Aloha! I just realized that almost 2 months have gone by and I still have not posted about one of the craft and hobby industry’s biggest source of mojo! The CHA winter show was held for the last time ever in Anaheim, California this year from January 8-13th. This year the entire Clique Kits leadership team was able to attend, which was even more inspiring since we were able to combine our own company retreat with the industry’s largest trade show. What was even more inspiring to me than seeing all of the new products and all of the “celebrities” was just hanging out with and watching the Clique Kits leadership team in action! We have evolved into a well oiled machine over the past two years, and yet still continue to grow and improve!
Here we are approaching the Anaheim Convention Center to get registered and then head out to Disneyland, California for some food, drinks, and heart to heart discussion of our progress and goals as individuals and as a company! Some people may not realize that the Clique Kits founders and leadership team work together from many different zip codes and time zones. How is that possible? We use the internet of course and video teleconferencing technology. So meeting up face to face to is a once a year opportunity!
One of the things I love about working with a team of girl bosses is that we started the company with the intention to empower each other, not have power over each other. Like any good team, with each player in the role where their strengths are used to the team advantage, everyone thrives! Sometimes stressful situations can pull even the best of friends apart. Basic tenets of communication and preventive maintenance are key in this situation. Some of the things the CK girls do to maximize team work are:
- Chat every day in our Clique Kits leadership chat group!
- Meet regularly starting with a monthly “check-in” just to update each other on life outside of the company!
- Back each other up. We are each able to step up to fill in for each other in any task if needed to help each other when we need to step away “offline” for family or personal situations. We give each other breaks-whenever asked!
- Communicate effectively. We know how to give and take constructive criticism. We are able to express ourselves freely with no fear of retribution. If anyone finds anyone else hard to take, we don’t ignore it. We clear the air right away!
Here we are at Downtown Disney- yummy macaroons for dessert!
Back at our hotel suite-we had two adjoining rooms for the 5 of us. Sandy was our special guest as a design team member she was able to shoot lots of video for the Clique Kits and her personal You Tube channel covering the sights and activities we shared at CHA! Every night was basically a slumber party- we stocked the room with food & drinks and talked into the night making plans and going over the day’s events.
Nicole took this picture of me because I have been kind of obsessed with Zebras lately. LOL
Echo Park company had a map to pin an Instax picture to your location on- I also loved this collection of all of the states-especially my favorite state- Hawaii.
It was really neat to see the Altenew booth again-this year doubled in size! Last year we were so excited to order the stamp set we included in our Clique Cards Spring Edition 2015 and got to see the cards the Altenew owner created with the kit which featured the first My Mind’s Eye On Trend collection by Jen Allyson. We decided to do an encore performance and order the second On Trend (On Trend 2) for Clique Cards: Spring 2016 which is on sale now for pre-order! This time, we found another cute stamp from Hero Arts that coordinates with it perfectly! There are also NEW Altenew stamps available in the Clique Kits store, along with the amazing inks we tried out ourselves, and highly recommend for crisp,clean stamping perfection! (Ugh so many exclamation points- but I can’t help it.)
Another product we will be bringing to The Clique this summer- possibly alone or in a kit, are these really cool watercolor powders which contain a mixture of colors by Cosmo Cricket. They were super fun to play with giving a multitude of cool effects!
Recently the Clique Kits leaders have opened up a heart to heart discussion about heading in a direction away from doing business with large monopoly corporations in the industry, and moving in a direction favoring working mostly with smaller companies with whom we have built trusting, mutually rewarding relationships in our first two years of business. We realize this is a major step, and may disappoint certain people who continue to covet the products controlled by certain conglomerates. On the other hand, with these products widely available elsewhere, skipping over them for Clique Kits would enable us to focus more on exclusive products, and again, allow us to network with and nurture our relationships with smaller companies and newer start up companies we could easily overlook otherwise. This is not to say we wish to boycott, or in any way put down large corporations in the craft and hobby industry. It is simply the topic of discussion and the Clique Kits leadership team is interested in hearing what other think. Clique Kits is still and always will be committed to supporting small businesses, indie artists (Etsy and handmade items,etc) and huge fans of fair trade sourcing products that give back to communities around the world! I would love to hear of sources to check out-so please feel free to make recommendations and comments!