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#NeedleStoresoftheWorld: Mosaic Yarn Studio By: TNNA Editor This month we're thankful for ... local stores! On top of excitement for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we are excited to bring you the November #NeedleStoresoftheWorld highlight. From TNNA's HQ state, meet  Mosaic Yarn Studio in Mount Prospect, Illinois. Describe what Mosaic Yarn Studio does best. With a focus on instruction, the studio's goal is to become a celebrated, fiber arts design school. The Mosaic Yarn Studio team knows that excelling at customer service and instruction is the key. What makes Mosaic Yarn Studio unique? Mosaic Yarn Studio specializes in instruction in ...
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Think Big, Shop Small By: TNNA Editor Saturday, November 30 marks the 10th Annual Small Business Saturday  event from American Express ® . If you’ve never participated, now’s the time! Save the date and celebrate the small businesses in your area ... or make sure your business welcomes new and old customers in a unique way. Shop Small ® is designed to help local retailers flourish amid the major deals from large chains. Every time a customer makes the decision to purchase from a local store, including local yarn stores (LYS), they make the choice to be part of making a big impact for small businesses everywhere. According to American Express, “For ...
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Your 10 Penny Challenge – The Power of Positive Feedback By: Claudia St. John, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, President Affinity HR Group A couple of months ago, I got a call from a client who was clearly frustrated. Over the previous year, he had restructured his customer service team, put in place a new reporting structure, rolled out a new set of performance goals and implemented a new financial incentive plan. He also gave each customer service representative (CSR) an additional dollar per hour to incent the behaviors and outcomes he was hoping his new structure would achieve. Nine months into the new plan, his team was not achieving their performance goals, ...
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Remember the Distaff

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Remember the Distaff By: Robin Goatey New for 2020, my festival class “Remember the Distaff” will focus on the ancient distaff tool, which has been used in spinning in its myriad forms. The class will be offered at most Midwestern fiber festivals. As a fiber tool maker, research is always underway in various publications for unusual or forgotten “fiber tools” that have been used in spinning and weaving. Sources include anthropology journals, archaeology publications, Smithsonian ethnographic reports from the 1800s and online resources through the British Museum. Among the interesting fiber tool forms that have been forgotten is the distaff. If ...
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Exclusive Excerpt: 'The Knit Vibe' by Vickie Howell By: TNNA Editor Dubbed "A Knitter’s Guide to Creativity, Community, and Well-being for the Mind, Body & Soul," this new book from member Vickie Howell poses the question: What if we look at our lives through the lens of the conduit that streams our creativity? We are thrilled to offer an excerpt from The Knit Vibe  below. Plus, continue reading for a special TNNA members-only giveaway! Excerpt: GO-TO CHUNKY COWL MATERIALS 1 hank Malabrigo Rasta (100% hand-dyed merino wool; 90 yd/150 g): Frank Ochre Size U.S. 13/9 mm, 24" circular needle Stitch marker SIZE:  One Size FINISHED MEASUREMENTS: ...
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  How Voice Search is Impacting Creative Businesses By: Stitchcraft Marketing Voice search has been around for more than a decade, ever since Google launched it as a feature of its search engine in 2002. Since then, it has quickly become a hot trend in marketing. Simple, informational queries can transform into commercial opportunities if your business has adapted itself to this new promotional field. What Is Voice Search? Voice search is using your voice and words to request assistance from a digital virtual assistant. Voice search had its humble beginnings in assistive technologies like speech-to-text, which was primarily used to help differently ...
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#MakerSpotlight: Stolen Stitches By: TNNA Editor This month we’re heading to Cork, Ireland to highlight Stolen Stitches ! Maker Carol Feller is a structural engineer… turned knitwear designer and teacher. (Wow!) While she spent her adolescent years knitting in primary school, her family also has a strong history of crafting. Her mother sewed many of her clothes, her grandmother was an expert knitter and her aunt ran a knitting shop in Dublin. Carol has been widely published in books and magazines, and travels the world teaching in yarn stores and at fiber festivals. She does it all! Read to learn more about Carol and her craft. Tell us what makes ...
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Becoming the Ultimate Creative Industries Event By: TNNA Editor Creative industries, no matter what subset, have always thrived on inspiration from within the industry and the goal to achieve something beyond the norm – more sustainable, richer color, distinctive designs, etc. This winter, TNNA has the unique opportunity to expand our reach beyond what we know, and focus on what we could discover. TNNA is partnering with The Association For Creative Industries (AFCI) as part the ultimate creative industries event in Phoenix this January: Creativation 2020 . What can you expect at Creativation 2020? To avoid sensory overload, let’s start with ...
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Meet the 2020 Local Yarn Store Day Contest Judges By TNNA Editor Our judges are hard at work determining the first-ever Local Yarn Store Day Design Contest winner! In the meantime, we thought it’d be fun to share a bit about each of this year’s judges with you. Charlene Anderson with The Anderson Group, LLC Charlene grew up in Hemet, California, on a Thoroughbred horse ranch. She then lived in Hawaii (at sea level) for 20 years before moving to Jackson Hole, Wyoming (6,237 feet above sea level, oxygen tank optional), where she currently lives and works. In addition to running her own e-commerce business, Charlene is an accomplished jewelry and ...
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  Navigating the Changing Landscape of Influencer Marketing By Leanne Pressley If your business is active on Instagram ( click here for information on how to best utilize Instagram for business), then it is likely you have witnessed the rise of “the influencer” in recent years. These popular users have flooded social media feeds, especially Instagram. As an example, the most recognizable influencers are any one of the Kardashian family members. Influencers have become a robust marketing tool for small and large businesses, providing an “authentic” voice that can speak directly to a product’s key demographic. An influencer’s strength resides ...
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#NeedleStoresoftheWorld: Artisanthropy By: TNNA Editor Boo! October brings us Halloween, chillier temps and beautiful fall colors... it also brings us the October #NeedleStoresoftheWorld highlight. This month, it’s all about  Artisanthropy  all the way in Cobourg, Ontario (yes, that's in Canada). Describe what Artisanthropy does best. Our goal is to provide locally made, environmentally conscious products at reasonable prices, delivered with a side of personal customer service. We do our best to source products that are made with a high degree of environmental responsibility, and that leave the land with as small a footprint as possible for our ...
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Selling on Purpose

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Selling on Purpose By Oz Barron How can I increase my sales? People are buying things, but it seems random. Is there a way I can be more effective? Is there a secret formula to increase my sales? In the webinar I did for TNNA recently, we talked about the sales process and what sort of roadblocks one can encounter during it. I also shared the 6 steps every sale goes through and the importance of each one. Knowing these 6 steps and how they apply will go a long way to helping you gain more control over your interactions with customers, as well as help you to be more effective in helping customers find the products of their dreams. Finally, we went ...
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Fashion Report: Fall 2019 NeedleArts Trends (Plain Is Out, Extraordinary Is In) By Heather Zoppetti Fall is here, which means… sweater weather! Is it not your favorite time? Well, “weather” it is or isn’t (see what I did there?) here are some trends to watch for on the fashion front as you roll out new products, patterns and more. via GIPHY Color Palette Star: Deep Green Everything from phones to fashion is falling for deep green this season. This dark color is gracing the runways and, hopefully, your needles. Reminiscent of cool forests and evergreen glades, this calming color can range from khaki to hunter green. The rest of the fall ...
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  3 Ways to Show Customers You Care During Breast Cancer Awareness Month Photo by  Alex Block  on  Unsplash October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a great time to show your support for this important cause that affects so many women in the U.S. and worldwide. So instead of thinking spooky all month, let’s start thinking pink, too! As a small business, you might not have a chance to regularly contribute to this (or any other) foundation, so awareness months like these are a great way to show customers you care and do just that… even if in a small way. Read on for a few tips on ways you can show support this month through your ...
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#MakerSpotlight: Wood House Knits By: TNNA Editor Are you ready for an all-new #MakerSpotlight? Today, we’re highlighting Wood House Knits ! According to the Wood House Knits website, maker Jennifer Wood can accredit her passion for knitting to her daughter’s middle-school curiosity. After beginning to knit, Jennifer quickly realized it was not just a hobby, but a true adoration that led to Wood House Knits. Tell us what makes your business unique. My design style is feminine and wearable, with a touch of the romantic. I am known in the knitting community for my intricate lace and cable patterns. I love using cables and lace in all sorts ...
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Changes to the TNNA Bylaws, Part 3: Vote Now! By: TNNA Editor With all the excitement surrounding the changes to the TNNA Bylaws, we encourage you to take action now! If you missed this series, check out part one to get an understanding of why the bylaws are changing and part two to review the proposed changes in detail. For part three in this series…it’s time to vote. If you are a wholesale TNNA member, vote now! Once on the page, scroll down to vote and you will see the poll featured below. If you are a TNNA retail or affiliate member, we ask that you share this series with any TNNA wholesale members you know and ask that they vote ...
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#NeedleStoresoftheWorld: Jimmy Beans Wool By: TNNA Editor Happy September, TNNA! We’re here to ease into the Fall season with another store highlight. This month, it’s all about Nevada’s Jimmy Beans Wool . Describe what Jimmy Beans Wool does best. For more than 10 years, Jimmy Beans Wool has been a stand-out LYS in its community (and in the U.S. overall). Since launching its online store, the team has been able to expand its reach and even offers exclusive products to Jimmy Beans customer only. When it comes to the name, “Jimmy” is actually Laura, who started Jimmy Beans with her husband Doug in May 2002. Her nickname, Jimmy, came from a song ...
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Changes to the TNNA Bylaws, Part 2 By: TNNA Editor As noted in Part 1 of this three-part series, changes to the TNNA Bylaws are occurring in order to create a more inclusive and cohesive membership. For Part 2, we’re diving deep to give you, our members, an overview of each change. Big Picture Changes The most significant changes are happening to member voting rights and leadership positions. As it stands, only wholesale members may vote, be on the TNNA Board and/or hold an officer position. With the new proposed changes, all members will be able to vote and hold Board or officer positions. These new proposed changes also revise regulations ...
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Choosing Between Blogging and Social Media When You’re Pressed on Time By Stitchcraft Marketing Before you begin a blog or social media channel, it’s easy to think that you will have plenty of time to get it done in a timely and efficient way. When you actually get into it, however, it can be a different (and busy) story. Creating content that is engaging, instructional and fun is a lot more work than people realize. As an entrepreneur, you’re wearing a lot of hats. Taking the time to write compelling blog posts or schedule eye-catching social media posts can easily fall by the wayside as you’re creating new products and also managing sales. If executed ...
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President’s Update: August 2019 By Don Lynch, TNNA President I hope that everyone enjoyed the Summer NeedleArts Trade Show in Cleveland. Following are some key takeaways from the Board of Directors meeting that took place immediately following the show. Bylaw Updates At the Board meeting, a series of bylaw changes were proposed and approved by the Board of Directors.  These changes aim to improve the relevance, value and sustainability of TNNA. Since mid-July, the proposed changes have been regularly posted to the TNNA website forums for review and comment by the TNNA member community and are being shared in series of blogs, as well ( ...
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