The Next Chapter

We have some important news to share with you today about Craft Industry Alliance’s next chapter. It’s exciting and we want you, our members and subscribers, to be the first to know.

How to Use a Content Calendar to Plan and Schedule Your Posts

Do the words “content calendar” induce an anxiety attack or make you roll your eyes? Although it may seem like an extra step, using a content calendar to organize and plan your posts and can help you think ahead and share content that’s relevant to your audience all year long. Most of all, using a content calendar allows you to reflect on your efforts and measure the effectiveness of your work so that you can improve over time. Here are some considerations to think through when choosing a content calendar for your creative business.

Yarn Industry News Update

The yarn industry appears to be in the midst of industry-wide consolidation, with this quarter seeing even more acquisitions/mergers. Diversity in the industry and concerns over the inclusion of knitters/crocheters of all races, religions, genders, ages, sizes and socio-economic statuses has been the largest topic of discussion this quarter. Although the topic has simmered for years (decades?), the popular discussion began on Instagram in February and began on Instagram before moving to other social media networks and live events. Here’s a roundup of the latest news.

Interweave Faces an Uncertain Future, Its Impact Reverberates

Interweave is facing a very uncertain future. Its parent company, F+W, filed for bankruptcy in March and the search is on to find a buyer for the books division and the magazines by June. Now is a good time to take a moment to reflect on all that this company has given to the craft community over the past 44 years.

OLFA Announces Charitable Initiative in Diverse Communities

OLFA has launched a new charitable initiative intended to help support creative endeavors in diverse communities throughout the US. Called OLFA Builds Diversity, the program will gift OLFA cutting solutions to individuals, organizations, classrooms, and training programs that demonstrate a focus on creative and professional skill development for people from diverse backgrounds.

Show Report: SNAP! 2019

SNAP Conference is an annual event held in Salt Lake City, Utah, targeting creative bloggers/content creators. This year in 2019, it ran Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 11-13. In their own words from the conference’s website: “We’re joined by the best bloggers representing modern handmade, contemporary craft, mind-blowing home-based events, and DIY, along with dozens of creative entrepreneurs.” Stephanie Woodson was there and brings us this report.

Tips for Dealing with Difficult Customers

Customers are like snowflakes; no two are alike.  Some are wonderful people that reinforce your belief in humanity while others make you question why you ever got out of bed. Thankfully, most customers fall somewhere in the middle and are pleasant, happy people. It’s important to recognize the potential high maintenance customers before you accept their orders and to be aware of potential business challenges you may face.  So how do you spot different personalities? 

10 Gorgeous Handmade Jewelry Accounts on Instagram

Get ready to be inspired! These talented handmade artists craft unique and amazing jewelry. There’s a lot of talent in the handmade jewelry space, here are 10 who’s designs and Instagram feeds inspire us every day!

How to Pack For Creative Travel

In an effort to learn how to pack better — and lighter — for her next trip, Stephanie Escheveste asked some artists who do work on-the-go about what they pack. She found that each artist has their own unique set of art supplies, based on their own practice. Instead of packing their whole studio, they each select only the essential items and have found that the limitations actually help them be more creative.

The Ins and Outs of Selling on Consignment

Partnerships between retail shops and indie makers can be fruitful and mutually supportive. Consignment can help craftspeople reach new customers, and offers a proving ground for makers interested in expanding into wholesale. Curious about what consignment means, and whether it’s a good fit for your business?

New Supreme Court Decision Makes it Harder to Go After Copyright Infringers

Fans of Ruth Bader Ginsburg rejoiced at her return to the Supreme Court a few weeks ago. Copyright holders were, perhaps, less excited when they read Ginsburg’s decision in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.Com.[1] Although the decision merely clarifies a procedural point relating to infringement litigation, makers who vigorously protect their IP rights are concerned about the delay the Court’s decision will add to the already time-consuming process of copyright litigation.

Show Report: Craftcation 2019

Craftcation, the five-day business and makers’ conference held in Ventura, California, has once again served up a delightful mix of hands-on craft workshops, business classes, and problem-solving “think tanks” geared to makers and creative entrepreneurs. The event, which ran from April 3-7 and is now in its 8th year, attracted about 500 people, including presenters, sponsors, staff, and volunteers, many looking to start, build or refine their businesses while having fun and learning new skills. Roberta Wax was there and brings us this report.

News Roundup from the Scrapbooking Industry

From patent lawsuits to mergers to store closures, there’s a lot going on in the scrapbooking industry. Nancy Nally of Scrapbook Update brings us the latest news in this report.

Show Report: Sewing and Stitchery Expo 2019

Set within view of Washington State’s majestic Mt. Rainier, the 35th annual Sewing and Stitchery Expo took place February 28th – March 3rd. According to organizers, a record number of attendees shopped over 400 vendors and took over 100 classes per day from industry experts at this year’s show. Unique in the world of sewing shows, the Sewing and Stitchery Expo is owned and managed by non-profit Washington State University and is the largest consumer sewing show in the USA. Attendees and business owners come from all over the US, Canada, and several other countries. Annette Millard was there and brings us this report.

Cosplay Attracts a New Demographic to Sewing

Motivated by the desire to make their own costumes, cosplayers are buying sewing machines, patterns, fabrics and supplies and they’re taking classes to develop their sewing skills. The sewing industry is taking note, especially since cosplayers are typically between 18-39 years old, a market that retailers are desperate to reach.

Don’t Let Social Anxiety Disorder Hurt Your Business

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 15 million American adults suffer from this disorder, which can seriously and negatively affect one’s life, from social to business.

How to Integrate Shopify with MailChimp After the Breakup

Last week MailChimp threw the ecommerce world into a panic by announcing that they would no longer integrate with Shopify. The two companies were apparently unable to resolve a disagreement overcome to an agreement over a data privacy issue. Here’s how we recommend you proceed.

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