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.

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.

Jonah Larson is Hooked on Crochet and Doing Good

CBS News has referred to him as “an 11-year-old with a grandmother’s soul” and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has referred to him as “a prodigy.” He’s appeared on “Good Morning, America” and had so many media requests that he actually had to decline appearing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” But somehow, when we sent Jonah Larson a message to his Instagram account (@JonahHands) last week, he found time and was willing to answer questions about his crocheting and his business experiences for Craft Industry Alliance.

Timeless Treasures Acquires Marcus Fabrics

Timeless Treasures, the manufacturer of quilting cotton, has acquired Marcus Fabrics. Both companies are located in New York City. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

F+W Media Files for Bankruptcy

F+W Media, the major craft publisher, has filed for bankruptcy. In the filing, CEO Gregory Osberg cites the decade long decline in the market for print magazines as a contributing factor. Since 2015, for example, the company’s subscribers have decreased from approximately 33.4 million to 21.5 million and the company’s advertising revenue has decreased from $20.7 million to $13.7 million. But that’s not the whole story.

JOANN Invests in Glowforge, Bringing Laser Cutting to the Mainstream Crafter

Glowforge, the home laser cutter, is about to become available to many more crafters, including those who can’t afford the hefty price tag (the retail price is $4,000, twice what it was during the crowdfunding campaign) and don’t have a dedicated space to house it. At the end of December the nation’s largest fabric and craft retailer, JOANN, announced a significant investment in Glowforge. Here’s how some crafters are reacting to the news.

Makerist Makes Selling Digital Patterns Simple

Berlin-based Makerist would love to work with more American crafters. Makerist—voted one of Germany’s top 20 Internet start-ups last year—is a market leader in Europe for digital patterns and e-learning related to sewing, knitting and crochet. They recently entered the North American market, and founders Axel Heinz and Amber Riedl and their team are particularly interested in working with U.S.-based digital pattern makers and with those who love to instruct via video.

Bluprint Sends Out Instructor Survey Intended to Improve Communication

Bluprint CEO John Levisay sent out a survey to instructors yesterday with questions intended to learn more about their impressions of the company and goals for working together in the future. The survey was accompanied by a letter from Levisay that acknowledged the company’s shortcomings in instructor communication over the past year, as well as the drop in revenue many instructors have experienced since the move to a subscription model and the NBCUniversal buyout.

RJR Enforces MAP Pricing for Cotton+Steel; Retailers React

Fabric company RJR sent an email to retailers notifying them of a minimum advertised pricing (MAP) policy that will go into effect for Cotton+Steel on December 1, 2018. The policy limits the ability of retailers to advertise prices below a certain level.

UK Sewing Magazines Show Lack of Diversity in Cover Models

In 2016 Rumana Lasker looked at 52 sewing magazines published in the UK that year and realized that every single one featured a white woman on the cover.

“One of the things that struck me the most…is the feeling of being undervalued- as a consumer, as a person,” says Lasker a British sewer who was a quarter-finalist on the Great British Sewing Bee. “Because it is no exaggeration to say that by failing to represent us, they are telling people of color that we don’t matter.”

Blockchain’s Potential for Creative Industries

At some point in the past 10 years, you’ve surely heard about Bitcoin or blockchain. These new technologies are being hyped as potential cures for all sorts of problems, but it’s difficult to know whether to believe the hype without knowing what the heck these things even are.

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