Kate's Collage
"Vinny Da Vendor"
"Benny Da Buyer"
Kizer & Bender
Memory, Paper & Stamps
Category Reports
Designing Perspectives
Scene & Heard

Creative Leisure News
306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com



Date: July 1, 2013
Vol. XVI, No. 13, #381

Printer Version


bulletCommentary: The History Search Continues
bulletTake The CLN Poll: Immigration Reform
bulletThe CLN Poll: Grading The Second Half of 2013
bulletAppeals Court Listens To Hobby Lobby
bulletMichaels Adds Cut Fabric
bulletTNNA Show News
bulletNotions Marketing Names New President
bulletThe Journal Highlights Tween/Teen Crafts
bulletCHA Calls For Award Nominations
bulletThe (Not So) Big News Of The First Half
bulletThe Big News On The Horizon
bulletHave an Idea But No Resources?
bulletCrafting In Outer Space
bulletKS Productions Opens New Facility
bulletF+W Unveils Craft Daily
bulletIndustry History: 1979
bulletRandom Notes, Random Thoughts
bulletMiscellaneous News: Retail
bulletMiscellaneous News
bulletThe Creative Network: Job Openings
bulletFood For Thought


I am working on a fascinating project: "Key Dates in Industry History." Of course you could go back

My search for "Key Dates in Industry History" continues – and may never end. I keep thinking of more people, who give me more dates, etc. As I mentioned in the previous issue, it goes back hundreds of years, and the entire history would be an awful lot to throw at the readers at one time, so for the time being I'll pick a single year and report it here. For this issue I picked 1979, the year I started in the industry. Little did I know then the monumental events that were taking place!

(And I'm still looking for more dates, events, etc. Contact me if you have a lead for me: mike@clnonline.com.)

[ top ]


The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill that promises to strengthen the country's southern border and creates a path to citizenship for undocumented workers. The bill faces an uncertain future in the House of Representatives. Are you in favor of the bill? Opposed? Unsure?

To vote, click on Industry Polls in the right-hand column or click HERE.

[ top ]


While CLN voters weren't that thrilled with the first half of the year (grading it a C+), they are more optimistic about the second half. More than a fourth, 28%, believe their business will earn an A, while 40% think it will rank a B, and 24% expect a C. Only 8% believe it will be a D, and no one thinks their business will flunk. That averages out to 2.9, or a B-, half a grade higher than the first half.

When comparing the second half of 2013 with the second half of 2012, 13.3% believe this year will be much better, 40% think it will be somewhat better, 30% expect it to be about the same, and 16.7% believe it will be somewhat worse. No one thinks it will be much worse. (Again, people whose business earned an F or think the second half will be much worse probably are too depressed to bother voting.)

[ top ]


The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver decided Hobby Lobby can proceed with its case and will not be subject to fines in the meantime, the Associated Press reported. Because of the decision, the lawsuit returns to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, which earlier ruled against Hobby Lobby’s religious exemption request. A hearing was scheduled for July 19.

The appellate judges did appear to side with HL, however. In the decision the judges wrote, "Sincerely religious persons could find a connection between the exercise of religion and the pursuit of profit. Would an incorporated kosher butcher really have no claim to challenge a regulation mandating non-kosher butchering practices?"

The judges also wrote that HL "has established a likelihood of success that their rights under this statute are substantially burdened by the contraceptive-coverage requirement and have established an irreparable harm," the Denver Post reported.

However, the appellate judges fell one vote short of ordering the lower-court judge to issue an injunction to block parts of the law, the Tulsa World reported.

The Green family, HL's owners, argued that requiring employers to include the morning-after pill in their employee insurance plan violated their religious beliefs. The Department of Justice claimed allowing exemptions like this results in employers imposing their religious beliefs on employees.

The reaction to the decision was as expected. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented the Greens, called it "a resounding victory for religious freedom," while the Americans United for Separation of Church and State said, "This court has taken a huge step toward handing bosses and company owners a blank check to meddle in the private medical decisions of their workers. "This isn’t religious freedom; it's the worst kind of religious oppression," the AP reported.

[ top ]


The pre-cut fabric includes cotton, canvas, burlap, felt, faux fur, crushed velvet, and tulle, and will be available in a variety of sizes from a half-yard to two yards. The pre-cut fabric will be carried in the majority of U.S. and Canada stores.

"With the addition of crafting fabric to our mix, our customers can find everything they need for their projects in one store," said Michaels Exec VP of Category Management Philo Pappas. "And because the fabrics are pre-cut, customers can simply select the size they need and be on their way – no waiting for measuring and cutting."

Michaels.com and Michaels Pinterest Boards feature project ideas that use fabric, including throw pillows, lamp shades, chair seat covers, and bracelets. Laminated burlap, a Michaels limited exclusive, can be fed through most home printers to add personalized messages and images to fabric projects.

Other crafting fabrics available include costume silk, glittered tulle, sequined tulle, faux Sherpa, silky fleece, and embossed alligator and snake prints.

Michaels also sells sewing supplies, including needles, thread, fabric shears, bobbins, and notions.

[ top ]


Highlights of the recent TNNA show in Columbus, OH:

Atmosphere. For the second year in a row, the trend of a stronger economy was evident. "Attendees are seeing what they like and are spending their money, not holding back as much as they had in years past," said Exec Director Patty Parrish. "It's definitely been positive." … "What a wonderful job TNNA does at getting the speakers and suppliers relevant to our industry," said Michele Stratton, owner of the Flaming Ice Cube, a knit shop and cafe in Boardman, OH. "They do the best job of making a show relevant to their market. They do so much planning, all with the retailer in mind. They offer a lot of support to their members."

Friday. The Retailers' Luncheon featured marketing pro Bob Negen who provided attendees with a plethora of sales and marketing tips tailored to their needs. … The evening's "NeedleArts Walk of Fame" encompassed the Sample IT! cash-and-carry mini-show, a Meet the Teacher area, the Needlepoint Showcase, and a Manufacturers Rep Meet-up. The Spinning & Weaving Group’s "Spinzilla" event was also previewed during the reception, and the "Red Carpet Runway Fashion Show" featured the latest trends in knit and crochet garments.

Saturday. The evening's festivities, "The Stars Come Out Tonight!", included the unveiling of some of the results of TNNA's latest industry survey by India Hart Wood, Hart Business Research; the presentation of the Tribute to Excellence in NeedleArts (TEN) Award to Jim Bryson, Bryson Distributing; and the announcement of the winners of the third annual Business Innovation Awards.

Future. The Fall Needlecraft Market is Aug. 24-25 in St. Charles, MO. … The Winter Trade Show will be Jan. 11-13 in San Diego. Visit www.tnna.org for details.

[ top ]


Notions Marketing named Adrienne L. Stevens as President, replacing Jay Klein who retired after having served since 2002. Adrienne was CEO of SNAP!office, an office design and furniture manufacturer in Michigan. Prior to that, Adrienne led L-3 Communications Avionics Systems, a Fortune 200 company.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Notions and carry on the core values the company has cultivated during the past 75 years," Adrienne said. "The business has a solid strategy and is well positioned for continued growth."

Notions Marketing is 75 years old. It began when Gerrit Lantinga bought a used panel truck and started a route selling thread, yarn, and other products to local five-and-dime stores. The products were stocked in the basement of Gerrit's small home in Michigan. When he was 16, son Herb and his friends built Gerrit's first warehouse; they were not paid, it was simply a fun summer project.

Today, Notions' warehouse facilities are more than a million square feet.

[ top ]


"Crafting is going way beyond teachers' gifts and holiday ornaments to a whole new level of self-expression," reporter Cecilie Rohwedder wrote in the June 19 edition of the Wall Street Journal. "Tweens and teens are using colored tape and glitter glue, fabric paint and Bubble Wrap to put a personal stamp on every inch of their lives, from school binders and lunch-boxes to cellphones and skateboards."

The article quotes CHA's President/CEO Andrej Suskavcevic: "Young people are increasingly into making things rather than just buying them." Others cited include Valerie Marderosian, Chief Creative Officer at iLoveToCreate ("Teens and tweens are not afraid to shout to the world, 'This is who we are'); and Paula Puleo, Chief Marketing Officer at Michaels ("They are building their own little brand.')

Other products and techniques cited in the article include duct tape, glitter, markers, tie-dye, fabric paint, stencils, rhinestones, fabric dye, etc.

[ top ]


The CHA Awards Committee is accepting nominations for the CHA Industry Awards until the deadline, Aug.31. The awards will be presented during the CHA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim to be held January 10 -14.

The awards are Meritorious Award of Honor (service to CHA); Industry Achievement Award (contribution to the industry); and Special Recognition Award(s) (good deeds)

The nomination forms can be downloaded at www.craftandhobby.org/awards. Complete the form and return it by fax or email to Lidia Diaz at 201-835-1267 or        ldiaz@craftandhobby.org.

"CHA members share an incredible drive and passion for impacting both consumers' and fellow members' lives though promoting the creative industries and benefits attained from participation," said Committee Chair David Murray. "Our industry has a rich heritage of giving back through various philanthropic endeavors and utilizing businesses for the betterment and support of others. The industry awards are an opportunity to recognize and thank these humble leaders for their dedication and service to our industry. The Awards Committee is looking forward to receiving the nomination applications and learning more about the extraordinary individuals that make up our industry. I encourage all members to nominate and share the stories of individuals who are deserving."

[ top ]


2013 has been relatively quiet. CLN voters gave the first six months a C+ grade, and Michaels, Wal-Mart, and Hancock Fabrics, the only retailers who announce their sales, are having an ok year. The other news:

Wilton Brands acquired the Simplicity Creative Group Michaels names Chuck Rubin as CEO. He had been CEO of Ulta, the beauty-products chain. … The Beadery was sold to Toner Plastics. … Darice announced plans to launch a new trade magazine, Craft Business Insider, and announced a partnership with Elizabeth Ward, the founder of Blue Moon Beads, to carry her new Bead Storage Solutions line. … Archiver's and Creative Memories filed for bankruptcy protection. … Lisa Bearnson, the founder of Creating Keepsakes magazine and 11-year host of QVC’s Creating Keepsakes Scrapbooking will return to television on HSN for Papercrafting with Lisa Bearnson.

[ top ]


The big news of the first half of this year is not so much what happened as what might happen. Consider:

1. 3D printers are coming and will seriously affect our industry. Exactly how, nobody knows for sure.

2. Hobby Lobby's lawsuit against the Affordable Health Care mandate that employers must provide the morning-after pill. The appeals court has sent it back to the lower court which begins hearing it again July 19.

3. The Marketplace Fairness Act was passed by the Senate but is pending in the House. If it passes, it could help brick-and-mortar stores by requiring e-commerce sites with $1+ million in sales to collect sales taxes.

4. As the year progresses, more and more aspects of the Affordable Health Care law will go into effect.

5. Will Michaels finally do an IPO?

6. Because of the Americans with Disabilities Act, brick-and-mortar stores, for example, are required to be wheelchair accessible. What about e-commerce sites that make no provision for people who are partially blind or deaf? The Justice Department is expected to issue guidelines later this year. They could require websites to include spoken descriptions of photos for the blind and transcriptions of multimedia features for the deaf.

[ top ]


Many if not most of the industry's now-substantial companies started on an entrepreneur's kitchen table. But however small and struggling, they were able to carve out a niche for themselves and then grow into what they are today in large part because there were enough independent retailers buying from them to keep them going. Is that true today? Maybe not.

So what does a creative person dreaming at a kitchen table do? The answer might be Elmer's® Products. The company has launched a dedicated Open Innovation web portal, which welcomes a variety of patented or patent-pending ideas.

"We know from past experience that there are companies and others out there with some great ideas that may not be realized due to resource constraints," said Joe Wetli, director of innovation and new business development at Elmer's. This portal will be a great way for us to actively welcome new ideas and evolve our brands through collaborative efforts."

Portal visitors can submit ideas by completing a submission form – one that asks only for non-confidential information in order to protect both the submitter and Elmer's from "idea contamination." Submissions must have a provisional patent filed, patent pending or issued patent in order to be considered. 

For more details, visit elmers.yet2.com.

[ top ]


NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg is in the midst of a six-month stint in the International Space Station – and crafting. Before she blasted off in May, she told Space.com, "I actually enjoy sewing and quilting and I am bringing some fabric with me and thread and I'm hoping to create something. I don't know yet what it will be, but that's part of creativity…. I have the supplies in my hands to create if I get the opportunity and the creative notion to do so."

She was interviewed on CBS This Morning on Friday and talked about how she loves sewing. "I could sew all day," she said.

Nyberg is married to fellow astronaut Doug Hurley and they have a three-year-old son.

[ top ]


The new facility is 6500+ sq. ft. and includes a large studio space with production area for multiple sets, a large "green" or prep area. and two editing suites allowing for total tapeless delivery.

"Our new studio gives us the flexibility to create video in all formats, whether for broadcast or online use," says President/Owner Kathie Stull, "and production and editing capabilities from multi-camera television broadcast to short clips for web and in-store play. In addition to increased capabilities, we offer competitive pricing and quick turn-arounds to better serve our clients."

KS Productions produces numerous industry-related series for PBS stations, including It's Sew Easy, Quilting Arts, Beads Baubles and Jewels, Hands On Crafts for Kids, Knitting Daily, Scrapbook Soup, Around the House, and Bake Decorate Celebrate, for Public Television. A new series will debut this fall. That's 150+ episodes a year, plus instructional videos for manufacturers.

The series are also available online, on DVDs, and starting in August, on Amazon VOD and Amazon prime. 

"We are excited to begin this new phase of production with the benefit of a custom, HD facility designed to serve the craft and sewing market," Kathie adds. "We thank our past sponsors for their support as we continue to offer the highest quality production for our industry.

The new facility is located at 30300 Solon Industrial Parkway in Solon, OH 44139.

[ top ]


F+W has launched a new video subscription site, Craft Daily. It offers tutorial videos in nine categories, beading, crochet, jewelry, mixed media, weaving, quilting, spinning, sewing, and knitting. A monthly subscription for content across all of the nine crafting categories is $19.99 or $199 for the year. The cost for subscribing to a single category is $11.99 for a month, $119 for a year. There is no advertising on the sites. The videos are available for download on desktop and mobile platforms.

The site is part of F+W's Interweave division, a group it bought a year ago.

[ top ]


1. Craft World convinces DMC to distribute its floss, which opens the counted cross stitch category into the craft market and catapults Craft World to become one of the top distributors in the industry.

2. The first Fall Quilt Market is held in Houston.

3. Bob Alexander invents "puff paint." Dave Lester sees it, and the two form a company, Polymerics, and call the paint Tulip. The company struggles for years, including one bankruptcy, before consumers get hooked on fabric painting and the wearable art trend takes off.

4. Husqvarna introduces the first computerized sewing machine.

5. Graphic designer Andrea Grossman launches Mrs. Grossman's Stickers from her kitchen table in Woodacre, CA. She had ordered heart stickers from a label printer who mistakenly printed them on rolls instead of flat sheets like she requested. She introduces "Sticker by the Yard" and a few years later she is profiled in People magazine as the person who started "stickermania."

6. Olfa Corp. introduces the first rotary cutter.

7. Designs by Gloria & Pat meet Samuel J. Butcher, the creator of Precious Moments®, and begin to produce cross stitch books/leaflets of his work. Approximately 50 million have been sold since then.

While those events were going on, the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. … The Iranian Revolution begins, leading to the Iran hostage crisis. … Pope John Paul II arrives in Poland, eventually sparking the Solidarity movement that leads to the collapse of the Soviet Union. … Margaret Thatcher becomes the Prime Minister of Great Britain. … China implements a one-child policy.

[ top ]


1. As I was putting this issue online, I learned that a number of short-sighted vendors are having an event in the ballroom of a Las Vegas hotel Monday, July 22 to show retailers their new products. They are not exhibiting at the CHA Create N Connect show. Why do I say short-sighted? Because if everyone did it, our trade shows would die. And if the CHA, TNNA, and NAMTA shows die, so would the associations. And then where would we be?

CHA has scheduled some excellent seminars and workshops for that Monday, but apparently these vendors don't care about educating retailers.

2. Last week a representative of the National Retail Federation testified before a Congressional committee, urging lawmakers to push back deadlines for implementing the Affordable Care Act to give retailers and other companies more time to clear up confusion about the law. Considering how dysfunctional Congress is these days, odds are the deadline won't be pushed back.

That's all the more reason to attend a seminar, "How Does The Affordable Care Act Affect Your Business," at the CHA Create N Connect trade show in Las Vegas. The seminar is 8:30 – 9:45 am on Monday, July 22.

[ top ]


IMPORTS. The Obama administration will suspend trade privileges for Bangladesh over concerns about safety problems and labor rights violations in that country’s garment industry. The action comes after a factory building there collapsed in April, killing 1,129 workers, and a factory fire killed 112 workers in November. The action occurs just as Wal-Mart, the Gap, and other retailers are close to announcing a $50 million fund to improve safety conditions in Bangladesh factories, the Wall Street Journal reported.

STOCK. Burlington Coat Factory parent Burlington Holdings filed plans for an initial public offering that could raise up to $175 million to help the company pay down debt. Bain Capital, the partial owner of Michaels, bought the 503-store discount apparel retailer in 2006 for $2+ billion.

AWARD. UK's Hobbycraft won The Crown Estate's seventh annual urban business award for its contribution to the communities in which they operate, and efforts to reduce their impact on the environment.
EDUCATION. Yesterday Jo-Ann stores had a free make-it/take-it for kids who made patriotic parade wands.

STATISTICS. According to the National Retail Federation, 77% of retailers operate with fewer than 10 employees, and among all companies with fewer than 10 employees, one out of every seven is a retailer.

NEW STORES. Hobby Lobby will open in Queensbury, NY. … Michaels is relocating a store to from West Cobb to East Cobb, GA. … In the UK Hobbycraft is opening in Plymouth, and a new store, Craftrange, is opening in Hapton.

POLITICS. Want to see who voted for the Marketplace Fairness Act that would require e-commerce sites with $1+ million in sales to charge sales tax? The list is HERE.

IMPORTS. Deloitte Consulting's Private Label Sourcing Study analyzed responses from 260+ execs from apparel, general merchandise, and grocery retailers to uncover shifts in market trends and private label sourcing practices. "Rising and increasingly volatile costs dominate retailers' top challenges sourcing private label goods, while changes in consumer behavior fueled by mobility and online shopping are driving the strategic importance of private label sourcing." Read the report HERE.

[ top ]


FOR SALE. Canadian manufacturing company looking to liquidate remaining inventory (roughly 3 pallets)  of scrapbooking papers, pre-designed pages, kits, stickers, chipboard and journaling pads. Bulk purchase inquiries only, please. Contact Suzanne at suzannecarillo@rogers.com.

WHO KNEW? The Huffington Post, best known for its political reporting, has an extensive craft section on its website. Visit www.huffingtonpost.com/news/crafts.

PARTNER. Spellbinders™ Paper Arts has recently partnered with RAF Industries, a private investment firm in Jenkintown, PA. Stacy Caron will continue to drive the innovation and Jeff Caron will continue as a consultant. Dan Simonson has been promoted to COO.

NEW EXHIBITOR. Bottle Cutting Inc. will exhibit at the CHA Create N Connect show in Las Vegas, offering a unique glass bottle cutter. See it at www.bottlecutter.com and watch a video HERE. The booth is #1308.

NEW BOOK. Crafting Calm: Projects and Practices for Creativity and Contemplation, by  Maggie Oman Shannon. The publisher says it is "a DIY guide to peace of mind, offering an abundance of ways to achieve serenity and satisfaction by living the handmade life." Learn more HERE.

TECHNOLOGY. 3D printers are going to be sold on Amazon. Read about it HERE.

INTERESTING READING. "7 Tips for Profitable Trade Shows" (for retailers). Read it HERE.

[ top ]


To read the latest listings click on Jobs in the left-hand column or click HERE.

[ top ]


"When the white missionaries came to Africa, they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land." -- Desmond Tutu

"America is the only country where a significant proportion of the population believes that professional wrestling is real but the moon landing was faked." -- David Letterman

"Men are like linoleum floors. Lay 'em right and you can walk all over them for 30 years." -- Betsy Salkind

"The only reason they say, 'Women and children first' is to test the strength of the lifeboats." -- Jean Kerr

"I've been married to a communist and a fascist, and neither would take out the garbage." -- Zsa Zsa Gabor

"Lawyers believe a man is innocent until proven broke." -- Robin Hall

"If life were fair, Elvis would still be alive today and all the impersonators would be dead." -- Johnny Carson

"As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind -- every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder." -- John Glenn

"If God had intended us to fly he would have made it easier to get to the airport." -- Jonathan Winters

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." -- Ronald Reagan

[ top ]


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, July 15. Have a wonderful, safe 4th of July!

[ top ]

horizontal rule

horizontal rule