The HSCG New York Local Chapter is helmed by President Stephanie Falsetta and Vice President Beth Byrne. Recently, we asked the New York Local Chapter leaders to share a collaborative view of their experiences and inspiration in forming and running their chapter.
What inspired you to form a Local Chapter?
Beth and I attended the HSCG Annual Conference for years. The knowledge, the networking and the friendships formed through the years were special and beneficial. They not only helped us professionally, but personally as well. We knew not everyone can attend the conference yearly, so we saw local groups as a way to bring New York members together a few times per year. We also noticed the interest in local chapters, and wanted to be instrumental in taking the group from concept to reality. We find it rewarding to bring the opportunity of education, networking, and friendship to New York members.
What do you think is the biggest benefit of participating in a Local Chapter?
It is really hard to pick only one benefit so we won’t! The first benefit in participating in a local chapter is getting to know people in our area, specifically those with like-minded ideas.
The second benefit is education! Even for the most seasoned maker, something new and different comes out and it’s helpful to have someone who has taken the time and effort to master it to present the topic to the group. We even learned new things about products we have made for years.
Additionally, just the ability to speak to our fellow makers is enjoyable. It also allows us to communicate about things specific to NY and creates goodwill between members and leaders. We believe that as makers get to know each other, it will create an atmosphere of friendliness and respect that will transfer to their attitudes and actions in their businesses, whether at craft shows or brick-and-mortar stores.
How do you feel your Local Chapter impacts, or can impact, your local community?
Our chapter is in its infancy, so we have had little time to impact the community. We believe in the future, however, we will benefit the community by encouraging each other in giving product to charities and using more recyclable packing and perhaps teaching youth or other opportunities to reach out and help others.
What is your favorite part about your Local Gatherings?
We like getting to know other New Yorkers and the demos and workshops are the best. We are always looking for the next great product to offer, so demos are a great introduction and a lot of fun. We all get stuck in our old ways, so seeing how someone does something differently can really be an eye opener, and inspires us all to do better. We all get very busy in our businesses, but taking the time to learn something new or how to do it a different way, or using different products is very enlightening.
And of course, we can’t stop mentioning how much fun it is to meet others in our industry, to get to know them and give and take information.
Imagine the future of your Local Chapter: what do you see?
We would like to see several local chapter groups, at least one per region. Full meetings that participants can’t wait to attend would be exciting! Each group would be a help to each other by encouraging good practices that uplift the industry and promote the HSCG as THE association to join. What could be better than that?
If you live in New York and would like to become a part of the HSCG New York Local Chapter, please reach out to our Member Services Assistant Kristine at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via phone during business hours at 866-900-7627. There is no additional cost to join a Local Chapter for HSCG Members.