The first day of the CHA show is over - and I'm glad to be sitting down for a couple of hours to tell you all about it! The show has 10km worth of aisles - that's quite a walking circuit. Fortunately there is carpet and really, really kind retailers upgrade their carpet and also use thick squishy underlay. So it's not as bad as it could be. My back is aching because I am a show novice... I didn't want to take a backpack (I would bump into people) and I didn't want to take a trolley (who wants to put that in their suitcase) and so I went with a small shoulder bag - just enough for my notebook, drink and camera. FOOL! Within 3 stalls it was crammed with catalogues. Fortunately some kind person gave me a bag (with some cute freebies) and I loaded that up instead and hung it over my shoulder. After 20 stalls I was walking pretty lopsided - so I checked them in with the Baggage Service. At the end of the day I saddled up and walked the 1km back to the motel - feeling like a Granny. I am going to take Graham's little suitcase tomorrow :-)
The show takes up a number of exhibition halls and today I made it
through just more than a third of the Scrapbooking Stalls. There is
about the same number of general craft stalls that I hope to be able to
visit too. I decided that I wasn't going to do Make and Takes until the
last day, but rather walk around, takes notes, talk to designers,
collect catalogues and take photos. I just decided to start at the
right-hand side and work left during the weekend.
What a pleasant surprise when the FIRST stall I arrived at was Kaisercraft! I was hugged and welcomed like an old friend and it was a thrill to see OUR work on display! We've been holding onto a secret and it's time to reveal it. Miss Betsy has been doing cards for Kaiser for a few months now - but this month I had the privilege of working with their Tiny Woods and Technologic ranges! I have been published in the February Kaisercraft Workshop magazine (yippeee!) - although you may laugh when you see the spelling of my name (Geoffry!?). I can assure you that it's my work - and we've had a few giggles over it. Anyway, here are some of my projects on display at CHA:
Not only that, Lowri McNabb has worked on projects for Technologic & Fine and Sunny and she'll be featured in upcoming issues of the Kaiser workshop magazine. Yay! Here are some of her creations (banner, magnet board, photo display)
And of course, our lovely Miss Betsy who keeps making the most delightful cards. Her work was EVERYWHERE on the stall!
My impression from walking the floor all day is that Kaisercraft is well established in the craft market. A lot of their Beyond the Page projects were being used by other big companies to show off their designs. Kaiser's designs are top quality, professional and we love being New Zealand's biggest supplier. Yay for Kaiser!
I moved on and found myself at Echo Park. Their new mini theme 6x6 pads and paper collections are super exciting and I LOVE the new chipboard albums. They are interactive - with pull out pieces. They have 5 new collections - This and That Charming, This and That Graceful, Note to Self & Hello Summer. Lowri did some guest designing for them recently and we are pleased to continue stocking their products.
Next up was the Best Creations stall. Sandy Ang from our Design Team is also on their team and it was fun looking around for her projects on display. These guys are bringing out a fab new range of World Traveller papers and we've got the Europe ones arriving this week!
The next stall also had Sandy's work on display - Ruby Rocket. The Artfull Crafts Design Team all seemed to have their work down this one aisle! They spoke highly of Sandy and they LOVE her work (and so do we). You can see Sandy's cards on display behind us in the photo. These guys have released 3 new paper collections and a fun new bling range. We already stock their Wedding range in store and we hope to expand into some others soon.
At the end of the first aisle was Tattered Angels (who have just been purchased by Canvas Corp). They have released 3 new ranges of mists called Plain Jane. None of them have any glimmer in them. There's Baseboard (an opaque chalkboard), a Stain and a Sheer mist.
Opposite them were Canvas Corp and this one probably excited me the most! It's not a brand I had ever heard of - but they are HUGE in America. They cross over into card-making, scrapbooking and off-the-page (which I love). Most of the products are brown, white, black or cream and as their name suggests many products are made with canvas. They also use hessian, calico and most of their papers are printed on kraft card. Their stuff is super cool and has been designed to be used with other companies decorative products - like mists and flowers, paint and ribbons. Their range includes placemats, aprons, bags, mini books, banner, pillow cases and more. We are planning on getting some of their products instore. Canvas Corp have also purchased 7 Gypsies and they are a perfect fit.
Fab Scraps is a relatively new company on the scene (a year ago) and they are everywhere in South Africa. Their ranges are along Vintage, Shabby Chic lines and I particularly liked these wooden buttons.
GCD Studios embellies are very popular and their new paper ranges are fabulous. We may have to start stocking their products again! They are looking for a new Design Team - applications close 1st Feb though - so be in quick!
Nikki Sivils was an award winner in the morning ceremony for her philanthropic work after a devastating tornado hit her hometown. She organised a Scrapbook pickup and it ended up being a massive operation with over $50,000 of donated goods. She got to deliver them to ladies who had lost their entire craft rooms. Nikki doesn't have much coverage in New Zealand and so we'd like to team up with her and start stocking her products. She has a lovely style and we think you would appreciate her designs. She has 4 new ranges - Noah, Audrey, Exit Here and Messages.
I saw some fun transparencies at the Hambly Screen Prints stall - perfect for cardmakers and some great colours of washi tape. This stuff is very versatile...
At this point it was only 2pm - but my camera ran out of battery after only 200 photos. I was pretty gutted - so I picked up the pace, collected catalogues, speed chatted and visited another 30 stalls. You'll have to wait for another day to hear about those ones!
Some popular themes and trends appear to be kraft papers, washi tape and anything vintage.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Graham gets to join me for a couple of business seminars and then onto the exhibit floor. He can't wait...