At a 2011 meeting, TNNA’s Counted Thread & Embroidery (CTE)
Group brainstormed on some ideas to get more participation in TNNA shows from
their industry segment. They wanted to create more involvement and bring new
energy and excitement to the group. Dena Lenham from Kreinik offered to
coordinate their efforts for a New Designer Program.
Here’s how it worked: The New Designer Program solicited
portfolios from designers who had never exhibited at a TNNA trade show before;
it didn’t matter how long they had been in business, just that they had never
exhibited at a physical trade show. The portfolio had to include a resume, an
example of their packaging, pictures of their stitched designs, and so on.
The program panel carefully reviewed the entries and
selected four to participate in the New Designers Showcase. The panel was
comprised of a wholesaler, a distributor, a retailer, a designer and a
publisher — all professionals who could evaluate the portfolios for their
appeal to a broad audience, their professionalism, and their readiness for
The winners were offered shared booth space and booth
furnishings at the Winter Show in Phoenix, plus a stipend to help with their
expenses to come to the show.
Those selected included:
- Deborah Booth, My Big Toe Designs
- Erik Shipley, Ship’s Manor
- Kurdy Biggs, Threedles
- Meagan Jennett, NeedleWorkPress
All four made a good showing at the Winter Market, and have
made further plans to show at future markets, fulfilling the goals of the CTE
Group in sponsoring them for the contest.
The CTE Group plans to repeat the New Designer Program for
the Columbus Summer Show 2013. If you’re a CTE member and are interested in
submitting for this program, please email CTE.TNNA@gmail.com.
CTE also wanted to re-energize its efforts on showing the
industry what today’s counted thread and embroidery really looked like — and as
a result, the CTE Exhibit at the June 2012 TNNA Summer Market was a huge
Here’s how The TNNA Counted Thread & Embroidery Group
promoted its product segment to attendees and exhibitors: To encourage
participation from our group members, we decided to make the exhibit a
"people’s choice” contest, and offer prizes. Wholesale and retail members were
encouraged to submit pieces for the exhibit, regardless of whether they were
attending the 2012 Summer Market. Patty Hurwitz of Moonflower
Designs/Stitcher’s Village agreed to coordinate the exhibit effort.
The contest prizes were a booth at the Long Beach Winter
Show 2013 for the favorite piece submitted by a wholesale member, and four
nights’ lodging at the show hotel submitted by a retail member. The pieces
submitted were displayed with a number only, no identifying names, to keep it a
Each attendee at the Summer Show was given a ballot to mark
their favorite piece, then drop their ballot in the ballot box. Ten pieces were
submitted, and included a wide range of counted thread and surface embroidery
styles — silk gauze, over-one cross stitch, a sampler, counted canvas, surface
embroidery, embellished bead work, white work, black work, and original design.
The winners were Debbie Rowley, DebBee’s Designs, with an
adaptation of a class piece by Catherine Jordan, "Autumn Forest,” that featured
withdrawn thread, stump work and surface embroidery in the wholesale category;
and Judie Solomon, Thistle Needleworks, with "He Looked Like A Peddler,” an
over-one cross-stitch design by Heaven and Earth Designs, in the retail
All 10 submissions can be seen on TNNA’s Facebook album
The CTE exhibit drew comments from the attendees such as
"exquisite,” "that’s counted thread?”, "beautiful” and "I’ve never seen
anything like this.”
At the CTE Group meeting, it was decided to repeat the exhibit
at the next two convention center shows, Long Beach 2013 and Columbus 2013.
For a small exhibit at the first show, we had such a range
of techniques and wonderful feedback from the attendees, and we hope to have
more pieces from our members. Again, if you’re a CTE member and are interested
in participating, please email us at CTE.TNNA@gmail.com.