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CHA Summer Show Products

Whether it's crafts or food, exhibitors and buyers have a lot in common.

by Ellie Joos (August 6, 2007)

After fabrics and ribbons, high on my list of beautiful 

I always enjoy "discovering" new products at the numerous trade shows I attend each year, and the two shows I attended in July were no exception. The Fancy Food show in New York and the CHA show in Chicago are two shows that appeal to one's creative senses. "Foodies" can't help but love the excitement and energy of the Fancy Food show, not to mention the many, many tastings available, and "crafters" gravitate to the products in their industry that bring out their creative "juices."

The busiest booths at both shows are those in which products can be sampled. At the Food show, it is best not to go hungry; however, as a food retailer, how else can you know what products you want to consider adding to your merchandise mix unless you taste everything in sight?

At the craft show, craft retailers must go hungry for new ideas and merchandise so booths with product sampling as in make-it/take-its were always quite busy. Other similarities between both include the importance of great lighting and colorful booths, friendly knowledgeable staff, well-designed packaging and support materials, and the appearance of celebrities (Paula Deen and the Barefoot Contessa drew autograph seeking crowds at the Food show).

As for products, both shows had elements of the latest trends that are influencing consumer spending, such as products for the pet lover, organic and natural products, and kid crafts products. (Sassafras had the best kid's cooking craft kits at the food show)

So before all this talk of food makes me leave the computer and go to the kitchen, here are some of the new product sightings that caught my eye at the CHA show:

The Remarkable Wall™ from Walllinks™. This first time exhibitor has two transparent wall tile products: one is a set of four tiles that when mounted measure over twenty square feet of space for writing, painting, scrapbooking, and the other is set of tiles to create a wall Christmas tree, to decorate in many ways. These wall tiles are easy to mount or remove, perfect for children of all ages. www.wall-links.com

My-T-Fine™ Cordless Electronic Cutter® from Universal Sewing Supply is a lightweight, ergonomically designed cutter that cuts easily through a wide variety and layers of products. Also exciting is their new patent-pending cutting board, perfect for quilters, with cutting lines and grooves to accommodate the blades of the cutter. www.mytfinecutter.com

Canvas Home Basics™, Homespacing kits from Canvas Corp in a very attractive, eye-catching booth – for crafters or scrapbookers who can apply their creative flair to decorating their home using these kits of design boards, ¼ scale furniture, graph paper, repositionable stickers, design tips, and instructions. Also available is their Paint System of interior paints using Diamondhard Technology. www.canvascorp.com

Sorori-Tee, iron-on appliques, T- Art, very "hip" appliqués for the tween or teen customer, Twisted Princesses featuring the "evil" Disney princesses with style and humor, were several of the great new products from Wrights® in another great looking, creative booth utilizing tables, stools, steel lockers, etc. from their factory, that were painted, decoupaged, and otherwise embellished. (What's laying around your garage that would make a great store display fixture?) www.wrights.com

Do it All Craft Board™ from Creative Spirit Crafts is a unique, multi-purpose table top board for knitting, weaving, beading, macramé, ribbonry, and other crafts. www.ezcraft.com

Knitting and Crochet.

Moda Dea® Bamboo Wool™ yarn from Coats and Clark. Bamboo has been appearing in textiles and home décor products and now C & C has it in their new yarn of 55% Rayon from Bamboo and 45 % Wool in 10 great colors, as well as several other new yarns including Fashionista™, and acrylic and Tencel blend making this yarn incredibly soft. www.modadea.com

Flamenco from Premier™ Yarns is an interesting new ombre yarn that is 100% Antibacterial Microfiber Dralon/Acrylic. This unique yarn adds a lovely ruffled edge to gloves or socks or can be made into a ruffled scarf. By changing the side of yarn one works with gives the finished result either a light to dark look or dark to light look. www.premieryarns.com

Crafts and Scrapbooking.

MemoryMixer Version 2 from Lasting Impressions. A leader in digital scrapbooking has added new features to its popular multimedia product. Its presence on TV (underwriter of Scrapbook Memories on PBS) is also helping to increase awareness for digital scrapbooking. www.memorymixer.com

Digital/Printable Kits from Glitz Design. This new exhibitor started by three scrapbooking, creative friends has CD's for creating your own layouts, card making kits, and great designs for making your own paper. They also have some fun embellishments. www.glitzitnow.com (nice website).

Paintables Paper Collection from Prima Marketing: add your own colors via watercolors or pencils to these beautifully designed black and white pages. www.primamarketinginc.com

Botanical Bliss from Tinkering Ink is a line of gorgeous papers in beautiful colors and patterns, with a definite upscale look from this fairly new company in the industry. Yuletide is a really lovely line for Christmas. www.tinkeringink.com

Sugar Coating ™ Glitter is a line of brads, rub-ons, and other colorfully frosted products from Doodlebug Design. The booth is always so refreshing with delightful new ideas and displays. www.doodlebug.ws

Big Honkin' Canvas 12"x20" board from Quick Quotes features gigantic die-cut hearts, flowers, stars, tags, to be painted with their PowderPuffs™Inks or other color products. www.shopquickquotes.com

Memory Box from Three Bugs in a Rug is scrapbooking outside of the book and in the box in this clever product that is meant to be decorated with products from the company's beautiful line. The box is sold alone or as part of a kit. www.3bugsinarug.com

Pink-Packaged Products from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L™-. Cause-related marketing is good for the heart and soul, and this company is giving back by packaging a number of their products in pink to designate them as part of its corporate sponsorship to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Good for you 3L! www.scrapbook-adhesives.com

As I conclude this report with one more sighting, I am reminded again of the Fancy Food show, in this case the International Pavilions where I spent some time tasting foods from around the world. The "whole wide world" is literally at our fingertips with scrapbooking papers and embellishments representing 14 countries from Far and Away. www.farandawayscrapbooks.com

(Note: Ellie is president of Ellie Joos & Associates, a marketing, pr, and product development firm. To read Ellie's and others reports on other industry-related shows, click on the titles in the right-hand column. To contact Ellie call 908-459-9269 or email eleapple@hotmail.com.)



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