Every January, the CHA Mega Show brings together a world of craft enthusiasts, from manufacturers to retailers and designers. This year’s show was a crazy flurry of activity, and I thought I’d share a few highlights from the show. As always, my report is never comprehensive – it’s just a compilation of trends, ideas and people who caught my eye.
On my way to the show, a layover at the Denver airport brought a chance encounter with designers and artists Jill Mackay and Laura Kelly, who were also on their way to the show. Jill was introducing her new Light Seeds at the show, a peel and stick LED sticker that lights when used in conjunction with conductive ink, paint or tape. Wow!
Once in Anaheim, we caught the tail end of the The Special Event, a conference and trade shows for those involved in staging special events. The displays ranged from chair rentals to beautifully dressed banquet tables and entertainers for hire. It was no surprise that photo booths were a hot item.
And then it was show time for CHA, where our first stop is always the FloraCraft booth. This Michigan company is the number-one fabricator of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam, and I love to see the new ideas in the booth. Check out this fancy, rotating wall made with discs. I think this topped last year’s wall of cones.
Designer Dondi Richardson always has a crowd waiting for her make-it and take-it sessions.
We made our own Valentine’s Day cards at the make-and-take table in the Designer Showcase.
A few hot trends and products that I noted included:
- Pops of metallic gold were everywhere.
- People can’t get enough of marquee lights.
- Heidi Swapp had two big hits, as her new products included mini, DIY marquee light kits and the Minc Foil Applicator.
- Geometric shapes and prints were on display, from gems to polka dots.
- Arrows are another popular design motif.
- Chalkboard paints and surfaces continue to be hot.
- It appears that everyone still loves mason jars.
- Demand continues to grow for electronic cutting machines, like the Cricut.
- Crafts and technology continue to merge, and at least one booth showcased a 3-D printer. Jill Mackay’s Light Seeds were a hit, and there were new Circuit stickers, too.
- One trend that’s not high-tech are old fashion planners. These organizing notebooks were showcased by numerous designers and manufacturers.
- Jen Hadfield from Tater Tots & Jello introduced her new Cottage Living collection.
- The creative displays in the yarn booths are always a marvel. This year’s displays included #Scarfie from Lion brand and Yarnia from Spinrite. (I loved the yarn booths last year, too.)
- I had to stop and admire these mosaics from The Beadery. I’m trying to track down the designer to see if she’ll share her tutorials with Crafts ‘n Coffee.
This year, we participated in the Blogger Networking Event sponsored by FaveCrafts, and had an action-packed evening meeting dozens of bloggers.
(FaveCrafts is offering this free e-book with projects from all of the event sponsors.)
And of course, no craft industry trade show is complete without a visit with Ms. Mod Podge, right?
We wrapped up the show with a night out with editors Annie Ryder and Dawn Gehring from Craft Ideas magazine. After dinner, we all indulged at the Popbar – gelato on a stick, dipped and drizzled in chocolate, and then topped with nuts, coconut, sprinkles, or what have you. Uhm, yes, please!
It did rain in southern California while we were there, but we had a few glorious moments of sunshine. And even though it rained, it wasn’t the frozen rain we had back at home.
The CHA Show is always an energizing whirlwind!
What do you think of these trends? Have you noted them as well? Are there other trends you’re watching that I didn’t list? Thanks so much for sharing your observations.