craft & hobby's about the people!

i just returned from a week at cha - the craft & hobby association winter conference & trade show. favecrafts is hosting a blog roundup if you'd like to browse through several other designers' posts about their cha adventure too!

i attended for many show off some of c&t publishing's new books and products, talk to customers, do some trend-spotting, take some seminars, meet with members of the media and press, see imaginative ideas in action, and of course, ooh and aah over loads of exciting new products from hundreds of manufacturers of all shapes and sizes.

i am thankful every day to be working alongside creative people in an industry that fosters and values creative expression. there is no better way to spend that handful of precious disposable income dollars than on art, craft, and sewing supplies, right?

it's true that a lot of this show is centered around the scrapbooker...but the quilter, the knitter, the beader, the sewer, the sculpter, the metalworker, the cardmaker, the mixed media artist, the papercrafter, the felter, the stamper, the DIYer, the painter, and the family crafter (and dare i say the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker) are all represented as well.

for me, it's really all about the people. going to cha is about connecting with friends, building business relationships, meeting the movers and shakers in the craft world, networking with colleagues...and sharing news and inspiration with people who really, truly, almost divinely "get" each other.

here's just some of what i did last week!

  • danced in a flash mob for charity
  • promoted and demonstrated some awesome stuff
  • heard some really good sales spiels and brainstormed some really good plans
  • listened to heartfelt personal stories and was gobsmacked by so much gorgeous work
  • taught a fun workshop
  • gave away prizes and received lovely gifts
  • learned better blogging skills and search engine optimization tactics
  • discovered more about shopping behaviors of the young (and the young at heart)
  • met talented designers, enthusiastic retailers, passionate teachers, and exhausted exhibitors (lol)
  • chatted with my favorite spotlight artists and crafters
  • spent time with creative entrepreneurs who have worked so hard to release their own books and product lines, and i couldn't be happier for them (and i will be buying their amazing wares)!
  • hugged so many people and shook so many hands that my arms hurt

i have attended this show for several years now, and i always come back energized and sparked up with encouragement and optimism about my work in this industry at large, and about my personal growth as an artist and a crafter. onward and upward!