Friday, July 20, 2007

Crafting and the CHA Show

A book signing for my latest book at the Leisure Arts
booth. This is me with Debra Nettles, Directer of Design
Relation. She is wonderful to work with!
CHA Winter Show 2007

With my hero, Carol Duvall at the 2007 CHA Winter

I have been so consumed with the culture in my new environment that I have said little about my crafting world. Today is the start of the CHA Summer Show in Chicago, Illinois. I have been attending this show for almost 10 years back when it was known as ACCI. It is a trade show the focuses on the craft industry. If you want to know what is HOT in crafting and what is not, this is the place. It is also the place where I became a professional craft designer. I originally joined as a professional crafter and am now a designer. The qualifications when I joined were a lot easier for a new designer than they are now.

I participated in their Designer's Showcase which was where you sent up a table with your designs and editors, publishers, manufacturers and other industry professionals come to talk to you, if you are lucky. My very first showcase I had made a polymer clay sock monkey. The idea came from Sculpey's Granitex brown which looked just like sock monkey material. An editor and owner of a booklet company saw that and said I had to send it to Carol Duvall of HGTV's The Carol Duvall Show. She emailed her address and off the sock monkey went basically thinking it would be a gift to Carol who collects them. I was shocked to find a few months later an email from Carol herself, first apologizing for the lateness in acknowledging the gift and second, would I have time to come out and appear on her show demonstrating how to make the sock monkey. That was the beginning of a wonderful run on television and a lot of friendships.

Thanks to Carol, I will see my eighth book released this Fall for Leisure Arts. Her belief in me and all her advice through the years has been invaluable in my career. I am still in contact with her from time to time and I still can't believe she took a chance on a girl who was not a professional designer who had NEVER done television and who really had not self confidence.

So if you want to become a professional craft designer, join CHA (Crafts and Hobby Association) and participate at the Designer Showcase. I may see you there! The Winter show is in February in Anaheim, California.

I will miss all my designing friends that will be attending this summer show. I don't think I have missed one since I became a professional.


CreekHiker said...

Gee, Becky, did your wonderful Carol Duvall producer help at all??? Just kidding!! I hadn't even realized CHA is starting... what a great craft company owner I am... It was a lot easier years ago. But in some ways, we had more standards then! Miss you. Love the blog!

Toni Lyn said...

Thanks for the encouragement Becky! We all need champions in our lives, and Carol Duvall is definitely that! And what a great industry this is! We are here at CHA covering it for an internet-tv show we produce called Crafty Nation. I am going to try and track you down. In the meantime, I would love your feedback on the show at - Look forward to meeting you!! Toni Lyn

Becky said...

Hi Holly:

I miss you too! I'm going to try to make it to CHA Winter. Need a to fill a craving for In N'Out Burgers!

Hi Toni Lyn:

I'm not at CHA this summer. With the move, it was just too much. Hope to hear from you.


Helena said...

Aww! Too bad you had to miss it. I got to got to HIA a few years ago (2003? It was in Anaheim). I loved it but I was completely exhausted afterwards. It was like being wired for days.

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