Don’t Make These 5 Etsy Shop Mistakes

Jessica Van Den has been selling jewelry on Etsy since 2008. Today she brings us the top 5 mistakes she sees new Etsy shop owners make (and how to fix them).

Show Report: Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 2018

If you’re a fiber artist from the Mid-Atlantic region, you’ve probably at least heard of the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Held annually by the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, Maryland, it’s considered one of the two premier agriculture-based fiber festivals– the other is New York’s Sheep and Wool Festival held the third weekend in October in Rhinebeck, New York.

Cotton+Steel Designers to Move on From the Company

In a press release sent to quilt shops today RJR Fabrics announced that the original Cotton+Steel designers will be leaving the company. The collections released at Spring Quilt Market will be their last.

Show Report: Craftcation 2018

Last month I had the pleasure of attending my very first Craftcation. I was there to teach a sewing class, lead a panel discussion about teaching craft, and spread the word about Craft Industry Alliance. I had no idea I’d get much much more out of it. I had fun, met great people, lined up some contributors to CIA, and learned new craft skills!

Craftcation is a truly unique event, held every spring in Ventura, California. The weather is amazing, the hotel is very near to the beach, and the town is lovely. Best of all, the conference is incredibly well-planned so there’s always something going on that’s fun, informative, and inspiring.

DMC Stitch Contest Provokes Artists to Submit Subversive Designs

DMC, the embroidery floss, company, is running a contest that has cross stitch designers feeling stabby.

On April 16 we reported on DMC’s contest soliciting artists for designs to be published as free patterns on the DMC website. The winners would receive no financial compensation. Although in the past DMC has paid artists for designs, those collaborations were suddenly ended late last year and, according to the social media manager at DMC whom we spoke with for the April 16 article, the company’s current plan is to run unpaid contests to generate new patterns.

On the DMC website the artist doesn’t get a web link on his or her pattern’s page nor do they have a full profile, making it difficult to understand how even the promise of exposure as a prize could be meaningful.

The free patterns are used by DMC to sell embroidery floss. They are sent out weekly to DMC’s email list of 100,000 subscribers and each pattern is linked to a kit of DMC floss for consumers to purchase.

To enter the contest artists use the #dmcxstitchcontest hashtag on Instagram. At the beginning of the week, we began seeing subversive entries appear on the hashtag, and they’ve continued to flow in all week. Here are some of the highlights to date. DMC has yet to respond.

F+W Sells Keepsake Quilting to Steelcity

F+W has sold Keepsake Quilting, the quilt shop and catalog business, to Steelcity LLC, the parent company of Swatchcraft and Pineapple Fabrics. The sale was announced this week. The Keepsake Quilting shop is located in Center Harbor, New Hampshire and the catalog business has its headquarters eight miles away in Moltonborough.

Show Report: Snap Conference 2018

Snap Conference is an annual event held in Salt Lake City, Utah, targeting creative bloggers/content creators: “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.” Attendees were presented with opportunities to learn skills, connect with potential business sponsors, and network with peers. CIA member Stephanie Woodson was there and brings us this report.

DMC Contest Asks Artists to Work For Free

DMC, the embroidery floss company, is running a contest asking artists to submit designs to be part of their 1,000 Patterns Project, a library of free patterns on the DMC website. Each pattern is kitted with DMC floss. The winning artists receive no monetary compensation and give up the right to republish their pattern elsewhere.

What You Need to Know about GDPR, the EU’s New Data Privacy Regulation

On May 25, 2018, the European Union will begin enforcing a new law, called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governing how companies collect and store user data. All businesses with customers in the EU will be affected. Maeri Howard explains what craft business owners need to understand about the new regulations.

Northcott to Add Modern Fabric Division, FIGO

Northcott Fabrics is launching a modern fabric division later this month. Called FIGO (meaning “cool” in Italian), the new division will allow the Toronto-based company to compete in the modern quilting market. 

A look Inside the WEBS Acquisition of Tahki Stacy Charles

Stacy Charles has a close relationship with Kathy and Steve Elkins, the owners of the Massachusetts yarn store WEBS, so when it came time to look at a new business model for his yarn company, Tahki Stacy Charles, he knew exactly who to approach. Lisa Chamoff talks with the leadership at both companies to get the inside story on this acquisition.

Put Your Phone Down and Get More Done

Social media fatigue is hitting hard in 2018 as makers spend more time trying to “beat the algorithm” to connect with our community. Between our desire to reach our customers online, and the dopamine hit our brains receive each time we check social media, many of us are grappling with bad habits around screen time. Erin Dollar gives us some tips for carving out time to let our minds wander.

Simplicity and McCall’s Likely to Launch New Digital Pattern System Shortly

Simplicity and McCalls sewing patterns, along with the other major sewing pattern brands, will likely launch a new system for digital pattern downloads in the coming months. CSS Industries, which acquired McCalls in 2016 and Simplicity in 2017, now owns all of the major sewing pattern brands.

Spring Reading List for Creatives

Throughout 2018 we’ll be bringing you curated lists of books for craft business owners. Erin Dollar, founder of Cotton & Flax, a home decor products company based in California, is an avid reader with a library of books to share. She’ll be choosing a selection each season and describing what each book has to offer. Erin is here today sharing her spring book picks!

WEBS Acquires Tahki Stacy Charles and String

The owners of WEBS, a Massachusetts and online yarn store, are purchasing yarn company Tahki Stacy Charles and String, a retail shop in New York City, joining forces to take on what they say are changes in the knitting industry.

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