Monday, August 4, 2014

2014 CHA Paper Arts Show - Part 1

Hello, Gorgeouses!  

Today I'm reporting some of my fantastic experience from the Craft and Hobby Association's Inaugural Paper Arts Show.  It was held last Tuesday through Thursday, July 29 - 31, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Preparing in advance for CHA Workshop at Paper Arts Show,
including "12 Days of Christmas" promotion while watching
Lain Ehman's free online streaming content "Scrapbook 
Your Story" on CreativeLIVE.
I was excited to be heading back Atlanta.  I spent years going down on buying trips to America's Mart during my years as a successful independent retailer in the Gifts and Decorative Accessories industry.  I was thankful for the non-stop Delta flight direct from Manchester, NH.  While the 5:50am flight got me to Atlanta by 8:30am, I was surprised at how DARK it was at 4am heading to the airport ~

The plane trip was a breeze and it was over before I got through the newest issue of Stampington's "Where Women Create."  I especially enjoyed the feature of New England artist, Anna Brahms in this issue.  Just the inspiration I needed to launch me into my three-day adventure.

After I arrived at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, I by-passed the reported one-way $30 taxi ride as well as the $16 dollar shared shuttle from the airport and, instead, took the uber-clean Marta subway to "Peachtree Center," just a couple of blocks from the hotel and conference center, the Hilton Atlanta.  At $6 for a round-trip ticket, it turned out to be a nice, quick trip that was extremely easy to navigate.

For months, I have been working with my fellow CHA Paper Arts Section (PAS) Leadership Team preparing outlines for workshops and roundtables for the event.  We hosted four free sessions for event attendees.  

The first CHA PAS sessions were two workshops scheduled on Tuesday:

- Inventory Management: A Perspective from the Trenches: Presenter, CHA PAS Leadership Committee Member and 17 year independent retailer, Lee Kellogg, Owner, Guadalupe's Fun Rubber Stamps

Lee Kellogg has done extensive research with Point of Sale (POS) systems for her independent paper arts retail location in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  She was a wealth of information, both with insights on how to begin the deliberation of a POS process, as well as the distinctive power of POS for the boutique retailer.  

She offered a wide variety of resources, available for download to workshop attendees from the CHA website, to help retailers navigate consideration of this very worthy investment.  Judging by the question-and-anwer segment, many insights were gained - by both POS and soon-to-be POS served retailers, alike.
Photo Courtesy: Paula Jones, CHA

- Creating and Implementing an Effective Christmas & Holiday Marketing Plan: Presenters, CHA PAS Leadership Committee Members, Denzil Quick, Business Development, Spellbinders and me, Laurel Lee Pollard, Creative Community Organizer, New England Paper Crafts and Crafting Media Expert, Nancy Nally of

We gave insider insights on how to create a promotional calendar, integrate concepts of Open-to-Buy, work with your vendors and optimize promotional visibility via social media.  These concepts were reinforced with a step-by-step plan to implement a "12 Days of Christmas" Early Bird shopper promotion.  

Extensive resources relating to the workshop, including complete project sheets from Stampendous, MD Hobby and Craft, and Paper House, as well as worksheets and PDFs, were posted online on the CHA website and continue to be available for immediate download by workshop attendees.
L-R: Denzil Quick, Spellbinders Paper Arts, Nancy Nally,,
Laurel Lee Pollard, New England Paper Crafts
Photos Courtesy, Paula Jones, CHA

In addition to the well-attended workshops, there was a great selection of interactive workshops with paper arts vendors, including:

The Welcome Reception on Tuesday evening, sponsored by Anna Griffin, was the perfect kick-off to opening the Show Floor.  Complimentary beverages and heavy hors d'oeuvres abounded while we got to mingle on the show floor with industry notables.  The relaxed and approachable atmosphere really set the tone for the 3-day industry event.  It was so well received by both the buyers and vendors, it was still in full swing over an hour past it's schedule closing time!

Wednesday morning began with the the first of two free "Jumpstart Sessions" of the conference, complete with complimentary continental breakfast for the engaged attendees:

- Jumpstart Session I, Paper Trends, Sponsored by Sizzix/Ellison: Presented by Courtney Cerruti, "Maker Extraodinaire," Artist Coach for and author of the newly-released, "Washi Tape: 101+ Ideas for Paper Crafts, Book Arts, Fashion Decorating, Entertaining and Party Fun."

Courtney gave attendees actionable insights into how they can position themselves in order to stand out in the "Maker" category, including maximizing professional relationships, social media content and visual presentations.

Following Courtney Cerruti's Jumpstart Session I, "Paper Trends," it was right down to the show floor.  After garnering feedback from my social media followers requesting stops to specific vendors at the show including BoBunny, Simple Stories and Impression Obsession, I started in ~

My first stop was to a *NEW* paper arts CHA vendor direct from Boston, Massachusetts, Tilly Tomas / Planet Earth Fiber.  While they are veterans of the fiber and needlework industry, they took the opportunity to test the mixed-media market by joining the CHA Paper Arts Show.

 Tracy Robinson displayed a luscious variety of their silk threads in a rainbow of colors . . .

. . . as well as a plethora of both hand painted tonal and solid colored silk ribbons.  Crafters' note: while these ribbons are a perfect size (and price!) for resale, their ribbons may be ordered on larger rolls - perfect for kitting or for sale by-the-yard.  

** Planet Earth Fiber may be found at numerous needlecraft retail locations throughout New England - their website offers a full retailer directory.

Simple Stories was continuing their tradition of fulfilling the needs of traditional scrapbookers and pocket-pagers, alike.  Their selection of "Sn@p Cuts" die-cuts for "Sn@p Pockets" pocket pages expanded into new sizes. . .

And their "Sn@p Recipes" were themed for the holidays.  I was thankful to see the coated dividers came with a mat sheen, ensuring years of easy clean-up, even for the most well-loved recipe book!  Seen here in "Cozy Christmas."

The family tree two-page layout in "Legacy" caught my eye . .

With Simple Stories' full "Legacy" line, including their recipe collection, on display.

"Sweater Weather" was a big hit for Simple Stories . . .

. . . with their full collection of embellishments and coordinating papers.

There was a great selection of handmade paper from Nepal, imported by Global Imports of New Jersey.  No website available for them at this point, so you'll have to catch up with Director Ramesh Narayappa during show times ~

It was nice to see Rachel Crowley of Robin's Nest Scraps in real life.  She's supported me here at New England Paper Crafts in the past, and I certainly appreciated that.  She reports her blazin' hot line, "Flame," continues to be popular (hello, BBQ season!) . . . 

. . . . and Robin's Nest's "Dew Drops" continue to sell through here in New England . . . .

. . . and, as a big fan of the neon trend, it was terrific to see those colors reflected in their *NEW* Dew Drops offerings.

I enjoyed Robin's Nest "Christmas Collection," especially the "Black and White Pine Tree Glitter Cardstock."  Very distinctive.

Oh, Jamie - don't we just {LOVE} your offerings in New England!  The Crafter's Workshop has plenty of *NEW* stencils for buyers to pick up to fill the demand of the ever-expanding Mixed-Media market.
Jaime Echt holding work by TCW Designer, Rhonda Palazarri
Jaime and Ted Echt have carefully curated at collection for The Crafter's Workshop for over 17 years.  Their designs certainly offer mass appeal.  TCW caters to the independent retailer by happily fulfilling small orders demanded by their boutique partners.

As a pocket-page enthusiast, I was happy to see TCW distinctive collection continue to expand in this market.  You can check out many of these designs in my The Crafter's Workshop pocket-page layout in Bella Crafts Quarterly free online publication HERE.

YES!  There's so much more I have to show you, direct from the CHA Paper Arts Show floor!  Tomorrow will be another photo-filled post for you to enjoy with New England favorites BoBunny, Fabscraps and MORE which you can jump over to by clicking HERE.

'Till then, let me know what's caught your eye so far.  I'd love to hear what you think!

Craft On, Laurel

Laurel Lee Pollard, Online Publisher, Creative Community Organizer
New England Paper Crafts
"Ensuring the inspiring world of paper crafts continues to bloom."

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