Are you still wondering if h+h americas is the trade show event for your craft business? Now approaching our third year, h+h americas has already surpassed expectations for 2024. We’ve secured 30% more floor space to respond to new demand, and our program is evolving and expanding to best meet the needs of our growing craft community.
How can we serve the future needs of the h+h americas family? We touched base with some of our past exhibitors and attendees to learn more about why they attended h+h americas and what they hope to see for the future of the show. To gain a well rounded perspective, we spoke with representatives from both fabric and fiber businesses—Maude McDonald of The Retro Quilter, a fabric attendee; Melissa Galbraith of MCreativeJ, a fiber exhibitor; Lee Chappell Monroe of May Chappell, a fabric exhibitor; and Anne Weil of Flax & Twine, a fiber exhibitor. Asking each the same three questions, we endeavored to discover why h+h americas is a must-attend event and what they most anticipate for 2024.
We hope you enjoy their perspectives on participating in h+h americas. We’d love to see fresh new faces exhibiting and attending h+h americas 2024!
Why did you invest in your business and yourself to go to h+h americas?
Maude McDonald, The Retro Quilter: “I had heard buzz about H&H Americas and wanted in on the next big thing. As soon as I saw that Checker and other big distributors were going, that sealed the deal and I was in.”
70s Sun Quilt by The Retro Quilter
Melissa Galbraith, MCreativeJ: “When I first learned about h+h americas, I was excited because I was struggling to find trade shows exclusively for fiber arts. The number of options have dwindled over the years or become too expensive for a small business to try. As a needlework artist who makes hand embroidery kits and patterns, I’m thankful to bridge the gap between fiber arts, crafts, and gifts, so I have more options than other small businesses.
Thanks to the Indie Untangled pavilion in h+h americas, this was the first out of state trade show I was able to attend. While the learning curve of traveling across the country to a trade show was daunting, the experience, connections, and confidence I found in myself set me up for success not only at h+h americas, but also for future trade shows.
I now feel confident to vend at trade shows across the US and have systems set up to make this process easy and efficient. h+h americas was my first stepping stone to in-person trade shows and has helped me expand MCreativeJ to over 250+ stores across the US and Canada.”
Mountainscapes embroidery kit by MCreativeJ
Lee Chappell Monroe, May Chappell: “This will be my second year at h+h americas and I am expecting even more great results. Last year showed quite a bit of growth from year one and I expect the same this year. h+h americas provides fantastic access—I met new buyers while also connecting with my current customers.
The energy of the show is positive and driven by innovation. I’m looking forward to sharing new designs as well as some reliable favorites. I have revisited some of my older patterns to expand with more sizing options, new techniques and additional designs. My latest book will be available this spring: Color Basics for Makers! Because it includes color guidance across multiple mediums, I’m looking forward to sharing it at h+h.”
Color Basics for Creatives by Lee Chappell Monroe
Anne Weil, Flax & Twine: “I had seen interest from shops into buying our goods wholesale. I thought that the h+h americas show would be great exposure to lots of wholesalers to see if there was interest in our goods across the country. I wanted wider exposure to a buying audience.”
Flax & Twine at h+h americas 2023
What was your wow moment, or your light bulb moment at h+h americas?
Maude McDonald, The Retro Quilter: “I loved h+h americas SO MUCH! I had never been to a trade show in my field before so it set the bar high. There were a few times when I’d look around and take it in that all these people were here for essentially the same thing and these were my people—that was pretty awesome. I loved the State of the Industry panel and the customer review. But meeting folks and talking in person was the best. It had a relaxed and yet exciting atmosphere and I can’t wait to go again!”
Melissa Galbraith, MCreativeJ: “Many of the booths shown at trade shows are these elaborate, show stopping spaces. As a small, one-woman-run business, I initially felt like I couldn’t compete and my products wouldn’t stand out to buyers. I quickly learned that these elaborate booths are mostly corporations and I don’t need to compete with them. It’s okay if my booth looks more craft fair than high end store. As long as I’ve done my outreach, my products are displayed nicely, and ordering is an easy process, shops will want to carry my work.”
MCreativeJ at h+h americas
Lee Chappell Monroe, May Chappell: “The best part of the show is connecting with makers! I love finding new sources for things I love. I discovered Trailhead at the last show and it has quickly become one of my favorite stitching threads.
Teaching is a big part of my sewing and quilting passion. I love to travel and teach and lecture. h+h americas offers the chance to meet shop owners, guild chairs, and others that might offer a connection for educational opportunities!”
Anne Weil, Flax & Twine: “I was surprised by the number of sewing/quilting shops that were interested in our products. We received a number of orders from that sector. It made me realize that there was an even wider audience for our product than I thought.”
Flax & Twine
What do you hope to see at the next h+h americas?
Maude McDonald, The Retro Quilter: More accommodations like water and washrooms. Otherwise just more of it all!! Loved it!
Retro Daisy Quilt by The Retro Quilter
Melissa Galbraith, MCreativeJ: “I would love to see a broader range of soft crafts. The first year of h+h americas felt very yarn heavy and I appreciated that the second year had more of a balance of fiber arts represented at the show. I’m looking forward to seeing what future shows have to offer and connecting with new shops.”
Lee Chappell Monroe, May Chappell: “I’m hoping that the quilting and fabric industry will be an even larger presence. As there are more and more booths, there will be more and more shops. It was also wonderful to chat with shops that are expanding into sewing or quilting while their main focus remains knitting. I write Jump into Sewing, a beginner’s guide to sewing which can also serve as a resource for sewists. Making connections with shops looking to enter the sewing and quilting part of the industry is a huge opportunity for my company.”
Jump Into Sewing by Lee Chappell Monroe
Anne Weil, Flax & Twine: “I am hoping that h+h continues to grow in popularity and there’s an even broader audience of potential customers. I’m sure there will be! It’s such a well done show, organized and inspiring! We’re looking forward to May!”
Did you have a lightbulb moment at h+h americas? What are you anticipating for the upcoming show? Let us know! And don’t forget to secure your hotel and travel now!