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The under 45 quilter

November 15th, 2017 by Morna

The 2017 Quilting in America™ study took a specific look at a group of younger quilters, those under the age of 45. The complete study indicated an average age for the dedicated quilter of 63, down from 64 in 2014. Over time the average age had been increasing. This was the first time that the study delineated results for this subgroup.

The study reveals some important observations about this younger group of quilters. They are more likely to be an occasional quilter and less committed to the craft, largely based on time and work constraints. Here is what the studied showed about this important group:

  • Educated (4-year college graduate 35%; Post graduate degree 23%)
  • Affluent ($98,000 average household income)
  • More likely to be an occasional quilter, however, they still devote on average 10 hours a week to quilting vs. 13 for the total sample, which is substantial given the other demands on their time. And, this group is two times more likely to be employed full-time while devoting this time to her craft.

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Quilting is a $3.7 billion industry

November 8th, 2017 by Morna

HOUSTON- October 27, 2017- The results are in for the Quilting in America™ 2017 Survey. The survey shows that the annual industry value in terms of consumer spending is $3.7 billion. Quilting in America™ is presented by The Quilting Company and Quilts, Inc., but conducted independently by ORC International and Advantage Research, Inc.

Highlights of the Survey show an estimated 7 to 10 million quilters in the U.S., the total number of households with a quilter at 6 to 8.3 million, and an average dollar spending per quilting household at $442 annually- that’s a 48% increase over 2014. Modifications to information gathering for the 2017 Survey also reflect an even more accurate assessment than previous editions.

“Dedicated quilters are spending more time and money than in the past. It’s also exciting to see that over the past few years there has been a tremendous increase in the number of quilters who are utilizing websites, social media, and other digital resources to learn about quilting and buy quilting related products,” says John Bolton, Senior VP and General Manager, F+W Media.

“I know that quilters create with their hands, but they often speak with their dollars. And I am very glad to see that they are speaking loudly with their purchasing power,” adds Quilts, Inc. CEO and Founder Karey Bresenhan. “I am honored to be involved in such a creative and artistic community. An added bonus is that quilters are just some of the warmest and most generous human beings I’ve ever come across.”

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Sights and Scenes from Quilt Market

November 1st, 2017 by Morna

I spent most of the past week in Houston at International Quilt Market. I have been going since 1994, so I’ve seen quite a lot of changes over the years. I was talking with another vendor about how sophisticated the booths have become. In the “old” days we hung quilts on the poles and maybe did a little decoration. Today, some companies build an installation to showcase their products. It’s very exciting to see this energy in the industry. Here’s a bit of what I saw, both in words and pictures. If I had to narrow my impressions to one word, it would be streamers. More on that later.

Fusamat®

This is an appliqué pressing sheet developed by Sharon Bradley of New Zealand. The sheet has a “honeycomb” structure that traps the adhesive so it doesn’t spread. The transparent mat is tacky so your appliqué stays in place. It is also easily cleaned. You can watch a video of this product here.

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Hello Imperfection!

October 25th, 2017 by Morna

The other day I read this quote from Zen Monk Shunryu Suzuki: “You are perfect just as you are, and you could use a little improvement.” I hesitate to say that the quote struck me as “perfect.” Some of us spend too much time worrying about getting it perfect that we don’t get it done. I’m putting myself in this category as a recovering perfectionist. How about you?

The problem with perfectionism

At first glance, you may think that everything needs to be perfect, that you need to be perfect. And if it’s not perfect, you may put off releasing that new pattern, offering the new program, publishing your website, showing your art. This list goes on and on. And, you get so caught up in this spiral of trying to make everything perfect that nothing gets done. That’s the problem with perfectionism — it doesn’t work.

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Are you waiting to be rescued?

October 18th, 2017 by Morna

Do you remember the hit “Rescue Me?” I was listening to it on YouTube the other day. Depending on how old you are, the tune was recorded by Fontella Bass, Madonna, or Daughtry. While the lyrics are different, the theme is the same. The subject of the song is in need of rescue, rescue by someone else.

While you are not looking for a someone to save you in the terms of the song, do you have other instances where you are looking for a rescue? I will give you a few examples. Are you looking for someone to take over your books and then tell you what to do with your business? Are you delegating  some of your work and then not following up or keeping track of the work? Did you fall behind preparing for the next show and are scrambling for someone to get you out of the jam? When something doesn’t always work the way you want, do you look for someone to blame? If only she had ….

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Finding Your Social Media Platform

October 11th, 2017 by Morna

Do you get the feeling that you need to be everywhere on social media? And then you worry that if you are, you’ll never get anything else accomplished?

You are not alone with that thought. It does at times seem that everyone is everywhere. Just because it seems that way, it’s not really true. And, you’re right, you won’t get anything done if you are always on social media.

The good news is that you can have a presence on social media and have it work for you. Here are five tips for finding the social media platform that works for you, lets you connect, and helps you build a social media following.

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Lessons From Uncontainable

October 4th, 2017 by Morna

Have you ever been in The Container Store? One is located about 15 miles from my home, so I’m familiar with the store. I was a bit overwhelmed with the first trip. So many storage choices. I had no clue.

I wasn’t, however, familiar with its history. That’s where Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives comes in. It’s written by the Chairman and CEO, Kip Tindell, along with Paul Keegan and Casey Shilling. It’s not just the story of The Container Store. It’s the story of Kip’s life and and how that showed up in his business. It also focuses on his commitment to what is know as the Conscious Capitalism movement. Interesting to learn that John Mackey, co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism Movement was Tindell’s roommate in college.

The book was the reading for our ICAP Members’ Studio Book Club in October. I originally selected it for two reasons. I liked his discussion of the corporate culture and the seven Foundation Principles of his company. And, his most trusted business advisors are women.

I’m not sure how many small artisans, particularly those who work from home and by themselves, take the time to think about what their guiding principles are.

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Play your own game!

September 27th, 2017 by Morna

It’s football season. I live in a home where “Sports Center,” “Inside the NFL,” and similar shows are often on the television. I am sure some of you can relate. Most often they become “white noise” to me. Recently I happened to hear a conversation about a specific football player, whose name I don’t remember. One of the commentators said that this player needed to be more careful not to get caught up in the game around him.

Watch the comparisons

As I heard that, I thought about how easy it is to do that as creative arts entrepreneurs. You look around at what others are doing. How do you compare to them? Is their art stronger? Are they more successful? It is so easy to do that and not pay attention to where you are.

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Are you ready to step into your power?

September 20th, 2017 by Morna

 

Do you toot your own horn? Or are you like many women – yes, it’s mostly women – who are reluctant to talk about their successes and talents? You probably don’t have any problem talking about the success of your loved ones. Why is it that we have that problem with ourselves?

This has come up over the years and again last week with one of my clients. Sophie was reluctant about sharing her successes with her work on social media. She felt she was bragging and didn’t want to be thought of in “those” terms. I told her she was not alone. Many people, maybe you, feel uncomfortable about promoting themselves, whether that’s in person, on the blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It’s okay to talk about others and share their successes, but we downplay our own. Why? I think it is because you are not ready to step into your own power.

You have gifts that others don’t have. And, I know that you want to share those gifts. That is why you started your creative arts business. You need to share your successes so others can learn about you so that you are able to serve them. It is really about providing a service to your customers, and you cannot do that if you hide your talents.

How do you get beyond this? Here are a few ideas.

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It’s the perfect time for a retreat!

September 13th, 2017 by Morna

 

We are almost mid-way through September. Before you know it, you will be involved in fall shows and your holiday production season will be in full force. Your focus will be on the “doing” part of your business. You’ll be working “in” rather than “on” your business.

When was the last time that you took time to work on your business? I like to set aside time to do this on a regular basis. Now is the perfect time to do this before you get heavily involved in the fall work. Get out your calendar and schedule a retreat for yourself to do this. It doesn’t have to be several days. It could be one full day, two half days or even a couple of hours a few times this week.

Why take a business retreat?

  • All of us find it really easy to work in our businesses but do you work “on” our businesses?

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