I’ve shared photos of many of my favorite products and booths, and really that is what CHA is about. Manufacturers bringing out their best to sell, to get seen. While that may be the purpose of CHA, what really makes it a must for me are the people. My amazing and talented friends, the folks I get to work with but never see, the joy of meeting new people, seeing crafting icons, and making great memories too. Truly, CHA for me is a completely different experience for me now verses the first time I attended a trade show a decade ago!
pictured above: Maggie (at her booth – and seriously so sweet I’m glad I finally met her!), Claudine (yay! new stencils!), Anita & Candy (Simon Says challenge team members), Dyan (being so inspiring but also making me giggle tons), Amy (fantastic new line!), Shimelle (in action!), Anna aka Finnabair (with her amazing new line!), Lorrie (aka craft mom – new blog with deals!), and Melissa (aka new garden girl + the scrappy jedi)
CHA is like no other experience for me because of the people. Looking at all my phone pics and candid gets me all teary eyed because dang – I wish there was a crafty neighborhood we could all move into so that I could see these people daily. It really is crazy to get to wake up and chatter with roommates you normally only get to text with, have cheesecake with two of my favorite scrapbookers, visit friends who have AMAZING new lines out, watch live demos from crafting icons, and hug more people than I normally do in a month (heck maybe a year)- all within the span of a day.
What makes this experience magic for me – is that it is like I got sucked into my computer and I’m in this other (creative) dimension and it’s amazing. Oh, exhausting and hard work, but AMAZING. My one piece of advice, to anyone ever going to this or any big creative event, is to not hesitate to say hi to someone. Tell them hi, your name, and say something nice. I made this my mission at this show – to tell everyone designing products that I liked how much I like them. To compliment, express gratitude, and otherwise just say something to all of those who inspire me when I’m back at home.
Come to think of it - even if you don’t attend these shows you can still email! Send an email to that blogger, that company, that designer and tell them how they’ve made a difference or otherwise inspired you. It is seriously uplifting to do it AND your kind note could totally make their day.
Pictured above: Melissa (before I force her to pose with Becky Higgins for a pic for her project life – how could she not?!), Wendy Vecchi about to demo (and with FAB products debuting as well!), Amy Tan (showing her fave instagram apps at our BPC breakfast), Karen ‘lady doc’ (such a treasure!), Shimelle and Melissa (adore these ladies to pieces, and as you can see it is make & take time), Tim Holtz (and what happens if you ask him to smile…) Dina (with her new book!), Izzy of Paperclipping (just being himself), and Julie Fei-Fan Balzer rockin the stencil demo table at The Crafters Workshop.
I’m so blessed – to work in this industry and to have made so many great friends along the way. I just wish they would all live much much closer to me and I didn’t have to wait and see them just once a year!
Pictured above: Breakfast with Heidi and Steph (of Simon Says Stamp), taking a glittery moment with the Crafty Chica, dinner with fantastic ladies Melissa, Shimelle, Dina, Stephanie, and Jennifer; A moment in the booth with Amy – (aka designer of my most used paper line of 2012!), first night dinner with Stephanie, Lisa, Shimelle, and Melissa; meeting Elle of Elle’s Studio (finally!), hello there Ali (good to see you!), chatting with Ted of Stamper’s Anonymous (did you know my work is in the Tim winter 2013 stamp catalog? so cool!), and with the beautiful and talented Margie at the Bazzill booth where she has a new line.
I know there are a bunch of people I got to meet that aren’t featured here because I don’t have pics on my phone (where I made the collages) - but I think I’ve chattered enough for one post so I’ll stop now. I could honestly just talk for DAYS. Instead, I’m going to be taking these photos (as seen above), try to see if I can gather up some more that other people took, and print them all out + make a mini book. (I think – at least, that is the plan!). I will for sure share my pages and the how-to here on my blog.