The Association For Creative Industries touts a rich history that dates back to the 1940's. For 80 years, creative industry professionals have leveraged the networking and education platform of AFCI to bolster their careers in the craft and DIY spaces.
Follow the timeline below and learn more about AFCI's major events since its inception.
· Model Industry Association (MIA) hosted its first trade show in 1940 and is the foundation for AFCI’s Creativation show.
· James Wright, a Scottish-born inventor working for General Electric, invents Silly Putty in 1943.
· Initially established as a mail order business by Dick Blick, Robert Metzenberg purchases the company in 1947 and makes it one of the largest art materials suppliers in the United States, as well as a primary supplier of mail order art supplies.
· In 1943, German immigrants Hilda and Berthold Reich, Sigmund and Mathilda Rohrbach, and Justin and Alma Zimmerman opened a store selling imported cheese in Cleveland, Ohio, which later becomes Jo-Ann stores.
· In 1945, after leaving the military, Walton took over management of his first variety store at the age of 26. With the help of a $20,000 loan from his father-in-law, plus $5,000 he had saved from his time in the Army, Walton purchased a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas. This is the beginning of the Walmart retail empire.
· Paint by number kits are invented, developed and marketed in 1950 by Max S. Klein, an engineer and owner of the Palmer Paint Company of Detroit, Michigan, and Dan Robbins, a commercial artist.
· Carol Duvall, host of the long running HGTV program The Carol Duvall Show, starts her television career with a children's show in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1951.
· In 1953, Jose L. Gutierrez produced Politec Acrylic Artists' Colors in Mexico, and Henry Levinson of Cincinnati-based Permanent Pigments Co. produced Liquitex colors. These two product lines were the very first acrylic emulsion artists' paints.
· Established in 1953, Fibre-Craft begins manufacturing wood fiber for handcrafting artificial flowers. In 1959 the award-winning company expands to mass-market retail outlets for arts and crafts supplies, floral supplies, doll supplies and decorative accessories.
· Aleene Jackson – entrepreneur, inventor of Aleene's Original Tacky Glue and craft industry icon – is featured in the January 5, 1953 issue of LIFE Magazine because her Fibre & Floral Supply Company is regarded as one of the fastest growing and most successful businesses of the time.
· Erica Wilson immigrates to the United States in 1954 to work as a needlework instructor. She later becomes “America's first lady of stitchery" for popularizing embroidery and needlepoint.
· Mod Podge is developed in 1960 by interior designer Jan Wetstone. An ardent lover of craft and decoupage, Jan developed Mod Podge out of frustration with the lack of efficiency that came with glues available at the time for making collages or decoupaging.
· Rit becomes the official hippie dye. Rit replaces its boxed powders with squeezable liquid dyes, better for creating multicolor designs. In 1969, Rit funds artists at Woodstock to make several hundred tie-dye T-shirts to be sold at the festival.
· Fiskars’ iconic orange colored scissors designed by Olof Bäckström are first manufactured in 1967.
· David Green opens the first Hobby Lobby store in northwest Oklahoma City, in 1972.
· In 1973, Dallas businessman Michael J. Dupey founded Michaels in Dallas, Texas.
· In 1975, The first International Quilt Festival is hosted in Houston.
· In 1977, the Los Angeles Times's former Home magazine touts the macramé owl as the must-have home decor item and introduces a DIY kit for $7.95.
· In 1972 the National Society of Tole and Decorative Painters was founded and eventually becomes the Society of Decorative Painters (SDA), who later partners with the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA).
· Graphic designer Andrea Grossman created the first sticker, a big red heart, in 1979, which is start of “Stickermania.”
· In 1976 Plaid Enterprises Inc. is founded by David Cunningham.
· In 1982, at the request of the American Home Sewing & Craft Association, an industry and trade association supporting the sewing and craft industries, President Ronald Reagan, under Proclamation #4976, declared September as National Sewing Month.
· A.C. Moore is founded as a single arts and crafts store by Jack Parker in 1985 in Moorestown, New Jersey.
· First size of the industry study is released by Hobby Industry Association in 1986.
· March is established National Craft Month by the Hobby Industry Association in 1994.
· Crayola crayons inducted into National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998.
· In early 2004, the two most successful organizations serving the craft and hobby industry, the Hobby Industry Association (HIA) and the Association of Crafts & Creative Industries (ACCI), merge to form the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA).
· Etsy launches in 2005.
· Pinterest is launched in 2010.
· Craftsy, now Bluprint, launches in 2011. Craftsy offers online video based courses on crafts-oriented topics, as well as selling crafts products.
· In 2011, Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) -UK launches in Great Britain.
· Canadian Craft & Hobby Association becomes the Canada Chapter of Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) in 2011.
· Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) rebrands and becomes the Association For Creative Industries (AFCI) in 2017.