It’s that time again…time for Scrapbook Update to put out the list of the hottest products at CHA Winter 2012! Unlike our lists of personal favorites that we posted earlier in the week, this list compiled by me (Scrapbook Update editor Nancy Nally) is a measure of the buzz and marketability of a product, not just personal tastes. These are the products that were buzzed about the most at the show, that Scrapbook Update believes will be big hits for retailers and that consumers shouldn’t miss!
So, in no particular order…here’s the Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2012 Top Ten Hot Picks!
Amy Tangerine Sketchbook from American Crafts
This may have been the most buzzed-about line at the entire show. Every conversation about what was hot at the show inevitably seemed to include this line eventually. To generate this level of excitement with a sequel to Amy Tan’s red-hot debut at CHA Summer 2011, is a real accomplishment.
This album was one of the most talked-about items in the line. Many, many people seemed eager to use it for Project Life albums, an indicator of how people are now integrating their favorite product lines into their Project Life creativity.
These day books were almost as popular among CHA attendees as the camera album. They will offer some serious competition in the market as an alternative to K & Company’s Smash book line.
The colors in this line will make it a perfect spring line, and that fits with its ship date, which isn’t until March. I predict this line with fly off of store shelves.
Tim Holtz Distress Markers for Ranger
Another item that there was almost universal excitement about was Tim Holtz’s new Distress Markers for Ranger. For fans of the blockbuster Distress ink pads, these markers – available in all 36 Distress colors, plus Picket Fence (white) – are a natural extension of the Distress ink line.
The Distress Markers have the essential tips for stampers and scrapbookers: brush and fine points. With the new abilities that they bring to Distress such as convenient coloring of images through applying color directly to stamps, and easy blending of colors, these are sure to be must-haves for any Distress ink fan!
Jolee’s Boutique French General Collection from EK Success
EK Success is known more for solid, middle of the road products than for huge buzz generating releases, but the French General collection from Jolee’s Boutique is certainly breaking that mould. The show floor was buzzing about this signature Jolee’s collection from the Los Angeles craft store that specializes in amazing quality vintage styled goods. The French General line will include some things rarely seen from Jolee’s, such as ribbon and tags, in addition to the more usual adhesive embellishments.
French General is certainly a breath of fresh air into the Jolee’s line, and will bring it plenty of new consumers. I predict this line will be not only a huge hit, but also scarce and difficult to find on store shelves as demand, especially for specific items, will outpace supply.
Clever Handmade by Heidi Grace Kress
Known to many as the creator of the Heidi Grace signature line (currently owned by Colorbok), Heidi Grace Kress was back at CHA after some time away from the industry. This time she’s out on her own creating products for her new company, Clever Handmade. Her unique signature style and some attention-getting new product ideas made sure that her line grabbed the attention of CHA Winter 2012 attendees.
One of the most attention-getting products of the new lines was Kress’s rub-ons that are intended to serve as patterns to be stitched over for hand stitching designs on paper crafts items. On the layout below, a rub-on pattern was used to create the cloud design:
Kress’s return to the papercrafts market seemed to be welcomed with open arms by CHA attendees and I’d expect to see her distinctive designs showing up on the shelves of many local scrapbook stores very soon.
Fabrications by Teresa Collins Designs
Collins’ signature look has always been very distinctive: black and white, with very little color in the mix. I’ve often described her work as “the White House Black Market of the scrapbook industry.” So it was nothing short of stunning to see sneak peeks released of CHA Winter 2012 designs for Teresa Collins designs that featured color – and lots of it!
Adding color to Collins’ elegant design style is sure to attract attention from a whole new segment of consumers who would have not been interested in her previous signature color palette. Fabrications, in particular, with its palette of very friendly bright colors, should open Collins to a whole new market of consumers. It’s hard to think of an established brand as being a break-out hit, but I predict that this release will bring Collins to the attention of a much wider – and larger – market.
Swapp didn’t just generate buzz at CHA Winter 2012 for being a big name returning with her own new signature line after a long break. It was the way she returned that generated buzz – by capitalizing on a major trend sweeping the industry right now and giving it her own interpretation.
A certain segment of the papercrafts market consumer is tiring of the traditional 12×12 page format, and in response we are seeing the growth of formats such as mini albums and Project Life. Swapp’s new product line, which is being distributed through Pink Paislee, interpreted “off the page” scrapbooking in her own way, with a system she calls “Memory Files“.
The decorative file folders essentially serve as mini albums that are then stored in their own file box:
This system definitely is in sync with the current trend away from traditional page scrapping, and was much-discussed at the show. Consumers are hungry for something new. For many of them, this system may be part of their search for new and different ways to experience their craft.
Lindy’s Stamp Gang
I always like to throw a wild card into this list – something few people I talked to seemed to know about at the show but that I think they will hear about in the near future. At CHA Winter 2012, I think that company was Lindy’s Stamp Gang. Although I didn’t hear much buzz about this company, their booth was jammed when I visited it – always the truest sign that a company is having a successful show.
Lindy’s Stamp Gang certainly isn’t new, having been around since 1996, but products of theirs could be poised to grab consumers’ imaginations. The company offers paints, spray inks and stains that are two-toned, and some that use Mica to lend an iridescent quality to the medium. Papercrafters are fascinated with color mediums right now, but always want something new, and these products don’t generate repeat sales after a crafter builds up a basic color stash unless something new and innovative is offered up. The Lindy’s Stamp Gang products have the potential to grab the attention of consumers who are looking for something new and different from the spray inks they’ve already been using for awhile.
Their Starbursts two-tone inks are available in spray bottles, stain applicator bottles, and a “shot” jar for painting applications.
Lindy’s Stamp Gang’s Moon Shadow inks have a walnut ink undertone with a brighter color as an overtone. They are available in a 2 oz mist or a 2 oz jar.
Hambly Screen Prints
This company has always been popular among the trend-conscious scrapbooking set, but transparencies are becoming extra hot right now thanks to a few Project Lifers such as Ali Edwards using them in high-profile ways. Hambly is well-positioned to take advantage of this trend, since they are the most well-known producer of transparency products for scrapbooking, and also produce products in designs and colors that coordinate well with Project Life’s core kits.
Washi tape is also hugely trendy at the moment and Hambly was one of the first companies to bring that to the scrapbook mass market. They produce designs that coordinate with their transparencies and paper, creating a unified graphic look available in all the hottest embellishment mediums for Project Life.
Hambly has always been the domain of the “graphic design” style consumers. Recent industry trends, however, are going to make their products more mass market as we move forward.
Follow Your Heart by Rhonna Farrer for My Mind’s Eye
Heidi Swapp wasn’t the only former member of House of 3 that debuted a hot new line at CHA Winter 2013. Rhonna Farrer also unveiled a new collection with My Mind’s Eye that had show attendees declaring was “classic Rhonna”.
“Follow Your Heart” is a perfect match for My Mind’s Eye – elegant, frilly and heavily detailed with vintage touches, in Rhonna’s signature style.
Follow Your Heart is loaded with trendy icons of the moment: butterflies, hexagons, bicycles, music, birds, maps and text. The color palette is also up-to-the minute, featuring blues and yellows, and a coral tone of pink that is very hot as well.
Even the collection’s embellishments are the current trendy essentials – buttons, brads, bling, and baker’s twine. This collection is already shipping to retailers and I predict some elements of it will sell out fast!
Stamping is hot, and so is Hero Arts. That they were hot was no surprise – we even included them in May’s pre-show “new and noteworthy” series.
The buzz around Hero Arts recently has been amplified thanks to high profile partnerships with Basic Grey, Studio Calico, and Sizzix.
The distinctive styling of the Studio Calico licensed stamps are especially getting attention (pictured above: Weekdays, from the Take Note collection, and Roma, from the Abroad collection), and the latest release has the broadest appeal yet. Some of these designs have the potential to become perennial favorites for many stampers, regardless of whether they use the rest of Studio Calico’s products.
So that is it – the Scrapbook Update list of the Top Ten hottest products at CHA Winter 2012! A few companies managed to repeat, and a few companies made the list for the first time…but I guarantee that all of these companies are ones you will be hearing a lot about in the next few months!
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