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Update | Amazon, Prima, Jobs, Events, Trends, & More!

Losses. Condolences to the family and friends of Jeff Murphy, known to many in the industry after his thirteen years in sales at EK Success/Wilton Brands that ended last year. Murphy passed away last week in a hiking accident in Yellowstone National Park.

Openings. Hobby Lobby has set the (tentative) opening date of its new store in the Ozark Crossing strip mall in Harrison, AR for August 7th. The store is expected to hire between 30 and 50 workers.

Costs. Users of Intuit’s Quickbooks Online accounting software service are being notified about upcoming price increases that will go into effect in July for users. The price for the Quickbooks Online Plus level of service will increase from $39.99 to $50 per month. Suggestions for replacements include Sage, Xero, and Less Accounting.

Changes. Amazon has announced to affiliates that it is retiring the aStore tool in its affiliate program due to low usage and poor conversion rates on the tool. Starting on July 14th, new aStores can no longer be built, and on August 11th existing stores will no longer be able to be edited. The feature will be completely retired on October 27th, at which time all aStore links will redirect to the Amazon.com home page.

Ventures. Toronto-based Scraptime host Christine Urias is branching into food art, marketing a line of candy through her new company Sweet Artisan Candies. https://shop.amytangerine.com/subscribe

Designer Laura Bray is preparing to launch a line of stamps in her signature style later this month under the Laura K Bray Designs brand name, available through her website. To get a sneak peek of one of the set, visit her blog.

Events. AFCI President Mark Hill attended the 41st Japan Hobby Show put on by the Japan Hobby Association in April, and shares an interesting look at the event and trends seen at the show on the AFCI blog. Some of the trends seen may be regional while some may be harbingers of things to come in other parts of the world.

Alt Summit has announced their 2018 event dates. The 2018 Alt Summit will take place from February 26th-28th at the Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs, CA. Registration begins on Wednesday, June 21st

Alt Summit 2018

Trends. Trend Curve is predicting that pink will be a hot trend for the Christmas holidays for 2018-2019. Also, Quilt Market’s e-insider has a look at trends from Spring Quilt Market for quilt fabric, which often shares design and color trends with scrapbook paper and embellishments.

Fun. Maybe it’s because he didn’t get the memo that scrapbookers think cats are trendy and cool…but whatever the reason, Garfield the Cat has been poking fun at scrapbooking.

Teams. Prima Marketing has design team calls open for their Design, Mixed Media & DIY, and My Prima Planner teams through June 30th. For information on how to apply for the teams, visit the Prima blog.

Jobs. The following industry positions are listed as open and taking applications:

Financial:

Sourcing:

Design:

Marketing:

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Update | Stampin’ Up, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Jobs & More!

Color. June means a new Stampin’ Up! annual catalog, and with it a new edition of the trend-based “In Colors” that are added each year to the Stampin’ Up color palette for a two year limited edition. Of note this year is that the palette is completely pink and green in shade: Fresh Fig, Berry Burst, Powder Pink, Tranquil Tide, and Lemon Lime Twist.

2017-2019 Stampin Up In Colors

Endings. Craft Ideas magazine is ceasing print after over 40 years in production. The Summer 2017 issue will be the magazine’s final one. Editor Molly Goad told readers in a letter published on the magazine’s blog that the company is looking for strategic partners to continue the magazine, but has no certain relationships at this time. Best wishes for the future to their talented staff . some of whom I’ve previously worked with – from the Scrapbook Update family.

Redesigned. Tonic Studios has issued an update to its customers indicating that it plans to ship a redesigned version of the Tim Holtz stamp platform beginning the week of July 9th.

As we move to catch up with the demand for the product we will be releasing the incoming shipments on a first come first served basis based with our retail partners on when we received the orders. We will be confirming the expected delivery date to each of our retailers within the next 7 days. The first shipments we expect to be dispatched on the week of 09 July with the second delivery to be on the week of 16 July. We are working to improve this wherever possible; however, we want to provide a clear and realistic route to completion. We also want to be realistic that the product will be entering the country during the holiday period which may involve additional small delays. These dates are when we will receive product into our warehouse in California so there may be a few more days to get the product to the partners and then onto the consumers.

Shows. Hotel reservations are open for Creativation 2018, which takes place in Phoenix from January 18th-22nd, and badge registration begins on Tuesday, June 13th.

Crime. According to a report in the Santa Clarita Valley area publication The Signal, the assistant manager of the Hobby Lobby store in Saugus, California has been arrested on child pornography charges. Donald Anthony Little has been charged with two felony counts related to alleged sharing of child pornography images online, and with being in possession of more than 600 child pornography images on his laptop computer. Little is free on bail pending his arraignment on June 22nd.

Neighbors. The White Sands Mall in Alamogordo, New Mexico, is losing its major tenant with the impending closure of the Kmart that has been there since 1976. However, the owner of the property told the Alamogordo Daily News that his company isn’t worried about filling the space, and has over a dozen prospective tenants lined up to tour the space. What’s the draw, in an era of dying malls? The mall will be breaking ground this month on a new Hobby Lobby next to the soon-to-vacant Kmart. “A lot of merchants, it appears, love to be next to Hobby Lobby,” Griffith told the paper.

Earnings. Michaels Companies held its earnings call for the first fiscal quarter of 2017 on Tuesday morning (June 6th) before NASDAQ market open. Net sales were flat for the quarter, with comparable same store sales down 1.2%, due the company said to a decrease in average purchase ticket. Gross profits, though, were up .6%, due to an accounting adjustment from the Lamrite West acquisition and increased margins (from the expansion of the company’s store branded merchandise lines). Michaels held its fiscal year 2017 expectations the same overall at net sales growth of 2.2% to 3.7%, and says that it expects that in the 2nd quarter same store sales will be down .5% to 1.5% (or flat to down 1% on a constant currency basis). The company plans to open four new stores in the quarter, relocate two others, and close four Aaron Brothers stores.

Michaels stock (NASDAQ: MIK) did not react well to the news from the Tuesday earnings call. It had been trending upward on Monday the day before the earnings call, closing up $.28 on the day at $19.83. Opening at $18.91 on Tuesday due to losses in after hours trading, after the morning earnings call the stock dropped hard and closed at $18.16. This was followed by an additional drop to $17.51 by close on Wednesday, a total loss of over 10% in value over Tuesday and Wednesday. Today, the stock started trending back upwards, closing up $.81 at $18.20.

New. American Crafts is launching a new decorative food collection with Sweet Sugarbelle in Michaels Stores. The line will include stamps and cutters and dough die, along with edible coloring book pages and paint palettes, to create decorative cookies.

Peek. If you are fan of artist Katie Pertiet, you might appreciate this profile with a peek into her studio and thoughts on design in a profile done for the blog of art licensing company Wild Apple.

Jobs. The following industry jobs are currently posted as available:

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Update | Michaels, Studio Calico, Jared Leto, Sew Sweetness & More!

Dream Job. For many crafters, the dream job is to get a staff designer position where they get paid to craft to produce project samples all day. Find out from three of Cricut’s staff project designers how they got where they are, and what the job is really like in this fascinating behind the scenes article.

Sizzix Sew Sweetness Box Pouch

 

Designers. Sizzix used Quilt Market last month to announce the launch of their new collaboration with “Sew Sweetness” blogger Sara Lawson. Lawson’s three new Bigz L Dies, which retail for an MSRP of $29.99 each, will launch this month. The three new dies create a box pouch (pictured above), coin purse, or purse tabs. For more information, visit the Sizzix website.

Designers, part 2. Tammy Tutterow has announced a partnership with StencilGirl to make signature stencil designs. The initial release of 9 designs includes 7 two-step stencils that create layered designs such as flowers and plaid.

Exclusives. Joann Fabric & Crafts stores are getting four new exclusive kits to add to their large Project Life offerings. There’s “Lullaby”, a value kit available in boy and girl versions, as well as a recipe card value kit and matching album. There’s also an exclusive core kit called “Modern Wedding”.

Mixed Media. Designer Anna Dabrowska has announced that a selection of products from her popular Finnabair mixed media line made by Prima Marketing is hitting the shelves at Michaels Stores. The selection includes rust paste, patina paste, mixed media essentials, glitter, and more.

Trends. Slime is hot this summer and according to Adweek, the trend is paying off huge for craft brands like Michaels Stores and Elmers that have committed heavily to it. My own local Michaels store has an end cap right by the register area in the seasonal section containing gallon sized containers of Elmer’s along with all sorts of additives and other slime accessories.

Marketing. The wedding market is highly competitive, and content marketing continues to become more and more important. How important? Blogger network Aisle Society has just completed a successful $30,000 Kickstarter campaign to create an online tool to make submitting products and content to their more than 30 top wedding bloggers simpler and more streamlined for companies. The tool, called Matchology, will launch later this month, and cost $69.99 a year to use.

Equity. Kentucky-based Inked Brands – better known to most scrapbookers as Studio Calico – has raised $4 million in Series A equity funding. The equity was raised from BIP Capital, whose portfolio also includes companies like Tropical Smoothie, Huddle, and a variety of technology and health companies. Inked Brands was founded in 2007 by April Foster, and creates products for influencer brands such as Ali Edwards, A Beautiful Mess, Baby Boy Bakery, and Tom Kat Studio in addition to their in-house brand Studio Calico.

Equity, part 2. Digital education platform CreativeLive has raised $25 million in Series C funding from a combination of investors that include GSV Acceleration, Creative Artists Agency, Greylock Partners, Jared Leto, REV, Richard Branson, and Social Capital. (Now there’s a few names I thought this site would never have Google results for…) This raises to $58.8 million the company’s total funding. Part of the new funding will be used to extend CreativeLive more into the enterprise market.

Earnings. Michaels Stores will be reporting its first quarter earnings on Tuesday (June 6th) before market open, followed by a conference call at 8am central time. For information on how to take part in the conference call, visit the Michaels website.

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Update | MISTI, Project Life, Etsy, Jobs, Events & More!

The post-winter show doldrums sure are over! Lots of companies have been busy with the result being lots of news to share!

[Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to you if a purchase is made after a click.]

Endings. The Project Life partnership with Stampin’ Up! is ending. Project Life branded products will continue to be sold (while supplies last) through Stampin’ Up! demonstrators until the end of the current catalog year on May 31st, 2017.

Patents. My Sweet Petunia, the manufacturer of the popular MISTI stamping tool, was granted their application for a U.S.MISTI patent on March 21st. The original MISTI tool took the stamping world by storm in 2015 and 2016, and the new Mini and Mega sized versions together won the CHA Hot Products Award for Papercrafting products at the 2016 Mega Show.

The MISTI patent had first been applied for by My Sweet Petunia on January 13th, 2015, but was initially denied in the summer of 2016. The company was able to secure approval of the MISTI patent last month after making a revision of their original patent application.

Winners. Etsy was honored as a finalist in the first-ever “World Changing Ideas Awards” sponsored by Fast Company magazine. The online marketplace for crafters was recognized as one of the top 24 finalists out of over 1000 submissions for the idea “Economic Security for the Gig Economy“, a method of ensuring freelance and self-employed people (like their marketplace participants) have stable access to items like healthcare and retirement savings.

Extensions. Tim Holtz has announced a new line of jewelry products that will be exclusive to Jo-Ann Stores called Tim Holtz Assemblage. The line is in Tim’s signature vintage style, and many elements are recognizable as adapted from metal elements designed for his papercrafts line. The line is available now – at 50% off – on Joann.com.

 

Changes. Megan Hoeppner is leaving her role as Editor-in-Chief of Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine for personal reasons. She will, however, continue with the magazine as its Pic Tips columnist. The Editor-in-Chief position is being filled by Susan Opel, who is familiar to many in the industry from her time at the now-defunct Papercrafts & Scrapbooking magazine.

Megan Hoeppner

Megan Hoeppner (on left) and I together at SNAP Conference in 2016.

Changes, part 2. Etsy has named Rachel Glaser as its new Chief Financial Officer. She replaces Kristina Salen whose intended departure as of March 31st was announced last fall. Glaser will start work on or around June 1st, and Karen Mullane (Vice President, Corporate Controller) will serve as interim CFO. With 30 years of executive experience in finance, Glaser comes to Etsy from Leaf Group, a consumer media and marketplace company whose brands include Society 6, Livestrong.com, ehow.com, cuteness, and Techwalla.

Events. AFCI (formerly known as CHA) is partnering with SPC (Sierra Pacific Crafts) to put on a Mixed Media buying event in Salt Lake City this summer. Education will be on July 17th, and the show floor will be open July 18th though July 20th. Exhibit space is selling fast, and attendee registration opens on April 19th.

Events, part 2. It may feel like you’re barely over your jet lag from this year, but exhibit registration is already open for the 2018 Creativeworld show at Messe Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany. Book before April 13th for an early booking discount. More than 130 exhibitors were already signed up as of the end of March, according to Messe Frankfurt.

[Note: Messe Frankfurt and its Creativeworld show are a Scrapbook Update sponsor.]

Considering whether to go for the first time? In case you might have missed them, here’s my show reports from Creativeworld 2017:

Documenting. Ali Edwards has announced that the next “Week in the Life” project will run the week of April 17th. New digital and physical product kits are available for the 2017 project on the Ali Edwards webstore.

Teams. Graphic 45 is skipping their usual design team call for 2017, and instead have announced a group they call the 2017-2018 Graphic 45 Brand Ambassadors. The company promises that the design team call will return in 2018, but for this year, the new team includes lots of returning names from last year, with a few new ones mixed in.

Jobs:

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Update | Core’dinations, Tim Holtz, Miniatures, Jobs, and More!

The holidays are over…and that means that trade show season is upon us! January will bring us both the brand new Creativation show from CHA, and the Creativeworld tradeshow in Frankfurt. Of course, trade show time brings lots of news too…and even though the month has just begun, the news wires are already starting to heat up! Let’s get started!

Nancy Nally

Endings. Tim Holtz has announced on his blog that he will no longer be doing the immensely popular “12 tags” series. The series has been running for an astounding ten years. The first five years it was “The 12 Tags of Christmas”, and then in 2012 it was reinvented as a monthly series. The tag has become Tim’s signature piece in trade show demonstrations. (Pictured above: me with my special “grunge free” tag that Tim made for me at CHA.)

Exhibits. Miniatures are getting hot in the crafts industry! If you are interested in seeing handmade, artisan miniatures, the Houston Center for Contemporary Art has an exhibit called “Pocket Museum” opening on January 20th. Running through March 18th, the exhibit features the work of miniature artists Jon Almeda, Althea Crome, Sean Donlon, Nash Quinn, and Marco Terenzi. Miniatures created in ceramic, fiber, glass, metal, and wood will be on display.

Acquisitons. American Crafts has announced that it has acquired cardstock company Core’dinations, which was previously owned by Darice. In February 2016, Darice became a subsidiary of Michaels Stores when Darice’s parent company Lamrite West was purchased by Michaels. American Crafts already has multiple cardstock brands under its umbrella, having acquired Bazzill in 2014 and also selling cardstock under its American Crafts brand. The company will continue to use the Core’dinations brand after the acquisition but as part of the transition many of the brand’s products have been discontinued, including the Tim Holtz branded Kraft Core line.

Teams. A new year means new creative teams at many companies, and the announcements are rolling in! Becky Higgins has announced new paper and digital teams, Neat & Tangled has also announced a new design team for 2017, an Instagram team, as well as a video team.

Jobs. Does your New Year’s Resolution include a new job? The following industry jobs are currently listed as available:

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Update | Studio Calico, Paperclipping, Typecast, and more!

This week’s edition of the Update column brings news of lots of change, the Typecast…and lots of jobs!

Honors. Bowling Green, Kentucky-based INKED has been named by Inc. Magazine as the 7th fastest growing business in Kentucky. INKED is known to most in the scrapbook industry as Studio Calico. Many scrapbookers are not aware, however, that behind the scenes of their popular scrapbook kit company, INKED also offers web platforms, marketing, product design and fulfillment to internet influencers. Among the well-known names that are part of the INKED client base are Ali Edwards and A Beautiful Mess.

Crimes. According to their Facebook page, Kerri Bradford Designs’ website has been taken down due to being hacked and vandalized. Kerri and her team do not believe that any customer information was compromised. (The site did not contain any payment information since their payments are authorized via Paypal.) The site will remain down for a short period of time pending the completion of a previously planned new website that is to be rolled out shortly.

Magazines. The first issue of the new lifestyle magazine by Fixer Upper mega stars Chip & Joanna Gaines will be hitting newsstands in October. The new Meredith Corp publication, announced in July, is tentatively titled Magnolia Lifestyle. It will join premier lifestyle brands Better Homes & Gardens and Martha Stewart that are also under the Meredith umbrella. Content will include features in the areas of entertaining, food, lifestyle, family, and decorating. The quarterly magazine will carry a $7.99 cover price and the first issue will be hospitality themed (just in time for holiday entertaining).

The “farmhouse industrial” style popularized by Fixer Upper has heavily influenced the DIY and crafts industries since the show skyrocketed the Gaines’ to stardom a few years ago. With 400,000 copies of the new magazine about to hit newsstands, it appears that the Gaines’ – and their signature style – won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Endings. Noell & Izzy Hyman of Paperclipping have announced that they are ending their Paperclipping video membership service after August 2017. Because of this, one year renewal memberships are no longer available. They have also stopped recording the Paperclipping Roundtable podcast, with the final episode being #277 which was released in early August.

Most of my readers know that I was the founding co-host on the first 121 episodes of the Paperclipping Roundtable, appearing on it from January 2010 until July 2012. I’m sorry to see the show go, and wish Noell all the best in her new endeavor.

Endings? Another one of the country’s premier scrapbook stores has announced that it is (probably) closing its doors. Scrappy Chic in Livonia, Michigan announced on September 14th that if they do not find a buyer immediately, they will be closing at the end of October. According to the store’s owner, “important family matters that need my attention” are the reason for the decision to close the 10,000 square foot store.

Changes. Laura Vegas, who has been the Creative Team Coordinator for Bella Blvd for 5 years, announced this past week that she is departing the company.

Changes, part two. In late August, Denver-based Craftsy laid off 24 employees from the department that produces their online video tutorials. The company says it is slowing down the number of new videos that it is producing to focus on a major expansion of its ecommerce business, including producing its own branded product lines.

mint-typecast-typewriter

New Products. We R Memory Keepers has announced that the immensely popular Typecast typewriter will soon be released to all retailers, and with that release will come two new colors of the machine! The Typecast machine, which was previously only available in pink and black at Michaels Stores, will also be available in mint and white as part of the wider release. (Must have now? Our advertising partner A Cherry On Top has the two new Typecast colors available for pre-order.)

New Products, part 2. Fuji announced at the Fotokina show in Cologne, Germany on September 19th that it is developing a version of its popular Instax film that will have a square photo format, along with a camera for the format. The Instax SQUARE film will have an image size of 62mm x 62mm, and the finished photo (with border) will have a size of 85.6mm x 72mm. The new Instax SQUARE product is scheduled for a Spring 2017 release.

Links. Blogger and scrapbook instructor rukristin has written an exhaustive overview of the state of scrapbooking at the moment – defining the different types and genres that are being created and their uses and meaning. It’s an excellent “state of the union” on the market at the moment.

Jobs: The following scrapbook and craft industry jobs are currently posted as available:

To get your company’s open position listed in our job listings, please email a link to the posting to nancy@nallystudios.com.

Design Teams:

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