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Sandra Arthur

Sandra Arthur teaches at local, regional and national levels. She is designer/co-owner of Duo Designs, Inc. She is published in Cross Stitcher, Needle Pointers, Needlepoint Now (including covers). Sandra is active in ANG, EGA, NETA, NAN, TNNA and is a past member of ANG’s Board of Directors. She is the author of the successful Shapes of Needlepoint Series of books for which she has been awarded the prestigious Literary Award by the American Needlepoint Guild twice. Sandy and her husband of 54+ years have two children, two granddaughters and two great-grandchildren. They live in Lexington, KY.


Classes Sandra Arthur is teaching:

  • Noah's Tooth Fairy Ark

Virginia Barney

After graduating from Boston University in 2014, Virginia Barney started a needlepoint blog called “Stitch Style” as a creative outlet to share her passion for needlepoint with others. Her stitch guides have also been published by Melissa Shirley Designs and Needlepoint Now. She currently works as Director of Education for Needlepoint.Com, where she is developing their selection of online classes. Jinny is a popular instructor at Needlepoint.Com, where she has taught numerous classes and private lessons as well as store-sponsored national retreats at the Grove Park Inn and at the Raleigh store. She is very excited to be making her TNNA teaching debut with Kirk and Bradley!

Classes Virginia Barney is teaching:

  • Kirk & Bradley Mews House (Needlepoint)

Oz Barron

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 Needle arts 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.

Classes Oz Barron is teaching:

  • Choosing a POS

Gwen Bortner

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

Classes Gwen Bortner is teaching:

  • Accounting Basics: Making Sense of the Numbers
  • Increase Profits - Create Classes
  • Three Surprising Things That Are Seriously Damaging Your Business

Christine Bylsma

Classes Christine Bylsma is teaching:

  • Beautiful Two-Color Brioche: Learn it to Teach it
  • The Best Kept Secrets of the Most Successful Shops and How to Take Them Home

Lily Chin

Classes Lily Chin is teaching:

  • Knitting Tips, Tricks and Hints

Kelly Clark

Kelly is a Nationally recognized Needlepoint Instructor, with a special interest in teaching Stumpwork and Dimensional Needlepoint Techniques.  She has taught workshop classes at Needlepoint Shops from coast-to-coast. As well as teachingnumerous classes at both TNNA Markets in 2016.

Classes Kelly Clark is teaching:

  • Knitting Tips, Tricks and Hints

Ruth Dilts

Classes Ruth Dilts is teaching:

  • Pumpkin Cone...Ghostie

Merri Fromm

Merri 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.

Classes Merri Fromm is teaching:

  • Make Your Newsletters Pretty! Graphic Design 101

Lucinda Iglesias

Lucinda 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.

Classes Lucinda Iglesias is teaching:

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

Deborah Jarchow

Deborah, after many years of teaching knitting and crochet, discovered weaving. Since 1996 she has worked full time in the fiber arts, including teaching, creating and selling wearables, giving lectures, and showing in exhibits across the country. She has won numerous awards, written articles for national publications, and teaches at various venues including, Convergence, Stitches, Vogue, and TNNA. She loves helping retailers discover that rigid heddle weaving helps sell yarn.

Classes Deborah Jarchow is teaching:

  • Dishtowels on the Rigid Heddle Loom
  • Rigid Heddle Weaving - An Asset to your Yarn Shop

Bobbi Kreb

Classes Bobbi Kreb is teaching:

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

Melissa Leapman

One of the most prolific designers and teachers at work in the US, Melissa Leapman is the bestselling author of several knitting and crocheting books. Her next book, 6000+ Pullover Possibilities is due out in February of 2017.

Classes Melissa Leapman is teaching:

  • Ahead of the Curve: Designing Crescent Shawls
  • Crochet for Cowards
  • Teaching Knitting to Newbies

Joan Lohr

Classes Joan Lohr is teaching:

  • Pumpkin Cone...Ghostie

Patty Lyons

Patty 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.

Classes Patty Lyons is teaching:

  • Managing Cash Flow
  • Pricing Strategies & Goals in Retail
  • Tools for Successful Inventory Management
  • We Can Change That – Sweater Re-Design

Judith McCabe

Judith McCabe has worked as a buyer and retail manager for over 20 years.  During this time she has successfully improved the profitability of specialty stores around the country.   She has taught classes to designers, quilters, crafters and educators through the International Quilt Market, CHA and NAEA.  Judith holds an MFA in Fiber and Mixed Media and works as an independent consultant in the fiber and craft industries.  She is the author of three booklets and has recently begun her own pattern line, Stylish Stitching.

Classes Judith McCabe is teaching:

  • Open to Buy and Other Scary Stuff

Janeann Sleeman

Janeann specializes in teaching the basics of needlepoint and decorative stitches.  She creates stitch guides for commercial canvas designers, shops, and for those desiring custom projects.  She has needlepointed for 40+ years.  Upon retiring from full time employment Janeann began teaching in shops, ANG and EGA local guilds.  She fosters a relaxed yet enthusiastic approach in her classes while encouraging students to apply what they have learned. Before retiring Janeann held Executive leadership positions for the nation's largest defense contractor.  She graduated from Radford College with a BS in Business Administration.  She is from Charleston, WV and resides in Florida.

Classes Janeann Sleeman is teaching:

  • Sleigh Master, The Artists Collection

Tara Swiger

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.

Classes Tara Swiger is teaching:

  • Building Better Business
  • Email Marketing for Yarn Shops
  • Fill Your Classes

Laura Taylor

Laura’s interest for needlearts began as a young girl sitting alongside her Grandmother crocheting, sewing, needlepointing and cross stitching. In college, Laura focused on two dimensional art and earned her degree in Graphic Design at California State University Northridge. She incorporates her design background and love for color, texture and balance into every canvas she works on. Laura is a passionate teacher who collaborates with students to bring out their personal best.  She teaches weekly needlepoint classes at Aristeia Needlepoint in Santa Monica. Laura also teaches workshops,  project classes, canvas interpretation and private lessons at needlepoint shops across the nation.

Classes Laura Taylor is teaching:

  • Best Friends

Cynthia Thomas

Cynthia is an award winning designer who has been teaching needlepoint for over 30 years.  She has written hundreds of commercial and custom stitch guides.  Her work has appeared in Needlepoint Now and Stitcher's World.  She lives and works in the Texas Hill Country.

Classes Cynthia Thomas is teaching:

  • Shopping Expedition
  • Thumbelina and Friends

Stacey Trock

Stacey Trock is the entrepreneur and social media maven behind FreshStitches, the uber-popular and innovative craft design and supply company. Her experience running one of the largest subscription clubs in the fiber world, teaching internationally, and developing her own overseas-manufactured products provides her with unique insight into how to merchandize and market in the yarn industry. Stacey has a sharp understanding of the motivations that underlie consumer purchases, and she specializes in connecting small businesses with easy-to-implement and trendsetting marketing ideas.

Classes Stacey Trock is teaching:

  • Blogging and Social Media for Yarn Shops
  • Create an Employee Handbook
  • Strategies for Handling Difficult Customers and Your Online Presence

Suzanne Vallerie

Classes Suzanne Vallerie is teaching:

  • Whimsical Wreath

Elizabeth Whiteside

Classes Elizabeth Whiteside is teaching:

  • Create Better Collateral!
  • Creating Schematics with Illustrator

 Check back often for updates to speakers bios and headshots!

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