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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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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 | Bella Crafts, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Jobs, & More

In this edition of the Update column we’ve got lots of big news from some of the industry’s biggest players: Michaels Stores, Hobby Lobby, Messe Frankfurt, Craft & Hobby Association, and more!

[Dislaimer: Messe Frankfurt is a sponsor of this website, but information included in this article was solely at my own discretion.]

Publishing. Bella Crafts has launched a second digital magazine, called Craft Techniques. The new title, which joins the company’s line-up alongside the original Bella Crafts Quarterly, will be published six times per year with a single issue price of $4.97. Annual subscriptions are currently available at an introductory rate of $17.97.

Craft Techniques coverCelebrating. Stamp manufacturer My Favorite Things is celebrating its tenth anniversary in the whole month of July with a series of special giveaways and features on its blog. Founder Kim van der Sanden wrote a special blog post detailing the history of the company’s early days.

Honoring. The Craft & Hobby Association is accepting nominations for the following awards to be presented during the CHA Conference & Trade Show in Phoenix in January 2017:

Meritorious Award of Honor – Service to CHA
The highest award of recognition bestowed upon an individual member, past or present, who has made a significant contribution to the Craft & Hobby Association.
Industry Achievement Award – Contribution to Craft and Hobby Industry
Recognizing a CHA member (individual, group and/or company) who has made a significant contribution to the growth and vitality of the craft and hobby industry as a whole.
Special Recognition Award(s) – Good Deeds
Presented to a person, group and/or company for an extraordinary contribution in an activity that showcases the craft and hobby industry in a positive way. Award recipient(s) need not be a member(s) of the Association.
Nominations are due by July 30th. Click here to fill out the nomination form.

Clearing Out. After six months of virtual silence, October Afternoon has resurfaced to hold a warehouse box sale on their blog. They’ve held several rounds of boxes already in the past couple of weeks, selling merchandise for twenty cents on the dollar retail ($100 value boxes for $20 retail). The most recent round is sold out already, but owner Jonathan Denton has replied to comments from disappointed would-be buyers, promising more boxes will be offered soon.

Selling. Speaking of boxes, Me & My Big Ideas has been testing a Happy Planner Kit in select Costco stores at a price point of $24.99. The planner alone normally retails for $29.99, so this is a heavily discounted bundle.

Happy Planner Kit

Michaels has also just put out mid-aisle displays of similar kits, in several sizes and themes. There are teacher and student kits, as well as a fitness and a seasonal (holiday) planner. They range in price from $29.99 to $39.99, depending on the size and number of months included.

MAMBI Planner Kit

Prepping. Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes when industry professionals are getting ready for a trade show? Jen Gallacher, who is the marketing manager at Echo Park Paper, made a great video talking about what goes into the lead-up to a trade show. Watch it on YouTube.

Expanding. Messe Frankfurt has announced a new addition to the Christmasworld show that occurs in January every year simultaneously with Creativeworld and Paperworld. The “Floradecora” product area will feature live floral and plant product offerings, which are becoming increasingly popular for seasonal displays, and will be located in Hall 11.1 in the Christmasworld show area.

Damaging. The Hobby Lobby store in Muskogee, Oklahoma sustained damage in a severe storm that hit the city on Thursday, July 14th. The store was closed at the time and there were no injuries in the incident. Hobby Lobby’s communications coordinator told the Muskogee Phoenix that the damage appears to be limited to the external and the company hoped to reopen the store quickly. The Hobby Lobby store is next to a recently closed Hancock Fabrics store. Hobby Lobby will be renovating and expanding their existing location into the newly vacant space, with the makeover slated for completion in November.

Falling. Michaels Companies Inc (MIK) stock took a hit last Wednesday when the company announced two pieces of news. The first was that the company now expects 2nd quarter profits to hit the low range of their previous estimate, which was already a disappointment to analysts. The company also announced that Bain Capital and Blackstone Group, the private equity companies that were the companies previous private owners, are cashing out 11 million shares of the 80% equity they continued to hold in the company after it went public. The twin disclosures sent the company’s stock tumbling 6% by the end of trading on Wednesday, to $27.13. As of the market close today (Monday), the stock had recovered only slightly, to $27.56.

Changing. The Washington Post has a thought-provoking article up about the Millenial generation’s relationship to stuff. Their tendency to lead more simple lifestyles in smaller homes is leading them to reject memorabilia as clutter. Not only do they not want their parents’ sentimental legacies, but they aren’t creating and collecting their own. It’s food for thought for an industry that is built largely on the creation of that “clutter”.

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

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