Peeks. Next week is the AFCI Mixed Media show in Salt Lake City, and that means it is time for our sneak peeks page of summer releases! Click here to check out the Summer 2017 sneak peeks page, and watch for more updates this weekend and also next week as more products are unveiled. (Also, coming soon: features rounding up previews of the Christmas and Fall/Halloween lines, so if you’ve got one to share, send it to nancy at nallystudios.com)
Changes. It’s hard to believe, but Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman are celebrating the 10th birthday of their website A Beautiful Mess this week. Along with the celebration, they made a big announcement: A Beautiful Mess is ending its arrangement at the end of August with Inked to produce and handle orders for their products. (Inked is the parent company of Studio Calico). The Happy Mail and Messy Box subscriptions will be going on hiatus during the transition to new arrangements, and the pair promises exciting news coming soon about future plans.
Neutrality. Etsy was among the major internet sites taking part yesterday (July 12th) in a day of action to support net neutrality regulations enacted by the Obama administration – which are now under threat by the Trump administration’s FCC. Etsy spent the day displaying a special banner as part of their rotating box at the top of the site. Clicking the banner took site visitors to a special page on the Battle for the Net site that lets Etsy store owners send a message to the FCC explaining how ending net neutrality will hurt their businesses.
What is net neutrality, and what is all of the fuss about it? To quote Google, net neutrality is “the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.” Put bluntly, net neutrality helps prevent your internet provider from holding your access to small sites like this one hostage – or relegating it to a slower access lane – because we haven’t paid them for access. Net neutrality is also an important way of way guaranteeing that, for instance, Comcast won’t try to force you to watch the cable and network tv assets that they own by choking off the streaming access of (or charging exorbitant fees for access to) digital competitors like Netflix and Amazon. In the craft world, net neutrality is an important part of the marketing process, as a large portion of marketing in the industry has moved to digital platforms like blogs, social media, and YouTube.
Presses. The stamp press wars are heating up again, as both We R Memory Keepers and Tonic Studios are coming to market simultaneously with revised competitors to the MISTI. The MISTI has been the only stamping press on the market since its patent was granted in April and legal action resulted in the pulling from store shelves of products from Hampton Art and We R Memory Keepers. Legal action also delayed the release of the Tim Holtz Stamp Press from Tonic Studios, who is still mired in litigation with MISTI manufacturer My Sweet Petunia over alleged patent infringement by their original design.
The revised version of the We R Memory Keepers stamp press, called the Precision Press Plus, is currently available exclusively on HSN. The special HSN package retails for $44.95 and includes several stencils and stamp sets to use with the press. What is new about the Precision Press Plus, versus the previous Precision Press, is that the press comes with three interchangeable lids. One is the familiar one from the previous press to use for stamping, and one has channels for sliding in small alphabet stamps for stamping envelopes. The third “lid” is not a lid at all but a clipboard clip to hold stencils in place on the press’s work surface.
No word yet on details of the revised Tonic Studios Tim Holtz stamp platform. A photo of boxes of it at the Carson Stamp Show, where the platform was first offered for sale, was posted on instagram last week by Mario Rossi. It’s also shipping from Scrapbook.com. [affiliate link]
Education. It’s being reported by Abby Glassenberg at Craft Industry Alliance that Craftsy is planning to offer a subscription model in 2018. It’s unclear at this time whether this will replace their current à la carte pricing model or be an addition to it.
Changing pricing models on customers always comes with risk of backlash. Craftsy would do well to learn from the experience of Big Picture Classes. That company switched to a subscription model and ended “forever” access to previously purchased classes after its purchase by Studio Calico, causing a huge uproar from customers.
Deals. Bella Blvd is hosting an online warehouse box sale for its Illustrated Faith brand on Monday, July 17th starting at 9am CT. Boxes with a retail value of $191 will be available for $49.50 plus shipping. U.S. shipping will cost $12, and priority shipping to Canada will be $45. (Elsewhere in the world, shipping cost will be $60.) Visit the Bella Blvd website to take part in the sale.
Online retailer A Cherry On Top is holding a warehouse sale at its warehouse in Saginaw, Michigan this Saturday (July 15th) from 9am-4pm. For all the information about the location, and tips to make your shopping more efficient, visit the sale information page.
Events. Etsy will be holding “Etsy Community Market” events in Australia on July 29th. Local showcases in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, and Adelaide will gather together some of the best of the Etsy marketplace in Australia to promote their creative products in person to shoppers. To get details on locations and times of the event in each city, visit the Etsy Australia blog.
Apps. Persnickety Prints, the favorite photo printing service of many scrapbookers (including this one!) has announced that customers can now upload photos from any web browser. Previously, photos could only be uploaded to the site from the company’s phone app. This change makes Persnickety much more accessible to dslr shooters and photographers who edit their photos in programs such as Adobe Lightroom. It means these photographers will no longer have to transfer their photos back to their phones after editing or use a solution like dropbox to upload from their mobile devices. (Excuse me while I go do a few cartwheels.)
Jobs. The following craft industry jobs are currently posted as available:
- International Program Support – Cricut (South Jordan, UT)
- Senior Product Designer – Stampin’ Up! (Riverton, UT)
- Product Development Specialist (kid’s division) – Michaels (Irving, TX)
- Manager – Trend – Michaels (Irving, TX)
- Associate Product Designer – Michaels (Irving, TX)
- Marketing Promotions Associate – Michaels (Irving, TX)
- Manager – Digital Marketing – Michaels (Irving, TX)
(Above is just a selection of the 51 jobs currently listed on the Michaels website. Click here to view them all.)