I have a lot of observations into what I saw this past week at CHA…some crafty insight from a first time show goer. I prob. could write a book, but here’s just a brief tale of what I saw.
Anyway, this is what I take away…
1) Scrapbooking is still the main draw and very oversaturated. And I found it kinda sad. Admittedly, scrapbooking is where the design/trends are seen most. I kinda think that the way the floor was divided up created the division between general crafts/art supplies/needlework. Too bad they couldn’t intermix the sections better. I think this would literally open up the floor for more people to integrate different mediums and products into scrapbooking and vice versa. I think many of the scrapbookers didn’t venture beyond their borders and that is kinda sad.
2) There’s a lot of book publishers out there. I had no clue there were so many publishers. I got several free copies of books and got to meet the authors and that always fascinates me…I love the whole process and like seeing a finished product. A book doesn’t just get “pulled” together. It takes a lotta blood, sweat, and tears.
3) A lot of the “big” designers and industry folks you hear about are really just like you and me. Very open-minded and willing to share. It’s kinda interesting how small the craft world really is. People intertwine and link together. It’s cool that way.
4) There’s a lotta distributers companies from China. It makes sense…I just didn’t expect to see so many. We had a booth right next to us filled to the brim with a lotta crap. I wasn’t impressed at all. This mass production of goods gets us cheaper stuff, but it is just that – cheap. Not anything I am into.
5) While beading seems to be big, it didn’t seem to be that big at the show. There were several big companies and wholesale distributors, but I didn’t see very much innovation in this area. I was a bit disappointed. But then again, I didn’t know what to expect, so there ya go.
6) In general, I noticed these themes/trends…flocking, chandeliers (Hambly did them a year ago and now they are everywhere), toned down pinks and browns for a nostalgic/rustic feel, lots of glitter and sparkles, digital art and modern art influences, kid’s crafts, and layering.
I could go into more detail, but I’m tired. I had a good trip overall and saw a lot. It was really insightful.
Glad you had a good time and glad you got to go.
If nothing else these conferences are good ways to re-connect with yourself and revitalize your spirit.