CHA Member Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames Redmond Celebrate a 40+ Year Milestone in Business


Store FrontWe are excited to congratulate long time CHA Members and supporters, Bob and Shirley Ferguson of Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames in Redmond, WA, on reaching their 40th year in business in May 2015! Not only have they been in business for 40+ years, but they have also remained in the same location throughout.

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The Ferguson Family

To commemorate this milestone, they launched a 40th anniversary celebration with year long special events and sales and on weekends with free cake and  free make and take projects for both children and adults.
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Originally California natives, Bob and Shirley decided to move to Redmond, WA from Hawaii when they were seeking a lifestyle change as well as new career opportunities. Their store was started in 1975 as a variety store, and has since evolved into an entertainment, activity-driven business dedicated to outstanding customer service and innovation.

Frame ShopTheir team of 75 staff members also includes second generation family members. Their sons, Neil and David Ferguson manage the store. The store employees are remarkable, long-term employees that are passionate and knowledgeable about their departments and the customers they serve.

Paper Crafts

In addition to selling component supplies in crafts, beading, paper art, home décor, framing, fabrics and yarn, they also offer hands-on activities where seasoned crafters can discover and learn how to use new products and novice crafters can channel their inner creativity.

The secret to their success? They cite their creative staff who stay current on trends, understand their target market, travel to trade shows throughout the United States and in Asia and stay active in the craft industry. In today’s economy customers are looking for things to do at home and rediscovering nostalgic pastimes. Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames uses its successful business model to continue filling those needs.

For more information about Redmond’s Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames, call (425) 883-2050 or visit www.craftsandframes.com.

31 Days of Crafting: The Great Northwest Paper Chase


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

The Northwest Paper Chase is celebrating with its annual three-week event for scrapbookers, paper enthusiasts and general crafters who want to have fun and support their local creative community!

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This year, 28 stores in Washington and Oregon will be participating in the “chase”, which runs from March 4 through March 20. The goal of the chase is to drive customers to local stores.

To participate, “chasers” purchase a passport and travel from store to store. At the end of the chase, chasers win prizes from event sponsors based on 1) how many stores they visit; 2) the amount of money they spent, and 3) the numbers of pictures they posted on social media. Participating stores offer discounts, exclusive page kits, make-n-takes, themed photo ops, giveaways and more!

Learn more about the “chase” and how to participate.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Gifts Galore


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

March also happens to be the birthday month of Jenny Barnett Rohrs of Craft Test Dummies! Jenny is treating her subscribers to a ton of birthday gifts, including product reviews, “scopes”, and giveaways! Watch the video below to get inspired and participate in the fun!

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Spring Crafts Crafternoon


March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Today we’re featuring CHA Member Rita Gonzales, and her business Mothership Scrapbook Girl.

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Rita will be hosting a Crafternoon for Spring Crafts on Sunday, March 6 at Packinghouse Brewery in Riverside, CA. Attendees will make three craft projects, enjoy a yummy snack bar, and receive a crafty SWAG bag to take home!

“To inspire creativity, I am always open to new opportunities to share my crafty skills with local businesses in my community. For Valentine’s Day, I asked my local art store if I could be in the store during Arts Walk, a local community event, to demo products and make mini Valentine cards. The store was excited to have me provide an activity for customers during Arts Walk, and I was happy to try out new product!”

If you’re nearby, celebrate National Craft Month at Rita’s Crafternoon and try new crafts and products.

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

Top 10 Reasons to Exhibit at the CHA MEGA Show


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 Exhibitors” Blog Series: Art Impressions


MeetTheExhibitors2Art Impressions is the next exhibitor in our “Meet the Exhibitors” series. Art Impressions is a family-owned business, which opened in 1987. Since starting out primarily selling educational stamps, the company has grown significantly over the past 28 years. Today, Art Impressions is well known in the craft industry for its comical characters, whimsical designs and interactive stamping techniques. What makes the company stand out is its incredible diversity of images, each one created by the company’s sole designer and co-owner, Bonnie Krebs. All of Art Impressions’ products are made in the USA.

Art Impressions LogoWhat products are you most excited about featuring at the Paper Arts+ Show?
We will feature some of our brand new Watercolor releases as well as some new interactive stamping ideas! You won’t want to miss seeing our new Spinners and holiday images.

Why should people stop at your booth?
We love attending CHA shows and spending time with our customers. Whether you order from us or a distributor, we always want to support our stores in any way we can. Stop by for some free stamps, promotional products for your store, demos and make-n-takes!

Why should buyers come to Paper Arts+?
We attended Paper Arts+ in 2014 and loved the experience. Spending quality time with our storeowners is truly invaluable. Events and food breaks were contained to the Show floor, which gave us extra time to mingle. We can’t wait until July to do it all over again!

Beyond your products, how can you bring additional value to the buyer?
Many of our current storeowners know that we love to do whatever it takes to help our independent retailers. At our booth, we love to show off new product and give you the tools to better promote it. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to grab some freebies and promotional products, as well as literature and packets for upcoming wholesale promotions, including our semi-annual Catalog Party. In addition, we will include card samples, posters and window clings when requested with wholesale orders!

You can visit Art Impressions at the Paper Arts+ Show in booth #301. Registration opens on June 3, 2015. For more information, visit www.craftandhobby.org/paperarts.

Online Education at Your Fingertips


EducationHomePageBanner.noclickhere

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
craftandhobby.org/thoughtleaders
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:

ThoughtLeaders


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.

Final thoughts from the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show


Well, it’s been a whirlwind ride these last 3 days at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show in Atlanta.  I arrived Tuesday and was thrown quickly into the chaotic fun of CHA Workshops.  They were fast paced and informative, with terrific teachers and sponsors that I was thrilled to meet.  The sponsors gave some really great products to the participants to take home, and get more comfortable with so they could use them as teaching tools in their stores. I was really floored by their generosity.  Thank you CHA for allowing me to participate in these super intense and informative workshops.  I learned so much!

wpid-wp-1406659429827.jpegI have to say, after sitting in on the Seminars and group discussions, I have a whole new respect for the challenges that independent stores face.  At the same time, these wonderful store owners continue to seek out new ways to grow and change with the times; looking for ways to incorporate growing trends, sharing obstacles but also rejoicing in the shared triumphs.

20140731_10125320140731_094204There were so many who supported me here at CHA, I couldn’t possibly name them all – but a few standouts: Keli and Tina from CHA, thanks for helping a girl out from time to time; Dave from Spellbinders, thanks for being my camera guy; Stephanie Barnard and Katharina Doyle, I adore you both!  Thanks for the hugs!  I could literally go on and on.  Jason, my guy at CHA headquarters, thanks for the tough love and lastly, thank you Mr. Andrej Suskavcevic, for taking a chance on me!  I miss you all already!

20140730_194217– Terri Burson

Morning Jumpstart from the CHA Paper Arts Section


The final day started off with a bang in the Grand Ballroom at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show, with interested store owners gathered in a round table discussion with CHA Staff and key leaders in the industry.  This was a time of sharing and information gathering to find effective ways to promote holiday sales and to discuss how to increase traffic to your store in new and interesting ways.

20140731_083042So what do you need to do?  How do you increase sales and keep people coming back to your store?  How do you grow your following and engage the community?  Let me share some of the hot conversations that took place.

20140731_085840First, find out what products your customers are using and show them the must have accessories that they need to have to go with the items.  Do your research and find out “What’s Hot” as opposed to “What’s New”.  What’s “hot” are the items that are flying off shelves, the hard to stock items; the products that are top best sellers.  What’s “new” may be new items in the market but not necessarily what people are flocking to buy or what’s currently selling.  So there’s the difference.  Ask the right questions!  And while you’re at it, keep PDF printouts to give your customers.  This has come up over and over at the Show this week.  Customers like having tutorials in their hands.  Take a look at the link below to see all of the handouts, graphics and more that CHA is providing here at Paper Arts 2014 to assist you in strategizing your marketing plan.

There’s some great handouts here, graphics and more right at your fingertips!  Go online to www.craftandhobby.org and click on Communities/Sections/PaperArts/downloads/ then, click on Atlanta Handouts. Or, click HERE.

20140731_083055Another topic of conversation at the Jumpstart Session: Do you exhibit at consumer shows?  Consumer shows are another way to promote your store.  Key things you should know for exhibiting are:

  • Find out who else will be there.  Know what they’re selling.
  • Know the price range.  Concentrate on thematic items depending on the focus of the show.  Is it a holiday show?  Bring holiday items.  Is it a summer show?  Baby or kid focused?  Bring products according to the theme.
  • Give great discounts on older products and have discount coupons for your store available.  Is another store selling the same product?  Mark your items accordingly to compete.
  • Let’s face it.  Theft can be a problem.  Keep your big ticket items within view.
  • Have a mock up plan of your booth setup in advance as it can take a long time for setup.  Maximize your space and make sure your booth has a flow.
  • Be prepared to make additional markdowns on items as the day progresses, if sales are slow.

Here’s a few more words of advice from key leaders present today.  Courtney from Creativebug says, find out what’s trending and look for new ways to highlight products in your store.  DIY is very popular right now.  Stamping Fabric?  Show displays of whatever is trending.

Several participants shared their participation with CRE8TIME and companies like Meet up, where you can pay a small fee to set up a “group” and link up to other groups in your region. The premise is to create a social media group so local crafters, and crafters from afar, can join your group.  Have meetings in your store for free, even thematic events, (knitters, scrappers, metal works, art, etc) and build a following in your area.

20140731_090405After the Seminar was over, attendees continued to hang around and share ideas and thoughts with one another.  I spoke with Tonya Minth from The Glitterie in Beechgrove, IN. She’s using Meet up and her group has quickly grown to 300.  She’s even utilizing a local artist for wine/craft events.  Use someone locally with skills to come in and teach at your meetings.  It’s a great way to grow and keep your following.

So much valuable information sharing today.  If you missed it, make it a point to be at one of these round tables the next time you attend a CHA Show.

Thanks again to the wonderful folks at CHA for allowing me this opportunity to sneak a peek at the inner workings of the crafting industry.  I can’t tell you enough what a wonderful time I’ve had getting to know everyone, meeting so many knowledgeable people, and the great new techniques I’ve learned……THANK YOU!

– Terri Burson 

Last Night’s Open Market at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show


As I arrived at the CHA 2014 Paper Arts Show Open Market, the line of anxious attendees was already quite long. Everyone was happily chatting with their neighbors while waiting for the doors to open.

20140730_182524At the appointed time, the clock struck and we all filled into the Grand Ballroom. The vendors were ready and waiting and the tables quickly filled up with participants looking for some great bargains. Products ranged in price from $1.00-$75.00 and it wasn’t long before some vendors sold out completely of their stock.

20140730_182707I had the opportunity to chat with many attendees who were overwhelmingly pleased with the evening’s events. I especially enjoyed my conversation with the sweet ladies at my table; Debbie and Louise from Family Memories in North Carolina, and Lisa with Flamingo Finery outside Orlando, FL. They were so nice to answer my numerous questions and in particular, when asked about whether the deals were priced according to their liking? The answer was a resounding YES!

20140730_192626No matter the size of your pocket book, there were offerings for every price range and everyone that I spoke with was extremely happy with their purchases.

As I made the rounds with the vendors, they too were happy with the success of the Open Market, some noting that next time they would have to bring more! I’ll tell you that this crafty girl made a few purchases herself and I too was very happy with my new play things.

I’ve had so much fun getting to know the vendors and learning the history of different companies, like Kaisercraft and how the founder started out building things at the tender age of 7 and how Tilli Tomas is expanding from ribbon into other areas and actually wanted my input (as a crafter/cardmaker) as to what products I’m using and/or seeing used in online forums that I frequent, blogs that I participate in, etc. She had sequins along with her ribbon and fibers. I told her to make more sequins! We adore them!

I also enjoyed chatting up the lovely folks at Paper House Productions. If you missed the “Peace, Love & Sandy Feet” workshop by the wondrous Linda Auclair on Day 1, you missed a treat. However, here’s a link with a tutorial on the shadowbox project so you too can make one – http://www.paperhouseproductions.com/community/paper-arts-day-one/

I was drawn to their booth by the display of military products. I grew up an Army brat so of course, I had to zoom in on the Army selection. They literally have an army of products!

20140730_095150Stickers of all kinds; chalkboard, puffy (I need those owls!) 3-D, die cuts…. you name it.

20140730_095121And a terrific selection of papers to match and coordinate. I was flipping through their product catalog and quickly spied the Wizard of Oz collection. Oh my. There’s no place like home and there’s no place like Paper House Productions.

– Terri