So what is CHA?
I have had lots of non-crafting people ask me this over the past few weeks, ever since I began my barrage on Twitter and Facebook about it. So I thought I would break it down for y'all and tell you all about it.
CHA stands for the "Craft and Hobby Association" which is the name of the organization for craft industry professionals. To be a member of CHA, you have to work in the industry as a store owner, a manufacturer, a designer, etc.
CHA hosts two shows a year, one in winter and one in the summer. These shows are not consumer or retail shows; that means the shows are not like Scrapbook Expo or Crating Keepsakes Conventions. The CHA shows are not open to the public and the only buying/selling that goes there are wholesale orders from store owners. Craft companies use CHA shows as a place to debut their latest products.
Going to CHA has been a dream of mine for several years now. I would always read on Twitter and Facebook about all of the companies getting ready for CHA and would be so jealous! It always seemed like so much fun to be able to see all the cool new stuff before "the public" gets to see it. Well, this year, I had my chance. I was contacted by a wonderful company called Glue Arts to come work for them at CHA. I was ecstatic!
I knew it was going to be hard work. After all the show is 3 1/2 days of non-stop standing, walking, and talking to customers, but I was ready for the challenge... or so I thought. Wow. After about 3 hours on the FIRST DAY of the show, my feet were killing me. Cute shoes = rookie mistake.
But the awesome experience of being at the show more than made up for any physical discomfort. I met so many wonderful people, all of whom were fellow crafters. Just being in this huge place with so many people who share your passion was amazing. And seeing so many great products from my favorite companies was enough to send me into shock! I think I walked around with my mouth just hanging open for at least the first 2 days, gaping at all the cool craft goodies!
The CHA show was all I had hoped it would be and more. I must send a huge thank-you to Glue Arts for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I am forever in your debt!
Over the next few days, I will be posting pictures and my impressions of CHA so please come back to share my trip with me!