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Tag Archives | Trends

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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2017 Creativation Trends for Scrapbooking

One of the greatest thing about attending a trade show is that seeing so many product introductions all in one place at one time really brings into focus the trends that are taking place in the industry at that moment. Here’s a look at some of the top 2017 Creativation trends for scrapbooking.

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

Puffy Stickers

Perhaps this is part of the growing trend of 1980’s nostalgia, but whatever the reason, puffy stickers were making their presence felt as a trend on the Creativation show floor. American Crafts used this sticker style across several of their brands, including Maggie Holmes, Crate Paper and Pink Paislee. But it was also seen in the Jillibean Soup and Echo Park booths, among others.

Below: Maggie Holmes “Chasing Dreams” Puffy Stickers

Creativation Trends - Maggie Holmes puffy stickers

Stamp Presses

Since the introduction of the MISTI created what is arguably an entirely new tool category for the industry, other companies have rushed to introduce their own versions of a stamp press. We R Memory Keepers released theirs last year, and at Creativation, Hampton Art and Tonic Studio (under its Tim Holtz signature line) added their versions to the mix. This trend is definitely being fed by the increasing interest in stamping in the papercrafts market, especially layered stamping. The growing DIY party market (with the mass production of items like invitations and table decorations) is also a factor in their popularity.

Below: Hampton Art Stamp Perfect stamp press

Creativation Trends -Hampton Art Stamp Perfect 10x10

 

Geo Shapes

These geometric shapes that appear to be faceted or geodesic started appearing a lot in stamps and dies last year, and the trend continued at the Creativation show with products like this die from Spellbinders’ collection by designer Lene Lok. This trend is one of those “universal” style trends that can be adapted for any season or theme, so its life isn’t artificially limited by changing seasons (like the flamingoes below).

Below: Spellbinders Lene Lok collection.

Creativation Trends -Spellbinders Lene Lok

Planner Madness

Trend doesn’t cover the level that planners have reached in the papercrafts industry. They are rapidly reaching full-on market domination, Creativation brought an avalanche of products for planners. Companies that had previously experimented with the market dived head long in and companies that had yet to enter the market dipped their toes in. Ranger, which markets itself mostly as a mixed media company, added a planner to its Dylusions line by Dyan Reavely. The trend’s influence is visible even in lines not being explicitly sold as “planner” products, as “planner friendly” products like small stickers and washi tape are being seen more in papercrafts lines.

Below: Dylusions by Dyan Reavely Creative Dyary.

Creativation Trends -Dylusions planner

Flocks of Flamingoes

We started to see the flamingoes pop up in last summer’s beach and tropical themed lines, but this summer scrapbooking is being invaded by entire flocks of flamingoes. There’s stamps, dies, patterned papers, stickers – almost anything you can imagine has a flamingo on it! Echo Park, Crate Paper, and Spellbinders are just a handful of the industry names that are going to the (pink) birds for 2017.

Below: Lawn Fawn “Baby Flamingo” clear stamps

Creativation Trends -Lawn Fawn Flamingo stamps

Emojis

They’re not just for for internet hipsters anymore – emojis are cool for everyone. And with emojis making their way into the home decor and fashion markets, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing them in the crafts market. They’ve popped up in a few places in the past, but at Creativation they were much more noticeable. DCWV was prominently displaying a set of icons for its new letterboard, and Simple Stories introduced an entire emoji-inspired collection called “Emoji Love”.

Below: Simple Stories “Emoji Love” clear stickers

Creativation Trends -Simple Stories Emoji Love

Americana/Farmhouse

We usually see patriotic lines released late spring for the Memorial Day and July 4th holidays. But this year they reflect a new trend showing itself in home decor and fashion: Americana/Farmhouse. While Americana is red, white and blue like its patriotic themed counterparts, there are some key differences. Patriotic themed design is centered around red and white stripes and white stars on a navy background. But in Americana theme, the designs include those elements along with things like flowers, cows (or buffalos), bandana print, and other so-called “country” graphics.

Below: Pink Paislee “Sweet Freedom”

Creativation Trends -Pink Paislee Sweet Freedom Samples

Everything Old is New Again

Trends in the crafts industry tend to be cyclical, both in the sense of what craft is popular at a given time, and also in style trends. We’re seeing a real avalanche of trends and products this year that harken back to the industry’s early days. Hand lettering, foam stamps, rub-ons, cute animal characters, and the dominance of pens were among just a few of of the things on the Creativation show floor making me wonder if I’d time traveled to the early days of the 21st century again.

Below: Tim Holtz idea-ology Tag Press

Creativation Trends -Tim Holtz tag maker

Foam Stamps

One of the “old is new” products currently growing in market presence are foam stamps. Back in the early days of the scrapbooking boom, foam stamps were one of the commonly available supplies to scrapbookers since the stamps were already on the market for use in painting and home decor. Making Memories in its hey day of being a trendsetter even made some specifically for the scrapbooking market, including popular alphabets. They were loved for their affordability, but fell in popularity when the market began to be infatuated with affordable clear stamps.

With the rise of mixed media and increasing use of paint in papercrafting, foam stamps – designed for use with paints – have been creeping back into the market again. Prima launched some a few years ago. Last year, mixed media artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer launched a line of foam stamps with Canadian company Art Foamies, and Heidi Swapp launched foam stamps in her line as well. Creativation saw more releases, including from Tim Holtz’s idea-ology line.

Below: Tim Holtz idea-ology Cling Foam Stamps

Creativation Trends -Tim Holtz idea-ology Foam Stamps

Hand Drawn Lettering

Another blast from the past that is rapidly gaining in popularity is the art of hand drawn lettering. This look was so popular in the early days of the industry that its popularity gave us the designer who is one of the biggest names in today’s industry, Becky Higgins. Partially driven today by the popularity of Bible journaling, this resurgent trend is spawning books, pens, stencils and even stamps to fake the look of hand done art.

Below: Tammy Tutterow collection by Spellbinders

Creativation Trends -Spellbinders Tammy Tutterow booth samples

Letter Boards

Retro looks and signage have been very popular lately, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before the letter board came back. These old style boards that could have letters or words anchored in their crevices were popular before that age of computer signage. Now they are back courtesy of craft industry brands like Heidi Swapp and DCWV.

.Below: Heidi Swapp Letterboard

Creativation Trends - Heidi Swapp Letterboard

Butterflies

It’s not uncommon to see a sprinkling of butterflies this time of year, but this year we are seeing hordes of colorful ones. Butterflies are being used in overall designs on patterned paper from One Canoe Two and Maggie Holmes, along with on many embellishments. This versatile trend covers themes from spring to little girl to nature.

Below: One Canoe Two “Hazelwood – Flock” patterned paper.

Creativation Trends - One Canoe Two Hazelwood Butterfly paper

Mixed Media

The past few years have seen the scrapbooking industry dominated by a trend toward “mixed media”. In case there was any question about whether mixed media was still going strong, two of the three new signature lines introduced by American Crafts at Creativation were mixed media lines: Jane Davenport and Vicki Boutin. Other companies such as Prima and Faber-Castell continued to expand their mixed media offerings, proving that they are still all in on this craft concept that combines various areas of the industry.

Below: Jane Davenport collection by American Crafts

Creativation Trends - Jane Davenport collection

Bible Journaling

It’s hard to believe that the launch of Bella Blvd’s “Illustrated Faith” brand with Shanna Noel was barely less than two years ago. Since then, Bible journaling has become a true force in the papercrafting industry, influencing the launch of mixed media products, stencils, stamp lines, and even a trend toward hand drawn lettering.

Below: Faber-Castell Bible Journaling Kit

Creativation Trends - Faber Castell Bible Journaling

What Creativation trends are your favorites? What trends did you see at the show?

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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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Pantone Announces Twin Colors of the Year for 2016

In an unprecedented move, Pantone has announced two colors of the year for 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity.

Pantone swatches

While to most of us the colors look like the nursery section of a department store, Pantone has other ideas, describing the Colors of the Year in the announcement as following:

Weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, Serenity comforts with a calming effect, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times. Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure.

Continue Reading →

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Update | Forever Live, Jobs, Design Team Call, Closures, & More!

After a brief period of quiet while everyone was busy with the summer shows, the news has picked back up! It’s time for another Update column!

Ali Edwards has joined the growing list of scrapbook industry names extending their brands outside of craft supplies. Epiphanie, a boutique maker of women’s camera bags, has announced that it will be carrying an Ali Edwards branded camera bag. The boho styled bag is made of leather, available in several colors, and retails for $249.

Ali Edwards Epiphanie Bags

The internet has been alight the last week with photo posts from scrapbookers taking part in one of Ali’s most popular franchises, Week in the Life. Judging from the flood of photos, participation was high. Continue Reading →

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