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Reports on shows, trends, and more

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Views of TNNA/Columbus

And a final report on the SDP convention.

collected by Mike Hartnett (June 20, 2005)

A manufacturer's view of TNNA.

Columbus was a good show for Clover and I believe most of the vendors. Clover introduced 20 new product ideas which were well received by customers. A large number of new customers attended, from quilt shops to new needlework stores, knit shops, etc.

I spoke to a number of distributors attending the market and all were writing nice orders. There were a number of new vendors in attendance, too, most of them in yarn and embellishments for knitting, crochet and needlework in general.

The show will go to Indianapolis next year and then back to Columbus. It's nice to see this market continuing to grow nicely. – Jan Carr, Clover Needlecraft.

A hand-painted canvas view.

And after I did my math this morning, my feet have not touched the ground. I purposely did not add it up at the show because I wanted to keep my mind open.

Shops did have OTB )open to buy)but were cautious. Who could blame them? I heard most had a horrible April and that reflects in how late the receivables are. We all need to work together and not punish anyone by putting them on COD or prepaid because of a temporary cash flow situation.

I booked trunk shows, a cruise, and 15 teaching days, which also accounts for business written. And I came home to a bunch of phone calls from shops who could not attend who ordered from my website, to which I had my webmaster upload the new items on Monday.

Traffic? Well, it did seem like there were less on the floor but you have to consider the fact the knitting booths tie up customers for a long time and they sit at tables not moving around. I think a lot of shop owners were inside knitting booths. And they are the needlepoint shop owners who added knitting and took needlepoint money to fund it.

Who could blame them? You have to "Shoot the birds when they are flying."

I have been around through the last cycle and it will come back to needle and thread. I heard rumblings that the needlepoint business is picking up in some areas. – Name Withheld

A vendor's view.

Sales were likely down for three reasons at Columbus: 1) Many of us have less money to spend than in recent years so we're more selective about what we buy. 2) Many shops and vendors could not come because of family commitments. 3) Many shops and vendors did not come because they see a cash 'n carry show as the solution to a slimmed-down market (and by that I mean the problem of less dollars to spend).

I found the show very upbeat and traffic patterns seemed dramatically different than in recent shows

1. Buyers WERE watching expenditures, but they WERE buying

2. We actually wrote the majority of orders on the first day (quite a surprise).

3. The second day was quiet at the beginning and at the end, but fairly lively in the middle (again a different pattern).

4. The third day was sequentially busy for most of the day – quieter than the other days, especially the first, but still a fair number of sales.

I was concerned about the absence of some counted thread exhibitors and shop owners. I especially don't understand the shop owners complaining about the show size, since the Charlotte show was comparable, if not larger, six or seven years ago.

I do think that support for the Charlotte market is a mistake. This is a time when we need the different segments of the industry working together, and it takes commitment and maybe some sacrifice for all involved. To expect shop owners AND exhibitors to spend the $$, time, and effort to do multiple shows is to ignore the current economic realities.

I sold a little cross stitch (more than last year) which was nice, but I can't see allotting my resources (especially time) to try and attend the cash and carry later this summer.

I taught my "How to promote your business and yourself on the web, with or without a website" I had about 35 attendees and from their responses, I felt that it went VERY well. – Tink Boord Dill

Miscellaneous TNNA thoughts.

1. "One thing that I heard and liked was that instead of calling our industry needlework calling it needlearts. This is more inclusive sounding. To the public is sounds more like fun, experimental, modern, relevant, something to be respected. This does not mean that everything will be heirlooms, but will be enjoyed in the creating and afterwards."

2. "I like having the combined show because I think that in the long run it will strengthen the industry by giving a unified voice instead of a lot of small fragmented voices. There is power in many as to one alone."

More SDP Highlights.

Final attendance at the recent Society of Decorative Painters Conference was about 3,500. New Products of the Year awards went to Kidz Can Paint! by Erika Frei and Elaina Appleby, published by Prudy’s Studio Inc. and to Turn of the Century Wood Products for its Potpourri Pot.

Of the 67 members who achieved various levels of certification (e.g., Master Decorative Artist), 79% were from the Far East, primarily Japan ... Various scholarships, to be used to further the recipients' painting education, were awarded. Winners were the Buffalo (NY) Snowbirds Decorative Painters, Brush ‘n Brag (San Angelo, TX), and four individuals ... Nine members completed the Teacher Development Program and earned the title, Teacher of Decorative Art

Service Awards were granted in various categories. Outstanding Chapter Service Award: Patricia Marler ... Dedicated Service Award: Linda Wise ... Priscilla Hauser Award for Business & Industry: Stan Clifford, DecoArt ... Silver Palette Award: Mary Wiseman ... President’s Commendation Award: Prudy Vannier

Next year's conference will be June 5-10 in Nashville. For info, call Yvonne Banman at 316-269-9300, ext. 109 or email yvonne@decorativepainters.org.

(To read more about the SDP conference, click on "Shows: Stationery, Painting, and Japan" in the right-hand column. To comment, email CLN at mike@clnonline.com.)



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