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HIA 2004

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 booth.

Other Trends.

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 and Berwick/Offray.

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 eleapple@hotmail.com.

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 right-hand column.



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