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Summer Trade Show: One Attendee's Experience

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, June 15, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer Trade Show: One Attendee's Experience

By Joy Macdonell

Stepping foot on a trade show floor is exciting. There is a shared energy as vendors get ready to show off their new products in beautifully curated booths and attendees are prepared to begin a search for new products to introduce to their enthusiastic customers.

Summer is the perfect time of year to gather as a trade organization because fall creative content calendars are being firmed up, retail events are in the planning stages, budgets have been analyzed, and open to buys have been approved!

TNNA returned to Columbus, Ohio for the 2017 NeedleArts Summer Trade Show, where the familiar North Market offers delicious foods and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams can be enjoyed!

#stitchlove by Stitchcraft MarketingOver in the convention center, there were new experiences including Blue Sky Fibers’ booth visitors on Sunday of a llama and two alpacas! The newly conceived TNNA Lounge provided tables and chairs for mini meetups and gatherings. Also located in the lounge area, presented by Stitchcraft Marketing, the #stitchlove wall filled the space with good vibes and warm sentiments from attendees.

The convention kicked off Friday night with the Yarn Group Fashion Show and Sample IT! This year, there were 104 looks presented on the runway from 35 companies and 100 brands. Resourceful, discrete, playful, intense and integral are words used to describe the fashions that hit the catwalk. Silhouettes included dusters, shawls, wraps and ponchos.

This is the year of the sleeve and we were presented a variety, including minimalist sleeves, textured sleeves and, most notably, a garment featuring one long-tapered sleeve and one poncho sleeve. Asymmetry was found in hems and wrap shapes.

Color created movement on the runway. “Let the colors move; let the colors come to life,” the presenter said as solid colors, color gradients and touches of glitter moved in front of our eyes. Sweaters featured yolks with stranded work, cowls, and hoods.

The showstopper was a piece of art named the “Woodland Sweater” by Nicky Epstein. This piece stole the show with a knitted forest scene, appliqued knitted pieces and embroidery. The excitement at the Fashion Show set the mood for the weekend.

There were more than 90 exhibitors on display on the show floor with the majority participating in the “Discover What’s New” area — perfectly placed by registration. If you were early to the show, this was the place to linger and stroll. Each tabletop vignette offered a peek at the newest products on display at the show. This was a must-see destination prior to walking through the show and before leaving — just to make sure you did not miss anything in the show!

An Education Theater, conveniently located on the showroom floor, offered instruction on trend-right topics that included introductions of new tools, explanations of how fleece becomes fiber, and the importance of the fiber value-chain. Instructors included Karin Skacel, Tabbethia Haubold, Trisha Malcolm, Lisa Meyers and Sy Belohlavek. These educational moments were easily accessible by all attendees and provided a great opportunity to rest for a moment while still participating in the show!

The vendors, however, were the stars of the show! Each booth carefully arranged to present an artful display of products. All vendors focused on the attendees and welcomed everyone to touch, feel and explore their goods. Exhibitors provided plenty of literature to share with every type of attendee from the retailer to designers and teachers. The vendors fostered new relationships with open arms. The spirit of the show was led by the exhibitors, and their energy and excitement will continue to contribute to the success and growth of the industry!

 


About the Author

Joy MacdonellJoy Macdonell (www.craftingwithjoy.comis a Creative Blogger and Fiber Consultant. Her job has provided her with lots of great opportunities to teach, including as the host of a television show on the DIY network (Greetings, from DIY) and one on PBS (Crafting at The Spotted Canary). She has also been the guest representative for Martha Stewart Crafts on the Home Shopping Network and has been the education director for the Martha Stewart Crafts brand since it launched in 2007. Prior to starting her career with EK Success Brands in 2001, she and her sister owned the very popular scrapbook store in Fairfax, VA, My Scrapbook Store.

Tags:  Summer Trade Show  TNNANews 

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Design Digest: Leaping into the Rabbit Hole of Embroidery

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, June 15, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Design Digest: Leaping into the Rabbit Hole of Embroidery

By Angela Davis

In Design Digest, we highlight a particular favorite technique, type of popular design or share our experiences learning how to do something. Today, I am going to do all three!

Hand embroidery has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity recently, in both the craft and fashion worlds, and this revitalization is inspiring all kinds of crafters and crafters-to-be to join in. Discovering one particular technique has me very excited and planning all kinds of embroidery projects.

According to Wikipedia, the “basic stitches on surviving examples of the earliest embroidery — chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch — remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today.” Embroidery is thought to have originated as a natural outgrowth of the practice of tailoring, mending, patching or reinforcing precious fabrics. Inspired, bearers of needle and thread sought to incorporate decorative stitches and colorful threads to embellish their work and enhance its beauty.

Embroidery has also served a functional purpose in marking one’s clothing and household linens for being sent out for laundering. As it has evolved, embroidery has become appreciated for its decorative function as well as for its more practical purposes.

Like many young girls, I began embroidering as a child in elementary school — first stabbing a tapestry needle threaded with yarn through burlap for an art project. After devouring library book stories in which pioneer girls were embroidering samplers, I started trying out various stitches and different weights of cloth and thread.

This was happening in the 1970s, when embroidered jeans and denim shirts were de rigueur, so I picked up various tips and techniques from women in my family and my neighborhood, and from women’s magazines. Along the way, I also learned counted cross-stitch and a bit of needlepoint, too.

Jump ahead to the present: I came across an image online of something called a Dropcloth Sampler — a stamped cotton cloth featuring a charmingly chaotic mix of lines, shapes and lettering that positively begs for embroidery. I found the designer’s etsy shop, ordered my own Dropcloth Sampler, pulled out my box of DMC floss, pearl cotton, and supplies, and got ready to start.

Then panic hit. I didn’t want to ruin the cuteness of the sampler with my awkward stitching. I decided to order the Creativebug class taught by the designer, Rebecca Ringquist, and got started.

Angela Davis' in-progress samplerRight away, I knew that I was onto something here. Rebecca’s teaching style is friendly and clear, and the instruction — it has set me free! I have been doing my own DIY-version of satin stitch for as long as I can remember. When Rebecca said that we should always stitch the outline before filling with satin stitch (even if you plan to remove it after), suddenly, my embroidery looked so much better! For so long I have struggled along, treating the printed or drawn outline of a shape as the guide to fill in. If you fill in a stitched outline, the results are so much better!

As I prepared to write this article, I reached out to Rebecca and she graciously agreed to answer a few questions for me. She is an artist, designer and teacher, who currently lives in Portland, Oregon. She comes from a crafty family. Her parents are both makers; her mother is a weaver and her father is a furniture maker.

As an art major in college, Rebecca became interested in the social history of samplers and their makers. Designing her own sampler patterns then became a logical next step for her. Because her sampler business and her art studio are housed in the same place, she is noticing that her samplers are becoming more painterly. Her drawings are influenced by her embroidery, so both practices are having an effect on one another.

Rebecca says she is excited for there to be more threads on the market and sees the trend toward more hand-dyed and artisanal threads as a hopeful one. Her samplers are available for wholesale, and her book Rebecca Ringquist’s Embroidery Workshops, published by STC Craft/ Melanie Falick Books, released in April 2015, has an exclusive sampler to embroider included.

I can’t say that I have fallen into the rabbit hole of sampler embroidery as much as I have jumped in — all because of stumbling across one really great technique that empowered me and opened up a whole new world! My next plan is to learn how to embroider on hand-knits, so stay tuned for that!

For more information about Rebecca Ringquist and Dropcloth Studios:

Visit: www.dropclothsamplers.com

Learn: Online Workshops with Rebecca

Follow: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest

Shop: Dropcloth Samplers

Wholesale: dropclothsamplers@gmail.com


About the Author

Angela Davis

Angela Davis, B.S.B.M., is a fiber artist, Craft Yarn Council of America certified-hand knitting instructor, author, artist and designer. She is passionate about supporting the needlearts, handcrafting, slow-fashion, visible mending, supporting small-batch producers of ethically and ecologically sound fibers, and reducing textile waste. Angela has taught knitting on European and Japanese tour buses, started a knitting-for-charity club at an inner-city high school in Los Angeles, has knitted props for the television show Mad Men, and is a contributing author and designer for publications including Piecework, STUDIOS, Knitting Traditions, and Sockupied magazines.

By day, Angela is director of product development and artist relations for internationally renowned punk, garage, rock and metalcore bands. She lives in Long Beach, California with her three sons. Angela’s Ravelry ID is alittlebird, and you can find her on Instagram as @angelaxdavis and on Twitter as @angelaxxdavis.

Tags:  embroidery  TNNANews 

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How to Market Yourself as a Designer at the Summer Trade Show

Posted By TNNA Editor, Friday, June 2, 2017
Updated: Thursday, June 1, 2017

TNNA Summer Trade Show: How to Market Yourself as a Designer

By Brenda Bourg

Attending your first TNNA show can be very overwhelming, so I've asked three experienced designers for their best advice to new attendees.

 

All three designers agreed that setting appointments with the top companies you want to meet with are a top priority. Go through the exhibitor list carefully, and make a must-see list and a secondary must-see list. When you set your appointments, be specific about what you would like to meet with them about, such as a proposal for a jacket, sweater, etc. Be sure to keep your meeting brief, 20-30 minutes at the most, unless your contact says they can give you more time when you schedule the appointment. Wear business casual attire with very comfortable shoes  you will be on your feet a lot!

 

If you are a new or unknown designer, bring a one-page resume that has thumbnail photos of various projects that are representative of your skills. Or even better, if you have a tablet, create a portfolio of your designs. You are more likely to sell your work if they can see visuals of your capabilities.

 

For more experienced designers, bring photocopies of book covers or designs from magazines to hand out to contacts. Be sure to bring plenty of business cards and give them out. You will also collect a lot of business cards in return write notes on the business cards while on the floor. This will make it easier to remember what was discussed and help with follow-up organization. You may also want to bring a small notebook, pen, and tape or small stapler. This can help organize the business cards.

 

Don't forget to stop by and thank companies who have given you support in the past. It is a great chance to introduce yourself and put a face with the name. If you are a published author, check to see if your publisher is there and if they offer to do a book signing. Also, if you have a book and one of the yarn suppliers is there, ask if they will display your book. This is a great opportunity to bring in wholesale orders!

 

If you continue checking back on a busy booth to introduce yourself to no avail, drop a card off and get a card to follow up later. That said, never, ever interrupt a meeting unless someone calls you over. Often, an official meeting looks like a casual conversation. Business relationships can be quickly ruined over this.

Don't ask for materials from a company you've never worked with before. Instead, ask about their supply support for designers' policy. If they offer it to you, then it's fine to accept it.

 

You do need to work the floor, but make sure to take some breaks, too. Your feet and sanity will thank you! Your first show can, and probably will, be very overwhelming and your brain can be quickly overstimulated.

 

One of the three designers said it best: "I guess the bottom line is that if you want to be considered a professional, act like one. I think that sums it up."

About the Author

Brenda BourgBrenda Bourgauthor of Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet, is also an editor, writer, spinner, knit and crochet designer for 10 years and counting. She is co-editor for Annie's Talking Crochet Update newsletter – a job she's enjoyed immensely for almost 4 years. Brenda also loves to blog about crafting, encouragement, finding humor and beauty in everyday life on Encouraged by Design.

Tags:  Summer Trade Show  TNNANews 

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Social Media Corner: 13 Tips for Taking the Perfect Shot for Instagram

Posted By TNNA Editor, Friday, June 2, 2017
Updated: Thursday, June 1, 2017

Social Media Corner: 13 Tips for Taking the Perfect Shot for Instagram

By Joy Macdonell

Whether you're an Instagram newbie or a veteran on the platform, here are 13 tips to bring engaging visual content to your followers. Our industry is colorful, vibrant and creative, so that's what you need to deliver!

 

Framing

Framing

 Framing 1 Framing 2 

 

Instagram finally broke free from the square frame. You can now post landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) photos, too! There is still an emphasis on the square aspect ratio of 1:1:

  • The gallery still uses square thumbnails;
  • The app only shoots photos in square; and
  • If you input photos into the app for posting, the default is the square.

You can choose to preserve the original aspect ratio of your uploaded photo in the upload screen. There is now a small icon in the bottom left of the image where you can toggle between square and not-square. For landscape photos (horizontal), you can use aspect ratios up to 1.91:1. For portrait (vertical) photos, you can use an aspect ratio up to 4:5. And you can still use square, of course. But you can’t use very narrow banners or panoramas. If the square framing did not work for you, now there are more options for presenting your content!

 

Symmetry

Symmetry

Symmetry creates balance in photography. Look for opportunities to frame the subject of your photo with objects in the scenery: other props, architecture, branches, window sills, etc. Use objects in your environment to create balance and frame your shot.

 

Lighting

Lighting

Lighting is key. Natural light always reads best in photography. Prime times for shooting outdoors are: cloudy days, early morning or late afternoon. The lens of the phone camera absorbs light in a different way compared to traditional cameras. Play with the light coming from above or behind your subject. As you are taking your shots, move around the subject and look to see how the light changes position light in unexpected places to capture an ethereal look.

 

Focus

Focus

Look for depth of field. Most smartphones allow you to touch the screen and focus on your subject. Use this tool to bring the objects closest to you into focus and allow the objects further away to blur. The blurry background and the focused foreground creates depth in your photo and guides the viewer’s eye to the focal point of the photo.

 

Turn On the Grid

Turn On the Grid

Respect the Rule of Thirds. Use the grid on your phone to aid in creating a balanced composition. The grid marks break the frame of your photo into thirds, vertically and horizontally. Position the elements in your frame on the 1/3 marks instead of the center and you will find that your photos are instantly more interesting.

 

Clean the Lens

Clean the Lens

Get clarity and sharpness in your photos by wiping off the lens of your camera phone. Our phones go in and out of our pockets, sit on tables, and collect dirt and dust. Taking a moment to clean the lens before you shoot will make a big difference in the quality of your photos.

 

Editing

Top Instagram Editing Apps

With a little editing, every photo can be Instagram-worthy. My favorite editing apps are: A Color Story (in-app purchases), Snapseed, VSCO, Facetune ($3.99), Darkroom (in-app purchases) and TouchRetouch ($1.99). Each app provides a unique experience. To find your favorites, you need to play. You do not need to be a photographer to use these apps; you simply need to have the desire to try them out. These apps have great YouTube support. Download the apps, watch a few tutorials, and you will learn to produce Insta-awesomeness!

 

Tell A Story

Tell A Story

Find a clear point of interest. Shoot photos that tell a story about the product, person or place of interest. Remove clutter from the photo and lead the viewer’s eye right to the heart of your content.

 

Colors, Shapes and Lines

Colors, Shapes, and Lines

A powerful Instagram photo has strong colors, defined shapes and lines. These elements can frame your content and draw the viewer into the photograph. Train your eye to use these pieces of content to create emotion in your frame.

 

Shoot from Different Angles

Shoot from Different Angles

 Change your position and look at the objects in your photo from an unusual perspective. Try shooting from directly above or very low to get an interesting view.

 

Less Is More

Less Is More

Use white space to your advantage and give your content room to breathe, but also think about context. Give the viewer an understanding of the size of product you are filming or the use of an interesting object. Use your photo to engage your followers and invite them to investigate further.

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice, Practice, Practice

Take tons of photos. Release yourself from perfection. If you see something interesting, take a photo. Through practice, you will learn more about your style, your aesthetic, and, in time, you will capture your brand.

 

Consistency

Keep Your Feed Consistent

Keep a consistent look to your photos. When they tile together in your feed, you can see a story unfold. There are many approaches to consistency; it could be color, framing, lighting, content or the use of white space. Also remember to remain consistent with feeding Instagram: The more consistent you are, the more present you will be on the platform. A good Instagrammer considers how each photo looks within the whole feed. Planning is a big part of telling your visual story.

Instagram does not allow for automatic programming; each photo must be uploaded in real-time. How do you stay ahead and keep your feed cohesive? Check out Plann  a scheduling, planning app that makes curating your Instagram gallery quick and easy. The app notifications will keep you on schedule so that you never forget to post!


About the Author

Joy MacdonellJoy Macdonell is the education director at Simplicity Creative Group. Her job has provided her with lots of great opportunities to teach, including as the host of a television show on the DIY network (Greetings, from DIY) and one on PBS (Crafting at The Spotted Canary). She has also been the guest representative for Martha Stewart Crafts on the Home Shopping Network and has been the education director for the Martha Stewart Crafts brand since it launched in 2007. Prior to starting her career with EK Success Brands in 2001, she and her sister owned the very popular scrapbook store in Fairfax, VA, My Scrapbook Store.

Tags:  business  business tips  TNNANews 

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Ask Social: Facebook Live and Hashtags

Posted By TNNA Editor, Friday, June 2, 2017
Updated: Friday, June 2, 2017

Ask Social: Facebook Live and Hashtags

By Vickie Howell and Mari Chiba Luke

Welcome to Ask Social, an advice column for TNNA members aimed to demystify social media practices and strategy. In TNNANews, we’ll answer questions from store owners, manufacturers, designers, teachers and bloggers about simple and effective ways to use new media to influence their businesses.

Dear Social,

I’ve been seeing more and more live videos pop up in my Facebook stream. Should I be working on a lifestream strategy for my business?

Yours truly,
Fiber Company Owner

Dear Fiber Company Owner,

The short answer is, yes.

The longer answer is that live stream video is where current marketing is at right now. It offers a way to reach out to both a global (key, if you also have a e-commerce aspect to your biz) and local customers at once, while also enriching your consumer community. Because Facebook Live videos are interactive (meaning that those watching live can post questions during the stream, which you’ll see and can react to in real time), they give your followers the feeling of being a part of something — it’s the virtual equivalent to getting to talk to you in your shop, or chat via an old-school help line.

Conversely, the live videos are also recorded so that they can be viewed at a later time via your Facebook page, which means you can build a playlist of videos to act as a living resource library. As a bonus, currently (and I use that term literally, like right this very minute, because who knows how long this will be the case), the Facebook algorithm allows for more of your audience to see these than even natively uploaded video. This number increases if you also spend a few bucks to boost the post after you’re done recording.

Here are my top three tips for Facebook Live video success:

1. Be consistent. Pick a day (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) that your videos will go live, and stick to it. You’ll be surprised how many people will fold you into their life schedules, if they know what to expect.

2. Have a plan. Pick a topic or topics ahead of time, so that you're clear on what’s happening once that on-camera countdown begins. Producing a relatively tight, 10-minute video is way better than a 40-minute ramble session. Also, if your followers know the topic to expect (I recommend promoting ahead of time), they’re more likely to be invested in seeking the video out.

3. Be yourself. Although I I just recommended going into your video with a general plan, feel free to treat the situation as if you’re having these viewers into your home. Talk to them as if they’re friends, which means not being concerned about staying too on-script.

Have fun!

 

Dear Social,

I see everyone using hashtags on Instagram, but I'm not sure which ones I should be using?

Thanks,
LYSO

Dear LYSO,
 
Yes, you should definitely be using hashtags! Before we get into which hashtags to use, let's talk for a moment about which ones not to use.
 
I see many fiber related accounts promoting sales with #discount and #sale. Before you use a hashtag, I'd encourage you to first look it up! If you search either of those hashtags you'll find a lot of images that are totally unrelated to our fiber niche. The beauty of the hashtag is that it helps people interested in your content find you and your channel. What are the odds a yarn shopper is going to be searching Instagram for #discount? Not great. And what are the odds that someone searching #discount is a crafter? Also, not great.
 
Some of my favorite hashtags for knitting related accounts on Instagram are #knitttersofinstagram #knitstagram and #instaknit. But to get a fuller picture of the hashtags your brand should be utilizing, look at the hashtags your customers, the companies you admire, and your competitors are using. There are also some great tools (both free and paid) that will tell you related hashtags and the popularity of specific hashtags. Displaypurposes.com is a free option that shows you related hashtags and their frequency; hashtagify.me offers a variety of in depth tracking and analysis for hashtag usage.
 
And one more thing while we're on the topic of hashtags: Consider starting one for your own brand. This will be a way for others to share your products on their own feeds, and for others new to your brand to find related content quickly and easily. Make sure to search a few options that include your company name before you finalize your brand hashtag, and then put it in your profile so that it's easy for others to follow suit.
 
Have fun and start tagging!

 

Got social media questions? Send them to jmoriarty@tnna.org or leave a comment below!


Ask Social is a collaboration between Vickie Howell (@vickiehowell), executive producer and host of The Knit Show with Vickie Howell (premieres on YouTube, October 2017), and Mari Chiba Luke (@mariknits), business integration manager and design director of Stitchcraft Marketing.

 Vickie Howell      Mari Chiba Luke
    Vickie Howell              Mari Chiba Luke    

 

Tags:  Ask Social  business  business tips  TNNANews 

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TNNA 2017 Summer Trade Show Class Previews: Tara Swiger

Posted By TNNA Editor, Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Updated: Thursday, May 18, 2017

WTS17 Banner

TNNA 2017 Summer Trade Show Class Previews 

Spotlight on Tara Swiger

Tara Swiger

The TNNA 2017 NeedleArts Summer Trade Show, taking place June 10-12, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio, is the perfect place for needlearts professionals to learn about the newest products and techniques in the industry!

Register today and choose from more than 40 classes taught by 20 industry experts, including several new to TNNA shows! Learn techniques and strategies to help you run your business and exchange ideas and best practices you can implement when you return to your shop. But hurry, once a class is sold out, it will no longer be available for selection.

Today's spotlight is on classes being taught by Tara Swiger. 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 classes at the 2017 Summer Trade Show:

  • YouTube for Shops | Saturday, June 10 | 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
  • Fill Your Classes | Sunday, June 11 | 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

 

 





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

Have you taught classes at previous TNNA trade shows?

Tara:  Yes! I love teaching at TNNA because, as a knitter, I love yarn shops and the community they create. My full-time job is helping creatives build sustainable businesses around their passion, usually online, so I love bringing those online business skills to in-person communities.

Why should attendees consider registering for your classes at the TNNA Summer Trade Show?

TaraIf you're frustrated that you have to keep cancelling classes because no one shows up, come to Fill Your Classes to learn how to make classes people want and then get them in the seats. 

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and so few shops are using it - you can become a trusted resource for your customers without too much technical knowhow and a lot of enthusiasm. Learn how in YouTube for Yarn Shops!  

Why do you think education is an important part of attending the Summer Trade Show?

TaraRunning your own business can be lonely and isolating. Very few people in your local community know what you're going through or can understand the challenges. Coming to a business class at TNNA allows you to enter a space in which everyone knows what you're going through.

I always say that you're going to learn more from the other shops than you will from any teacher, so I make my classes a space where you can talk frankly and share ideas and not feel so alone. 

When preparing for your trip to the Summer Trade Show, what's the one item you can't forget to pack?

Tara: Knitting that I can do while talking. (The designers may not be impressed, but a garter stitch shawl or stockinette stitch sock is usually my go-to). Also lots of water, comfy shoes, and lavender essential oils for calming down after all the excitement and orange for focusing to teach.  

 

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, and to designers and makers around the world at conferences, conventions and workshops.


TNNA classes are categorized by 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 Learn to effectively manage cash flow, plan your marketing, and invest in your future using data you already have.
Expanding Your Expertise Develop new skills and techniques to grow your business and increase profits.
 
The Two-Way Conversation Learn how to effectively engage with customers and vendors through various communications channels.
Leveraging New Tools & Technology Gain insight into the latest tools and technology, including social media, photography, software, and mobile devices.


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

View Classes and View Teachers.


Tags:  Summer Trade Show  TNNANews 

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TNNA 2017 Summer Trade Show Class Previews: Gwen Bortner

Posted By TNNA Editor, Monday, May 22, 2017
Updated: Friday, May 12, 2017

WTS17 Banner

TNNA 2017 Summer Trade Show Class Previews 

Spotlight on Gwen Bortner

Gwen Bortner

The TNNA 2017 NeedleArts Summer Trade Show, taking place June 10-12, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio, is the perfect place for needlearts professionals to learn about the newest products and techniques in the industry!

Register today and choose from more than 40 classes taught by 20 industry experts, including several new to TNNA shows! Learn techniques and strategies to help you run your business and exchange ideas and best practices you can implement when you return to your shop. But hurry, once a class is sold out, it will no longer be available for selection.

Today's spotlight is on classes being taught by 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 Summer Trade Show:

  • Make the Most of Your Online Presence (Even Without a Shopping Cart) | Friday, June 9 | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Newsletter Necessities: Maximizing Your #1 Marketing Tool | Saturday, June, 10 | 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
  • 3 Surprising Factors That Are Seriously Damaging Your Business | Sunday, June, 11 | 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

 

 





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

Have you taught classes at previous TNNA trade shows?

Gwen:  I have taught for TNNA over a decade and will continue to do so as long as they will hire me because I believe that the key to making our industry strong is having individual businesses that are strong. And the way to keep your business thriving and strong is to always be learning new ideas and concepts and how to apply them.

Why should attendees consider registering for your classes at the TNNA Summer Trade Show?

GwenAlthough we often focus on general business topics, the content is tailored to our specific industry by instructors that no only understand business, but are also active within our markets in one form or another.

Why do you think education is an important part of attending the Summer Trade Show?

Gwen: A successful business person (regardless of the industry) is always looking to learn and improve. All the better with the education is industry specific from industry experts.

Aside from education, what else are you looking forward to at the Summer Trade Show?

GwenI love all of the opportunities to network with other folks in the industry. Even when I don’t have a specific "need," I am often able to help someone connect with a resource for which they are looking. And the sharing of knowledge and information is what an industry association is all about.

When preparing for your trip to the Summer Trade Show, what's the one item you can't forget to pack?

Gwen: A bag that is easy to carry ALL DAY that is also large enough for whatever I need to bring and/or collect while I am at the show.

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 needle arts 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.


TNNA classes are categorized by 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 Learn to effectively manage cash flow, plan your marketing, and invest in your future using data you already have.
Expanding Your Expertise Develop new skills and techniques to grow your business and increase profits.
 
The Two-Way Conversation Learn how to effectively engage with customers and vendors through various communications channels.
Leveraging New Tools & Technology Gain insight into the latest tools and technology, including social media, photography, software, and mobile devices.


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

View Classes and View Teachers.


Tags:  Summer Trade Show  TNNANews 

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TNNA 2017 Summer Trade Show Class Previews: Patty Lyons

Posted By TNNA Editor, Sunday, May 21, 2017
Updated: Friday, May 12, 2017

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TNNA 2017 Summer Trade Show Class Previews 

Spotlight on Patty Lyons

Patty Lyons

The TNNA 2017 NeedleArts Summer Trade Show, taking place June 10-12, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio, is the perfect place for needlearts professionals to learn about the newest products and techniques in the industry!

Register today and choose from more than 40 classes taught by 20 industry experts, including several new to TNNA shows! Learn techniques and strategies to help you run your business and exchange ideas and best practices you can implement when you return to your shop. But hurry, once a class is sold out, it will no longer be available for selection.

Today's spotlight is on classes being taught by Patty Lyons. Read on below for a teaser of Patty's classes and her thoughts on the importance of education for needlearts professionals.

Patty is teaching the following classes at the 2017 Summer Trade Show:

  • Pricing Strategies & Goals in Retail | Thursday, June 8 | 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Twice the Fun, Half the Time | Thursday, June 8 | 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • Tools for Successful Inventory Management | Friday, June 9 | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Building Your Buying Plan – Open to Buy and More | Friday, June 9 | 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Managing Cash Flow | Saturday, June 10 | 7:45 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

 

 





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

Have you taught classes at previous TNNA trade shows?

Patty: Yes.  I come to TNNA to teach and share my expertise.That’s my job.That’s what I do for a living. The most important place to share in industry is the TNNA trade shows. It’s an important part of my regular teaching schedule to share ideas and work with other people in my industry.

What should attendees expect if they register for your classes at the TNNA Summer Trade Show?

Patty: In "Pricing Strategies and Goals in Retail," the most important part is understanding that there is more to pricing strategies than applying keystone pricing (taking your pricing and doubling). It's time to learn from other industries, too. Keep your pricing fluid.

"Tools for Your Successful Inventory Management" is the single-most important class that I teach. Having too much inventory, or not enough of the right inventory, is the number one reason stores have cash flow problems, then are forced to close. 

"Building Your Buying Plan - Open to Buy and More" is the perfect follow up to the inventory class. Learn what is open to buy and how you can use this powerful tool to order your merchandise. Build your buying spreadsheet to help you on the sales floor.

In "Twice the Fun, Half the Work," learn how much faster your customers can knit when they work two at a time on magic loop and two at a time on two circs. Note: Must be comfortable working magic loop. 

Take "Managing Cash Flow" so you can sleep at night. Cash flow is what kept me up at night when I ran a store, quite literally trying to keep the lights on. Take money from flush seasons to make it last through tight seasons; it's how your business can stay open and keep going.

Why do you think education is an important part of attending the Summer Trade Show?

PattyEducation should be one of the primary purpose of a trade show. In this modern era of communication, there’s plenty of information online. But it's not the same as attending a show once or twice a year to network and learn. You also need to recharge, re-energize and bring new ideas back to your business. Depending on the city you work in, there's no networking opportunities or other shop owners to swap ideas with. Classes offer an opportunity to talk with other professionals in your industry – there's no substitute for that. 

 There's a big need for classes even if you’ve been running your business for many years. The world around you changes rather quickly. When we’ve been doing something a long time, we don’t get to step back and look up at what has changed and what we need to learn. It's easy to get stuck in how you've “always” done it.

Aside from education, what else are you looking forward to at the Summer Trade Show?

Patty I look forward to browsing the show floor to see what’s new out there, colors, trends. It's only when walking sales floor, seeing things over and over again, can you glean a sense of the hottest trends.

And I look forward to networking. In our industry, we have very few opportunities to meet with each other. There's nothing like bouncing ideas around between you and other needlearts professionals. 

 

Patty Lyons is a nationally recognized knitting teacher and technique expert who is known for teaching the 'why' not just the 'how' in her pursuit of training the 'mindful knitter.' Patty teaches nationally at guilds and knitting shows around the country, and her popular classes can also be found online and on DVD at Interweave, Annie's and Craftsy.


TNNA classes are categorized by 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 Learn to effectively manage cash flow, plan your marketing, and invest in your future using data you already have.
Expanding Your Expertise Develop new skills and techniques to grow your business and increase profits.
 
The Two-Way Conversation Learn how to effectively engage with customers and vendors through various communications channels.
Leveraging New Tools & Technology Gain insight into the latest tools and technology, including social media, photography, software, and mobile devices.


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

View Classes and View Teachers.


Tags:  Summer Trade Show  TNNANews 

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TNNA 2017 Summer Trade Show Class Previews: Oz Barron

Posted By TNNA Editor, Saturday, May 20, 2017
Updated: Friday, May 12, 2017

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TNNA 2017 Summer Trade Show Class Previews 

Spotlight on Oz Barron

The TNNA 2017 NeedleArts Summer Trade Show, taking place June 10-12, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio, is the perfect place for needlearts professionals to learn about the newest products and techniques in the industry!

Register today and choose from more than 40 classes taught by 20 industry experts, including several new to TNNA shows! Learn techniques and strategies to help you run your business and exchange ideas and best practices you can implement when you return to your shop. But hurry, once a class is sold out, it will no longer be available for selection.

Today's spotlight is on the class being taught by Oz Barron. Read on below for a teaser of Oz's class and his thoughts on the importance of education for needlearts professionals.

Oz is teaching the following class at the 2017 Summer Trade Show:

  • Merchandising Techniques | Thursday, June 8 | 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

 

 





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

Have you taught classes at previous TNNA trade shows?

Oz:  I’ve taught a number of business classes at TNNA. I started as I realized, after so many years in specialty retail and retail related positions, I had a unique set of skills and experiences in this industry so I wanted to give back a little to an industry that has already given us so much. I keep coming back as I feel I have things I can share that will help shops become more successful. The idea being “A rising tide lifts all boats."

Why should attendees consider registering for your class at the TNNA Summer Trade Show?

OzThe idea of the class is to get an understanding of what merchandising is, how others apply the ideas and concepts, and to get ideas and inspirations to look their space in a different way.

Why do you think education is an important part of attending the Summer Trade Show?

OzNone of us is an island, and none of us knows it all. These classes can help any of us look at what we’re doing in a new way or learn new techniques or ideas to bring back to our shops.

Aside from education, what else are you looking forward to at the Summer Trade Show?

OzMeeting with our vendors, seeing what seems to be trending. We also love networking with other shop owners from across the country and around the world to see what works or not for them.

When preparing for your trip to the Summer Trade Show, what's the one item you can't forget to pack?

My phone. ;-)

Oz Barron has more experience than he cares to remember in sales, marketing, retail and music. He has run his own businesses in the music, high tech, and now needlearts field. With his wife, Kris Gregson, they run The Ball & Skein & More, a full service knit, crochet, spinning and weaving store located on the central coast of California in the sleepy little village of Cambria.


TNNA classes are categorized by 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 Learn to effectively manage cash flow, plan your marketing, and invest in your future using data you already have.
Expanding Your Expertise Develop new skills and techniques to grow your business and increase profits.
 
The Two-Way Conversation Learn how to effectively engage with customers and vendors through various communications channels.
Leveraging New Tools & Technology Gain insight into the latest tools and technology, including social media, photography, software, and mobile devices.


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

View Classes and View Teachers.


Tags:  Summer Trade Show  TNNANews 

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TNNA 2017 Summer Trade Show Class Previews: Nancy Shroyer

Posted By TNNA Editor, Friday, May 19, 2017
Updated: Friday, May 12, 2017

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TNNA 2017 Summer Trade Show Class Previews 

Spotlight on Nancy Shroyer

Nancy Shroyer

The TNNA 2017 NeedleArts Summer Trade Show, taking place June 10-12, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio, is the perfect place for needlearts professionals to learn about the newest products and techniques in the industry!

Register today and choose from more than 40 classes taught by 20 industry experts, including several new to TNNA shows! Learn techniques and strategies to help you run your business and exchange ideas and best practices you can implement when you return to your shop. But hurry, once a class is sold out, it will no longer be available for selection.

Today's spotlight is on classes being taught by Nancy Shroyer. Read on below for a teaser of Nancy's classes and her thoughts on the importance of education for needlearts professionals.

Nancy is teaching the following classes at the 2017 Summer Trade Show:

  • How To Select Color Palettes for Knitting and Other Fiber Arts | Thursday, June 8 | 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • Fair Isle Knitting 101 | Friday, June 9  | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • How To Select Color Palettes for Knitting and Other Fiber Arts | Friday, June 9  | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

 

 





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

Have you taught classes at previous TNNA trade shows?

Nancy:  Yes, I have taught the past two years; before that, I was an exhibitor for 15 years (Nancy’s Knit Knacks).

I love teaching and sharing my love of knitting with anyone and everyone. When I work with the shop owners, it is an opportunity to touch even more people because I encourage them to take what I teach them back to their classes. I offer my patterns to use to make it easier for them. It’s all about sharing the love.

Why should attendees consider registering for your classes at the TNNA Summer Trade Show?

NancyI worked in yarn shops for about 9 years, and one of my best friends owns a yarn shop, so I am familiar with making my classes relevant to shop owners, not just students.

Why do you think education is an important part of attending the Summer Trade Show?

NancyI think the more shop owners know about knitting and how new concepts and ideas can excite their customers, the more successful they will be.

Aside from education, what else are you looking forward to at the Summer Trade Show?

NancySince I was an exhibitor for years, I have lots of friends from all parts of TNNA and love seeing what they are doing now.  I also get inspiration from what is new and different. And I get to see my daughter, Lisa who works for Interweave.

When preparing for your trip to the Summer Trade Show, what's the one item you can't forget to pack?

My knitting! No matter the trip or the reason, that is the first thing I think about packing.

Nancy Shroyer is a knitter, spinner, weaver, dyer, designer and teacher from Cary, NC. As the founder of Nancy’s Knit Knacks LLC, Nancy, along with a select team, designs and develops a line of tools and equipment for yarn shops, fiber artists and producers. Nancy personally invented 15+ tools for knitters and spinners.

Nancy is an author and designer. She has two published books and more than 30 published patterns. Nancy has been teaching fiber arts classes for 40 years. She has 23 different workshops in knitting, spinning, dyeing and weaving. Her students love her kind, easygoing manner.


TNNA classes are categorized by 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 Learn to effectively manage cash flow, plan your marketing, and invest in your future using data you already have.
Expanding Your Expertise Develop new skills and techniques to grow your business and increase profits.
 
The Two-Way Conversation Learn how to effectively engage with customers and vendors through various communications channels.
Leveraging New Tools & Technology Gain insight into the latest tools and technology, including social media, photography, software, and mobile devices.


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

View Classes and View Teachers.


Tags:  Summer Trade Show  TNNANews 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
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