CHA Designers Team Up to Produce Free Digital Craft Industry Magazine

By Carol Heppner,

We rarely discuss one of the great advantages of being a CHA member and the wonderful relationships that form when attending the trade shows.   If you volunteer and support our organization, relationships deepen and initiate opportunities.

Such is the case with Ann Butler and me.  Ann and I were on Google + catching up on some CHA Designer-Section business when our discussion turned to our individual companies.   As craft-design business owners, we are constantly working with manufacturers and seeking to have the manufacturers’ products published.

During this conversation, Ann uttered those fateful words, “I wish we could develop our own publication.”   I looked at Ann and said, “We can.”   After a minute of thinking about it, Ann responded with, “But it has to be free to the reader.”   It was during these first few minutes that Bella Crafts Quarterly was born and our business model started to develop.


We knew that we wanted to bring quality projects and topical craft-industry columns to readers who craft for business and for pleasure.   We wanted to inspire readers to craft, which would help the entire craft industry.   To that end, and in keeping with our belief, the first project in all our quarterly issues is always a project showing readers that they can reconnect with crafting by making the project within minutes.

Creating a quarterly publication, while still running our individual companies, would be no easy feat and we would need help.  An undertaking this size needed individuals who are hard working, talented and craft-industry savvy.   Having worked with Lisa Rojas and Theresa Cifali on previous projects, they immediately came to mind as fitting the bill.

Although the four of us have our individual companies, we joined forces to work on this project.  Each designer brings unique skills that allow us to produce a bella-creative-teamquality publication to inspire crafters of all levels.  What is uniquely special is how well we work together.   In a competitive business world, where companies are looking to be one-step in front of their competition, it is rare that companies can come together and create a joint product.  Our ability to work well together may come from the many volunteer projects on which we worked for the CHA Designer Section.  Volunteering to help make CHA a better organization helps develop business relationships that are rewarding.

So, what is Bella Crafts Quarterly™?  It is the #1, free downloadable craft magazine published by four of the craft-industry’s top professional craft designers.  We create quality projects and are the bridge between manufacturers and the crafting public.  Our preview Halloween issue of Bella Crafts Quarterly™ ranked #8 on Magcloud’s Top 15 Popular Magazine

What will you find in Bella Crafts Quarterly™?

  • Artist to Artist – Interviews with our industry’s creative professionals
  • Blog Star – Creative bloggers share their experiences
  • Craft Projects – Craft projects designed to inspire
  • – A quick craft project to help crafters reconnect with crafting
  • Photo Talk™ – Taking your photographs to the next level
  • Lessons with Lisa™ – Crafting advice to make a difference in the crafter’s life
  • Live Links – Our digital versions contain live links to send readers to products used in projects
  • Socially Sensible™ – Social Media advice to help your business
  • Sponsored Craft Projects – Craft projects brought to you by the industry’s manufacturers
  • Trending Thoughts – Trend and topical advice from CHA professional craft designers

winter-journey-cover-smallBella Crafts Quarterly™ is can be downloaded free on our website, and you can read it free online at  The print version is also available through Magcloud for a fee.

We are able to provide the free digital version of Bella Crafts Quarterly™ to readers by project sponsorship from manufacturers.  If you are Manufacturer and like more information, contact us at

Wishing you very successful CHA 2013 Winter Show.

~ Carol

Become an official CHA Blog Guest Blogger!

The CHA Blog is currently seeking guest bloggers and blog posts. Any CHA member can submit a post! Basically, a blog post consists of either a video or photo of an event or experience and a short blurb. We want you to tell your story: what current trends do we need to know about? What is the one thing you look forward to the most at CHA shows? What crafty community service project are you involved with? If you’re interested, please submit your post idea, blog post, name and contact information to

All guest blog posts are the sole responsibility of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA), its staff members, sponsors or exhibitors. The inclusion of a link or reference does not imply the endorsement of the linked site by the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA).

Family Ties: Craft businesses pass their torch from generation to generation (Part 4 – Katie Hacker & Dee’s Delights)

While compiling the article, “Family Ties: Craft businesses pass their torch from generation to generation,which appears in CHA’s magazine, Craft Industry Today (Fall 2012, Vol. 1, No.3) we were fascinated by the amount of family-owned companies, each with their own unique stories, within our industry.  In the upcoming weeks we will be expanding on this article and sharing CHA member stories on our Blog.

Katie Hacker

By Mike Hartnett

CHA has been profiling multi-generational industry businesses (Click to read about Hobby Lobby, Momenta, and Mangelsen’s). In most cases, the next generation eventually takes over the business from the parents/founders. But some stay in the industry on their own terms and carve out their own niche.

Katie Hacker’s parents, Jerry and Dee Hacker, bought Dee’s Delights in 1982 after Jerry had worked at the company’s general manager for seven years. Miniatures was a very strong category at the time, and Dee’s Delights grew into the largest distributor of dollhouses and miniatures in the world. Jerry and Dee sold the business in 2006 and retired.

Jerry was an industry pioneer, helping launch the Mid-American Craft & Hobby Association (MACHA), later renamed The Association of Crafts & Creative Industries (ACCI).

Katie was hooked on the industry at an early age. “The first trade show (HIA) I remember attending was when I was in the fourth grade. We stayed at the Jolly Rodger Inn and my sister and I were thrilled to take such a big trip across the country [from Ohio]. I sneaked a peek at the show and remember that someone gave me a bundle of Friendly Plastic, which I couldn’t wait to use. Then my mom took us to Disneyland.”

That started a family tradition. “Our family vacations consisted of spending extra days at various craft and miniature trade show locations,” Dee said, “a great way to see the USA.”

“When I was in high school and college,” Katie remembers, “I did different jobs for Dee’s Delights, from pulling orders to making samples, to helping with the 800+ page catalog. I got to wear a lot of different hats, and it has helped me look at my own business from a variety of perspectives.”

After college, Katie was hired by Hot Off The Press owner, Paulette Jarvey, as an editor/designer. “Our families knew each other from the industry, and I always wanted to live out west,” Katie said.

That was the start of a remarkably busy career. Today she is the host of Beads, Baubles & Jewels on PBS, with a new series starting in early November. Her most recent book series is Earrings 101, Necklaces 101, and Wire-Wrapping 101, published by Hot Off  The Press. She also created the Katiedids™ line of channel findings manufactured by Beadalon. Last month she launched her regular column for BeadStyle magazine. She’s also a regular guest on Jewelry Television’s Jewel School and a member of Beadalon’s and Halcraft’s design teams. She’s also a CREATE YOUR STYLE with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Ambassador and a CHA Designer Section council member. She conducts numerous workshops at trade and consumer shows, such as the Bead & Button Show.

Her Beading Blog is at

If all that didn’t keep Katie busy enough, she married Craig Brown in 2000 and they have two crafty kids, ages 6-1/2 and 3. Craig is an organic farmer turned fitness instructor and they live near his family farm in rural Indiana. This past summer, they trained for and ran a half-marathon together. Last weekend they cycled in the infamous “Hilly Hundred,” a two-day, 100-mile bike ride in Southern Indiana.