Hello Ai Fans!
We are back home in Oregon after a wonderful trip to the Craft & Hobby Association's (CHA) 2016 Mega Show. Every year, we pack up our beautiful booth and head down to Anaheim, California to meet with store owners and industry friends to release our new lines!
Now I must mention a disclaimer. As a company, we do not host sneak peeks before CHA on our blog or even release many details before CHA, as we want our stores have our newest products first! There is a method to our madness! We want YOU to contact your local store and get our products from them! We believe in our independent stores and love working with many fabulous owners. We appreciate the power of small business and we hope you will contact your nearest store to find many of our fabulous new designs!
Now to our TOP 10 moments from CHA 2016!
(In no particular order)
Periscope is a live video streaming app for iOS (Apple Products) and Android. This fun app now gives us the ability to share quick videos from our travels and around Ai headquarters to give you more behind-the-scenes! We love that there is a chat feature so we can respond in real time and you can tap the video screen to give 'hearts' when you like something! We're very excited about the possibilities and we hope you will download the app and follow @artimpressions or view us at periscope.tv/artimpressions.
#2. Ai Photo Booth
We had a fun idea to add a photo booth to our space this year, so our friends could take photos with the Ai Girlfriends! We have a very cute new Girlfriends "Flaunt It Set" (4756) releasing soon and we tried to match all their photo props! Check out all our fun friends!
#3. Filming with Scrapbook Expo
We are so thankful to work with the Scrapbook Expo team and filming is one of our favorites because we get to bring YOU so many fun clips of new products and creative ideas! We love adding their videos to our newsletter and hope you enjoy them as well! A BIG thank you to Rick & Sandy, they are always so fun to be around!
Bonnie Krebs, our owner & designer, filming our new Watercolor Workshop promotional, which we will be featuring at many locations of the Scrapbook Expo circuit!
Kate Swanson, our marketing and accounts manager, filmed 11 Latest & Greatest videos and 3 Tip of the Day videos! We'll be sure to share all the fun once they're online! In the meantime, you can view all our previous Scrapbook Expo Videos on our YouTube playlist.
#4. Crafters' Home
Each show, we travel a couple days early to spend some time with Crafters' Home stores (an independent craft retailer group) and create some great projects! We first hosted a workshop with 2 fun 3D card projects. We love to send our store owners home with beautiful, interactive samples to show their customers!
We always like to spoil our workshop attendees with fun extras!
We also had the opportunity to attend the Crafters' Home Sample Showcase, a 3-hour make & take bonanza! You can see Bonnie creating beautiful watercolor samples with store owners!
A HUGE thank you goes out to our Ai Design Team for all their hard work creating card samples for the show! We are so thankful to have the most wonderful ladies designing for us and they are always a joy to work with! With a tight deadline as CHA started right after the holidays, they pulled through for us big time! Thank you AiDT, we are blessed to work with you!
Kate helping answer questions at our showcase table.
#5 New Booth Improvements
We are constantly trying to improve our booth and this year, we pulled out all the stops! We decided we would make a new wood sign in-house, using our scroll saws for cutting out stamps, but with stronger blades! Our team cut out all the letters, created the logo and added marquee bulbs to light it up! We loved it - and in true crafty style, saved a bunch by making it ourselves!
Phil Krebs & Joel Krebs testing it out before drilling for the marquee bulbs.
Also, true to crafty style, we created a new rainbow-shaped make & take table for Annelise Koeth (our amazing Customer Service Expert) to better serve our customers! Phil, our owner, cut the wood and created legs for the table and we had a custom tablecloth made to finish the look! It worked out great!
Other additions were cute scallops to finish off the black edges of our panels, a new table for our catalogs, lights under our shelves and some fresh flowers. We loved our booth so much, we wish we had room to set it up at our headquarters!
#6 CHA Workshop
After a full morning and afternoon with our Crafters' Home friends, we headed over to the convention center for Bonnie and Kate to teach at our CHA Interactive Cardmaking Workshop! We were so blessed to have our class sell out TWO months in advance!
And of course, we had to bring lots of goodies for our friends!
Thank you to anyone who attended our workshop! We appreciate your support of our products and we loved spending time with you (even with the panic of a false fire alarm!). Thanks for laughing along with us!
#7 New Ai Product!
You didn't think we would forget about the best part right? NEW product is the main reason people attend the CHA show!
We did a quick Periscope of our booth, which was the only chance we got to walk around and film there! But we DID upload it to YouTube and you can see a quick overview here!
Disclaimer #2 - Our newest products go to stores FIRST and we are just starting to ship this week. So contact your local store if you are searching for this product!
#8 Visiting with Stamp Companies
One great thing about the show is that we get to see many stamp companies who we've known over the years! It was very cool that our booth was near many of our friends and on the last day of the show, we planned a quick photo with as many stamp company owners & stamp designers that could make it!
(Left to Right) Standing Back: Stampers Anonymous (Ted), Art Impressions (Phil), Taylored Expressions (Taylor), Stampendous (Fran), Lawn Fawn (Kelly-Marie & Erica), Two-Lips Stamps (Therese). Standing Middle: Impression Obsession (Mitra), Avery Elle, Technique Tuesday (Shelley), Judikins Inc. (Rob & Judi), Emerald Creek (Kim). Front Row: Avery Elle (Jamie), Dare 2B Artzy (Cindy), Pink and Main (Michelle), Waffle Flower Crafts (Nina), Nicole Wright Designs (Nicole)
How fabulous is this photo? A big thank you to all these wonderful people for taking some time to get together! We snapped this quick picture and got to chat a bit before everyone ran back to their booths for tear down.
Want to follow some of these great people? Head over to our Instagram account and tap on this photo, all the companies are tagged so you can click on their name and follow them!
#9 Button Contest
For the last 4 years, we have hosted a button contest to help spread the Ai love! It is a fun way for us to give prizes and even better, helps connect people! We give away lanyards with a button and a number sticker printed on it. Each number has a matching number and if you find them, you receive a prize pack coming back to the booth! We had over 30 winners this year and we are always so thrilled when people chat and swap info. Some winners have become friends and kept in touch!
Here are a couple of our winners! We print off their photos and attach them to the winner wall so everyone can see who has won!
#10 Sharing with YOU!
Ok, this one might be a little cheesy, but we LOVE posting on social media to share with you! Here are a couple of our posts!
Thanks for checking out all our fun at CHA! We hope you enjoyed this recap!
Annelise, Joel, Phil, Bonnie & Kate
Phil, Tony, Kate & Annelise
See you in Phoenix - CHA Show 2017!
That's a wrap from the Art Impressions Team!