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Pantone Announces Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet!

Pantone announced its eagerly awaited Pantone Color of the Year 2018 today, and the winner is…Ultra Violet! Deep and vibrant, with underlying blue tones, this purple shade is certainly no shrinking violet.

Pantone Color of the Year 2018 Ultra Violet

Described by Pantone in the announcement as a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful shade of purple”, Ultra Violet is definitely a shade that makes a statement in fashion, home decor, and crafts.

“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra-Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”

Only four years ago in 2014 a much different purple shade, Radiant Orchid, was color of the year. Radiant Orchid was a much more pink tone of purple in comparison to the more blue tones of Ultra Violet.

To use Pantone color #18-3838 in Pantone’s Fashion & Home palette for TCX (cotton fabric), the color codes are:

  • RGB: 95 75 139
  • CMYK: 71 73 7 8
  • HTML: 5F4B8B

For use in graphic design applications like Photoshop, the closest match is Pantone 2096 C.

  • RGB: 101 78 163
  • CMYK: 76 75 0 0
  • HTML: 654EA3

Want to try out Pantone Color of the Year 2018 Ultra Violet in your scrapbooking projects? Check out the following products for shades that might be close:

[Disclosure: Some links below are advertiser links or affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to the user when a purchase is made after a click.]

With references from Pantone to Ultra Violet embodying the “mysteries of the cosmos”, “the intrigue of what lies ahead”, the counterculture, the late musical artists Prince and David Bowie, and non-conformity, the choice of color of the year 2018 seems as much a cultural statement as it is trend derived. The choice may be an astute one for current events to come during 2018. In the political realm, purple is both the signature color of the women’s suffragette movement and a designation used to refer to states that are predominately neither Republican or Democrat. Purple is also the color of royalty, and 2018 will probably see a wave of royal fever with the highly-anticipated wedding of American actress Meghan Markle to Britain’s Prince Harry. (Credit to the brilliant Sarah Hodson’s Twitter feed for inspiring my thought processes on some of that.)

So what do you think of the Pantone Color of the Year 2018? Yay or Nay?

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American Crafts Buys BoBunny Press

American Crafts announced on October 6th (Friday) that they have purchased Utah scrapbook wholesale company BoBunny Press from the family that founded it over 20 years ago.

BoBunny exhibiting at Creativeworld at Messe Frankfurt in 2015.

BoBunny Press was founded in 1996, on the eve of the scrapbooking boom, by Jan Lanoy. The Layton, Utah company grew to include Lanoy’s husband Don and son Matthew over the years, and today BoBunny product lines are sold in 40 countries.

“It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to the industry, the store owners and the friends that we’ve made over the years, ” says Jan Lanoy. “But with me retiring, I wanted to make sure that crafters could continue to enjoy BoBunny for years to come. I have confidence that American Crafts will do a great job of making sure that happens.”

“The Lanoys have established a wonderful brand that resonates with crafters around the world,” says American Crafts CEO Wayne Mitchell. “They have tirelessly helped built the industry, and American Crafts is proud to continue their legacy by offering BoBunny products to the craft market.”

According to the announcement, product from BoBunny will begin shipping to retailers on November 1st from the American Crafts warehouse. Until then, retailer orders will ship from BoBunny’s current warehouse. Invoices dated October 3rd or earlier should be paid to BoBunny. Invoices dated after that date should be remitted to American Crafts.

Ordering of BoBunny branded product will be available immediately through the company’s sales reps, and new product will be developed under the BoBunny brand, according to American Crafts. Some of BoBunny’s designers have been hired by American Crafts to continue the brand’s signature look and feel under the new ownership.

This is the third acquisition this year by American Crafts, which has become known for acquiring smaller companies in recent years as it has made eight previous acquisitions and signed several high profile licensing deals as well. Earlier this year, the company first acquired Core’dinations (from its previous owner Darice) in January, and then DCWV’s paper division in June.

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Richard Garay Fired from Fun Stamper’s Journey

The Fun Stamper’s Journey community was rocked last week by the announcement that Richard Garay had been fired from the direct sales company that he founded and of which he was the public face.

Richard Garay

Richard Garay at a 2016 Fun Stamper’s Journey event

Garay, who started his career as a top Stampin’ Up! demonstrator and concept artist, founded Fun Stamper’s Journey with his family in the garage of their California home in 2011. A majority interest in the new company was sold by the family a few years later to investor RAF Industries, and FSJ moved to Arizona to be run alongside RAF’s other craft industry asset, Spellbinders. In the past few years, Fun Stamper’s Journey has appeared to be nurturing a devoted and growing fan base, fueled largely by the cult of personality of Richard Garay himself and his constant travel to host events.

The initial public announcement of Garay’s firing came in a Facebook post by Fun Stamper’s Journey on September 27th (Wednesday). The four sentence statement indicated that, as of the previous day, Garay was no longer affiliated with the company and described it as a “sensitive time for the FSJ family” but gave no reason for Garay’s departure.

The same evening as the public announcement by Fun Stamper’s Journey, Garay held a Facebook Live on his RG Signature Facebook page. His demeanor ranged from teary to defiant during the nearly hour long Q&A session with fans. Garay confirmed that he had been fired, and told viewers that it was “because of conduct and behavior. I guess I wasn’t following policy and procedure. I was going against the values of FSJ…” but did not elaborate further. He also indicated that he had a three year non-compete that bars him from working for another creative company.

Garay’s popular assistant Dustin Capp (known to fans as Potato) has also been let go from Fun Stamper’s Journey. But in his Facebook Live, Garay told fans that his wife, Gabby, still retained her position as Director of Programs at Fun Stamper’s Journey and that she will have to make the decision “on her own” if she will remain with the company after his ouster.

The announcement of his firing by Fun Stamper’s Journey, predictably, initially sparked a lot of anger among loyal fans of the charismatic Garay, especially given the vague explanation of the circumstances from both parties (as is often the case in HR issues for legal reasons). Facebook posts from both FSJ and Garay about the topic quickly filled up with comments from Garay loyalists denouncing their ties to the company and indicating they planned to resign from FSJ as coaches. The mood may be shifting, however, after a new statement that was just issued by Garay.

The new statement, issued this evening by Garay on the RG Signature Facebook page, seems to have been crafted at least partially by lawyers, and Garay indicates in the posting that it is being shared at the request of Fun Stamper’s Journey. In the letter, Garay acknowledges full blame for his firing:

First, despite how difficult this is for me to admit, I must tell you that my termination was completely justified. While I don’t want to get into all the details, I will tell you that I misused company funds for my own benefit. And it involved significant amounts of money. That was obviously wrong. If the situation was reversed, and I was in FSJ’s position, I would have terminated myself for this. I was wrong. I admit that. And I accept and understand the appropriate actions FSJ took because of my behaviors.

Reaction to the new revelation was decidedly mixed, with some commenters expressing forgiveness for Garay but others turning anger (previously aimed at FSJ for the perceived injustice of the firing) on him.

Moving forward, of course, Garay’s termination means some big changes for FSJ brands. The Richard Garay wholesale line no longer exists, discontinued the day of Garay’s firing, and the line’s shutdown is so complete that its website has been erased from the internet. Although it will continue, Fun Stamper’s Journey will have a big void to fill in its public face. The company has started by promoting designer Kim Kesti, a familiar face at FSJ events to many in the company’s community of coaches and customers.

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Update

JOANN store exteriorMakeover. One of the country’s largest (and at nearly 75 years old, one of its oldest) craft chains is undergoing a rebranding. The company long known as Jo-Ann Stores recently began calling itself “JOANN” in company announcements and has a newly redesigned logo and a fresh new shade of green as its signature color.

In addition to the new cosmetic look, the new JOANN is also engaging in a branding campaign, promoting the hashtag #handmadewithjoann and launching a series of videos about creating and creators.

In addition, JOANN has created a new mobile app that is much more community focused, allowing users to share their own creative projects.

“As shoppers’ behaviors and preferences evolve, we need to adapt the way we connect with them,” said Chris DiTullio, senior vice president, marketing and omni-channel at JOANN. “We’re committed to the longtime loyalists coming in to our stores, as well as the next generation of creators who want to shop, learn and share wherever they are. This app is so exciting because it offers something no other craft retailer does – the ability for customers to confidently share their finished projects with us, and with friends, family and one another as well.”

Partnership. Etsy has announced that it is launching a partnership with Printful that will provide print-on-demand integration to Etsy sellers. This will allow graphic artists to sell on Etsy and have Printful handle the logistics of printing and shipping items like t-shirts, mugs, hats, totes, wall prints, and other items.

“We applaud Etsy on adopting more professional services for their sellers,” says Printful CEO, Davis Siksnans. “Sellers can continue devoting time to their craft while leaving logistics to third-parties like Printful.”

Support. Taylor Swift got support from an unexpected source during the recent trial in Denver over her successful civil suit alleging she was groped by a radio DJ during a fan meet & greet. The offices of Craftsy are right across the street from the Denver courthouse where the trial took place. The Craftsy staff showed their support for Swift during the trial with a series of Post-It note messages on the windows that were clearly visible from the street below. Swift’s unofficial girl squad at Craftsy did not go unnoticed – they received a delivery of flowers and a note of appreciation from the singer on Tuesday after the trial’s conclusion.

Delinquent. The Tennessean reports that on the evening of August 8th, firefighters had to climb to the roof of the Dickson, Tennessee Hobby Lobby store to remove a 15 year old trespasser trying to use the store’s roof as an impromptu skateboard ramp.

Calls. Tombow USA has a call open until September 11th to find members for their 2018 design team.

Jobs. The following craft industry jobs are currently listed as available:

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Update | Etsy Earnings, Closure, Hancock Fabrics, and more!

Welcome to the weekly Update column from Scrapbook Update for August 3rd, 2017!

[Disclosure: I have professional relationships with Cricut and Scrapbook.com who are mentioned in this article but this content is not sponsored.]

Closures. Illinois-based craft product distributor Product Performers closed its doors unexpectedly on June 30th. The closure of Product Performers leaves three remaining major distributors serving the paper crafts industry in the U.S.: Michaels-owned Darice, Notions Marketing, and Petersen-Arne.

Earnings. Etsy reported its 2nd Quarter 2017 earnings after market close today, posting a 19.1% year-over-year increase in gross revenue. The company also posted a 10.9% year-over-year growth in active sellers, and 17.2% year-over-year growth in active buyers. Mobile continues to grow in importance for Etsy, with approximately 65% of visits to the site occurring on mobile. Just over half of the platform’s gross merchandise sales (GMS) now occur on mobile.

Etsy has cut nearly a quarter of it’s workforce since January 1st, and says that this and other operational streamlining to reduce costs should reduce costs by $20 million in 2017 and by $35 million on an annualized basis.

Based on 2nd Quarter 2017 numbers, Etsy released new earnings expectations for Fiscal Year 2017. The company’s new forecast is for Gross Merchandise Sales to be up 12-14% year-over-year, and for revenue to grow 18-20% year-over-year.

Events. AFCI and SPC have announced the date and location for the 2018 Mixed Media Event. The show will take place at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah (south of Salt Lake City). An education day is scheduled for July 16th, 2018, and the show floor will be open July 17th-18th, 2018. For more information, visit the AFCI website.

Endings. The Paperclipping.com online video service run by Noell & Izzy Hyman will be closing down at the end of September. Members are being given one last chance to renew their membership on a month-by-month basis this month and then the Hymans plan to shut its doors after next month. The closure of Paperclipping has been planned by the Hymans for nearly a year, as Noell is moving on to a career as a yoga instructor in several studios near their Arizona home.

Crimes. Israeli police have arrested five antiquities dealers in connection with the illegal sale of artifacts that were seized from Hobby Lobby by the U.S. government over allegations of smuggling.Cricut Maker

Partnerships. Cricut is partnering with Simplicity as part of the launch of its new machine, the Cricut Maker, that was announced on August 1st. Simplicity is making hundreds of its digital patterns available in Cricut Design Space to cut on the Cricut Maker machine, which features a special rotary blade specifically for cutting fabric. Previous generations of the Cricut machine could cut fabric, but only when stabilized with an iron-on backer, which isn’t necessary on the new machine.

The launch of the Cricut Maker machine reflects a broader trend among companies that were once marketing solely to the paper crafts market to try to serve a broader audience – and the sewing market, via fabric and quilting, has been a popular target of many companies making the shift.

Endings II. The liquidation of Hancock Fabrics, which began well over a year ago, is still underway, with the liquidation plan finally being approved by the bankruptcy court on June 20th. Liquidation of many of the company’s key assets had already taken place, despite the lack of a court approved plan. In Summer 2016, Michaels Stores purchased the brand assets of Hancock – its trademarks, brands, and customer database – for $1.3 million. The Hancock-owned trademarks bundled in the deal included the brands Sew Perfect, Absolutely Cotton, and Creative Sewing Solutions (among others). Michaels did notify Hancocks customers that it planned on using the customer database to give them the option to opt out. Whether the company will use the sewing-related trademarks is another question. Sometimes purchases of assets like this are made not for intended use but as a sort of game of corporate “keep away” to prevent the assets from being used by competitors.

Social. If you are an Etsy storeowner looking to improve your social media reach, Forbes has a must-read article analyzing how some Etsy artisans have dramatically improved their sales using Facebook Live.

Change. A lot is written about the local retail businesses that die as a result of ecommerce, but we don’t hear as much about the businesses that are built from the rise of ecommerce – and the jobs they create. To learn more about one company that credits its booming growth to the rise of ecommerce, including clients that do business in the crafts industry such as Amazon, and Hobby Lobby – visit mlive.

Milestones. Congratulations to stamp company Neat & Tangled on reaching its five year birthday yesterday!

Products. Simon Says Stamp has released a new collection of stamps and dies by designer Cathy Zielske. In Zielske’s signature cheeky style, with sentiments like “Hello my hide-a-body friend”, these aren’t your grandma’s everyday stamps. (Unless, of course, you have a really cool grandma.)

Social II. In case you weren’t already convinced that Pinterest was a search engine, the social media platform drove the point home this week by updating its mobile app to reduce the number of clicks required to do a search. The search box is now visible on the app’s main home feed page, instead of buried in the explore tab as it previously was. They’ve also placed the button to access Lens, the feature that uses your device’s camera to take a picture and search for similar items on Pinterest, on the home feed page next to the search box for easier access.

Pinterest said in the announcement that monthly mobile searches are up 40% over last year and that 85% of all Pinterest searches now take place on mobile.

History. For a great read about the history of stamping and the rubber stamp dating all the way back to Old Testament times, check out Scrapbook.com’s article “The History of Stamping“.

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Update | Taxes, Growth, Exclusives, Earnings, Events, and More!

Taxes. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) has proposed a bill that would affect how companies like Etsy, Lyft and AirBnB have to report their sellers’ income to the IRS. The bill would lower the income threshold that requires reporting by these entities to the IRS from $20,000 to $1,000 per year. It’s estimated by one tax policy expert at American University that the policy change, if implemented, will result in billions of dollars of new taxes being collected from sellers in the sharing economy who previously didn’t report their income.

Predictions. Market research firm Technavio has just made a new report available on the Global K-12 Arts and Crafts Material Market that predicts that market will grow at a CAGR of over 2% from now until 2021. To purchase the full report, visit the Technavio website.

Exclusives. Sizzix has announced that its Big Shot Jewelry Studio machine and an exclusive collection of jewelry dies and embossing folders are now available in a limited number of Michaels Stores. Only 30 stores – less than 3% of Michaels stores – are scheduled to stock this collection. To see the list of stores, visit the Sizzix website.

Bella Blvd Designer Day

Events. Registration is now open for Bella Blvd’s “Designer Day” event that will take place in Milwaukee on October 12th. The event will feature classes by Illustrated Faith designer Shanna Noel, Megan Hoeppner, Cynthea Sandoval, Jamie Pate, and Bella Blvd founder Stephanie Smokovich.

Deep Thoughts. Vicki O’Dell has a thought-provoking blog article up about the concept of being a “serial crafter”. I’ve long believed that most crafters tend to migrate through multiple crafts over the course of their lives. It’s an interesting thought to contemplate both from the standpoint of what it means for craft marketing, and what it means for the careers of professional crafters.

Security. In modern marketing, social media accounts are a vitally important company asset. They are also a major target for hackers, and a successful hack can cause at best a PR crisis or at worst the complete loss of social marketing assets. To combat this threat, Pinterest has just announced it is rolling out several new security features to help keep its users’ accounts secure. Turning on the new two factor authentication will require providing a code sent to your phone before you can log in. A list of logged-in devices on their account will also be available for Pinterest users, allowing them to disconnect ones they do not recognize. In addition, Pinterest will begin notifying users via email if a device not previously used on the account logs in.

Expansion. Hobby Lobby’s new store in the Lake Park area of Palm Beach has had its opening delayed until after the first of the year by what the company calls issues with getting permits. Another new store in progress, in Turlock, CA, is expected to open in September. A hiring event for 30-50 positions for the new store will be scheduled once an opening date is set.

Earnings. Amazon announced its 2nd quarter earnings today. Investor anticipation of the number temporarily made Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man, as Amazon’s stock rose enough to put Bezos over Bill Gates before a drop put Gates back on top again. The company reported a 25% increase in net sales versus the same period in 2016. Net income, however, was down significantly compared to 2016: $197 million versus $857 million last year.

The recent Prime Day event on July 11th, which will be reported with 3rd quarter sales, was described in a July 12th announcement as the biggest day ever in Amazon history. While sales were lead by offerings of Amazon’s signature devices like Fire and Kindle tablets, many other companies took part as well. Cricut was one craft company who offered Prime Day items. Even Amazon Handmade sellers took part, with Marcia Ricchiuti of Kahili Creations in Pahoa, Hawaii saying of the day that “So far, this year’s Prime Day sales increased 350 percent from last year’s. Getting the opportunity to offer lightning deals as a Handmade at Amazon artisan has been a boom to my business.”

Salutations. Happy Birthday to Jayne Burns of West Chester, Ohio. Jayne works at the cutting counter at the Jo-Ann Fabrics in Mason, OH – and celebrated her 95th birthday with her coworkers on Wednesday.

Peeks. A lot of crafters joke their homes look like a craft store…but what would your house actually look like if you owned one of the country’s biggest craft chains? You can check out this real estate listing for the answer – it’s the iconic Dallas home of Michaels Stores owner Sam Wyly. For a mere $12.5 million, you too could live in 7579 square feet of historic 1924 home on the Dallas Country Club golf course.

Jobs. The following industry jobs are listed as open and available:

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