CHSI Stitches developments

Posted by Rachel Westall on 7 September 2023

Plans for CHSI Stitches, the UK’s trade show for the creative craft industry, are well underway for 25-26th February 2024 at the NEC, Birmingham. This year the experienced event organisers, ICHF Events, have announced an extended partnership with Sarah Hurley from the Sarah Hurley Academy. The multi-year partnership brings creative business education to the CHSI Stitches programme of events through Sarah’s new ‘Sarah Hurley Academy,’ launched in 2022

Sarah Hurley Sarah and her team will be running the following features:
· The Pitch - business owners can share their business or product idea with key players in the craft industry, including Sarah Hurley and Simon Burns.
· The Academy – a programme of business speakers curated by Sarah Hurley.
· The Pavilion – an area dedicated to start-up businesses coordinated by Sarah to give them an entry point to exhibiting and getting in front of buyers.
· Networking event – taking place on Sunday 25th Feb after day one of the show, hosted by Sarah.

The multi-year partnership brings creative business education to the CHSI Stitches programme of events through Sarah's new 'Sarah Hurley Academy,' launched in 2022.

The Sarah Hurley Academy draws from Sarah's industry and business successes to help entrepreneurs and small businesses at all stages. The Academy provides education to small business, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs via a comprehensive range of courses and resources.

Sarah Hurley will be at the craft trade show at the NEC, Birmingham and will provide free advice from the academy stand alongside a host of new initiatives exclusive to the partnership. The entrepreneurial business advice is targeted at businesses at a range of stages; those starting out in the craft world, looking to start in the craft world, or those businesses looking for growth and direction.

Sarah Hurley said: "The academy and the trade show are the perfect partners for new and established businesses to focus and thrive in the retail world, especially at this challenging time. I'm looking forward to meeting lots of businesses at the event, whatever stage they are at, and providing advice and guidance."

Simon Burns, Managing Director ICHF Events said: "CHSI Stitches has a long and proud history of providing advice and support to small businesses. By its nature, the craft industry has a high percentage of independent businesses run by people with a real passion for what they do. We're delighted to partner with Sarah and to be able to offer free access to her advice to visitors to the show."

Another year of extremely high calibre speakers are lined up for the 2024 show following the success of the 2023 education programme which included entrepreneur and founder of a celebrated luxury fashion label, Barjis Chohan; Claire Harper, leading branding expert with Argos, Ocado, Sainsburys and Mamas & Papas and Safia Minney, award-winning social entrepreneur and founder of sustainable fashion brand, People Tree.

Key exhibitors already booked for the Feb 2024 event are Lewis & Irene, Empee Silk Fabrics, Visage Textiles, Oddies Textiles, Hawthorne Handmade, Creative Solutions, King Cole, Chatham Glyn Fabrics and Viridian Distribution.

For more information on the Sarah Hurley Academy, and to join, visit: and visit on the day at stand B26. For more information about the show, visit:

To discuss exhibiting options in 2024, contact Steve Mitchell on +44 (0) 1425 460 811 or email

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