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Tag Archives | Bella Blvd

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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Update | Pantone, Etsy, Pinterest, Jobs, Calls & More!

The summer shows are over, and it’s hard to believe it but the industry is already ramping up for Christmas and winter shows. Where did 2016 go?

Consolidating. Canvas Corp has announced that the 7 Gypsies and Tattered Angels brands have been consolidated under the single company of Canvas Corp. The three brands were previously separate companies. All of the brands will continue to be marketed, but can now be ordered together from one company.

HOME by Becky Higgins logo

Expanding. Project Life founder Becky Higgins has announced the launch of a new brand called “HOME by Becky Higgins“. The lifestyle brand is launching with an initial product offering of four designs of all-occasion premium wrapping paper. Although she’s known professionally for her work in the scrapbooking industry, Becky’s popular blog often features her home and her style is frequently the subject of admiring comments and questions from readers. Higgins’ move is not unprecedented – it takes place against a backdrop of a changing scrapbook market in recent years that has sent many of the major scrapbook segment companies (such as My Minds Eye, Teresa Collins, Heidi Swapp, and American Crafts) looking for new markets in markets like stationery, party goods, and lifestyle products.

Launching. Ali Edwards will be launching pre-orders for 2016 December Daily kits on September 1st. The designer reveal will begin next Monday, on August 22nd. (Hmm, maybe I should finally finish that 2013 album….)

Mobilizing. Pantone has launched a new iOS app called PANTONE Studio. The app takes mobile the ability to build and share color palettes using Pantone color tools, and apply colors to various designs and surfaces as a visualization tool. Users can also access Pantone trend information. A free limited version of the app is available, or the full version can be purchased for $7.99/month or $59.99 for an entire year.

Linking. Etsy is partnering with Intuit to offer a special Etsy version of Quickbooks Self-employed. Etsy storeowners will be able to download their Etsy sales, as well as transactions from other providers such as Square and Paypal, directly into the accounting software. The software will be available the first year for $5/month, or for $12/month with a TurboTax bundle.

Curating. Pinterest announced some feature changes to its site design today, including a new preferences setting that will allow users to stop the presence of “Picked for You” pins in their feeds. Pinterest, in their announcement, said this feature was added at the request of users. Personally I find the “Picked for You” pins to be a great way to find interesting content, but it seems that a vocal segment of Pinterest users disagree. If a large portion of Pinterest users take advantage of this new feature, it could impact site traffic and account growth for users whose pins are favored by the Picked for You engine.

Changing. Instagram’s new Stories feature has a lot of users wondering what to make of it. Abby Glassenberg of While She Naps has an interesting perspective on exactly how disruptive Stories is to the direction of Instagram.

Sharing. I’m pleased to announce that I will be serving another term on the design team at the Layout-A-Week blog run by Jennifer Priest. My first layout of the new term is a summer garden layout featuring Simple Stories and Quick Quotes products.

in the garden layout preview

Events, part 1. Registration is open for the Designer Day portion of Bella Blvd’s event in Milwaukee on October 20th. Workshops may be purchased ala carte from a schedule that includes Shanna Noel, Jill from Jillibean Soup, and Julie Johnson.

Events, part 2. Prima is launching a planner line, and they are having an event in Temecula, California to celebrate. Tickets are $120 per person for the October 15th event, and include a goodie bag with a planner, a workshop, lunch, demos, and more.

Events, part 3. Altitude Summit, the popular social media and blogger conference for creatives, has a call for speakers out for its 2017 event. The conference will take place in Palm Springs, California from January 31st to February 3rd, 2017, a week after Creativation (and overlapping with Creativeworld).

Returning. The Craft & Hobby Association is advertising a list of previous exhibitors that will be returning to the winter show (now named Creativation) after a break that includes Darice, Walnut Hollow, Coats and Clark, Springs Creative, TrimCraft, Modern Store Fixtures, Prym Consumer USA, and Crescent Cardboard.

Jobs. The following craft industry positions are currently advertised as available:

Calls. The following calls for designers are currently open:

Moving. My company Nally Studios has moved business locations and has a new address. Please contact me by email at nancy@nallystudios.com if you need our updated address information.

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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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Update | Michaels, Scrapbook Expo, Jobs, and more!

In this issue of the Update column, I’ve got some big news from some of the industry’s biggest names – and some great opportunities if you are job hunting! Let’s dive in…

Michaels store

Earnings. Michaels Stores held its quarterly earnings call for investors today. The company surprised market watchers by reporting that it missed its quarterly earnings target for the first fiscal quarter of 2016 that ended April 30th. Michaels stock (traded under MIK on the NASDAQ) fell over 8% after the announcement, to close at $27.69 for the day.

In the announcement, Michaels executives blamed weak April sales for the missed earnings estimate. Michaels is far from alone in struggling to meet its April sales goals in 2016. A whole host of U.S. retailers have announced weaker than expected April sales figures, including Costco, Gap, L Brands, Target, Macy’s and Nordstrom – to name just a few.

Moving forward, Michaels says it plans to continue to focus on the adult coloring trend, extending its selection of coloring books and coloring materials. The company has also begun expanding the trend off-paper, recently unveiling store displays that feature items such as kids’ t-shirts with coloring designs on them along with fabric markers. The company also plans to launch nationwide in July a loyalty program that it has been testing locally in Texas near its headquarters.

For more information on Michaels Stores financial numbers in the first quarter, read the official announcement.

Industry Jobs. The following industry positions are currently posted as available:

New Positions. Bella Blvd has announced that Amy Heller is filling the newly created position of Marketing Director at the company. Heller is known to many in the industry for her time as a Garden Girl at Two Peas in a Bucket, and for her work designing product for the now-defunct Lily Bee Design. But she also has nearly two decades of professional experience in marketing and graphic design, including for Fortune 500 brands. Initial plans for Heller’s role at Bella Blvd include development of a new blog and email interaction with customers.

Amy Heller

Amy Heller

Honors. Congratulations to Georganne Bender and Rich Kizer on their Retail Adventures blog being named one of the “7  Retail Publications You Should Be Reading” by retail analytics platform Celect. Retail Adventures has been basking in the spotlight in 2016, with UK retail analysts Retail Vision also naming the blog to its “Top 50 Retail Blogs” list in January.

Events. I had a chance to attend Scrapbook Expo for the first time in 2016 when it came to Orlando this past weekend for an event at the Gaylord Palms resort in Kissimmee.

Scrapbook Expo Orlando 2016

The shows are now officially known as “Stamp & Scrapbook Expo,” reflecting the growing presence of stamping products on the show floor. Compared to 2015, there was much more current product on the show floor – I saw a variety of current product from Echo Park, Carta Bella, Simple Stories, Quick Quotes, Graphic 45, Photo Play Paper, Sizzix, Hero Arts, Tim Holtz, and many others. Several booths were carrying a good selection of planner supplies as well.

Several well-known industry names were attracting good crowds in their booth. Stayce DeWid of Art Anthology had a make-n-take running in her booth, with the help of an instructor.

Stayce Dewid

Stayce Dewid

As it was throughout 2015 at the shows, the make-n-take being run by Richard Garay at the Fun Stamper’s Journey booth continued to be popular in 2016 in Orlando. The booth was thronged every time that I passed by on Friday.

Fun Stamper's Journey booth

June is a busy month for Orlando area papercrafters, with Stampfest also scheduled to take place in Lakeland at the end of the month.

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Update | Photo Play Paper, Work, Webster’s Pages, and more!

It’s November and that means turkey, right? Actually for most in the industry, it means that Christmas and the winter trade shows are in full swing!

Sharing. For generous crafters looking to hand make cards and share them with others, deadlines are already approaching!

The American Red Cross’s Holiday Mail for Heroes program provides bundles of blank cards to ill and injured veterans at Fort Belvoir and Walter Reed. Deadline for providing card bundles is November 20th. See the Red Cross website for details on how to participate.

The Caring Hearts Card Drive that collects cards to deliver to nursing homes is also ongoing. The deadline for providing cards to the drive is November 27th. Visit Jennifer McGuire’s blog for information on providing cards for the project.

Work. Digital store Snap,Click,Supply is looking for product designers to sell in their marketplace. To apply, visit the website to fill out an application.

If messy mixed media is more your style, you might be interested in the 2016 Artist Gang call from Donna Downey Studios. Entries are due on December 7th, and the new team will be announced on Dec. 14th. 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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