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Craft and Hobby Blog


Elmwood Park, NJ, USA; June 01, 2012 —Get ready for a revolution in the British craft industry as the exciting news hits that the CHA is coming to the UK! CHA-UK officially launched earlier this month as an affiliate chapter of the hugely successful Craft & Hobby Association in the USA. It will enjoy the full support of the American association whilst remaining autonomous within the United Kingdom, making it the country’s most expansive, and most inclusive, creative industry association. It is based and funded in the UK so will cater specifically for the needs of Britain’s craft industry retailers and suppliers.

The UK chapter was founded with the support of leading UK Craft and hobby businesses. On Friday 18th May, the CHA-UK Board of Directors met in Manchester to elect its officers. The CHA-UK Board of Directors elected Sara Davies as Board Chair; Carolyn Schulz as Vice Chair; and Derek Bamford as Board Secretary / Treasurer. The CHA-UK Board of Directors is composed of industry leaders and influencers including:

Colin Poole, Creative Expressions Ltd
Alastair McMinn, Coats Crafts
Barry Short, Creatively Inspired
Jane Gregory, Addicted 2 Craft
Tony Sheridan, Create & Craft TV
Catriona Marshall, Hobbycraft
Derek Bamford, Cutting Edge Craft, Grafton Projects Ltd
Mark Hill, The Thomas Kinkade Company LLC
Sara Davies, Crafter’s Companion Ltd
Stephanie Burnham, The Bead Scene
Anna Davenport, Immediate Media Co.
Carolyn Schulz, Creative Solutions Ltd
Terry Bowles, Design Objectives Ltd
Kathy Walsh, Personal Impressions
Stephanie Weightman, Art and Craft Direct Ltd
Andrej Suskavcevic, Craft & Hobby Association

“Thanks to the dedicated efforts of past and current CHA Directors including Carolyn Schulz, Mark Hill, and Sara Davies we’ve been able to witness this labour of love come to fruition. I am confident that the CHA-UK will not only be successful, but that it will serve as a model for how CHA will establish and operate chapters in the future” said Larry Olliges, CHA Board Chairman.

“After almost a decade of discussion and planning I’m very proud to be part of the UK’s premier craft industry organization. With national craft retail, media and manufacturing support behind us we (CHA-UK) are truly poised to nurture and expand the craft and hobby industry in the UK”, said Mark Hill, CHA International Committee Chair and CHA-UK Board Member.

“The UK is at a crossroads”, explained Sara Davies, newly elected CHA-UK Board Chair. “We need to come together to collaborate in order to expand the craft industry in the UK by leveraging shared experience and pooling of resources to harness the collective power of an entire industry rather than individual craft businesses.”

CHA-UK member benefits

The CHA-UK is a not-for-profit organisation with ALL membership fees being pumped directly back into the association to benefit ALL members. The aim is to keep membership fees as affordable as possible with the bonus of members being able to gain access to numerous exclusive benefits. New members will become an essential link in the CHA-UK chain, immediately granted access to the advice and experience of all fellow members worldwide, to free webinars, access to survey results and free up-to-date reports on what’s hot and what’s not. These are the tools essential to helping you not just run but build your business, optimising returns and therefore bringing financial success.

Furthermore, CHA-UK are proud to announce their partnership with the BATF (British Allied Trades Federation), securing a place within their conglomeration of leading UK associations including the Giftware Association and the British Jewellers’ Association. This will provide all members with a whole host of unique benefits, including:

- Incredibly competitive reduced credit card processing rates
- Great discounts on delivery and mailing services
- Up to 25% off healthcare
- Hotel and leisure reduced rates
- Motoring discounts
- Discounted web design and hosting
- Savings on insurance services
- Discounts for the Autumn Fair show hosted by i2i events

The CHA-UK vision

The aim of the CHA-UK is to:

- Unite the UK craft industry
- Grow the craft industry in the UK and help members achieve and maintain success
- Organise a trade association that’s unique to the needs of the UK craft market, governed by the leaders of that industry
- Offer UK-centric benefits to all members
- Offer affordable membership and tangible returns unique to the UK craft industry

You can be part of this exciting new venture by joining the Craft & Hobby Association UK and making 2012 the year you take your business to the next level! Visit www.cha-uk.co.uk for more information and full sign up details.

Editorial Notes:

- Board Officer interviews and photos available upon request.
- More information about the Craft & Hobby Association United Kingdom including comprehensive list of member, benefits and 2011 UK Craft Industry market research are available at www.cha-uk.co.uk.
- Limited By Guarantee No. 7914498

For More Information Contact:

- USA: Victor Domine, Director of Membership,vdomine@craftandhobby.org
- UK: Craig DeSouza, Director of Membership Services, craig@cha-uk.co.uk
- Craft & Hobby Association UK, Federation House, 10 Vyse Street, Birmingham, B18 6LT