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 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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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!

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!

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:

CHA FACEBOOK
CHA TWITTER
SEE YOU AT CHA! PAGE
CHA WEBSITE

Paper Arts+ “Meet the Teacher” Blog Post Series

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The Paper Arts+ Show is around the corner and Show registration is now open!

Over the next several weeks, we will take the time to get to know some of our Paper Arts+ Workshop teachers through this “Meet the Teacher” blog post series. Throughout the series, you will learn about their art and inspiration, the value in attending their workshops, and what you can expect to learn.

We hope the interviews inspire you to sign up and attend the Paper Arts+ Show!  Click here to view the Paper Arts+ Show Preview Guide.

jeritannerOur first featured teacher is Jeri Tanner from BoBunny.

By combining BoBunny’s newest mixed media products and the festive and fabulous design of its new collection, this workshop will help you to create a memory and record it as well!

Tell us a little about yourself.

After traveling the globe for many years with my husband and children, we returned to the United States to be closer to our families.  Once we were settled, I went in search of a new adventure and accepted a job with BoBunny Press.  My rusty business degree was put back to use. I discovered that scrapbook pages had evolved from photos cut with decorative scissors on acid free 8 ½ x 11 paper decorated with stickers into amazing works of art!

What do you love most about the creative industry?

I love the constant influx of new products, ideas, techniques and applications in the creative industry. Another bonus is getting acquainted with all of the talented people who participate in this industry- from those who design products to finished projects.

What do you love most about teaching workshops?

Teaching workshops gives me an opportunity to watch crafters be amazed at what they can do and to see how they personalize the project with their own creative style.

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

Nobody knows BoBunny like BoBunny!  Whenever you get a chance to take classes from the manufacturer of your favorite products, TAKE IT!  You will create with the newest designs, explore the latest trends, practice new techniques and learn about products you didn’t know we had!

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

At the Paper Arts+ Show in July, my class will focus on using BoBunny’s “oh soo” fun mixed media, stickable stencils, foil rub ons and more!  Plan to complete displayable projects that sell the products and to obtain skills to teach your customers!

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

When I am not teaching classes, I am forever trying to get my family scrapbooks caught up! Sound familiar?  I also enjoy golfing, hosting parties, and travel (thus the never ending need to scrapbook!).

Register for the BoBunny Celebration! Workshop today!

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Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where we will feature
Stephanie Barnard from Sizzix!

 

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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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 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!

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
craftandhobby.org/ecourse
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
craftandhobby.org/recordedseminars
Did you miss any seminars at the CHA 2015 MEGA Show? Here’s your chance to catch up!

Webinars 24/7
craftandhobby.org/webinars
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
craftandhobby.org/onlineworkshops
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.