It’s that time again – time to name the hottest brands from the CHA Mega Show 2014 in Anaheim last month!
This time around, several themes seemed to emerge as I assembled the list, themes that were evident in the show in general. Most notable perhaps was the large influx of truly quality new exhibitors, a group of which the show hasn’t seen like this in years. Another recurring theme, that was evident again and again on the show floor, was of companies who have remade themselves after challenges the past few years and are rising again creatively. Together, these two phenomena combined to lend an air of positivity and optimism to the show.
So, without further ado…here’s the Scrapbook Update Top Ten Hot Picks from the CHA Mega Show!
This machine has been taking the crafting world by storm in 2014, winning first the Innovations award at the CHA Mega Show and then Tool of the Year at Creativeworld in Frankfurt less than two weeks later. Scan-N-Cut enters a crowded, competitive market for digital diecutting that already featured at least four major competitors duking it out, but the machine’s unique ability to cut whatever it sees on a piece of paper is garnering it a closer look from crafters.
We R Memory Keepers
Their latest releases include 4×4 mini albums and the kits to go in them that were much buzzed about in Anaheim, along with signature kits by Teresa Collins for their Albums Made Easy line of pocket scrapbooking products. Combined with a heavy commitment to washi tapes (both rolls and sheets), enamel shapes, and their recent acquisition of Lifestyle Crafts’s letterpress line of products, We R Memory Keepers is moving rapidly from mass market to the trendy side of the spectrum.
Speaking of Teresa Collins’ line for We R Memory Keepers…she was everywhere: Craftwell, the Teresa Collins Stampmaker, Xyron, We R Memory Keepers, plus her collections at Teresa Collins Designs (and I know I must be leaving something out). She is easily one of the hottest names in the industry right now and she lived up to the hype with wonderful new collections under her core Teresa Collins Designs label. In addition to her traditional collections in her signature style, Teresa is attempting to incorporate the growing trend for mixed media in the industry, with her new collection of stencils and modeling paste.
I’ve long been a fan of Technique Tuesday’s simple, versatile stamps (especially their Ali Edwards signature designs), but in recent years although still producing some great designs the company had seemed to lose its identity and developed a style that was fragmented and unsure of itself. The CHA Mega Show saw a reborn Technique Tuesday, showing a newly cohesive style, with a solidly executed mission of serving card makers and pocket scrapbookers through their clear stamps and newly added die selection.
Me & My Big Ideas
After gaining popularity over a decade ago for their cute stick kid sticker designs, Me & My Big Ideas got somewhat left behind by the scrapbook market’s dramatic shift into vintage and retro styling. But the market has now moved back their direction, to more graphic styling, and they’ve not just reclaimed their previous market position but staked out new territory, with fabulous new products for pocket pages and quick card-making that are garnering them respect among even the most stylish of scrapbookers.
Just when you think this company can’t possibly top themselves, they do! Simple Stories has gone from strength to strength lately, releasing great collections and creating and expanding their SNAP brand of 6×8 pocket albums and products. Now they’ve come out with a new concept called DIY, which provides a series of elements that can be combined by papercrafters to easily create custom pocket cards. The concept attracted a lot of attention in Anaheim and is sure to be a hit with consumers for its quick creativity.
Heidi truly proved she is truly back and a force to be reckoned with in the market with this new set of collections. Focusing on her bright colored paper designs and the Color Magic sprays and the embellishments that work with them, the new collections are user friendly and in trendy palettes that are sure to be popular for the spring and summer season.
Hazel & Ruby
This new exhibitor really exemplifies the growing relationship between the papercrafting and mixed media markets. Hazel & Ruby sells supplies like tissue paper and masks that can be used to create beautiful and easy decoupage wall art projects, a perfect project for scrapbookers who want to take their skills out of the album and into the decorative realm – and the perfect product line for stores who want to expand their customer base outside of “traditional” scrapbooking.
Another part of the new exhibitor infusion on this list, Little B is a start-up that is full of new ideas for truly innovative products. They’ve tackled everything from thin die storage to a better way to make fabric flowers in their short life, with amazing results, and consumers have responded to their fresh thinking. All of their products are created with a pure style that lacks self-consciousness and is just downright usable for the average consumer, adding to their popularity.
This show’s last Hot Pick is the new signature brand of longtime industry designer Heidi Sonboul. After a long career licensing her delightful designs to other companies, Heidi finally launched her own company at the CHA Mega Show in Anaheim. Her feminine, playful designs incorporate soft florals along with icons of childhood and basic all-over patterns like plaids, stripes and dots. This versatile combination of collections that work alone or together will make both cardmakers and traditional scrapbookers very happy