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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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Update | Michaels Stores, Lia Griffith, May Flaum, Bella Crafts and more!

Wow, the news has been coming like crazy, and we are overdue for an Update column! Here’s what you might have missed!

In case you missed it last month, Stampin’ Up! has discontinued their Blendabilities line of pens. The alcohol markers suffered from quality issues with the attaching of the tip during manufacturing that could lead to the marker drying out. For information on receiving a refund if your markers are defective, visit the Blendabilities FAQ.

Bella Crafts Publishing, publisher of Bella Crafts Quarterly, has made several big announcements in recent months. They have rebranded, announced a new publication (Craft Techniques) and also a new event!

The event, called Bella Crafts Connections, will take place September 24th-27th at the Mall of America. This is a similar time frame as was previously occupied by the Archiver’s Scrapfest at the Mall of America, before the Archiver’s bankruptcy and store closures. The Bella Crafts event is planned to be huge, and not just for scrapbooking. The company is promising 60-70 craft workshops in areas like mixed media, jewelry making, ice resin, needle arts, as well as more. Over 20 teachers, including Lisa Pavelka, Seth Apter, Gina K, and Eileen Hull, are planned for the event. Continue Reading →

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