Reports on shows, trends, and more
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 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
3. Another program with the Girl Scouts of America was made
possible by the donation of more than 1500 sewing machines to the
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.