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Reports on shows, trends, and more

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AHSA Trade Show Report

Competing shows hurt the industry.

by Ellie Joos (April 4, 2005)

The National Sewing Show in Las Vegas was a big disappointment for the Home Sewing Association and the exhibiting vendors. Unfortunately the attendance was very low which is a real pity because there were many beautiful fabrics and trims on display, a Simplicity sponsored fashion show, and inspiring speakers. (The complimentary lunches were quite good, too.)

When I questioned vendors as to why they were exhibiting at the association show, the answers were "to support the association" and because of "the business we do with the chains." One exhibitor said he was there to support the association but thought he would see most of his buyers at Quilt Market at the end of April.

Apparently the Home Sewing Association and the competing show, International Textiles Expo, which took place this past weekend in Las Vegas as well, could not come to an agreement about the shows, thus dividing vendors and buyers into two camps – although there were several exhibitors at the association show that were staying for the next show. Several vendors expressed the opinion that the association should concentrate on the education programs and that the shows should be handled by the other organization. The association believes that the shows are critical to the health of the industry.

The association has a number of very good programs in the works to stimulate sewing:

1. A new quarterly newsletter that will keep its members informed of the programs.

2. SEW TRENDY, in partnership with Family Career and Community Leaders of America, is in its pilot phase in 65 middle schools and high schools in four states with plans to expand it this fall.

3. Another program with the Girl Scouts of America was made possible by the donation of more than 1500 sewing machines to the organization.

4. The latest – and very ambitious – program, Trained Sewing Educator, is aimed at training the sewing enthusiast to become a sewing educator and business person through in-depth seminars which will take place in a number of cities this spring and summer. National Sewing Month will again be promoted in September.

As for the products at the show, there were beautiful home dec fabrics from Bonavista; lovely novelty special occasion fabrics from Kreiner; trendy "girly" prints from Wilmington Prints and Shamash; and wonderful Old Sturbridge Village prints and coordinating wool solids and hand dyed wools from Marcus Brothers.

Also: Clover’s new flower brooch kit in great colors, beautiful silks and prints from Kings Road, gorgeous trims from Expo International, handbag patterns from Prym Dritz, and fantastic feathers from Zucker, to name a few of the exciting and inspiring products available that will surely help motivate the sewer.

It is too bad that the energy and resources that went into dividing the industry could not have been put to better use in coming together to do what is desperately needed in the industry, the promotion of sewing, whether it is to create new sewers or to entice consumers back to sewing.

Note: Ellie is president of Ellie Joos & Associates, a marketing, pr, and product development firm. To read Ellie's reports on other industry-related shows, click on the titles in the right-hand column. To contact Ellie call 908-459-9269 or email eleapple@hotmail.com.

xxx

 

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