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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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Update | Etsy Sued, Bella Blvd, Operation Write Home, and more!

After a couple of quiet weeks, the news is rolling again with a slew of big announcements and happenings that affect the scrapbook world.

Legal. Etsy is in legal hot water over its recent IPO. A lawsuit was filed in New York on May 13th that is seeking class action status to represent investors who invested in the company between April 16th and May 10th. The suit alleges fraud on Etsy’s part, due to the company’s failing to disclose “adverse facts” regarding the company’s business as required by SEC rules.

The “adverse facts” that got Etsy sued come from a recently released report by stock analysts from Wedbush that alleges that at least 5% of products on the site are counterfeit or violate copyright or trademark laws. Several high profile names, including Beyonce and Taylor Swift, have threatened or taken legal action regarding Etsy product violations in recent months. The Wedbush report detailed an assortment of violations the analysts found against Disney, Star Wars, professional sports teams, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton, among others, in product listings on the site. Continue Reading →

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Update | Graphic 45, Studio Calico, Ranger, Simple Stories, and more!

It’s May and there is lots to celebrate – National Scrapbook Day, Mother’s Day, and the end of the school year approaching. From the manufacturers, there’s new products to celebrate, as the mid-release announcements keep coming! Who’s the first to take on Halloween? Read on to find out!

SC-planner-kit-subscription-logoTrends. Studio Calico has announced that it is jumping on the hot trend for planner products by adding a planner kit subscription to their portfolio of monthly kit offerings. Preorders are currently open and the first kit will ship in July 2015. The company promises that each kit will contain 8-10 items such as a stamp, sticky notes, washi tape, clips, dividers, or stickers. Continue Reading →

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