has partnered with KINF to harvest product from exhibitors of CHA Trade Shows, which has resulted in the collection and distribution of $1,591,019.75 worth of donated supplies to teachers and their students at the neediest of schools. The funds from the Gala that will be donated to KINF will be used to fund two grants that will help build art programs at a school in the CHA office’s home state of NJ. Dave Smith, the Executive Director, accepted the check on-behalf of KINF.

Gala18After dinner, it was time to award the 2015 Hot Products! 112 products were submitted this year – a record number! A celebrity and media judging panel selected the award winners based on what makes the product unique; how it will improve the crafter’s overall experience; and the interest it generates in crafting for non-crafters.

For the full list of the 2015 CHA Hot Product Winners click here.

The program concluded with the induction ceremony of the 2015 CHA Hall of Fame. This year’s class included:

  • John & Edna Clapper

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  • Jane Anne Davis

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  • Andrea Grossman

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  • Howard Hoffman

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  • Vince Naccarato

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  • William “Bill” Neu

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  • John E. “Jack” Parker

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  • Tom Yaley, Sr.

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What can we say besides, “What an evening!” Congratulations to all of the nominees, winners and the Hall of Fame class of 2015. We can’t wait to celebrate again next year!

Introducing CHA’s New Blogger Membership


By Andrej Suskavcevic

Last week we introduced a new category of membership for bloggers. This was a result of months of consultation with our Social Media Section leadership, the CHA Board appointed Membership Committee and the Board itself. Feedback thus far has been very positive and I wanted to take this opportunity to explain some of the thinking that went on that got us here.

CHA has a wide-ranging membership, not only by the type of business (supplier, retailer, etc.), but also the kind of business (beading, quilt, paint, etc.).  Though, for many our key value proposition is the MEGA Show, much of the work we do is supporting the various communities that constitute our membership. As the industry evolves we need to evolve with it. Over the last couple of years we have seen the growth of blogging within the craft industry. Many current CHA members utilize bloggers to promote their products or stores. Given that blogging has become part of the social fabric of the craft industry we felt it was time to highlight this community with its own membership category. Through this effort we look to help build the connections with other CHA members for mutual business success.

The criteria for membership were established to attract established bloggers that do this as a business versus individuals who are blogging to support their love for crafting.  It’s a challenge as to where to draw the line of being inclusive versus exclusive. Our current criteria seek to find that balance. See the criteria here. We particularly had this in mind when it came to access to the MEGA Show floor. We are looking for bloggers to be multipliers and influencers for the industry and not go to the Show for free stuff. We are additionally developing Show guidelines to help blogger members better understand the do’s and don’ts of networking and business development at the Show.

As we bring blogger members onboard we will be taking in all of the feedback we receive along the way, and if we see a need for a change to the criteria we will bring that to the Membership Committee for consideration.

I tip my hat to all of our members in the “CHA 2015 – See you in Anaheim” Facebook group for all of your feedback and thoughts. I read all of the comments and as you see above we are incorporating your ideas to make this a better, welcoming experience for everyone involved. Keep the feedback coming. It’s what makes CHA better.

Cheers,
Andrej

An Update From the CHA Social Media Section


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The Steering Committee for the new Social Media Section was formed this fall with the initial task of creating the Sections’ Vision and Mission Statement. Below is the completed Statement, which we’re incredibly proud of and excited to share with you!

Our Vision
We support an interactive community where all CHA members are encouraged to explore and employ social media platforms and strategies in order to more meaningfully engage with each other, with our customers, and with fans and followers. In doing so, we are working together to enhance and expand all of our businesses, as well as the craft industry at large.

Our Mission:
Resource
We will establish a network of Social Media professionals who can consult with CHA members (companies and individuals) and show them how to successfully incorporate social media outreach into their overall marketing plans.

Education
We will work with CHA to provide relevant educational tools and programs for CHA members, as well as opportunities to share best practices, in an effort to keep everyone informed about the ever-changing social media landscape.

Awareness
We will champion the social media marketing campaigns developed by CHA and its chapters and sections, in order to nurture the CHA brand, advocate membership, and continuously promote the benefits of crafting to all of our audiences.

Collaboration
We will work to build partnerships between members and help them develop new ways to jointly use social media to build their brands and engage with their customers.

Heart
We will bring passion, joy and creativity to our work. We will commit to continuously sharpening our skills, broadening our collective range of expertise, and building our integrity within CHA so that our section continues to grow and sustain itself for as long as social media remains a viable business tool for our industry.

Steering Committee Members:
Amy Bowerman Stucki, Carmi Cimicata, Lisa Fulmer, Eileen Hull, Vicki O’Dell, Taylor Usry, Kristi Parker Van Doren, Laura Weed
Our CHA Contact:  Paula Jones

Next Projects:
We are currently working on our Membership Criteria document and sub-committee definitions.  We will post those on the CHA website when they are complete.

Have you signed up for our meeting in January?
Social Media Section Meeting at the 2014 CHA Mega Show
Monday, January 13, 2014
E406 – Event
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Please do not hesitate to email me if you would like more information.

~ Carmi Cimicata
Social Media Section Interim Leader
carmimail@aol.com

5 Tips for Exhibiting Success: Turn Product Demos into Sales


Exhibiting at CHA Conference & Trade Shows allows you to showcase your products in person for your customers. But how do you turn those product demonstrations and make-and-take projects into orders on the Show floor? Veteran exhibitors Advantus and iLoveToCreate share some tips for success.

1. Do a project over a demo. “Projects are typically more impactful than a demonstration, because creative people need to feel the product and make a personal connection with it,” says Alyson Dias of iLoveToCreate. The more impactful the experience, the more likely the customer will be to make a purchase. Choosing projects over demos also allows for more face time between the demonstrator and the customer, time that “fosters relationships and builds brand loyalty,” notes Dias.

2. Let the product speak for itself. By nature, craft and hobby customers are visual and/or hands-on learners, so seeing products in action will do more to convince them to buy than a hard sales pitch. “Customers don’t need to be told how wonderful a product is—they want to create and determine that themselves,” says Rana Coggins of Advantus. The more they determine how wonderful your products are first-hand, the more likely they are to buy.

3. Keep it simple. “Keep your projects simple and timed under 10 minutes,” Coggins warns. This allows you to make an impact in a short amount of time where a customer can walk away feeling inspired—and more likely to make a purchase.  “We love seeing the ‘a-ha moment’ when someone creates a project that was quick and simple but looks amazing!”

4. Make it fun. If customers enjoy making a project at your booth, they will be more likely to not only make a purchase but become loyal customers. “Have all the necessary tools and supplies kitted so they can be easily distributed,” suggests Coggins. And make sure the person in charge is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the products, so he or she can be informative while making the experience fun.

5. Let everyone join the fun. It may be tempting to only make your project open to buyers, but remember to include bloggers, designers, and members of the media as well. “Their positive experience with products will translate into inspiration and education via magazines, websites, blogs and social media—which then inspires consumers to purchase at retail,” reminds Dias.

Using projects and demonstrations will help you have even more success at the CHA Conference & Trade Show. Sign up to exhibit at the 2014 MEGA SHOW today!

Walnut Hollow: Success Secrets of CHA Show Exhibiting


Walnut Hollow has been a leader in the craft industry for 41 years and a member of the Craft & Hobby Association since its inception. This inspiring company supplies fine wood surfaces, tools and accessories for hobbyists and crafters, and exhibiting at Craft & Hobby Association Conferences and Trade Shows has yielded them successful results for many years. Why do they have such successful results? Here are two secrets.

Success tip #1: Make personal connections.

Exhibiting at CHA shows gives you the opportunity to make personal connections with buyers, distributors, and other industry professionals. Face-to-face connections allow for optimal business and networking opportunities.

Walnut Hollow uses their exhibiting connections not just to make personal connections with buyers but to create partnership opportunities with other manufacturers for cross promotion. “Over the years we have built successful relationships with a variety of manufacturers to cross promote our products together,” says Christine Wallace, Marketing Communications Director for Walnut Hollow. “Buyers understand that their customers will not shop their stores for only our tools and wood products, but include other products in their projects.” Cross promoting with other manufacturers allows for extra exposure, as Walnut Hollow’s products can be showcased in partner booths as well as their own, so these personal connections really pay off!

Success tip #2: Showcase your strengths.

Exhibiting at CHA shows allows you to showcase your products in person directly to buyers, instantly inspiring them and answering any possible questions in the moment.

Walnut Hollow suggests you spend ample time considering various ways to showcase your products, narrowing down your ideas to what makes the best impression on the buyer. In order to sell their new and innovative products to CHA show attendees, Walnut Hollow makes sure knowledgeable staff members are on hand to demonstrate them and answer questions. “Sometimes interaction between those selling or demonstrating products and a buyer influences the buyer to help him or her understand why their customers would want to purchase Walnut Hollow products from their stores,” says Wallace.

Join Walnut Hollow and hundreds of others at the CHA 2014 Show. Make valuable business connections and showcase your products – exhibit today!