Kate's Collage
"Vinny Da Vendor"
"Benny Da Buyer"
Kizer & Bender
Memory, Paper & Stamps
Category Reports
Designing Perspectives
Scene & Heard

Creative Leisure News
306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com



Date: February 25, 2007
Vol. XII, No. 4

Printer Version


bulletCommentary: Thanks for the Memories
bulletNew Columns This Issue
bulletTake the CLN Poll: Did CHA Meet Expectations?
bulletThe CLN Poll: Expectations for the CHA Show
bulletMore News from the CHA Show
bulletCHA Show Comments
bulletA Stock Market Analyst's View of CHA
bulletA.C. Moore, Hancock Release Financial Data
bulletWal-Mart: Record Sales/Earnings, But...
bulletHeard on the CHA Show Floor
bulletStrange Crimes in Our Industry
bulletNew Online Memory Products & Services
bulletEmail: Nuremberg International Toy Fair Report
bulletRandom Notes, Random Thoughts
bulletMiscellaneous News: Toy Fair & Imports
bulletMiscellaneous News
bulletMiscellaneous News: Products
bulletThe Creative Network: Job Openings
bulletA President's Day History Lesson


The CHA winter show marked the end of my second term on the CHA board of directors. Between HIA, ACCI, and CHA, I served a total of 12 years and it has been a wonderful experience. I made some great friends, learned a lot about the overall industry, and found it refreshing to use my brain for something other than my daily job.

I served with independent and chain retailers, distributors, publishers, designers, and service providers and was impressed with how everyone put aside their individual business interests to do what was best for the industry. We may not have always made the right decisions, but we tried, and the current members of the CHA board (and, I'm positive, the TNNA and NAMTA boards) will continue to do what they think is best for all of us.

If ever you have a chance to serve on an industry board, do it. The return on your small investment in time is well worth it.

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"Benny da Buyer". Due to technical difficulties, some readers may have missed the charts in Judikins' Rob Bostick and Sarah Hodsdon's article, "How Products Sell" – excellent advice for how independents should buy. The article – with the charts – is still here, plus reactions from an independent scrapbook retailer.

Newbriefs. Did you miss the CLN newsbrief sent Feb. 7 regarding January retail sales and Jo-Ann's fourth quarter and fiscal year sales report? Or the Feb. 17 general summary of the CHA winter show? They're right here.

Industry Research. CHA has issued its quarterly update of its Attitude & Usage study, and the Craft Yarn Council of America has released its 2007 Tracking Study – Consumer Purchasing Habits & Motivation. Here are details on accessing these studies.

"Vinny Da Vendor". A vendor decries the changes in A.C. Moore stores, but those changes may be temporary.

Memory, Paper & Stamps. A photo/scrapbook store in Maryland is selling out its traditional scrapbook supplies and will concentrate on digital services.

Designing Perspectives. A veteran designer takes a long hard look at the low pay designers earn from manufacturers and publishers.

Kate's Collage. An update on the Rwanda Knits program that helps widows, victims of genocide and AIDS, become self sufficient through knitting cooperatives.

Business-Wise. Wilton is celebrating its 80th anniversary – one of the oldest, most successful companies in our industry. But it wasn't always that way. In 1929 Dewey McKinley Wilton opened a cake decorating and candy making school for caterers and chefs in a single room of his Chicago home. Here's how it grew.

Scene & Heard. Cindy Groom-Harry, head of Craft Marketing Connections, a top design/marketing firm, evaluates the product and design trends at the CHA winter show. Plus, a detailed report on the recently completed New York Toy Fair.

(Note: If a column appears to be an old column, click the "Refresh" or "Reload" button on your browser.)

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OK, the CHA winter extravaganza is over. Was it what you expected? Were you pleasantly surprised or disappointed? To vote, click on Industry Polls in the right-hand column or click HERE and CLN will compare the results with the expectations in the next issue.

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Voters in CLN's unscientific poll traveled to Anaheim in a reasonably optimistic mood. More than a third, 36.4% thought the show would be excellent for their business, and 31.8% expected the show to be "good, but not great." Only 29.6 said they had very limited expectations, and 2.3% were not sure.

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(Note: To read the general summary which was emailed to subscribers Feb. 17, click on Newsbriefs in the left-hand column.)

Research. CHA released its updated Attitude and Usage study indicating the size of the industry is at $31.5 billion. The Craft Yarn Council of America released a new study indicating knitters and crocheters made an average of 21.2 projects in 2007; that's up 23%.

New Board Members. Elizabeth Boyle, Treasury of Memories ... Mark Peters, Duncan ... Linda Augsburg, Kalmbach ... Michael Birkholm, Darice ... Joseph McCabe, DMC ... Sara Naumann, Hot Off The Press. Peters and Naumann began serving last fall, filling out the terms of members who had resigned. They now begin their own three-year terms with the other new members.

Nominating Committee. Elected by the members at large: Beth Mauro, Scrapbook Retailer ... Pam Riddell, Maps-2-Memories and The Riddell Group ... Ed Rogala, Midwest Products. Elected by the board: Bob Ferguson, Ferguson Merchandising/Ben Franklin Crafts ... Larry Olliges, Dee's Crafts ... Maureen Ruth, Creative Marketing Solutions. Bob Ferguson is the committee chair.

Imports. Nancy Steorts, former Chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, told attendees at her CHA seminar and luncheon that the bill pending in Congress, with much stricter regulations and penalties for importers, would pass and be signed, regardless of who was elected President in November. When CLN asked her if this would affect craft products for kids, she was not sure where to draw the line between crafts and toys.

Booth Awards. The Exhibiting with Excellence awards, voted by members of the press, CHA staff, and Susan Friedmann (consultant and "Trade Show Coach"): Art Materials/Framing, Canvas Corp. ... Digital Imaging Pavilion, Kaleidoscope Collection ... Fabric/Quilting/Needlecrafts, Saleutions ... General Crafts, BagWorks ... Scrapbooking, Little Yellow Bicycle – C-Through Ruler ... New Exhibitor, ScrapOnizer ... License and Design, Debra Quartermain and Marie Browning Creates ... International Pavilion, Flower Soft. Judging criteria included use of floor space, visual appeal of the booth, and overall presence and friendliness of staff.

Designer Press Kit Awards. First Place: Painted Olive ... Golden Press Kit Awards: 1st place, Plaid ... 2nd place, Ellison ... 3rd place, Pentel.

Innovation Showcase Winners (new products). Art Materials/Framing: Faber-Castell- Booth ... Digital Imaging Pavilion: Hewlett Packard ... Fabric/Quilting/Needlecrafts: JHB Int. ... General Crafts: Fuseworks ... Scrapbooking/Paper Crafts: Maude Asbury ... New Exhibitors: ScrapOnizer ... Best of Show: Helix USA.

Speakers. Financial whiz Suze Orman's keynote speech was a huge success. Her address was preceded by a fashion show with clothes made from paper. To see photos of the show, visit David Pyle's blog at http://twistsandturns.artistsnetwork.com.

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1. I found it very surprising that this proved to be one of our BEST CHA shows ever. I did not expect that. Traffic was down, but most of that were tire-kickers! The serious buyers were there, and they were writing orders. The wanna-be's stayed home. We introduced several new lines, and they were very well received. – David Riba, Kandi Corp.

2. We had a great show! We found several new vendors that we know our customers will love, so we wrote orders at the show for those products – several each in scrapbooking and crafting, and one for new art supplies that customers have been asking for. We also picked up quite a few catalogs from vendors that are "possibles." We're having a reception this coming week where our customers can vote on the top three products from each of their top three vendor picks. At the end of the week we'll be announcing the winners and placing orders with those new vendors for the products chosen. It'll be interesting to see how that turns out! – Nancy Connor, S.A.G.E. Crafts, a craft/scrapbook store in Sedona, AR.

3. I agree with you, those who introduced new products had a good show, and those who did not, most generally did not have a good show. My clients all had one of their best shows in years, but all my clients introduced new products and our sales teams worked very hard with their respective buyers, digging into their specific needs and dreams, finding solutions to achieve their needed results. – Mark Lee, DreamSolutions Marketing Corp.

4. The CHA show was our best show of the past three years. The response to our new NaturallyCaron.com brand of yarns was incredible. In these challenging economic times, our retail partners more than ever need us to bring them innovative, fresh marketing vehicles and exciting new products to drive their sales. The old saying still applies, "New products are the life blood of the craft business." – Jan Kahn, Caron Int.

5. I thought the show was good; however, I have always thought it is toooo long. We would love the show to be over on Tuesday. Wednesday is always a waste of time. Everyone seemed to think the same thing this year as well as last year. – Jean Swanson, Arts and Crafts By Rayson

6. We found the show interesting. Your observations are "right on" from my view point: "Those who innovate and show new products received good orders, those that did not, did not." I found most buyers and vendors positive. For sure we need to be cautious but we certainly bought like we are going to have a good gain for the summer and fall seasons! Aggressive seems to be our team's byword. We have gone P.O.S. and believe it will help us to merchandise smarter and be able to re-order more quickly with a greater degree of accuracy. CHA has developed a lot of information behind the scenes that will help the independents, providing they investigate and use the technology that is out there. We are teaming with other independents to share data on a regular basis. We think this will keep us in the "run" with the majors. Thanks for your valuable insight that helps keep us alert. – Adrian Taylor, Ben Franklin Crafts in Monroe, WA

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Representatives of Wedbush Morgan Securities attended the show again and had some interesting observations. In a note to clients, they thought the show traffic was "notably down" and the "tone seemed more subdued."

One of the causes, according to the note: "Vendors being squeezed by retailers resulting in less creative output. In order to make up for slowing sales, retailers are pressuring vendors. In some cases this has resulted in the layoff of creative staff and slower new product introductions."

Meetings with Jo-Ann and A.C. Moore personnel were positive. "We came away incrementally more positive on Jo-Ann Stores," the note read, and "At A.C. Moore we continue to believe the company is making the right investments for the long-term, which may result in ongoing near term sales pressures yet increase profitability." Wedbush ratings for both of the chains' stocks are Hold.

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A.C. Moore. For the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, sales for the quarter were $177.3 million, down 10.4%, and same-store sales fell 4.5%. For the year, sales declined 5.1% to $559.7 million and same-store sales dropped 10.3%.

CEO Rick Lepley commented, "Obviously, we are disappointed with our fourth quarter results. The softness in seasonal and children's categories, along with our increased seasonal emphasis, resulted in deeper discounting than planned. As we begin 2008, we are pleased to have implemented a perpetual inventory that we believe will assist in controlling inventory and reducing out-of-stocks."

During the quarter the company closed two stores, bringing the total to 134, and implemented a perpetual inventory system for all stores.

The stock dropped 22.5%, or $2.75, the day after sales figures were released.

Hancock. Reported a loss of $45.9 million for the fiscal year that ended Feb. 3. Sales were $376.2 million, down 3% from a year earlier, and same-store sales were down 1.9%. The previous year, sales were $388.8 million, the net loss was $30.3 million, and same-store sales were down 6.2%.

The company, in bankruptcy since Mar. 21, 2007, filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicating the company is planning a new store prototype, a new financial reporting method, and a product re-merchandising program. Hancock plans to present its business plan and begin formulating a plan of reorganization before April, then emerge from bankruptcy three months later.

(Comment: Ever wonder how expensive bankruptcy can be? Sales in December topped $31 million, the highest in months. The company lost $1.6 million, but "reorganization items" accounted for $1.4 million of that.)

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Net sales for the year ended Jan. 31 were $374.53 billion, up 8.6%. Income from continuing operations rose 5.8% to $12.88 billion. Diluted earnings/share rose 8.2% to $3.16. Net sales for the fourth quarter rose 8.3% to $106.27 billion, the first time a retailer topped $100 billion in sales in a quarter. Income from continuing operations rose 4.0% to $4.1 billion. Same-store sales in U.S. Wal-Mart stores grew 1.6% for the quarter and 1.0% for the year.

CEO Lee Scott said, "The combination of price leadership and improved customer service made the difference in the fourth quarter for our U.S. operations...."

"At this pace, it's obvious Wal-Mart will have to fight flat or negative same-store sales growth in the coming year," wrote Business Week.

As for customer service, the day Wal-Mart reported its earnings, the University of Michigan released its updated American Customer Satisfaction Index in which consumers rated department/discount and grocery stores. The Chicago Sun Times reported respondents rated Nordstrom the best department/discount store (80 out of 100); Wal-Mart received a 68 score, the lowest of the stores in the study. Target rated a 77 and Dollar General a 78.

"Discount store giant, Wal-Mart, takes a sharp turn south, plummeting 6% to its all-time low of 68, well below the industry average," according to an ACSI press release. Publix was the top rated grocery store with an 83 score, while Wal-Mart was the lowest with 71.

Wal-Mart disagrees with the results of the study. Execs said its own quarterly survey of two million customers shows Wal-Mart is getting high marks.

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1. "Nobody ever offers me free freight." – Scrapbook Retailer from New Zealand

2. "Our e-commerce business is now far outpacing sales in our store." – Midwestern Independent Sewing/Craft Retailer

3. "Everyone is talking about price increases from China." – Industry Consultant

4. "Sometimes having a son or daughter come into the business is like raising a teenager all over again." – Independent Retailer

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1. Karen Sue McGates, 47, of Beaverton, OR was charged with stealing $170,000 worth of scrapbook supplies from area Craft Warehouse, Jo-Ann, and Michaels stores and selling the supplies in her licensed store, All About Scrapbooking & More, located in her home. McGates pled not guilty to charges of racketeering, first-degree theft, and tampering with evidence.

When police served a search warrant at McGates' house they found so many scrapbooking and card-making supplies "that it was almost like walking into a store," Sgt. Paul Wandell told the Portland Oregonian. Wandell said police found price tags with store bar codes she had peeled off the items and thrown into a garbage bag.

2. Police in Broomfield, CO received a 911 hang-up call at 7:30 am one day last week requesting help at the local Hobby Lobby. The police discovered the back door of the store unlocked and a female employee tied up inside. She was taken to a hospital and as of CLN's deadline, police were tight-lipped about the incident.

3. A judge added 1,500 hours of community service to the previous sentence given to Tom Coughlin, former vice chair of Wal-Mart, for his conviction on felony wire fraud and tax evasion charges. Coughlin pleaded guilty in January 2006 for embezzling cash, gift cards, and merchandise from Wal-Mart, where he worked for 28 years. He could have been sentenced to 28+ years in prison and fined $1.35 million. Coughlin was returned to court after the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined his previous sentence – a $50,000 fine, and $400,000 restitution – was too lenient. He will serve no jail time.

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Shutterfly and CK Media, publisher of Creating Keepsakes and other industry-related magazines, have agreed to produce and deliver a line of products and services designed to introduce photo books to traditional scrapbookers, the Photo Marking Assn. newsletter reported. The line includes eight photo books designed by Creating Keepsakes celebrity designers – the first two from Ali Edwards and Jessica Sprague.

Shutterfly's website (www.shutterfly.com/inspire) shows scrapbookers how to create a photo book, and CK will teach classes at Creating Keepsakes University and CK conventions to introduce scrapbookers to Shutterfly's online photo books and digital scrapbook print solutions.

Meanwhile, ScanMyPhotos.com Int. is offering free photo scanning of analog photos to members of Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, and Flickr through Feb. 29. The service will scan up to 1,000 4"x6" photos for a shipping/handling fee of $19.95. The site, http://scanmyphotos.com, offers a wide variety of photo digitizing and scrapbook-related services, including a "Do It Yourself" Scrapbooking Kiosk.

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I’ve just returned from another very well-attended Nuremberg Toy Fair. "Learning by Playing" was the show’s theme and the educational seminars focused on correlating how playing with toys enhances educational learning. There was also a strong marketing message of bringing kids back to tactile playing in response to the wave of Internet-related gaming that kids do today – certainly a similar message that the craft industry has promulgated (crafts and creativity = increased learning skills).

The Fair introduced a new exhibit area, "Way to School," and many paper companies in the stationery industry were represented. Previously, I had only seen these products at Premier in Frankfort. The arts and crafts segment was scattered in several halls depending on product relationship to the main product categories.

As always, European exhibits are beautifully presented and exhibitors spare no expense in showcasing their products and providing hospitality to their customers. The model hobby exhibit halls had more activity with radio control and train demos. Toy safety was also on the forefront, with product testing and quality assurance consultants strategically placed between the various halls. HMA will soon offer its members a quality assurance partner at discounted rates to ensure our manufacturers continue to monitor their product control. – Pat Koziol, Exec Director of the Hobby Manufacturers Assn., www.hmahobby.org

(Note: Sponsors report some 80,000 visitors attended the Nuremberg International Toy Fair. More than 50% came from international destinations to see 2,676 exhibitors.)

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1. Karen Ancona, one of the industry's best, brightest, and nicest, is battling cancer. Karen was the Editor of CNA for about 20 years and probably helped more people more often than anyone in the industry's history. Send her a card or email: 24336 Vincent Ave., Punta Gorda, FL 33955; karenancona@comcast.net. (When Karen retired, CLN did a three-part interview with her which is still online. Click on Kate's Collage in the left-hand column -- or click HERE -- then scroll down the right-hand column to "My 20 Years in the Industry, Pts. I, II, and III.")

Cindy Groom-Harry will be gathering hand-embellished cards from designers, manufacturers, editors, and publishers to send to Karen in a gift basket. Deadline: Feb. 29, 2008. Mail/Ship to Cindy at Craft Marketing Connections, 2363 460th St., Ireton, IA 51027.

2. A recession seems to be looming on the horizon for the U.S. economy, or maybe it's already here: 63.6% of the respondents in a poll by Gifts & Decorative Accessories, a trade magazine for gift shops, believe we are. That's good news for our industry, according to traditional industry theory that claims we're recession proof.

The theory is, during tough economic times, consumers stay home more often and need something to do – and they make gifts rather than buy readymades. If that's true, this should be a good year for our industry.

But is the theory true? I'm working on an article for the next issue asking retailers and vendors who were in business during previous recessions just what happened back then. Did the industry thrive or suffer? If you were operating your business then, email me at mike@clnonline.com.

3. The story of the birth and growth of Wilton (see Business-Wise) is truly remarkable and should be a lesson for the industry: the value of classes. How many more consumers would paint, stitch, or knit if classes were more readily available?

4. A long-time industry veteran who couldn't make it to Anaheim gave me a list of things to do during the show: "Find out the next mini-trend from Suzanne McNeill (Design Originals) ... Get a good retail marketing idea from Bob Ferguson (Ben Franklin Crafts) ... Find three excited newbies and let their enthusiasm warm your old, tired, sarcastic blood ... Find at least one 'How simple is that? Why didn’t I think of it?' idea ... Tell (CHA Exec Director) Steve Berger and his crew what a great job they have done and what a huge challenge the next three years will be for the industry ... Remind everyone that there WILL be another mega-trend in the industry and not to kill scrapbooking before its time. (And forget the 'back to the basics' and 'macrame is coming back; that BS has never worked before and it won’t work this time either.) ... Say 'Howdy!' to Dave Ladd and Frank Strauss and tell them that they are still my heroes in the industry. Damn, I’m gonna miss everybody!"

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DATA. Buyer registration at the 105th Toy Fair was up 30% over 2007. There were 900 members of the media present – triple the number a year ago. Toy Fair had 1,200 exhibitors showing their products to 15,000+ registered buyers and 21,000 toy industry professionals from 94 countries. Total attendance was expected to be 35,000.

RESEARCH. To read a new study, China Product Recalls: What’s at Stake and What’s Next, from NERA Economic Consulting visit www.nera.com/mass_torts.

SIGN OF THE TIMES. Wizard Industries has introduced the Scan-it Operation Checkpoint Toy X-Ray Machine for kids who want to play, uh, airport security.

SAFETY. "I will not tolerate this industry ... not complying with our regulations," – Nancy Nord, acting Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (Associated Press)

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COMPANY FOR SALE. Small scrapbook/rubber stamp/papercraft manufacturer with a unique product line that could be acquired to easily diversify current or future product lines. Can easily be relocated. Sales $125K+. For more info, in confidence, call Mike Hartnett at 309-925-5593 or email mike@clnonline.com.

MEDIA. A CLN subscriber sent a link to yet another article about Kristina Contes and the Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame uproar with the subject line, "The story that never dies...." Now it's the New York Times. The article rehashed the contest and some scrappers' reactions and quoted Jeanette Herdman, owner of Scrap In Style TV, (www.scrapinstyletv.com) who said, "You would be hard-pressed to find another industry, except for maybe Hollywood and people talking about Britney Spears, where you would see such vile things people said about a person."

SHOWS. CLN contacted CKMedia officials about the future of the MemoryTrends trade show, but had not received word by time this issue went online. ... The Licensing Int. Expo show will move out of New York after this year – to Las Vegas – June 2-4, 2009. This year it's June 10-12. Visit www.licensingexpo.com/licensingshow/v42/index.cvn. ... "It's simply amazing what a trip to Hobby Lobby and a hot glue gun can produce." – Tricia Woolfenden, in her critigue of the designs unveiled at New York's Fashion Week (Grand Rapids Press). ... To see highlights of the PMA show, visit www.pmai.org/index.cfm/ci_id/33573/la_id/1.htm.

CHARITY. Scrapbooks etc. is in the initial stages of Scrap Pink 2008, and signing up shops for the event Sept. 26-28. Last year approximately 750 shops across the nation participated, raising funds for the Susan G. Komen foundation. Visit www.scrappink.com.

SIGN OF THE TIMES. From the Packaging show in Las Vegas, Ellie Joos writes, "At least 90% of the exhibitors were promoting their 'green' packaging products, whether it was from fashionable 'denim' looking bags and reusable bags made from recycled PET bottles, to 100% biodegradable plastic bags and recycled shopping bags made from 100% recycled fibers. Also, of course, tissue papers and packaging materials – all earth friendly. Companies are also making statements about the steps they are taking in their manufacturing facilities to conserve energy. I think last year at this show I could have counted about five companies with 'green' products and energy-saving policies. What a difference a year makes!"

YARN. The Craft Yarn Council of America sponsored another Knit-Out at the Mall of America in Minneapolis Feb. 16-17. Best selling author Debbie Macomber and Vickie Howell, host of DIY network's Knitty Gritty, were featured. ... Caron has launched a new website, www.naturallycaron.com, in preparation for its new yarn line available in stores about May 1. Much more in the next issue of CLN. ... U.S. News & World Report recently profiled Susan Wolcott, founder of Y2Knit – a fascinating read. Visit www.usnews.com/index_html and type Susan Wolcott in the search engine.

CROCHET. March is National Crochet Month and the Crochet Guild Of America's website lists 78 charities for which crocheters can make and donate hats, blankets, mittens or squares. To see the list, visit www.crochet.org/cgi-bin/charitybyname.pl.

SEWING. America Sews with Sue Hausmann continues to roll along. The 26th series uplinks to PBS stations Mar. 30. It's produced by Husqvarna Viking and KS Inc. Productions; sponsors include Robison-Anton Textile, Sulky of America, Rowenta, The Warm Co., Havel's, Coats and Clark, June Tailor, and Hancy Mfg. Co./Full Line Stencils.

REPS Wanted. Leading paint vendor is looking for independent reps for the West Coast (CA, AZ, NM, NV, CO, UT, WY, WA, and OR) and the Southeast (GA, FL, AL, MS, TN, VA, NC, SC, AR, and WV). Contact Mark Lee, DreamSolutions Marketing; email markhlee@mac.com or call 317-270-0836.

PEOPLE. Alvin & Co. hired Jaime Echt as Product Manager for its Blue Hills Studio brand, which broadens Alvin's product offerings and preservation expertise in the scrapbook and cardmaking category. ... Former Michaels CFO Todd Lindsey is Sr. VP/CFO for Checkers, a chain of 800+ drive-in restaurants

QUOTATION. "I hear people now and then say not every business that you invested in or managed was successful..... Have you ever been in business before? They don't all work. That's the nature of risk and return." – Mitt Romney (Wall Street Journal)

STOCKS. A.C. Moore: $8.62, down $3.65 ... Jo-Ann's: $16.00, up $3.18 ... Wal-Mart: $49.97, down $1.21 ... Dow Jones: 12,381.02, down 2.8%. (Note: All changes in price are since 2/22 and are exclusive of dividends.)

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NEW COMPANIES. Now That's Impressive! offers a unique line of photo-safe, self adhesive, embroidered fabric embellishments. Visit http://nowthatsimpressive.com. ... A new CHA show exhibitor was GCD Studios, which offered a wide range of designer-patterned papers, cardstock, and accessories. Visit www.gcdstudios.com.

BOOKBINDING. What about scrappers putting their pages together and binding their own photo books? For a how-to DVD on bookbinding, visit www.bookbindingguy.com.

NEW USES. Can't teach an old dog new tricks? Think again. Rit Dye, one of the oldest products, introduced a new technique at the CHA show, "Wax-less Batik Dyeing on Paper." Papercrafters use Rit dyes on paper and then set the dyes in the microwave. To learn more, visit www.ritdye.com.

MACHINES. Making Memories' new Slice generated a lot of talk at the CHA show. To see a demo, visit www.makingmemories.com.

NEEDLEWORK. Wichelt Imports and Colonial Needle introduced Twisted Wire Beading Needles that have large, collapsible eyes for easy threading and twisted wire that bends making beaded cross stitch, knitting, and crochet easier. Plus, Dancer and Blitzen by Nora Corbett were added to the Christmas Eve Courier collection. Also new is 16-ct. Hand Dyed Copper Penny Aida, and new towels. Visit www.wichelt.com.

STITCHING. A new, fun board game for stitchers is Stitchopoly by DMC and Wichelt Imports, available in April.

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To see the latest listings by the only personnel recruitment firm specializing in our industry, click on Jobs in the left-hand column or click HERE.

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It's commonplace now, but did you ever wonder why a company can be sued because of the actions of an employee? According to Paul Beaver, Professor Emeritus at Lincoln College, that was not always the case. In the mid-1800's a train conductor in central Illinois became angry with a passenger and threw him off the train, while it was moving. The man broke his legs and was going to sue the conductor, but his lawyer suggested suing the conductor and the railroad. The lawyer won the case for his client and the legal precedent was set.

So if one of your employees gets mad, pops a customer and you get sued, you can thank that old country lawyer, Abe Lincoln.

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1. If you want a hard-copy of this issue, click on "Printer Friendly version."

2. If your company is a paid subscriber, everyone in the main office is welcome to register, free. Just click on "Work for a paid subscriber? Click Here to register" (center column, near the top).

3. If you ever have trouble with your password, click on "Trouble with your password" in the right-hand column of the main page. The computer will then email the correct information to you.

4. Creative Leisure News is usually published the first and third Mondays of each month, but because of the CHA show, CLN is off-schedule. To return to the traditional schedule, the next issue will be in a week -- Mondary March 3.


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