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A Passion for the Arts

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A Passion for the Arts By: TNNA Editor March has brought distress and worry to many craft businesses and employees — so let’s end this month on a positive note! We’re bringing you a new spotlight of a member of the TNNA leadership team. Get to know more about Alexandra “Sasha” Parks, At Large Director on the TNNA Board of Directors and Artistic Director of Dashing Mouse Designs . Parks discusses her start in the industry, her journey through wholesale in addition to retail and her secrets to success. Share a bit about your business and how you got started. Alexandra “Sasha” Parks (AP): I have been playing with string my entire life, and I come ...
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Surviving COVID-19 for TNNA Members By Heather Zoppetti With many businesses forced to close, we know that businesses are feeling the crunch right now. Here, I'm sharing some ideas for how to keep on keeping on when you can’t have an “open” sign in the window. Some ideas are a little more creative than others, and some you may have thought of already. Thank you to everyone who has sent in and shared ideas to help create this list. We are makers are creators at our cores. Together we lift each other up, and together we will persist. In addition to ideas, I have tried to provide links to resources all members may find helpful. Please note that events ...
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#NeedleStoresoftheWorld: Heritage Spinning and Weaving By: TNNA Editor For the March #NeedleStoresoftheWorld spotlight, we're taking you back to Michigan so you can learn about  Heritage Spinning and Weaving  of Lake Orion. Describe what Heritage Spinning and Weaving does best. Heritage Spinning and Weaving opened in 2000 because owner Joan Sheridan couldn’t find weaving supplies locally. It started as a spinning and weaving store, but quickly added knitting and crochet yarns, needles, and hooks and notions. Heritage is home to My Little Knitting Book, Knitting Boot Camp, and a line of knitting patterns. Patterns can be purchased in the shop ...
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Taking Care of Your Craft Business During the Coronavirus Outbreak By: Sandi Rosner for Stitchcraft Marketing The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is here. Since the first widely reported cases in China in late January, the coronavirus has spread across the globe with stunning speed, bringing widespread economic disruption, illness and sometimes death. As of this writing, there are more than 1,200 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in the United States. That number will surely grow by the time you read this. The country’s lack of access to testing for the virus, combined with the fact that infected people can spread the virus before experiencing ...
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A Statement on COVID-19 from TNNA Like any business or organization, TNNA is acutely aware of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Our thoughts go out to those personally affected by the pandemic, and we encourage everyone to practice healthy habits and appropriate diligence in these unprecedented times. We are closely monitoring COVID-19, abiding by the advice of federal and local public health authorities, and working with our partner organizations to ensure the safest possible conditions for participants at our live events, including the upcoming Summer NeedleArts Trade Show scheduled to take place in Cleveland this May. Know that we treat the well-being ...
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Step-up Your Social Media Game at #TNNASummer20  By: TNNA Editor The 2020 TNNA Summer NeedleArts Trade Show , May 27–31, is continuing as planned and will be here before you know it. What better way to get excited for the event than by sitting down with some of our #TNNASummer20 teachers? Gale Zucker and Beverly Army Williams will lead four sessions focused on social media, online participation and more. Join them in Cleveland this May and make sure your business is social media savvy!  Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you got involved in needlearts? Gale Zucker (GZ): I live in a beach community on the coast of Connecticut, ...
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Opinion: The Changing Landscape of Craft By: Heather Zoppetti Part 1 – The Internet of Things Everything changes — including the way business flows. No longer is the direction of retail business linear. What I mean is, business used to work like this: Business flow used to be manufacturer to wholesaler, to retailer, to consumer. Now, with the internet, everyone has the power to sell direct, including consumers. The flow of business looks more like this: Business is no longer linear, it’s now a jumble. Everyone can sell direct to consumers and everyone is a consumer. It’s true, the internet has changed everything including the ...
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#MakerSpotlight: Hanson St.

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#MakerSpotlight: Hanson St. By: TNNA Editor We’re taking you to the “Mitten State” for our March #MakerSpotlight — try saying that three times fast! Maker Kayla Hering says her shop Hanson St. “houses the little white cottage where I fell in love.” From her chunky infinity scarves, Mommy & Me beanie sets, specialty pillows, coffee cup cozies and more, one thing is for sure: You'll be craving these chic, colorful products as spring starts to head our way. Tell us what makes your business unique. Hanson St. is a collaboration of knitwear, clothing, home decor and my love for Michigan. Share a “fun fact” about you or your products. Every ...
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Photo by  lalo Hernandez  on  Unsplash Utilizing Instagram as a Sales Platform By: Stitchcraft Marketing A variety of factors have rapidly turned Instagram into one of the hottest online sales platforms for businesses. The visual medium is a natural fit for showcasing eye-catching product imagery. A billion people use Instagram every month, with 200 million Instagram users visiting business profiles on a daily basis. More than 1 in 10 users shop regularly on the platform, and 81% utilize Instagram to research new products. Instagram’s potential advertising reach is a staggering 849.3 million users, and every month 130 million users tap on shoppable ...
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Behind the Design: Meghan Jones' #LYSDay Inspo By: TNNA Editor You've heard the stories behind this year's  Local Yarn Store Day design contest judges . Since then, we've announced the winner of each category and begun to tease the soon-to-be-available, exclusive patterns. Now, we're taking some time to get to know the people  behind  the pattern.  Knit design winner Meghan Jones  shares her inspiration, pattern-making process and favorite local yarn stores.  Share a bit about your designs and background. Meghan Jones (MJ): I have always been interested in the arts, and not necessarily only knitting. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) that ...
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From Italy to the U.S., How Country Life Inspired Pino Blangiforti's Career By: TNNA Editor We're closing out this Leap Year February with a new spotlight on one TNNA leadership. Get to know Pino Blangiforti, At Large Director on the TNNA Board of Directors and CEO of Unicorn Fibre. Pino discusses his company's long history, how he approaches business and what keeps his love for the industry ticking. Share a bit about your business and how you got started. Pino Blangiforti (PB): I was born July 4, 1943 on a farm in Sicily during the World War II Allied invasion. Six years after that tumultuous start, a journey through Ellis Island landed my ...
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#NeedleStoresoftheWorld: Plum Tree Yarn Shop By: TNNA Editor "Leap" into our special Leap Year #NeedleStoresoftheWorld feature! This month, we're taking you to Michigan for a visit to  Plum Tree Yarn Shop  in Milan. Describe what Plum Tree Yarn Shop does best. Just 10 minutes south of Ann Arbor, this family business encourages Southeast Michigan residents and visitors to create beautiful textiles and express themselves artistically. The store does this by selling high-quality yarn and supplies, teaching project-based classes and developing an inclusive community. What makes Plum Tree Yarn Shop unique? This LYS just opened in October 2019 and ...
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Everything You Need to Know (EYNTK) ... About Silk By: Alexandra Parks, Dashing Mouse Designs Silk is a beautiful fiber with unparalleled sheen and drape. Whether used on its own or in a blend, silk has characteristics that fiber artists love. But how much do you know about the different kinds of silk and how it can be used in various crafts? All true silk comes from silkworms. Some rayons with similar properties are marketed as “—silk,” such as soysilk, but that is a topic for a different day. Types of Silk The finest, whitest silk is bombyx silk, sometimes also called "cultivated silk" or "mulberry silk," and comes from the cocoon of the bombyx ...
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#MakerSpotlight: Crafty is Cool By: TNNA Editor We’re l♥ving our February #MakerSpotlight with Allison Hoffman from  Crafty is Cool.  Since her start in 2007, Hoffman has taken the crocheting scene by storm. With her growing popularity among celebrities, three amigurumi pattern books under her belt and adorably cool designs, she’s got no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Continue reading for more on Hoffman and her minis! Tell us what makes your business unique. I try to make things that have tons of personality and nostalgia. That's what makes them so fun to make. When I write patterns, I don't skimp on the details. I'm so excited ...
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The Rules of Overtime: What You Need to Know Paige McAllister and Claudia St. John of Affinity HR Group, Inc. Many of our clients mistakenly believe it is up to them to decide whether to pay employees on an hourly (non-exempt) or salaried (exempt) basis. Often, they classify employees, such as CSRs and inside sales professionals, as exempt and salaried when, in fact, the law requires that they be paid hourly and eligible for overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) , administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), establishes a duties and salary test that employers must consider when classifying an employee as “non-exempt” or “exempt.” ...
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Soak-ing Up Some Fun With Jacqueline Sava By: TNNA Editor Our TNNA Board of Directors series continues! Dive into the careers and experiences of your leadership with us as we bring you TNNA Secretary Jacqueline Sava of Soak Wash, Inc. Jacqueline discusses the birth of Soak, how she approaches change and what keeps her love for crafting alive. TNNA: Share a bit about your business and how you got started. Jacqueline Sava (JS): I grew up watching my mom knit. She was also a master at needlepoint, bargello and apparel design. At Rhode Island School of Design, while studying industrial design, I took machine knitting in the textile department ...
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Behind the Design: Jill Wolcott Knits for #LYSDay By: TNNA Editor Back in October, we shared the stories behind the 2020 Local Yarn Store Day design contest judges . Since then, we've announced the winner of each category and begun to tease the soon-to-be-available, exclusive patterns. So, while we know what you really cannot wait to see is each pattern, we're taking some time to get to know the people behind the pattern. It all starts with gender-neutral design winner Jill Wolcott . Read on to learn about the design she crafted and her creative process. Share a bit about your designs and background. Jill Wolcott : I learned to sew with a ...
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#NeedleStoresoftheWorld: River City Yarns By: TNNA Editor This month, we're ringing in a new year ( and a new decade! ) with a brand-new #NeedleStoresoftheWorld feature! Discover the story of Edmonton's  River City Yarns  in Alberta, Canada. Describe what River City Yarns does best. If you like to shop locally or to support the handcraft market, River City Yarns has what you're looking for. The store's local, handmade products include knitting needle cases, drop spindles, yarn swifts, sterling silver stitch markers, unspun fiber, accessories and jewelry. Designated "a place to unwind," River City Yarns is a sanctuary for crafters and pillar of ...
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Photo courtesy of  Pantone.com Take It Easy with Pantone's 2020 Color of the Year By: TNNA Editor Is it just us, or was 2019 the year that didn’t stop? We’re slowing things down in 2020 with Pantone ’s Color of the Year, to the relaxing tone of Classic Blue. According to the site, the color installs “calm, confidence and connection" and the "enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.” Ugh, yes, please! Intertwine this color into your projects all year long. We’ll get you started with some inspiration that just might lead to meditation: ...
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#MakerSpotlight: Dockside Knits   By: TNNA Editor New year, new #MakerSpotlight! Maker Karen Bourquin is a boater that loves all things water. According to her website, “Dockside landings are always at the beginning and conclusion of our wandering adventures.” Read on to learn more about our January maker. Tell us what makes your business unique. I love to design things that I would love to wear, using yarns from ethical and sustainable sources, that provide adventurous details to enable the knitter to achieve a successful and wearable knitted garment or accessory. Share a “fun fact” about you or your products. I am so lucky to live on Vancouver ...
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