Tips on how to prepare for business “dates”

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CHA’s Southern California (SoCal) chapter is hosting a speshutterstock_269729930ed dating themed Retailer Roundtable Breakfast for retailers on Thursday, August 13. You’ll go on the best seven-minute “dates” ever with 15 retail experts. Our retail experts will offer advice that has been proven to improve your business operations. “Flirt” with them on everything from advertising to loans, and everything in between!

How can you plan to make the most of your seven minutes? These five tips will prepare you for your dates!

  1. Research your optionsClick here to read the experts bios and their topics of specialty.
  2. There are no bad questions – Jot down and prioritize your questions so your most important questions get answered.
  3. Don’t give a fake number – Pack your business cards so exchanging contact information doesn’t cut into networking.
  4. It’s okay to talk about yourself – Bring informational material to give the experts a better understanding of your business situation.
  5. Bring a wingman – Invite a colleague or peer to attend to double your time with the experts.

Don’t keep your dates waiting. Click here to RSVP!

Event Information

Date:         Thursday, August 13, 2015
Time:         7:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Location:  Steven’s Steak & Seafood House, 5332 Stevens Place
                  City of Commerce, CA

For additional information, please contact Nidia Negron at nnegron@craftandhobby.org.

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!

Meet The Speaker: Meet Crystal Washington

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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!

Social-Media-Speaker-Crystal-Washington-2-The upcoming eCourse, GET CLIENTS NOW! Training and Coaching Program, will be taught by social media marketing strategist Crystal Washington.

When powerful companies want their teams to take action online, they book social media expert and dynamic speaker Crystal Washington, who has worked with Google, Microsoft, GE and others in the USA, Africa and Europe. For this comprehensive knowledge on social media, she has been interviewed by ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS and numerous radio stations and magazines around the globe.

Crystal is well known for her ability to take complex Web and social media topics, and make them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people and small business owners. She owns CWM Enterprises, a social media instructional brand aimed at training everyone from Gen Y’s to Baby Boomers in strategically using social media. Educating consumers on the practical applications of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube is her passion.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I began my career in corporate sales. As the youngest manager at my company, I felt the need to prove I was a strong asset. So, I challenged myself and quickly became a top performer, closing contracts with Fortune 500 firms and exceeding all my sales goals. Soon enough, I was managing my peers and colleagues who were twice my age. Somewhere along the way I was bit by the entrepreneurial bug. I started my own marketing firm, CWM Enterprises, which has enabled me to help hundreds of organizations, big and small, leverage social media marketing to increase their bottom line.

Deep down inside, I’m a fun-loving and eclectic nerd. Often you’ll find me reading the newest book on social media, meditating with Buddhist monks, attending a West African Dance class or parasailing.

What are the top takeaways that students will learn by taking your class?
1. Effective marketing strategies specifically designed for you and your business.
2. Confidence and tools you need to implement your personalized marketing plan.

What’s the biggest challenge that small business owners will face when developing a social media marketing plan?
Small business owners always feel like they should be doing more to market their business, but don’t necessarily know exactly what they should be doing. There’s a laundry list of items to do, which can be overwhelming at first. Every owner needs an organized plan in place to make taking any action manageable and successful.

Each week you’ll be covering a different step on how small business owners can take their businesses to the next level. What new skills can participants expect to walk away with by the end of the course?
Do the work and you’ll walk away with a toolkit of sales and marketing techniques, enhanced problem-solving skills, and the ability to create and implement a plan that will make a positive impact on your business growth.

GET CLIENTS NOW! Training and Coaching Program begins July 14 and runs through August 18, 2015. Courses will take place every Tuesday from 8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Can’t make it to the live sessions on Tuesdays? No worries! We are recording the courses so you can access them at your convenience!

Here’s what you’ll learn and when you’ll learn it:
Week  1

– Effective marketing strategies
– How the strategies you choose impact your results
– How to diagnose what’s wrong with your marketing using the Universal Marketing Cycle
– How to design a marketing program that is suited not only to your business, but your personality, strengths and favorite activities

Week 2

– Select “Success Ingredients” to be more effective in your marketing efforts
– Design 10 specific daily or weekly marketing actions
– Draft and submit a 28-day marketing action plan to Crystal for review and feedback
– How to create a customized, affordable, reusable and realistic marketing plan

Weeks 3-6

– Implement the personalized marketing action plan you designed in the first two sessions. In each session, you will report what you did and didn’t do, and what results were achieved.
– Crystal will coach participants on accountability to your plan, help solve logistical problems, provide assistance with overcoming fear, resistance, and procrastination, and acknowledge your efforts and progress.

Register today!

Meet Fran Seiford of Stampendous!

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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 Fran Seiford, the founder and Chief Artistic Officer of Stampendous!

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You and your consumers are about to develop a passion for Stampendous’ newest stamp and cutting die sets. In Fran’s workshop, Poinsettia Passion, you’ll discover the range of creative project possibilities offered by Stampendous’ new Poinsettia Cling Rubber Stamp Set, template and coordinating Die, and Pop-Up Die Set. Plus, you’ll learn some techniques, like how to shade with color pencils and create 3D layers. You’ll take home two cards, either a Poinsettia pin or ornament, and inspirations for your store!

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am an entrepreneur, business owner and designer. I have designed rubber stamps for over 30 years. Even after all that time, I still get a thrill out of the excitement and creative options each new stamp image brings. A handmade card or craft speaks from the heart – that’s one of the many things my stamps can help people do.

What do you love most about the creative industry?
It’s endless energy. The craft industry is ever evolving and brings new twists on old themes. One time, I met a business consultant at a craft show who was thunderstruck from the moment he walked in; he had never seen anything like it. If you sell cement, you probably know what I mean.

What do you love most about teaching workshops?
It’s rewarding when participants get excited and have fun with the products. The best remarks are “Look what I made;” “I can do it;” “It was so fun;” “It was easier than I thought;” and, “It came out beautiful!” Plus, students always wow me. I have created the stamps with one look in mind and watched someone make the stamps their own with a style I had never even considered.

What value would you place on attending classes offered at live conferences such as the Paper Arts+ Show?
Hands-on classes are the foundation of effective new product sales. The more innovative the products, the more truth there is to this statement. No matter how much work goes into a new product, the catalog or the packaging, it is very troubling when someone looks at the unopened package and says, ”I don’t get it.” So, when there is an opportunity to try a product and learn from the person who designed it, that is an opportunity not to be missed.

What are the top takeaways that attendees will learn by taking your workshop?
Those who attend my workshop will get that must-have product experience. Having tried out Stampendous’ new products, attendees will take home the beautiful samples they made and be able to teach their customers with confidence. My hope is this workshop will be something they can repeat in their stores.

When you’re not teaching, what can we find you doing?
Busy designing, designing, and designing. Also, I make YouTube videos and am in the process of authoring a “how to” craft book.

The Paper Arts+ Show is around the corner and Show registration is open! Register for Fran’s Poinsettia Passion workshop today!

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where we will meet Debi Adams, instructor and concept designer at Spellbinders Paper Arts!

Meet Bonnie Krebs and Kate Swanson of Art Impressions Rubber Stamps

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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. We’re having double the fun this week as we feature two teachers! Meet Bonnie Krebs and Kate Swanson of Art Impressions Rubber Stamps!

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In their workshop New! Interactive Holiday Stamping, Bonnie and Kate will teach you tips, tricks and techniques using Art Impressions’ latest stamping products. You will complete four dynamic and fun projects, like creating interactive cards with unique stamping patterns! At the end of this two hour session, you will take home creative ideas for Christmas projects your customers will love and FREE product for you to recreate some of these amazing projects for your store!

Tell us a little about yourself.

One of us, Bonnie Krebs, is originally from Salem, Oregon, where she and her husband, Phil, started Art Impressions Rubber Stamps in 1987. Bonnie and Phil have grown their family business through a constantly changing industry and are proudly celebrating the store’s 28th anniversary in July. Bonnie is a self-taught, whimsical artist who loves to create new images. She is the sole designer for Art Impressions and has created over 8,000 designs, from cute characters and animals to watercolor stamping techniques.

The other one of us, Kate Swanson, grew up with a strong love of stamping, paper crafting and party planning. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Communications from George Fox University. After graduation, she happened to visit a friend who was working at Art Impressions. It was perfect timing, as Kate was looking for a job and Art Impressions was hiring. Kate joined the company and quickly brought her personal and professional passions to the team. Four years later, she holds the title of Marketing and Accounts Manager, and works closely with storeowners and industry professionals. Kate has traveled all over the United States to demonstrate at the Craft & Hobby Association’s trade shows as well as other special events and retail shows.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

We love the people! We enjoy spending time and sharing our creations with other store owners, creative customers, industry colleagues and likeminded individuals. We look forward to trade shows (especially CHA’s Paper Arts+) because we get to spend time and catch up with our friends and industry counterparts!

What do you love most about teaching workshops?

We’re always formulating new stamping techniques and interactive card ideas. We love watching those who take our classes light up when we present these new concepts. It is so much fun to see our class attendees interact with the products that took us months to conceptualize!

What value would you place on attending classes offered at live conferences such as the Paper Arts+ Show?

A little instruction goes a long way, especially with our products. At a live Show, we can offer many tips and tricks, which help store owners and can be passed on to customers. This type of experience has great worth because attendees leave with inventive ways to use our stamp collections – ideas that they would not have learned anywhere else!

What are the top takeaways that attendees will learn by taking your workshop?

When we say attendees will LOVE the new releases we have in store, we mean it! We have been working hard to create new products for the holiday season, as well as extensions of some existing lines. Attendees won’t want to miss our fun workshop, where the samples they’ll make will put a smile on any customer’s face!

When you’re not teaching, what can we find you doing?

When we’re not chatting about new ideas or hard at work, we love to travel! Whether we’re on a business trip or hitting vacation spots around Oregon (we both adore the Oregon Coast and Bend, OR!), we like to have a little change in scenery! Spending time with our families is important to both of us as well. Bonnie and Phil welcomed two beautiful granddaughters this past year, who are three months apart. Kate treasures her time with her three year old son, who always keeps her on her toes, and her husband, Tony.

The Paper Arts+ Show is around the corner and Show registration is open! Register for the New! Interactive Holiday Stamping workshop today!

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where we will meet Fran Seifor, the founder and Chief Artistic Officer of Stampendous!

Top 10 Reasons to Exhibit at the CHA MEGA Show

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CHA MEGA Show

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

CHA MEGA Show

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

Sign up to exhibit today!

Exhibiting Questions?IMG_4301

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.

“Meet the Teachers” Blog Series: Meet John Petersen of IMAGINE CRAFTS!

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jpetersenWe 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’re featuring John Petersen of IMAGINE CRAFTS!

The DIY with IMAGINE Crafts workshop will have projects that can be used as quick make-n-takes or classes in your store. The versatility of these projects will allow you to incorporate them into paper and mixed media projects, as well as stand-alone pieces for home decor and more.

Tell us a little about yourself.
As a child, I had obsessions with paper and everything that could be done with it: lettering, painting, collaging, and even bookmaking. My degree is in photography, yet my passion for paper arts led me to a variety of different fields, including printing and design. In high school, I began to make journals from old books in which I kept sketches, ideas, and clippings of my day to day adventures. Naturally, that led me to the altered arts (and three shelves of books!).

Along the way I picked up a few more obsessions, including calligraphy, beading and rubber stamping. All of these creative endeavors are evident in my current fusion of mixed media works, which combine paper arts with jewelry.

Currently, I lead the education and product development teams for IMAGINE Crafts, featuring Tsukineko. I am also on the design team for Authentique Paper, “The ICE Prince” with the ICE Resin creative team, and an educator for Prima Marketing.

What do you love most about the creative industry?
I am continually amazed at what other artists create, and how they share those ideas with others to help the industry evolve. The possibilities of this industry are endless, just like the artists who can grow and support the community.

What do you love most about teaching workshops? 
My teaching philosophy has been the same over the years – I am here to give you the tools to be creative. My role as an instructor is to educate on how to use those tools to let your creative voice speak and express itself. My only goal in teaching is for students to leave a class with the knowledge to grow as an artist.

What value would you place on attending classes offered at live conferences such as the Paper Arts+ Show? 
There is no other experience like attending a live class. No matter what your skill level, as a student you will always leave a class having learned a new technique or another way of using a product. Even if I have taken numerous beginner classes in the past, I still sign up because I know that it is usually in those classes that I will learn the one tip that’s priceless.

What are the top takeaways that attendees will learn by taking your workshop? 

1. At least one new way of how to use a product that they’re already familiar with
2. How to translate product knowledge into building a sale
3. Passion for being creative

When you’re not teaching, what can we find you doing?
I’m naturally curious about learning, whether it’s in my studio discovering new
techniques or experimenting with some crazy new recipe that I found on Pinterest. In the sunny months, you’ll likely find me outside either doing yard work or enjoying the view of Mount Rainier from my deck, dreaming up my newest creation!

The Paper Arts+ Show is around the corner and Show registration is open! Register for imaginethe DIY with IMAGINE Crafts workshop today!

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where we will feature Bonnie Krebs and Kate Swanson of
Art Impressions!

CHA Paper Arts+ Blog Hop – Day 4

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Welcome to Day 4 of the CHA Paper Arts+ Show Blog Hop! The ‘hop has been going great and the participation has been awesome!

We’re in the home stretch and we still have GREAT projects created from exhibitors’ products by CHA Designer Section members for you to see!

How to win:
There will be a “password” at the end of each designer blog post. Make sure you keep track of all of the “passwords.” At the end of the hop on Friday, May 22, you’ll need to use the “passwords” to form a phrase.

The first two people to tweet us @Craftandhobby with the correct phrase will win:

  • 1st Prize: $500 toward travel to the Paper Arts+ Show (trade only)
  • 2nd Prize: $25 AMEX gift card

Follow the #CHAShow hashtag on social media to share in all of the Paper Arts+ Show fun! Also, don’t forget to register for the  Paper Arts+ Show! Registration is NOW OPEN!

Here are your Blog Hop stops for Day 4:

First stop:
CLICK HERE if you dare to see CHA Designer Candice Windham’s inspirational project using product from exhibitor Dare2BArtzy.

Second Stop:
CHA Designer, Marjolaine Walker, put together a great project using product from
Linnie Blooms. CLICK HERE to see pictures of the project and the steps she took to create it!

Tomorrow is the final day of the blog hop! Don’t miss out on the final passwords to complete the phrase! Click here to view the schedule.

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

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SAMSUNG CSC

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.