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About Association For Creative Industries

The Association For Creative Industries (AFCI) is the premier trade association for the global creative arts products industries. AFCI is committed to its vision of a healthy, vibrant and innovative community that enriches people’s lives through crafting and other creative activities. As an organization, AFCI strives to deliver innovative high value services as we support our Members who provide products and services to educate, entertain, and inspire creative consumers. Our Members include the manufacturers, retailers, distributors, designers, educators, digital content providers, professional makers and DIYers, and other creative professionals that comprise the $36 billion+ creative arts industries around the globe.*

AFCI’s vision is to lead a forward-thinking and vibrant business community where creative arts professionals can learn, connect, discover and succeed.

The world of creativity is changing. It’s so much more than arts & crafts. And it’s expanding globally at a pace that is astounding. AFCI is expanding our focus too.

Our History

Known as the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) through January 2017, AFCI is a new trade association brand, with a deep history.

In 2004, two prominent organizations that served the craft and hobby industry, the Hobby Industry Association (HIA) and the Association of Crafts & Creative Industries (ACCI), joined forces to form a more robust association with a greater purpose. For the next twelve years, CHA would lead the arts and crafts industry in producing trade events and delivering research, education and community.

In 2016, CHA undertook a study of its Member needs and the current marketplace. In recent years, CHA has recognized the emergence of original ways to deliver ideas and to learn, observed ingenious new creative methods and products competing, the advent of alternative marketing and sales channels, and brand new consumers with a unique language and entrepreneurial spirit determined to grow and expand how we see creativity in our daily lives. All of this change is considerable, and has surged through the industry with lightning speed, causing disruption, while creating opportunity. CHA identified the need to help its Members make sense of an evolving business environment, figure out the impacts of this change to their businesses and to serve as a trusted advisor along the way.

We begin our expanded focus with a name change designed to embody the more than 2,000 global Member companies we represent and better align with the full industry we support. In truth, we learned the Association For Creative Industries has a real opportunity to deliver greater value, and you will see the results of our findings as we launch new and improved programs and benefits designed to exceed our Member expectations.

*Data from 2017 AFCI Size of Industry Report

Vision: AFCI is committed to its vision of a healthy, vibrant and innovative community that enriches people’s lives through crafting and other creative activities.

Mission: We unify, connect, represent and support the growth of the global creative community. We serve members who provide products, services and marketplaces which entertain, educate and instruct and above all inspire consumers.

AFCI earns the reputation of being an association which consistently delivers innovative high value services and above all exceeds the expectations of its members, Board and community it serves.

AFCI offers its team members a safe, challenging and rewarding workplace and supports the community in which it operates.

Legal Status: 501(c)6 private, not-for-profit organization

By Laws: Read the Association's By Laws here.

Address: 330 N. WABASH AVE, SUITE 2000, CHICAGO, IL 60611

Telephone: Main: (312) 321-6811


Chairman of the Board, Jim Thielen

Telephone: 416.708.8307


Websites: (Association For Creative Industries) (Creativation)

Planting Trees

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together"

Vincent van Gogh



330 N. WABASH AVE, SUITE 2000, CHICAGO, IL 60611


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