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Tag Archives | American Crafts

Update | Warehouse Sales, Moves, Jobs, Trends, and more!

Today, in this Friday edition of the Update column, we’ve got news, jobs, food for thought, and some great sales. (Disclaimer: Author not responsible for damage to your wallet!)

Sales. It’s warehouse sale time! Bella Blvd is selling warehouse sale grab boxes for $25 plus $10/box domestic shipping through their online store while they last. Boxes are described in the FAQ as approximately 70% paper and 30% embellishments, with only 2-3% variation in contents between boxes. [Sold out]

Simple Stories is also running their own warehouse sale, with $200 value boxes selling for $49.99 (plus $10 shipping). Boxes contain mostly the same contents but may vary by 2-3%.

Moves. Up-and-coming stamp company Reverse Confetti has announced that they have signed a lease to move operations into a combined classroom/warehouse space in August when construction on the new building is complete.

EtsyGreenLibrary

The “Green Library” at Etsy. Credit: Emily Andrews

Also moving up – in am much less modest way – is Etsy. The company recently moved into a new headquarters that is a few blocks from their previous Brooklyn building, but twice the size of the old space. More than 850 people work in the new space, which was designed and built following the sustainability standards of the Living Building Challenge from the International Living Future Institute. And of course, a large portion of the decor and furnishings in Etsy’s new headquarters are items that come from Etsy’s own artisans and sellers.

Honors. Sara Davies, founder of British manufacturer Crafter’s Companion, was created a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List this month. According the government website describing the various royal honors, the MBA is “awarded for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community.” The honors are considered by a committee, but are ultimately approved by the Queen herself. Awards are formally awarded to honorees by the Queen in ceremonies at Buckingham Palace.

Sara Davies

Sara Davies

Davies said of the honor: “I am thrilled, honoured and so genuinely humbled by this recognition. I was surprised to hear that I would receive an MBE and have no idea where the nomination originated but I’m incredibly grateful. By becoming an MBE, I hope it helps raise the profile of our sector and what a thriving industry it is. I also hope it inspires others entrepreneurs in craft to believe, innovate and put our industry firmly on the map.”

The 32-year-old entrepreneur is being recognized for her work growing Crafter’s Companion from its founding in her college dorm room barely over 10 years ago into an operation that employs nearly 100 people on two continents. Davies is also a past board member of the Craft & Hobby Association, and the founding board chair of CHA-UK.

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

Jo-Ann Crafts has posted full-time positions for Inventory Management Planner, Copy Writer, Associate Seasonal Buyer, Sourcing Assistant, and a Store Planning Coordinator (Interior Designer or Architect) in their Hudson, OH headquarters within the past week. These positions are accessible in the Joann.com online job portal.

History. The crafts industry sometimes likes to think that we invented scrapbooking, but of course it has been around for centuries. The Messy Nessy Chic blog has a look at a fascinating scrapbook compiled in the late 1930’s documenting the life of a young woman named Lotta June Miller, who traveled cross country from Spokane to Pennsylvania to take up a position as theatre director at a teacher’s college. It’s a fascinating read, and a great look at the roots of scrapbooking.

Trends. Fredericksburg.com has an interesting profile up showing how a group of women is getting together regularly to color, following the growth of the adult coloring trend in the last year. This is an especially interesting look at the current coloring trend when viewed from the perspective of the rise – and then fall – in popularity of the group “crop” in the scrapbooking industry.

Retailers. The oft-controversial Hobby Lobby was the target of anti-gay bigotry at their store in the Mandarin area of Jacksonville, Florida yesterday. An unknown person rearranged letters on the store’s shelves (an increasingly common internet meme) to display an anti-gay message, which was removed immediately upon discovery by store staff. Hobby Lobby communications coordinator Bob Miller told local station News4Jax in a statement that “It is beyond unfortunate that some individuals would use items intended to bring beauty and joy through creativity to instead propagate hate, especially at a time when love is so critically needed right now.”

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American Crafts, Studio Calico End Licensing Agreement

American Crafts has issued a statement announcing the end of its licensing and distribution agreement with Studio Calico.

According to the announcement, the agreement will terminate on December 31st. This means that Studio Calico will once again be an independent entity when exhibiting at the CHA Mega Show in Anaheim, although its booth is currently shown on the show exhibitor map as situated adjacent to the usual American Crafts block of booths for the show.

“The team at Studio Calico has done an outstanding job developing fashionable, fun products,” said Sarah DeVoll, CEO of American Crafts. “We’re grateful to have partnered with them.”

April Foster, CEO of Studio Calico, said, “American Crafts has been an excellent partner in helping us grow and establish Studio Calico as a brand. We are thankful for their partnership over the past four years.”

The end of the partnership, which was originally announced in October 2011, comes as no surprise to many in the industry. At the 2015 CHA Mega Show, American Crafts rolled out a new brand name “Seven Paper” with a new style in place of the usual Studio Calico releases. The line floundered, with the line’s booth garnering virtually no attention from show attendees in Anaheim.

Seven Paper booth Continue Reading →

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Update | Chameleon Pens, Handmade at Amazon, New Books, much more!

There’s tons of great  – and even industry changing – news this week! Let’s dive in!

Chameleon pens logo

Kickstarter. Chameleon Art Products, which has been getting notice for its self-blending pen products, has launched a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign aimed at funding an expansion of its color palette. Chameleon’s current palette is 20 colors. With Kickstarter support, Chameleon is planning to add 20 more colors plus 5 skin tones and 5 gray tones to the palette, more than doubling the company’s offerings. The campaign has raised raised over $73,000 from 669  donors, far exceeding its posted target of $25,000. Supporters can still get in on the offering until October 30th.

For those unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it is an online crowdfunding app for creative businesses. Companies or individuals can make an offering where users get certain benefits for pledging certain amounts of money if the Kickstarter meets its funding goal and goes live. In Chameleon’s case, Kickstarter contributors will receive various products for various contribution levels, beginning at a single pen for a $5 contribution, and going all the way up to a contribution of $499, which will get you the complete line of Chameleon products. Continue Reading →

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Highlights from SPC Mixed Media Show 2015

This year, instead of my usual trip to the Craft & Hobby Association’s summer show (called the CHA PaperArts show in recent years), I decided to try something new for a summer trade show experience by traveling to Salt Lake City for the SPC Mixed Media Show in late July.

The SPC Mixed Media Show is put on by the Sierra Pacific Crafts buying group of stores, and until last year was not open to non-members. With the demise of the traditional CHA Summer show after the 2013 show in Las Vegas, SPC made the decision to open the show for part of its time to non-member buyers, and to host the show to Salt Lake City. The result has been a rapid growth in popularity of what was until recently a relatively unknown event.

There is one catch for those willing to take part, however. While the doors have been opened to make non-member buyers welcome, manufacturers can still only exhibit by invitation. That hasn’t stopped the show from being popular with both buyers and manufacturers, however (especially since so many manufacturers are based in the Salt Lake City area).

I spent two days at the show this year….here’s some highlights of products and trends that I saw during my visit!

Ken Oliver

Just like at the CHA Mega Show 2015 in January, one of the undisputed stars of the SPC Mixed Media show was Ken Oliver. Ken was debuting a new line of papers as well as promoting and demonstrating his incredibly popular Colorburst pigment powders. Continue Reading →

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Update | CHA, Kerri Bradford, New Calls, & More!

Lots of news has been happening, so it’s time for another Update column already! Let’s take a look at all of the industry happenings!

Popular designer Kerri Bradford has made an announcement about a big new addition to her online store’s product line: stamps.

Kerri_Bradford_stampsBradford has long been known for her design work for Creating Keepsakes and for designing several Project Life editions, as well as for both Cricut and Silhouette. Her online store is a popular source of “clean and simple” style digital supplies and cut files, and she is now adding a small release of stamps to the line as well. The stamp line is designed for scrapbookers, and is in Bradford’s signature clean style. Continue Reading →

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