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TNNA 2017 Winter Trade Show Class Previews: Tara Swiger

Posted By TNNA HQ, Wednesday, January 11, 2017

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TNNA 2017 Winter Trade Show Class Previews 

Spotlight on Tara Swiger

Tara Swiger

Whether you’re interested in learning technical or business skills, the TNNA NeedleArts 2017 Winter Trade Show, taking place January 21-23, 2017, in San Jose, CA, has something for everyone! Register today and choose from more than 30 classes taught by popular industry professionals. But hurry, once a class is sold out, it will no longer be available for selection. The online registration deadline for classes ends Friday, January 13, 2017.

Today's spotlight is on classes being taught by Tara Swiger, author, podcaster and maker! Read on below for a teaser of Tara's classes and her thoughts on the importance of education for needlearts professionals.

Tara is teaching the following class at the 2017 Winter Trade Show:

  • Fill Your Classes

  • Building Better Business: Branding Your Business

  • Email Marketing for Yarn Shops

 

 





We asked Tara to share her insights on needlearts and business education, as well as its value to members of our industry.

TNNA HQ: Have you taught classes at previous TNNA trade shows? Why do you keep coming back? 

Tara Swiger (TS)Yes, I've taught for several years at the Winter Show! As a knitter and yarn lover who travels to teach around the world, I want yarn shops everywhere to thrive. I want them to not just scrape by, but to grow, expand and become a integral part of their community. (So I can come visit!)

TNNA HQ: Why should attendees consider registering for classes at TNNA's Winter Trade Show?

TSRunning a business can feel overwhelming and confusing. But you don't have to figure it all out on your own. There are other shops who have figured out what works and teachers who have experiences across industries and tools.

By coming to a class, you're learning from the teacher who has (likely) talked to hundreds of other owners like you, and you're also learning from the other students in the class - many who have found clever solutions to your same problems. Come to a class to skip the learning curve and get inspired to find new solutions. 

TNNA HQ: Are these classes only for new or first-time business owners? Why should seasoned professional register, too?

TS: There are a lot of topics (especially related to marketing) where you can do MORE if you've been in business longer. As a veteran, you know your customers, your community and your products better than someone who is just starting, and this is vital to creating marketing that works.

TNNA HQ: Do you consider TNNA's Winter Trade Show classes a good value? Why?

TS: Well, in my case, coming to a class at TNNA is one of the least-expensive ways to take a class with me. Other business conferences where I teach cost several hundred dollars (and you only get a one hour lecture from each teacher). But for a lot less you can come to a two-hour workshop, where we have time to really personalize it to what will work for YOUR shop. 

If you want to create a marketing plan for your shop or your classes, a workshop at TNNA is one of the most affordable ways to do it and get personal feedback not just from me, but from a handful of other smart shops! 

TNNA HQIn one sentence, please describe why attendees should register for your classes:

Fill Your Claseses (The Two-Way Conversation)

Your classes will fill faster when you offer what people want, so learn how to identify this, then create class descriptions that will compel your customers. 

Building Better Business: Branding Your Business (Building Better Business)

Become unmistakable and unforgettable in your customer's mind.

Email Marketing for Yarn Shops (The Two-Way Conversation)

Emails have the highest conversion rate of any online marketing and it's time you made it work for you! 

Tara Swiger is the author of Market Yourself, a workbook for makers who need a marketing plan. She began her entrepreneurial journey as a yarn-maker and transitioned into teaching and writing about marketing for handmade businesses. Her superpower is translating complex business principles into the language of artists and makers while creating doable Action Plans. She's taught traditional artists in rural North Carolina, yarn shop owners at TNNA shows, and to designers and makers around the world at conferences, conventions and workshops. Follow Tara on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and be sure to listen to her podcast "Explore Your Enthusiasm"!


New this year, TNNA classes are categorized by five objectives to help you select the class that best matches your education needs. See the objectives and listing below. Sign into Attendee Registration for the complete class presenter information, fees, and materials needed.

Business Data Made Simple


Expanding Your Expertise


The Two-Way Conversation

Leveraging New Tools & Technology

 
Building Better Business

Learn to effectively manage cash flow, plan your marketing, and invest in your future using data you already have. Develop new skills and techniques to grow your business and increase profits.                                         Learn how to effectively engage with customers and vendors through various communications channels.  Gain insight into the latest tools and technology, including social media, photography, software, and mobile devices.  

Learn how to brand your business in this day-long education session.

 

 

Discover all the exciting education opportunities at the 2017 Winter Trade Show!

View Classes and View Teachers.


Tags:  Classes  Education  Winter Show 

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TNNA 2017 Winter Trade Show Class Previews: Lucinda Iglesias

Posted By TNNA HQ, Thursday, December 22, 2016

WTS17 Banner

TNNA 2017 Winter Trade Show Class Previews 

Spotlight on Lucinda Iglesias

Lucinda Iglesias

Whether you’re interested in learning technical or business skills, the TNNA NeedleArts 2017 Winter Trade Show, taking place January 21-23, 2017, in San Jose, CA, has something for everyone! Register today and choose from more than 30 classes taught by popular industry professionals. But hurry, once a class is sold out, it will no longer be available for selection. The pre-registration deadline for classes is Monday, January 9, 2017.

Today's spotlight is on classes being taught by Lucinda Iglesias, owner of Mont Tricot! Read on below for a teaser of Lucinda's class and her thoughts on the importance of education for needlearts professionals.

Lucinda is teaching the following class at the 2017 Winter Trade Show:

  • Retail Marketing Strategies: Effectively Using Social Media to Create an Engaged Community and Boost Sales

 

 





We asked Lucinda to share her insights on needlearts and business education, as well as its value to members of our industry.

TNNA HQ: Why do you enjoy teaching social media classes for other small-business owners?

Lucinda Iglesias (LI)I’m really passionate the community I've built on Facebook for my business. It really has such a huge impact on my business – and that was the main impetus to share with others. Things I do or host on social media creates such a great return and I want to be able to share that passion or knowledge.

TNNA HQ: Why should attendees consider registering for classes at TNNA's Winter Trade Show?

LI: I think they should because a lot of people that own a business or retail store are running it in isolation and need a forum to innovate and reflect instead of alone in your own little world. Different perspectives are vital. Independent retailers need to bounce ideas around, and they can see what other people are doing and what’s successful. Things are constantly evolving.

TNNA HQHow can the five new objectives (e.g., “Business Data Made Simple,” “The Two-Way Conversation,” etc.) help attendees determine what’s most important to them?

LIThe color coding really helps. And it's very easy to navigate because I’m busy and short on time. The easier TNNA makes it to search, the more time it saves for attendees. The objectives are perfect for busy people to scan what applies most to them. I really liked that. 

TNNA HQ: Are these classes only for new or first-time business owners? Why should seasoned professional register, too?

LI: People are afraid of change, and owners of stores that have been around for a long time tend to close because nobody knows what they have. It's necessary to stay on top of what’s changing, and then get the word out.

You also need to know the new techniques or have someone else to teach up-and-coming skills. You need to always know the latest trends or your customers will seek other resources.

If you want to survive, keep up with what’s going on out there. It’s critical for success – and classes will help with that.

TNNA HQ: Do you consider TNNA's Winter Trade Show classes a good value? Why?

LI: I really find that they are valuable – where else could you get them tailored to the industry that we’re in? The classes are geared toward needlearts businesses. Local business classes may not be as applicable.

I meet and make friends with people in class; you don’t feel as alone and there's a real community spirit. Coming to the show isn't about just buying things on the show floor. The connections you make here are invaluable. It’s great to have webinars online, but learning in person, there’s no comparison. 

TNNA HQIn one sentence (OK, maybe a few more), please describe why attendees should register for your class:

Retail Marketing Strategies: Effectively Using Social Media to Create an Engaged Community and Boost Sales (The Two-Way Conversation)

Social media is a great resource, and people want to feel a part of a community. This class is about forming that community and making a direct connection to your sales. Say I make a post on social media detailing a sale in my shop. Engaged members of my online community see the post and come into my store to shop. Half my job is done just by getting them through the door. This class is about learning to use social media tools to benefit your sales.

 

Lucinda Iglesias opened a yarn store in 2012 in a small town in Quebec. Through the use of social media and strategic marketing strategies, she has been able to increase sales year over year. In addition to running her store, Mont Tricot, with her husband, Lucinda teaches social media for small businesses in her local community. Follow Lucinda and Mont Tricot on Facebook and Twitter!


New this year, TNNA classes are categorized by five objectives to help you select the class that best matches your education needs. See the objectives and listing below. Sign into Attendee Registration for the complete class presenter information, fees, and materials needed.

Business Data Made Simple


Expanding Your Expertise


The Two-Way Conversation

Leveraging New Tools & Technology

 
Building Better Business

Learn to effectively manage cash flow, plan your marketing, and invest in your future using data you already have. Develop new skills and techniques to grow your business and increase profits.                                         Learn how to effectively engage with customers and vendors through various communications channels.  Gain insight into the latest tools and technology, including social media, photography, software, and mobile devices.  

Learn how to brand your business in this day-long education session.

 

 

Discover all the exciting education opportunities at the 2017 Winter Trade Show!

View Classes and View Teachers.


Tags:  Classes  Education  Winter Show 

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TNNA 2017 Winter Trade Show Class Previews: Chris Bylsma

Posted By TNNA HQ, Monday, December 19, 2016

WTS17 Banner

TNNA 2017 Winter Trade Show Class Previews 

Spotlight on Chris Bylsma

Chris Bylsma

Whether you’re interested in learning technical or business skills, the TNNA NeedleArts 2017 Winter Trade Show, taking place January 21-23, 2017, in San Jose, CA, has something for everyone! Register today and choose from more than 30 classes taught by popular industry professionals. But hurry, once a class is sold out, it will no longer be available for selection. The pre-registration deadline for classes is Monday, January 9, 2017.

Today's spotlight is on classes being taught by knitting instructor Chris Bylsma! Read on below for a teaser of Chris's classes and her thoughts on the importance of education for needlearts professionals.

Chris is teaching the following classes at the 2017 Winter Trade Show:

  • Beautiful Two-Color Brioche: Learn It to Teach It

  • Best Kept Secrets of Most Successful Shops and How to Take Them Home

 

 





We asked Chris to share her insights on needlearts and business education, as well as its value to members of our industry.

TNNA HQ: Why should attendees take advantage of the education opportunities at TNNA trade shows?

Chris Bylsma (CB): You really need to take advantage and learn wherever you can. I you own a retail shop, well, nobody graduated with a degree in yarn store management. You might have a law, business, or art background, but that doesn’t mean you have the all the required skills to run a successful yarn shop. It's also an opportunity to fine tune skills. There’s so many techniques out there.

Classes offer you that opportunity to really fondle the yarn and have someone help you through those tough spots. Your customers can get yarn anywhere, but your shop should be more than a source – it should be a resource. Up your game to present your customers the best experience. That means learning to use social media, picking up the best business habits, and finding out what are other shops doing well.

TNNA HQ: Are these classes only for new or first-time business owners? Why should seasoned professional register, too?

CB: When attendees go to the show, their customers want to know and see what’s new. What did you learn? Bring back? Buy? You need to up your game to keep your customers interested and challenged.

You need to push yourself to learn a new skill to keep clientele challenged and growing. They get bored making the same scarf over and over. You can’t always do it for them – you’re not empowering them. Don’t finish for them – give them the confidence to try something new. It’s a mind game in some respects.

It also helps re-learning aspects of knitting – to go back and remember what it feels like to be a learner. It's uncomfortable and you may struggle, but we need to remind ourselves what that feels like so that when we’re working with someone new, we know how they think. It's refreshing and renewing to learn something new. You really don’t know it all.

TNNA HQ: What are you looking forward to most at the Winter Trade Show?

CBIt’s so much fun – seeing people you meet at the show, new and old. It's part of your learning experience, and it's an integral part about growing business.

TNNA HQIn one sentence (OK, maybe a few more), please describe why attendees should register for your class:

Beautiful Two-Color Brioche Learn It to Teach It (Expanding Your Expertise)

Brioche is so amazing once you learn it; it’s not as difficult as you have told yourself. I promise they’ll know it by the end of the class.

Best Kept Secrets of Most Successful Shops and How to Take Them Home (Leveraging New Tools & Technology)

It’s the basics of what makes shop work versus not work; it’s basic marketing common sense, and I have shop images from around the world that are really amazing. One thing yarn shops have going for: They don’t have a corporate parent telling them how to look or how to establish their personality and identity. Independent yarn shops get to have fun. Every yarn shop is completely different in terms of personality, décor, personnel policies, etc., and every shop has opportunity to be completely itself. But some retailers are too timid to do that or they're unaware of what makes that work.

That's the beauty of a yarn shop. You can have blackboard walls, sing operas, or do anything you want. It’s a creative playground. This class offers a chance for real discussion and the interplay of shops is really fascinating and fun, depending on who is there.

 

Chris Bylsma retired from a career in marketing communications and advertising to pursue her artistic passion – knitting and textureplay. She teaches workshops coast to coast for guilds, TNNA, conferences and shops and in her hometown, Madison, Wisconsin. In addition, she has her own line of knitting patterns available through retail yarn stores. Her approach to knitting is that the process and the end product should both be a joy and designs with that in mind. Chris is noted for her Crayon Box Jacket and inventive Ladder Scarf and Ladder Shawl. She encourages knitters to “color outside the lines” where it’s more fun, and to “think outside the box” (she has occasionally been accused of actually not having a box). Chris can be found online at Chris Bylsma Designs.


New this year, TNNA classes are categorized by five objectives to help you select the class that best matches your education needs. See the objectives and listing below. Sign into Attendee Registration for the complete class presenter information, fees, and materials needed.

Business Data Made Simple


Expanding Your Expertise


The Two-Way Conversation

Leveraging New Tools & Technology

 
Building Better Business

Learn to effectively manage cash flow, plan your marketing, and invest in your future using data you already have. Develop new skills and techniques to grow your business and increase profits.                                         Learn how to effectively engage with customers and vendors through various communications channels.  Gain insight into the latest tools and technology, including social media, photography, software, and mobile devices.  

Learn how to brand your business in this day-long education session.

 

 

Discover all the exciting education opportunities at the 2017 Winter Trade Show!

View Classes and View Teachers.


Tags:  Classes  Education  Winter Show 

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TNNA 2017 Winter Trade Show Class Previews: Gwen Bortner

Posted By TNNA HQ, Friday, December 16, 2016
Updated: Thursday, December 15, 2016

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TNNA 2017 Winter Trade Show Class Previews 

Spotlight on Gwen Bortner

Gwen Bortner

Whether you’re interested in learning technical or business skills, the TNNA NeedleArts 2017 Winter Trade Show, taking place January 21-23, 2017, in San Jose, CA, has something for everyone! Register today and choose from more than 30 classes taught by popular industry professionals. But hurry, once a class is sold out, it will no longer be available for selection. The pre-registration deadline for classes is Monday, January 9, 2017.

Today's spotlight is on classes being taught by industry veteran Gwen Bortner! Read on below for a teaser of Gwen's classes and her thoughts on the importance of education for needlearts professionals.

Gwen is teaching the following classes at the 2017 Winter Trade Show:

  • Accounting Basics: Making Sense of the Numbers

  • Three Surprising Factors That Are Seriously Damaging Your Business

  • Increase Profits – Create Classes

 

 





We asked Gwen to share her insights on needlearts and business education, as well as its value to members of our industry.

TNNA HQ: Have you previously taught at a TNNA trade show? Why do you keep coming back?

Gwen Bortner (GB): Yes, I've been teaching at TNNA shows for ten years. It varies each time. Depending on location, it changes who comes to classes. More familiar faces, more new faces. I'm expecting a lot more new faces in San Jose. It's not a location we’ve been in.

TNNA HQ: How can the five new learning objectives developed by TNNA help attendees determine what's most important to them?

GB: I think it’s going to take a little bit for people to understand what that value is. It’s new. Attendees can look for teachers they like, or things they think will be fun. In the long term, the categories will be super helpful so people can really focus on what they need for their business. They can start by focusing on those classes and fill in gaps with other classes.

It's also an advantage on the teacher side. It allows us to propose classes based on objectives for the next show. TNNA is setting up to prepare for future with these new categories, to plan and develop classes around those topics – it's really advantageous.

TNNA HQ: Are these classes only for new or first-time business owners? Why should seasoned professional register, too?

GB: I have a number of friends in the industry that attend my classes that have had successful businesses for decades. They’re not struggling – often, I use their businesses as examples. But part of the reason they're successful is that they are continually taking education and looking for something new. It’s a chicken and egg thing – if you believe that your business is perfect and there's no room for improvement, I guess you don’t need to take a class. I would also think you’re ignorant; there’s always something to learn. Many of my classes can apply to all – new and old shop owners.

It's about perspective. As a professional knitting instructor, I still take new classes and expect to learn at least one new thing. Shop owners that realize that and take advantage of it. These classes are incredible value for what you would receive in return.

TNNA HQ: What are you looking forward to most at the Winter Trade Show?

GBI think it’s going to be a great venue for everybody, and education has long been the piece that I think is needed most in the industry and most under-valued. There are very few sources outside of TNNA events for classes that are industry-focused. Whatever my availability is, I’ll be taking classes as well. I’m always looking to take classes when I’m not teaching.

TNNA HQIn one sentence (OK, maybe a few more), please describe why attendees should register for your class:

Accounting Basics: Making Sense of the Numbers (Business Data Made Simple)

Understanding the finances of your business is the most critical aspect and, if you don’t know, this class will help you do that. 

Three Surprising Factors That Are Seriously Damaging Your Business (Business Data Made Simple)

Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing; learn what everyone else is doing that may be harmful instead of helpful for your business.

Increase Profits – Create Classes (The Two-Way Conversation)

Classes are the best way to create loyal customers and, at the same time, can be a profit center for business. Come and learn to make easy and effective classes for needlearts shops of all types.

 

Gwen Bortner has been teaching since 1986 and is a recognized name at many national venues since 2003. Beginning early in childhood, Gwen has dabbled in all of the various needlearts with knitting finally taking center stage during her college years. Gwen has nearly 30 years of experience as a business consultant, trainer and executive working in a variety of business arenas including filling the role of Interim Executive Director for TNNA. Her "super power" is the ability to share new and valuable information in accessible, easy-to-process, bite-size pieces. Gwen can be found virtually on her blog at www.gwenbortner.com.


New this year, TNNA classes are categorized by five objectives to help you select the class that best matches your education needs. See the objectives and listing below. Sign into Attendee Registration for the complete class presenter information, fees, and materials needed.

Business Data Made Simple


Expanding Your Expertise


The Two-Way Conversation

Leveraging New Tools & Technology

 
Building Better Business

Learn to effectively manage cash flow, plan your marketing, and invest in your future using data you already have. Develop new skills and techniques to grow your business and increase profits.                                         Learn how to effectively engage with customers and vendors through various communications channels.  Gain insight into the latest tools and technology, including social media, photography, software, and mobile devices.  

Learn how to brand your business in this day-long education session.

 

 

Discover all the exciting education opportunities at the 2017 Winter Trade Show!

View Classes and View Teachers.


Tags:  Classes  Education  Winter Show 

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TNNA 2017 Winter Trade Show Class Previews: Merri Fromm

Posted By TNNA HQ, Wednesday, December 14, 2016

WTS17 Banner

TNNA 2017 Winter Trade Show Class Previews 

Spotlight on Merri Fromm

Merri Fromm

Whether you’re interested in learning technical or business skills, the TNNA NeedleArts 2017 Winter Trade Show, taking place January 21-23, 2017, in San Jose, CA, has something for everyone! Register today and choose from more than 30 classes taught by popular industry professionals. But hurry, once a class is sold out, it will no longer be available for selection. The pre-registration deadline for classes is Monday, January 9, 2017.

Today's spotlight is a class being taught by graphic designer, knitter and teacher Merri Fromm of Tangletown Knits! Read on below for a teaser of Merri's class and her thoughts on the importance of education for needlearts professionals.

Merri is teaching the following class at the 2017 Winter Trade Show:

  • Make Your Newsletters Pretty: Graphic Design 101

 

 





We asked Merri to share her insights on needlearts and business education, as well as its value to members of our industry.

TNNA HQ: Have you previously taught at a TNNA trade show?

Merri Fromm (MF): It's my first time teaching at TNNA. I'm very excited and hope people register for my class!

TNNA HQ: Why should attendees consider registering for classes?

MF: I think that when you go to the show you should be focused. It would be very easy to only wander up and down aisles to look at pretty things, but it’s expensive to go to. Focus on things you want to learn and ways to improve your business and network with other people. Classes are a fantastic way to talk openly with other business owners, learn what works best – people don’t act like they’re competitors. There's a real sense of camaraderie.

TNNA HQ: How can the five new learning objectives developed by TNNA help attendees determine what's most important to them?

MF: If I were an attendee, I’d ask make a to-do list: What do I want to learn? There's such a broad range of skills covered in classes – new needlepoint design, social media and everything in between. Categories help narrow down your focus to maximize your time there. 

TNNA HQ: Are these classes only for new or first-time business owners? Why should seasoned professional register, too?

MF: People start their businesses, particularly yarn shops, with a whole variety of skills. Some people are good at small business skills, but might need social media skills, or others need help with bookkeeping. Running a business requires so many skill levels – I’m sure everyone feels a little overwhelmed sometimes.

Technology for a lot of people is intimidating. I have graphic design customers who would say, you can do these great designs because you have software. Adobe Creative Suite is a special tool, but almost everyone has a laptop. The basic tools on your laptop, even Microsoft Word, can help you accomplish what you need to do. Same with a smartphone or social media – you just need to know how to use the tools. A class is a way to really sit down and learn those things. You’ve always had the power, you just need to exercise it.

TNNA HQIn one sentence (OK, maybe a few more), please describe why attendees should register for your class:

Make Your Newsletters Pretty: Graphic Design 101 (Leveraging New Tools & Technology)

I will help attendees create designs that are attractive, that are functional and that can be reproduced easily in digital and print. The tools that I provide for this class can be used for many different things. I know many businesses use newsletters, but from a design and production standpoint, you can also use design skills and tech to create patterns, business cards, advertising and marketing on a broad range of things. 


Merri Fromm knits, designs knitwear and graphics, and can be found at Tangletown Knits in Saint Paul, MN. At her mother’s knee, she learned to craft all kinds of things and went on to earn a BS in Graphic Design from the University of Minnesota. Merri has more than 30 years of experience as a graphic designer and teacher. Her mission is to help others easily create graphic designs that are beautiful and economical. Find Merri on Ravelry and Instagram!


New this year, TNNA classes are categorized by five objectives to help you select the class that best matches your education needs. See the objectives and listing below. Sign into Attendee Registration for the complete class presenter information, fees, and materials needed.

Business Data Made Simple


Expanding Your Expertise


The Two-Way Conversation

Leveraging New Tools & Technology

 
Building Better Business

Learn to effectively manage cash flow, plan your marketing, and invest in your future using data you already have. Develop new skills and techniques to grow your business and increase profits.                                         Learn how to effectively engage with customers and vendors through various communications channels.  Gain insight into the latest tools and technology, including social media, photography, software, and mobile devices.  

Learn how to brand your business in this day-long education session.

 

 

Discover all the exciting education opportunities at the 2017 Winter Trade Show!

View Classes and View Teachers.


Tags:  Classes  Education  Winter Show 

Share |
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