Reports on shows, trends, and more
So many products, so little time.
by Ellie Joos, Ellie Joos & Associates (March, 2004)
As they say, "They do everything bigger in Texas," and
the recent HIA show was no exception with more new products, more
great ideas, and more scrapbooking. As my friend Marinda Stewart
said, "If they told me how long the convention center was from
one end to the other, I would have packed a lunch!"
This was one big show! I started on Thursday in the scrapbook
section, but could not get down the aisles, so I decided to return
to this section on Sunday when it would be slower. Wrong! It was
still busy, so I persevered because it was the last day to see all
that I could see. Hereís what caught my eye:
Of course I expected to see many new products to excite the ever
growing segment of consumers either new to this craft or those
seasoned consumers looking to expand their horizons.
Fabric Paper: The use of embellishment and other textures
in this craft has now expanded to include fabric. The use of fabric
in crafts is certainly not new, or even its use to cover photo
albums and journals. Now "fabric paper" or a stiffened
fabric is used for the actual pages. Several companies have this: K
& Company, whose product I first saw at the Memory Trends show,
has lovely home-dec-inspired "paper," and Me & My Big
Ideas have textured linen and cottons in solid colors.
Michael Miller, a favorite resource at Quilt Market, had a
booth in the New Exhibitor Section and there was not a quilt in
sight. Instead, the booth was devoted to 22 wonderful groups of
printed "fabricpaper," packaged in scrapbook-size sheets
with coordinating half-yard fabric cuts. More fabric in the form of
stickers and stuffer-stickers, and darling animals, fish, etc., from
Mrs. Grossman. Gotta Mesh had a great line of mesh fabrics to use as
backgrounds, and Junkitz had eight collections of fabrics to
coordinate with its embellishments.
New Scrapbook Lines. Berwick/Offray launched My Moments,
nine popular themes of adhesive-backed embellishments. American
Traditional Designs, celebrating its 25th anniversary, launched a
very impressive program of paper, stickers, and charms, all in
coordinating stories. Leather Factory had a line of embossed leather
and braided leather for borders and lacing. Flair Design, a new
exhibitor, had a great line of paper and stickers; what set them
apart is their "Flip it with Flair" flip-over the pages
and sticker sheets for suggested layout designs Ė great for the
beginner. 123 Scrapbooking offered DVDís that teach techniques and
offer creative ideas. Art from the Heart displayed scrapbook kits in
lovely designs and themes. Epson had a scrapbooking classroom on the
show floor with ongoing lectures and demos. Emagination introduced Laser
Lights Ė beautiful lacey-looking, laser cut papers.
Scraperfect had a great idea in the Perfect Printing Pouch,
for perfect lettering on vellum. Gutermann introduced Fun Memory
Makers, an assortment of metallic threads, seed beads, and
shaped sequins to further embellish pages and papercrafts.
This category has really come on strong, with beads being used in
everything from jewelry to scrapbooking and purse making. Cousins
had a beautiful program including larger beads, dichroic glass
beads, and a new crystal line in great packages inspired by their
higher priced Swarovski beads; also, sterling silver
findings. Jill Atkins Designs, a new exhibitor, had gorgeous
bracelet kits, and Iím hoping she follows up with her equally
beautiful purse designs. For the look of beaded appliques, Duncan
has Tulip Shake-on Beads among the many great ideas in its
Red Hat Society: A trend for products I reported on at the
New York Gift Show. Leave it to Design Originals' Suzanne McNeill to
be right on target with her new books for this phenomenon.
Tweens: Fashion Angels, dress-up fashion dolls, and the new
licensed line of "So Girly" products seen in Prym/Dritz
Japanese Papers: a new direction in paper for crafting.
Knitting/Crochet: beautiful yarns and kits.
Paint for Paper: Plaid introduced it's lovely line called Papier,
Deltaís Paint for Paper and other products to create other
finished looks on paper.
Other Great Products.
Do-it-yourself ottoman kits from Kirkwood ... Art in a Bag had
whimsical fabric animal kits ... Clover introduced Asian Knot
Templates and kits ... FA Edmunds has a new quilting frame for
hand or machine quilting ... Dimensional Tiles from June
Tailor ... FabriCraft and Texture Magic from Delta ...
Kuninís Lane House Collection of fabric (notice I didnít
say felt, to separate it from the company's craft felt line) in home
dec colors and textures ... Design Masters' beautiful spray metallic
paints, plus its Faux Solutions to create faux painted looks
in no time.
The winner of my "I wish I had thought of that" award
goes to Gizmo Enterprises for its fabulous Color Cutter, a
line of colored markers with blades in the tips that cut and add
color at the same time!
Editor's note: Ellie Joos has extensive experience Ė and
success Ė in product development, marketing, and design in our
industry. To contact Ellie call 908-459-9269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read other reports from the HIA show, read Lynda Musante and
Tracia Williams' column in Designing Perspectives, Shea Szachara's
column in Category Reports, and Debba Haupert's article in
Business-Wise. Just click on the titles in the left-hand column.
Also, the Feb. 16 issue of CLN is filled with news from the
show. That's still available in the CLN Archives in the