Kate's Collage
"Vinny Da Vendor"
"Benny Da Buyer"
Kizer & Bender
Memory, Paper & Stamps
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Designing Perspectives
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Creative Leisure News
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Date: February 7, 2011
Vol. XIV, No. 3

Printer Version


bulletCommentary: Are Our Trade Shows Fading Away?
bulletNew Columns This Issue
bulletTake the CLN Poll: Are You Using Social Media?
bulletCLN Poll: The Importance of Trade Shows
bulletCHA Show News
bulletAwards: A Highlight of the CHA Show
bulletHeard on the Trade Show Floor
bulletJo-Ann: Fourth Quarter Sales Increase
bulletCHA Unveils New Industry Research
bulletJanuary Sales: Better Than Expected
bulletArchivers To Develop Affiliate Program
bulletBig Changes at Hobbycraft
bulletCHA Consumer Shows To Change
bulletThe Debut of a New Yarn Crawl
bulletEmail: Scrapbookers, Learn from History!
bulletRandom Notes, Random Thoughts
bulletMiscellaneous News: Retail
bulletMiscellaneous News
bulletThe Creative Network: Job Openings
bulletA Super Bowl Tale


In the past few months I've received a variety of thought-provoking emails and comments about our industry's trade shows. They've rumbled around in my brain and didn't truly coalesce into something reasonably coherent until after hearing reports of the recent TNNA show. So I wrote a long piece questioning the long-time viability of trade shows as we know them today. Then I decided to wait to see if the CHA show would change my mind.

It didn't.

So the article is in Business-Wise, and it concludes with a request for you to comment. Do you agree or disagree? If you agree, then how should trade shows change, or evolve?

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Business-Wise. Are trade shows as we know them today going to disappear? Are they losing their significance? Read the warning signs and join the conversation.

Kizer & Bender. A step-by-step timetable for sponsoring in-store events.

"Vinny Da Vendor". Some vendors couldn't get their new product info to CLN in time for the CHA pre-show issue, so a brief description and link to their sites has been added. So if you missed the show or didn't see it all, here's more product info.

(Note: If you click on the column and it's not the column you expected, click the Reload or Refresh button of your browser.)

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Below is a report on the latest research by the Craft Yarn Council on knitters' and crocheters' use of social media such as MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, and Ravelry. So how about you? Do you use the social media for personal and/or business reasons? Have you wondered how many of your business colleagues use them? To vote, click on Industry Polls in the right-hand column or click HERE.

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They are still important, but perhaps not as important as they used to be, according to voters in CLN's unscientific poll. Almost 3 in 10, 29.8%, said they are very important and 38.3% said they were "somewhat" important. Slightly more than a quarter, 25.5%, said shows were not that important. Only 4.3% believe they are not important at all, and 2.1% are not sure one way or another.

However, 63.8% believe they have become less important in recent years. Only 25.5% believe they have grown in value. Another 10.6% believe the value of trade shows is about the same. No one was unsure.

(Note: If, in fact, trade shows aren't quite what they used to be, and you wonder why, read "What's Happening To Our Trade Shows?" in Business-Wise, and join the discussion about what can/will be done about it.)

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Business. Most exhibitors CLN visited were pleased, primarily due to the more optimistic attitude of the buyers. New exhibitors such as Your Next Stamp (www.yournextstamp.com); Uniformed Scrapbooks (www.uniformedscrapbooks.com); Lawn Fawn (www.lawnfawn.com); Paper Quilt Creations (www.wrensneststudio.com); and Bowwowmeow (www.bowwowmeowstuff.com) were very pleased with interest from buyers.

Changes. The $25 or $50/badge caused some grumbling, but appeared to result in a huge increase in attendance for workshops, seminars, and special events. CLN heard no complaints about the changes in show hours.

Buyers. Final numbers were not available by CLN's deadline, but attendance appeared to be down, due in part to the Paper World show in Frankfurt and bead shows in Tucson; a decline in the number of independent stores; and many chain buyers not staying for the entire show. The show did not "feel" as large, due in part to it being on two levels.

Exhibitors. The show was 5% larger in terms of floor space, which, given that returning exhibitors could buy an additional booth space for $1, tells CLN the number of exhibitors may have declined, although many exhibitors took smaller booths. Some questioned their return on investment for exhibiting. The art materials and needlework sections seemed quite small. There were more vendor complaints/bitterness about the chains' direct-import and private-label programs; some exhibitors showed prototypes of new products to some chains, but not all.

Trends. Much more mixed media and more cross-category projects. ... Traditional scrapbook companies with products and projects that go "off the page" and take papercrafts to an entirely new level. ... An increasing awareness of bloggers.

Canada. There was an excellent seminar, "How To Do Business in Canada." The material, complete with links, will be available soon on the CHA website.  … The newly merged CCHA and CHA will sponsor a Spring Trade Exhibition For Paper Arts on Mon., Mar. 28 in Brampton, Ontario. For details, call or email Paula Jones (pjones@craftandhobby.org; 519-940-5969) or visit www.cchacanada.org. Registration ends Mar. 10.

Dates. The 2012 winter show will have the same dates – Jan. 29-Feb 1, and will again conflict with Paper World. This year's summer show is July 19-21 in Rosemont.

Keynote: Facebook exec Randi Zuckerberg had to cancel her appearance. She was replaced by Nick Bilton, lead technology reporter for the New York Times and author of I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works. His presentation was excellent as he described even more innovations in technology, such as 3-D printing, on the horizon.

Charity. During the show, CHA sponsored events to help the Kids In Need Foundation and LA's Best – a silent auction, a kids craft day at a local elementary school, and a "product harvesting" enabling exhibitors to donate unused products at the end of the show.

Cooperation. Suppliers working together. For example, Beacon Adhesives unveiled its new Glueologist video series featuring craft industry adhesive veteran, Mike Assile. The series will be short, instructional videos about glue and how to be successful using it, giving consumers ideas, tips, and projects. What's unique about the videos in this series? They are free for any re-seller, or for a cooperating supplier’s website. Mike said if a company would like them for its site, or would like to feature its product in a video with Beacon, to contact Karen@signaturecrafts.com. Designers or educators who would like to demonstrate in a video format are also welcome to contact the company. www.signaturecrafts.com.

Elections. To their first three-year term on the CHA board: Richard Brown, Brown Bag Management & Consulting; Jan Kahn, Caron Int.; Riddi Klein, Jo-Ann; David Murray, Activa; and Paul LaPlante, Stix2KoolTalk. … Reelected to a second term: Mike Birkholm (Darice) and Mark Peters (iLoveToCreate/Duncan). The membership elected Gail Czech (The Creative Network), Jane Anne Davis (Blumenthal Lansing), and Jim Scatena (FloraCraft) to the Nominating Committee.

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Special Recognition Award (for charitable giving). To the Duncan family (iLoveToCreate/Duncan Ent.). The family business, started by Erma Duncan 65 years ago, has been donating to a wide variety of non-profit organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club, for decades. Larry Duncan accepted the award "on behalf of all family-owned businesses which help charities." For more details on the family's charitable efforts, visit HERE.

Industry Achievement Award (service to the industry). To the late Mike Dupey, founder of Michaels and MJ Designs. His former VP, Howard Hoffman, accepted on Mike's behalf and told wonderful stories about this remarkable man. To read more of Howard's stories visit HERE. To read about the industry's memories and thoughts about Mike, visit HERE.

Meritorious Award of Honor (service to the association). To Jim Scatena, CEO of FloraCraft. Jim served on the HIA and ACCI boards, the HIA/ACCI Merger Task Force, the CHA board, and served as board chairperson. Jim also served on numerous association committees, and was very influential in HIA sponsoring the industry's first size-of-industry study.

Innovation in Retail (a new award). To The Crop Shop in Rockland, MA. Visit www.thecropshop.net.

Innovative CHA Designer. To mixed-media artist Jen Cushman.  Visit www.jencushman.com.

Innovations (new product). To C&T Publishing for its Lesley Riley's Tap Transfer Artist Paper, which allows artists, quilters, and crafters to transfer inkjet-printed images to virtually any surface with the heat of an iron (www.ctpub.com). Honorable Mention went to Kandi Corp. for its deCoularant (www.kandicorp.com) and to Xyron for its Creatopia (www.xyron.com).

Exhibiting with Excellence. To GCD Studios (www.gcdstudios.com). Honorable Mention to Bottle Cap (www.bottlecapinc.com) and Plaid Ent. (www.plaidonline.com).

Golden Press Kit Awards. To Diamond Tech (www.diamondtechcrafts.com). Runner-Up to Sizzix (www.sizzix.com). Honorable Mention went to Fabscraps (www.fabscraps.co.za).

Designer Press Kit Award. To Beadphoria --Suzann Sladnick Wilson www.beadphoria.com

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1. "Exhibitors need to rethink their expectations." – Nancy Nally, Scrapbook Update

2. "The future is here. It's just not evenly distributed." – Nick Bilton, New York Times technology reporter and keynote speaker

3. "The last time we exhibited, it cost us $140,000. That's a lot of money just to show the major buyers products they've already seen." – Major industry vendor (who did not exhibit but walked the show)

4. "Mike Dupey is truly the godfather of this industry." – Howard Hoffman, longtime friend and associate of Mike's.

5. "Scrapbook stores don't die, they commit suicide." – Scrapbook retailer

6. "The only redeeming thing was that some of the Wal-Mart buyers showed up and they are ballooning their craft area." – Exhibitor

7. "I haven't been to the show in five years and I'm not seeing anything different." – Former industry leader

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Net sales for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29 increased 3.6% to $624.1 million. Same-store sales rose 2.0%. Customer transactions increased 1.1% and average ticket increased 0.9%. Execs believe severe winter weather negatively impacted same-store sales by approximately 0.8%.

Large-format store sales for the quarter increased 1.8% to $330.6 million, while same-store sales rose 0.7%. Small-format store sales were up 4.6% to $277.6 million and their same-store sales increased 3.8%. Internet sales through Joann.com jumped 29.3% to $15.9 million.

Sewing same-store sales increased 1.8%, thanks to positive trends in most fabric and sewing notions categories. Non-sewing same-store sales increased 2.5% due to growth in craft and seasonal products.

Net sales for the fiscal year increased 4.4% to $2.079 billion and same-store sales increased 3.5%.

The company will report earnings for its fourth quarter and fiscal year on Mar. 9.

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CHA's research company, Ipsos, has revamped its Attitude & Usage Study, switching from a mail survey to an online version. Because of the change in methodology, comparing these results to previous studies presents an apples-to-oranges situation. One of the changes, an Ipsos representative said, was far more men were surveyed than in past studies. The Study also used a new structure, with 8 categories and 47 segments. That resulted in a new #1 segment: woodworking.

The overall size of industry was pegged at $28.6 billion, plus or minus 11%. The major categories: General Crafts, $9.92 billion; Fine Arts, $3.7 billion; Paper & Memory Crafts, $3.34 billion; Needle Crafts, $2.86 billion; Artistic Crafts, $2.61 billion; Sewing Crafts, $2.46 billion; Jewelry & Bead Crafts, $2.3 billion; and Floral Crafts, $1.99 billion.

The major "Segment" sales were Woodworking, $3.32 billion; Drawing, $2.08 billion; Food Crafts, $2.00 billion; Scrapbooking (including digital scrapbooking), $1.72 billion; Jewelry, $1.44 billion; and Floral, $1.3 billion.

While the methodologies changed, some results were about the same as in previous studies. Household participation was 56% and the average amount spent by the typical survey consumer was $470.

The complete results are available at the CHA website, www.craftandhobby.org in the "Member" section.

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The International Council of Shopping Centers' index of 32 stores showed an increase of 4.8%, well above the expected 1.5-2%, the Associated Press reported, despite miserable weather in various parts of the country. The Thomson Reuters' tally of 28 retailers showed a 4.2% increase; analysts had expected a 2.7% rise.

A sampling of chain stores' same-store sales: Limited Brands, +24.0% ... Neiman Marcus, +9.8% ... Costco, +9.0% ... Dillard's, +6.0% ... Nordstrom, +4.8% ... Saks, +4.4% ... Macy's, +2.6% ... Target, +1.7% ... Kohl's, +1.4% ... Gap, +1.0% ... J.C.Penney, -1.2%.

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Archiver's signed an agreement with Memory Bound, an independent scrapbook/craft store in Ankeny, IA. The store is owned by Kellie Gould and Dawn Johnson, who will advise and test different approaches to an affiliate program, which could help independents regarding collective buying, branding/marketing, hardware/software, inventory management, store management, etc.

Archiver's CEO John Morgan stated, "With our brand, buying power, and systems, we are uniquely positioned to deliver real benefits to independent stores. Independent stores are critical to our industry. We want to preserve and build on the many things we have in common, such as customer support and customer education. Through their hard work and our tools, we can help independent storeowners build businesses with lasting values."

Archiver's has 44 stores in 18 states and operates an online store, Archiver's Annex.

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HobbyCraft, England's largest craft chain, announced that Chris Crombie is out as CEO, replaced by Catriona Marshall. She had served as Trading & Marketing Director of Pets at Home, a chain of pet food and accessories owned by HobbyCraft's parent company, Bridgepoint Capital. Chris started with the company when it opened its first store in 1995.

HobbyCraft operates 50+ stores in the United Kingdom. The company sells 35,000+ products in stores and online and has 1,800+ employees. According to the website, total sales increased by 10.6% to £68.7 million for the year ending Feb. 22, 2009, and profit before tax increased 67% to £5.4 million for the same period.

Bridgepoint Capital purchased HobbyCraft from the founding Haskins family in late April, 2010. Retail Week reported the price was more than £100 million.

Also leaving the company is HobbyCraft's buying director, Dominic Hooley, replaced by Graham Dyson who will be Head of Buying on an interim basis. Graham had served as the Buying Director of Pets at Home.

At the time of the sale, Bridgepoint’s Jason McGibbon said, “HobbyCraft is a quality business with great potential. We have tracked its progress for some time and believe that there is now significant scope for the business not only to grow through further rollout in the UK and development of its store format, but also to create a significant multi-channel online presence.” 

A company email obtained by CLN said, "Catriona will bring significant expertise to HobbyCraft at a time when we are embarking on ambitious growth plans, especially around developing our in-store engagement with customers and devising and implementing a multi-channel strategy for the business. She was a key member of the highly successful management team that built Pets at Home into a major specialist retailer across the UK that was sold last year for almost £1 billion."

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CHA announced partnerships with consumer show producers, TransWorld Exhibits and Southern Shows, to host CHA Craft SuperShow Sections at three venues in 2011. Craft SuperShow Sections will debut as pavilions at the TransWorld’s Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show in Rosemont, IL July 21- 24, and in the Southern Women’s Show in Charlotte, NC Sept. 15-18, and in Orlando, FL Oct. 13-16. (Note: The Rosemont show begins the day the CHA summer show ends.)

The streamlined CHA Craft SuperShow Section will differ from the original three SuperShows held in Orlando, Anaheim, and Rosemont. The Sections will be composed of 50-100 exhibitors as opposed to being its own event. TransWorld Exhibits and Southern Shows will handle all sales, contracts, and negotiations regarding exhibit space. For more info, visit www.CraftSuperShow.com.

The Southern Women’s Show is a consumer lifestyle event held in 10 markets, each year attracting 250,000+ with fashion shows, cooking demos, beauty tips, health screenings, decorating ideas, and personal growth opportunities. Visit www.SouthernShows.com. TransWorld Exhibits' Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show is designed to bring fashion and jewelry lovers the opportunity to buy direct from product suppliers. The Rosemont show hosts 400 exhibitors and has reportedly attracted 26,000 attendees. Visit  www.jfashow.com.

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New Jersey's "Yarnies" will be on the move during the first Northern NJ Yarn Crawl, scheduled for Presidents Day Weekend, Feb. 19-21. It's a free, organized three-day event that encourages local support and investigation of the area’s yarn and craft emporia. Retailers will offer special events, discounts, and promotions, plus a free chance to win one of l0 raffle baskets filled with products from sponsoring manufacturers. There's also a fiber-themed scavenger hunt.

Ten stores will participate, including Accent on Knits, Morristown; Angelfire Studios and Down Cellar, Basking Ridge; Knit-A-Bit, Westfield; Modern Yarn and Stix-n-Stiches, Montclair; The Blue Purl, Madison; The Skein Attraction,  Teaneck; The Stitching Bee, Chatham; and The Yarn Diva in Hillsboro, NJ. 

The Crawl is produced by the Great American Yarn Crawl (www.greatamericanyarncrawl.com), which sponsors annual tours of yarn-centric cities and states. For more info and to see a list of sponsors and stores, visit www.northernnjyarncrawl.com.

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Regarding Nancy Nally's 2011 predictions for scrapbooking, is it just me, or is scrapbooking finally discovering what those on the general craft side have been doing, or have not been doing, for years? Cross merchandising with other companies? Used to be common at ACCI and HIA shows. Manufacturing in conjunction with other companies? Seems like scrapbook companies all tried to reinvent the wheel every time they introduced a product. Stick to what you know and do it best! Use of signature designers? Hmmmm, do the names Donna Dewberry, Priscilla Hauser, and Nancy Zeiman ring a bell? Doing other projects with scrapbook products? Hello!! If scrapbook companies would take off their blinders, they'd see that's been going on for quite some time!

I said years ago, when scrapbooking started incorporating embellishments, that stores were becoming craft stores. There were so many crossover products, but scrapbookers tend to live in their own little world and frown upon crafting.

If scrapbook companies had taken time to research the craft industry, they would have learned some very valuable lessons early on, and perhaps we wouldn't have seen so much attrition in that segment of the industry. – Name Withheld (a long-time craft industry veteran)

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1. I think a "Yarn Crawl" is a great concept, as are similar projects for other product categories, particularly scrapbooking and quilting. It would be interesting if independents in diverse specialties worked together to sponsor a "Creative Crawl" with scrapbook, bead, needlework, art materials, and craft shops. Industry research has shown that, while an enthusiast does have a favorite category, most enjoy other categories and new challenges.

2. It was ironic: hearing so much about social media at the CHA show, then returning to my hotel, turning on the news, and hearing how the overthrow of the Egyptian dictator was fomented by… social media.

3. Here's a worthy cause: Crops of Luv, which creates scrapbooks for families of critically ill children. The non-profit is having a fundraising event Mar. 12 at the Arizona Community Church in Chandler, AZ and needs monetary and product donations. Visit www.cropsofluv.org.

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VALENTINE'S. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, the average person will shell out $116.21 on traditional Valentine’s Day merchandise this year, up 11% over last year. Total holiday spending is expected to reach $15.7 billion.

LEONARD GREEN. The investment firm that is acquiring Jo-Ann attempted a possible hostile takeover of BJ's Wholesale Club, the Wall Street Journal reported, and that caused the BJ board to consider selling the company.

WAL-MART. The New York Post reported Wal-Mart has a huge post-Christmas inventory surplus because of disappointing sales. ... According to Kantar’s monthly ShopperScape data for December, significantly fewer shoppers reported shopping at Wal-Mart for gifts in 2010 vs. 2009, and comScore reported that Wal-Mart's web traffic had declined, Retailing Today reported. ... The  company will open 40 supercenters in Canada this year, spending half a billion dollars, the Wall Street Journal reported.

$$$. So, how will Jo-Ann Chair/CEO Darrell Webb fare with the pending sale of the company to Leonard Green? Very, very well, thanks to his stock options, vested stock, employment contract, etc. To learn how well, read about the millions HERE.

STOCKS. A.C. Moore: $2.35, down $0.17 ... Hancock: $1.40, up $0.05 ... Jo‑Ann: $60.48, up $0.18 ... Wal‑Mart: $56.03, up $1.22 ... Dow Jones: 12,092.15, up 2.6%. (Note: All changes in price are since 1/14 and are exclusive of dividends.)

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CPSIA. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted 4-1 on Jan. 31 to extend the stay of enforcement for testing and certification of lead content in children's products (except for metal components of children's metal jewelry) until Dec. 31, 2011. At the CPSIA seminar during the CHA show, it was announced that CHA will sponsor periodic CPSIA webinars during the year. Watch your CHA emails and CLN for dates and times.

NAMTA. Named Reggie Hall as the new Exec Director, effective today. He has 30+ years of association management experience, having served most recently as a Sr. VP with the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) and prior to that as Exec Director of the International Newspaper Advertising and Marketing Executives. 

COTTON. The uprising against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak may cause further price increases, the Wall Street Journal reported.

LEGISLATION. In his State of the Union speech, President Obama hinted that he'd be willing to make changes in the health reform act, particularly the 1099 portion that requires even the smallest business to send the IRS a completed form for every company with which it does $600 or more in a year. The regulation is supposed to go into effect Jan. 1, 2012.

PEOPLE. Me and my BIG ideas hired Arthur Barbas as VP of Business Development. Arthur was most recently Regional Manager at Uchida of America and has 20+ years of successful sales management experience in multiple retail channels. ... Ranger named Colleen Verardi National Sales Manager. Colleen had served in a similar position with Stampendous. ... Sierra Pacific Crafts named Alex Nielsen as Director of Operations and  Lita Goucher, Domestic Vendor and Merchandise Coordinator; each has 10+ years experience in retail store management. ... Interweave named Mindy Brooks editor of Beadwork magazine, replacing Melinda Barta, who will continue in a part-time role. Mindy had been a senior editor/Internet director for Reader's Digest Assn.’s Home & Garden Affinity division. Prior to that, she had been editor-in-chief of Bead and Button magazine and the founding editor of BeadStyle magazine for Kalmbach.

TNNA. Online registration for the Nashville Market Feb. 19-20, with education starting Feb. 18, is available HERE.

SCRAPBOOKING. Online registration for the Memories Expo show in Columbus Mar. 25-26 is open. Visit HERE.

QUILTING. Diane Rose has made approximately 500 quilts. What's so special about that? She's been blind since 1984. To see a remarkable video, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lfaSmDxVZQ.

ROLODEX. Strategic Search Solutions, Inc., President: Dean Emmans. 5821 Fairview Rd., Ste. 316, Charlotte, NC 28209. The phone is 704-553-9500 and the fax is 704-553-9595. Email dean@sssclt.com. For the past ten years, Strategic Search Solutions has served the craft and textile industries with their executive and personnel needs on both the retail and supplier side, specializing in sales, marketing, product development, operations, distribution, finance, and human resources.

PAINTING. DRG launched its Creative Painter Kit Club, which provides instructions, paints, and surfaces for creating watercolor and acrylic paintings. Members receive kits by mail, with the first kit for $9.99 and subsequent kits for $23.99. Visit CreativePainterKitClub.com.

TECHNOLOGY. Interweave has invested in online marketing training for its employees. Now 85% of its employees  have successfully passed Mequoda Pro’s Content Marketing Certification Program that focuses on teaching professional-level search engine optimization (“SEO”) and social media optimization (SMO) skills. Don Nicholas, Mequoda Group’s Exec Director said, “The Mequoda Pro certification program teaches professional-level skills for social media, email marketing, web analytics, search engine optimization, keyword research, blogging, website design, subscription marketing, online advertising, and much more.” 

JOB OPENING. Fibre-Craft Materials Corp., located in Niles, IL (suburb of Chicago -- no relocation at this time), is seeking a Product Marketing Manager with mid-level experience to support the growing business. Interested candidates may respond directly to hr@fibrecraft.com.

YARN. The "American Spirit" segment of the CBS Evening News Jan. 21 profiled Aida Bound of Wenatchee, WA, a 73-year-old retired social worker who started a group in retirement homes that knits hats for kids in homeless shelters. Thus far, nearly 15,000 hats have been made and donated. To read the article, click HERE. … The Red Heart iPhone app is now available and provides mobile access to their yarns, patterns, how-to videos, RedHeart.com, Facebook, Twitter, and a store locator.

KNITTING. Here's a very inspirational video: www.keloland.com/NewsDetail6162.cfm?Id=110101.

ACQUISITION. My Publisher, an Internet supplier of photography-focused personalized printed products, acquired How Fast Time Flies, an Internet provider of digital scrapbook pages. … Mixbook, which offers a collaborative editor for building personalized photo books, cards, and calendars, acquired Scrapblog, an online scrapbooking service, which reportedly has 2+million users.

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To read the latest listings click on Jobs in the left-hand column or click HERE.
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A woman had 50-yardline tickets for the Super Bowl. As she sat down, a man came along and asked her if anyone is sitting in the seat next to her.

"No," she said, "the seat is empty." 

"This is incredible," said the man. "Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in the world, and not use it?"

Somberly, the woman said, "Well, the seat actually belongs to me. I was supposed to come here with my husband, but he passed away. This is the first Super Bowl we have not been to together since we got married in 1967."

"Oh I'm sorry to hear that; that's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else -- a friend or relative or even a neighbor -- to take the seat?"

The woman shook her head sadly. "No, they're all at the funeral."

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1. If you want a hard-copy of this issue, click on "Printer Friendly version."

2. If your company is a paid subscriber, everyone in the main office is welcome to register, free. Just click on "Work for a paid subscriber? Click Here to register" (center column, near the top).

3. If you ever have trouble with your password, click on "Trouble with your password?" in the right-hand column of the main page. The computer will then email the correct information to you.

4. CLN is published the first and third Mondays of each month. Your next issue will be Monday, February 21. Happy Valentine's!

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