A big day at CHA

Hello everyone! It's me here with an update from our long and exciting Tuesday. It's 3:00am - and no, I've not been up this late, but woke up an hour ago and can't seem to get back to sleep....so am hoping that blogging might empty my brain a little! I don't have photos to share yet....we have others doing a better job than me of keeping up with photography, so I'll snag some of them to share later.

It was quite the day yesterday, our longest of the show. The regular day lasted 10-6 as usual, but we hosted cardmaking at the Craft Carnival in the evening, 6:30-10...so we were in for a lot of work!

I met with a lot more companies all day, many of which you'll be seeing around with OWH in the future....we might have to do a bunch of hops like the 11.11.11 event that everyone loved so much! As I travelled the floor all week, I was able to share just how happy Hero Arts is with our partnership, and their desire to do even more with us - and that gave so many companies an extra boost of confidence. "Hero Arts is a trusted brand in the industry," I was told by Kelley, the owner of Lawn Fawn. "We would love to do something with OWH!" That was such a common sentiment I heard everywhere...and talking about our stamp partnership was a great way to share with companies yet another way they could consider supporting our heroes. I'm not sure how many of the conversations will lead to that level - but I do know we'll be having a lot of fun in upcoming months!

In the afternoon, a few of our team set up our area for the Craft Carnival....we disassembled parts of our booth and started hoofing it! They gave us a tent as the structure, and we tried working in our tables to get the best lighting for crafting; it was in a big ballroom, and they were going to use dim lighting since it was a party...so that was a challenge. I changed clothes, so I could feel a little fancy; I was to speak from the stage to the attendees (about 700), and was nervous enough to need the comfort of a cute outfit! Anyone else feel that way?

Kits are laid out (in envelopes), samples with them - adhesive at the ready, and snacks to keep everyone going!

The evening arrived, our team put the final touches on our tables...and we sat down to make a few sample AnyHero card kits, and write notes to show them how it goes. The program began, and my heart pounded so hard when it was my turn to be called up to the stage! They played our Old Spice video first:

And then I gave a short 3 minute message, telling them the scale and impact of what we do, and invited them to come to our tables and make a thank you card, and write a note in it to a hero. "Now go...make amazing cards!"

The second group on stage was ConKerr Cancer - and their leader Cindy was called up. I wish I could share their video with you, it had me in tears! I heard Cindy's story from her, but she is so humble that she hadn't told it in the way the video did. I'll have to have her email me the link and then I'll share more about their project with you. Cindy invited folks to come and make pillowcases for children suffering with cancer....and I finally got myself to sit down and sew one. Oh my gosh does a real sewing machine make a difference, my little baby machine is, well....little by comparison! ha!

Charity Wings was next on stage - and I know to so many of us, the announcement that we lost in the late hours of the voting was very sad. Our heroes had worked so hard to get us close to the finish line...but I still feel really good about how we did. I'm so proud of our OWHers - instead of robovoting, we had comments on our facebook like: "We are behind. : ( I am passing the link around to friends who haven't voted yet!" That makes me so proud, that our OWH family is full of so much integrity! The nonprofit world needs more of you guys!! I would certainly rather win with honesty than to know we did anything unfair. So thanks, everyone, for your efforts - I appreciate you all soooooo much!

After a flashmob wreck (they had a mob without much flash...the reprise of the dance didn't go so well, since the music didn't happen! lol)....then the real fun of the evening got started! We had people FLOCKING to our booth to make cards!! I was absolutely amazed - ten chairs at each table were full all night long, a waiting line developed, and some ladies sat there for a long time making a ton of cards. Heck, maybe they'll show up at our booth tomorrow and help us get going on the last of the kits! Most of the cards got notes written in them, and the rest that were blank can be used for thank yous by our heroes. As we packed up, I think we had finished almost all the kits we brought, and I think there were over 200 planned for the night - so that added a lot to our total quickly! The video below is just a little clip, and it's very dark (and sorry, it's vertical, lol!) - but you can see the happy crafters working away!
One of the most exciting parts of the evening for me was seeing just how many retailers wanted more information about hosting cardmaking parties. Lots had come to this evening event to "see how it's done!" We had our big book there with us - we have printouts of the project sheets we created for all the kit cards from the whole week, a printout of the sketches from our blog, and prints of the retail kit they can download....and of course pointed them to the Hero Arts sets!! We have lots of emails to send out when we get home, and you can hopefully find a party near you starting up.

One lady in particular sat next to me making cards and talking about hosting an event in her store. I was talking with her about the Hero Arts sets, and she said she was bummed, she had already written her order with them and never saw the OWH ones. I pulled out the sets to show them to her, and it turned out she had ordered two of the three, and hadn't noticed the logo! lol. So that proved my point in wanting to create sets that people would want even if they didn't know about OWH....we know WE love them because they're "our" sets, but the accidental love we get just from them being cute stamps - that's a super side benefit!
Celebrating a job well done :)

And speaking of our total - we'd gone over 400 cards made in our booth before the Carnival...adding the possibly 250 or so I think we did last night, we've got a not-too-shabby number adding up! I think our team is more determined than ever to see what we can complete in this last day - the shortest of the show - and I am hoping that after last night, we may have more folks stopping in to make up some of our kits with us.

I wish I had more pictures to share, but wanted to at least get a little more info out there for you guys....I know you're following us pretty closely, at least by the number of people leaving comments on our prize giveaways! We'll have one more eclectic Paperie prize pack to give away for this last day of the show - so stay tuned!!

Yolanda  – (February 1, 2012 at 4:58 AM)  

Sounds like it is another great CHA year. Fun video. Recruit Tonic to a hop for those cool gear punches. I've been checking youtube videos...

cindyann  – (February 1, 2012 at 9:07 AM)  

WOW! What a long, productive day you had, Sandy! Sounds like things are going very well for OWH and thank you so-o-o-o much for keeping us informed.

Patricia H  – (February 1, 2012 at 9:14 AM)  

Sounds like you are having a fantastic time and that the OWH word is spreading! :) I'd love to see OWH and Lawn Fawn form a partnership because I enjoy using their adorable stamps to make cards for our heroes.

Bunnyfreak  – (February 1, 2012 at 9:33 AM)  

So happy that companies are excited about helping OWH and other non-profits.

Nancy Boatwright –   – (February 1, 2012 at 3:14 PM)  

Thank you for the update. this is the first place I go each day when I first boot up my computer and often check back throughout the day.
Hope this day was an extra super day!

Lucy  – (February 1, 2012 at 11:56 PM)  

Sounds like a great experience all the way around. Looking forward to more deets!

HomeschoolHomestead  – (February 3, 2012 at 12:43 PM)  

Thank you for sharing the experience with you. I so love being a part of this fantastic organization.

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