TNNA Blog

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How to Participate in Warm Up America This Winter If you're looking for ways to get involved and help those in need this holiday season, look no further than Warm Up America! Through the foundation, you have the opportunity to make a difference as an individual or with a group by helping knit or crochet sections and sharing them with the foundation to be joined together to create afghans, caps and other items. Warm Up America! distributes the finished pieces to tens of thousands of people around the country. Here are some more tips for getting involved.  How to get a group going Ask for volunteers. This can be as informal as talking to a neighbor or ...
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How to Make the Most Out of Small Business Saturday By Leanne Pressly When it comes to marketing your small crafting business, one of the best things to take advantage of during the holiday season is Small Business Saturday. Taking place the Saturday after Thanksgiving, it’s scheduled directly between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to shine a spotlight on small independent business that can’t (and shouldn’t!) compete with big box retailers. This year, Small Business Saturday is scheduled for November 24, and given the large spending each holiday season usually generates, you can’t afford to miss out. Originally created by American Express as a shopping ...
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6 Fun FREE Things to do in Portland By Heather  Zoppetti We’re headed to Portland, Oregon, for the 2019 NeedleArts Winter Market and we could not be more thrilled! Exploring a new place is always fun and I especially love to explore alongside my TNNA peers. To help aid your discovery, I’ve rounded up six free — and fun! — things you can expect to find when you join us in January. Powell’s City of Books ( website )   Do you love books? Powell’s, located in the Pearl District, is the largest independent bookstore and a definite must see. They have both new and used books, gifts and a café. The Pearl District is also a fun area to walk ...
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#NeedleStoresoftheWorld: Harps & Thistles Yarn Emporium The brick-and-mortar features continue! With this latest #NeedleStoresoftheWorld installment, we head to Ohio and discover its Cuyahoga Falls gem, Harps & Thistles Yarn Emporium . Describe what Harps & Thistles does best. Owner Cindy Michael founded Harps & Thistles as a boutique yarn shop and gathering place that strives to build a sense of community for knitters and crocheters in Northeast Ohio. What makes Harps & Thistles unique? I like to keep my customers engaged! Our monthly PJ Parties are well attended with 25-40 people handcrafting and socializing at each event. ...
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Autumn is here. From my desk in the mid-Atlantic, leaves are falling, the air is crisp, and everything is coming up pumpkin spice. At the  TNNA Summer NeedleArts Trade Show  in Cleveland, vendors showed off their fall and winter goods, allowing retailers to get a jumpstart on stocking their shelves. Did you attend the show? If not, it is a great opportunity to preview upcoming trends and to get a front row seat to everything NEW! Here, I’ll share some trends I noticed while walking the trade show floor. Simplicity is trending, and it’s been happening for some time. People are trying to return to a more minimal lifestyle, which is a consumer trend ...
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Spindles of the World

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By Robin Goatey Making fiber tools and bringing ancient tool forms back to life for the Fiber Tribe is always full of interesting surprises. A seeming random conversation in-person at a festival or via Instagram DM – or email – can lead to a research thread that very often leads one to the archives of the British Museum online , early Smithsonian Anthropology reports or Norse Grave Goods inventories from the Oseberg Ship Burial. All with the intention of finding lost or especially misidentified early fiber tools. The “ring distaff,” in particular, was misidentified as a “stirring stick,” and Kim Caulfield in her research on distaffs and spindles has ...
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Where in the world are all the needlearts stores? Right here! For an all-new #NeedleStoresoftheWorld highlight, we head to Georgia and learn about Thomasville’s Fuzzy Goat .   Describe what Fuzzy Goat does best. Owner Cadence Kidwell has built Fuzzy Goat as a welcoming destination for local (and non-local) makers to get cozy. The shop has free Wi-Fi and is decorated as a lodge, inviting its community to come, gather, and make.   What makes Fuzzy Goat unique? Fuzzy Goat’s eclectic, lodge vibe is one-of-a-kind and its luxuriously appealing yarns are sourced from independent U.S. vendors, with an emphasis on the Southern ...
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By: Weaver Nancy of The Woolery Despite the current popularity of the blending board and the fascination that fiber photographers have been showing for colorful rolags, I still see relatively few spinners actually spinning woolen; most spinners are spinning with a worsted or at best semi-worsted draw. Now, I will be the first to admit that at heart I am a worsted spinner myself, and it stretches my comfort zone some substantially to spin woolen for long periods of time; still, generations of spinners have been spinning miles of yarn a lot faster when they spin woolen with a long draw. For a contest where the goal is yards (and yards and yards), it makes ...
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Check out the Humans That Yarn Youtube playlist to see the five yarnists who have already been featured. Follow along, and tag your posts for the rest of 2018 on Facebook , Instagram and Pinterest using #humansthatyarn and #yarnist. Learn more about the CYC campaign here .    Design HTML Previ
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By: Angela Smith of  Purl & Loop As a creative small business founder and owner, I am always searching for ways to connect and be part of a creative business tribe. This is challenging in my business’s physical geographical area (Houston, TX) as I often find artists/creative types and business folks separately, but rarely do I find a combination of both. When I do, they are pulled in a million directions just like me and finding time to connect and bounce ideas off of one another is virtually impossible. Yet, when I attend conferences, such as TNNA, I am surrounded by people who are trying to be successful in a small creative business or who are just ...
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As a needlearts professional, you are definitely using your fair share of yarn, but that means you are also generating a lot of scrap yarn and yarn that you may have bought with the intention of using, but has just sat in a basket. Luckily, there are some ways you can get rid of your scraps and feel good about it! Donate It There are numerous places that can benefit from your old scraps of yarn - and get great use out of it. Think about your local schools, art centers and senior homes as viable options. These places in particular may not have it in their budget to provide a ton of art supplies. Your scraps of yarn can be turned into beautiful art ...
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Did you miss our #NeedleStoresoftheWorld highlights? We’re back with an all-new feature as we continue to showcase all of the amazing stores TNNA members ( that’s you! ) run. Continue reading to learn all about Michigan’s  The Yarn Stop .   Describe what The Yarn Stop does best. Owned by Sam Gill and Mike Brunck, The Yarn Stop is a recent local award winner and offers a variety of yarns along with a supply of knitting and crochet accessories, as well as classes.   What makes The Yarn Stop unique? The Yarn Stop offers strong competition to big box stores and the internet, with attention to personal service and creating a sense of ...
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By Sandi Rosner, Stitchcraft Marketing In April 2016, Facebook rolled out its branded content tool as a way to streamline the collaboration between content creators and business partners. When this tool is used to tag a sponsoring brand on a post, both the creator and the sponsor are able view reach and engagement statistics, run the post as an ad, or boost the post. Over time, Facebook’s policies regarding branded content have evolved. In this post, we’ll look at how the current branded content guidelines apply to crafty businesses. What is branded content? Facebook defines branded content as content “produced by a publisher or creator for payment ...
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How to Prepare Your Team for Spinzilla 2017 By Jaime Jennings It is August and that means it’s time to start thinking about Spinzilla! With team sign ups increasing day by day, I have some great ideas for anyone interested in hosting a team to help make Spinzilla a successful, community-building event for your store or brand.  Since we are a shop located in Denver, almost all of our team members are local. One of the keys to our Spinzilla success has been our team spinning meetups and prep work. It is important to host a team meeting before Spinzilla starts to get your team amped up and ready for the competition. Even for teams with ...
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The Tribute to Excellence in Needlearts (TEN) Award honors someone who represents or has represented, the finest in the needlearts industry and who personifies and uphold the TNNA mission statement. This year, the award went to Gwen Bortner.  Gwen has been a vital a member of the TNNA community since 2003. In her professional experience, she has been a buyer, wholesaler, teacher, designer, author, industry consultant — just to name a few! Within TNNA, Gwen has played a valuable part in association leadership through the founding of the Business and Creative Services group, serving on the Board of Directors (and as Secretary/Treasurer), and acting ...
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Need a reason to listen to more podcasts? Well, you’re in luck: There are so many podcasts out there covering the needlearts and craft industry. Check out some of our favorites! Business of Craft The Business of Craft Podcast is a lively show where our host Leanne Pressly, of Stitchcraft Marketing , interviews business leaders and entrepreneurs in fiber arts, fabric, sewing and other creative industries so you can learn to craft a better business. Subscribe: Website | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher Fiber Talk Fiber Talk is a podcast for hobbyists who play in the fiber-arts world in which co-hosts Gary L. Parr and Christine Williams ...
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We’re back with another #NeedleStoresoftheWorld highlight! This bi-weekly (and beyond) series aims to showcase all of the amazing stores that TNNA members run. Today, meet The Tinsmith’s Wife and discover its story.   Describe what The Tinsmith’s Wife does best. A true family-run shop ( including storeowner, Wendy’s, Dad! ) The Tinsmith’s Wife focuses on knitting, crochet, needlepoint and cross-stitch. All this is combined in a historic building, in a quaint Texas town where customers are family.   What makes The Tinsmith’s Wife unique? Our shop family includes a posse of hard-working shop cats  – two good looking ...
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With over 200 million users, Pinterest is no joke. As a tool, it can also be one of the best sales drivers for a retail business, especially given more than half of users claim to have made a purchase based on something they saw on the site. And, even though Pinterest users are a global group, all users have one thing in common: They turn to Pinterest for inspiration. Whether your business is on Pinterest to build awareness, drive traffic to your website, become a DIY resource or to increase your credibility as an influencer, here are some of our top tips for using the social network effectively. Define the Audience You Want Like we said, there are ...
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Voice: The Next Frontier for Search By Leanne Pressly of Stitchcraft Marketing Voice search is using your voice, and your words, to request assistance from a digital virtual assistant. Think about Google Home, Siri from Apple, or Alexa from Amazon; these are three of the most popular voice search assistants. Even now, you can ask Siri or Alexa to find information or complete actions by using simple words or phrases. Statistics suggest that people are making increasing use of voice search over text search (i.e. typing words or questions into a search engine), and that by 2020 more than half of all searches will be voice searches (via ComScore ...
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#NeedleStoresoftheWorld: Grandma's Spinning Wheel By: TNNANews   For the latest #NeedleStoresoftheWorld, our brand-new series, meet Grandma's Spinning Wheel (GSW). Owned by Vicky and Michael Konecky , check out this store’s story below.   Describe what GSW does best. GSW is the best stocked fiber store in the Southwest with over 2,000 square feet of space!   What makes GSW unique? We have a full fiber arts support shop for knitters, crocheters, rigid heddle weavers, spinners, and felters (needle, wet and nuno). We carry the largest selection of yarn and fiber in Arizona and southern New Mexico, as well ...
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