Yesterday I flew home from The Collins Rep Group Fall Retailer Training Event where I launched a mini-collection and taught some classes.
Els went to Germany for StampelMekka so at the Collins show our sales rep Lisa Harrison stepped in to teach Els' portion of the workshop, a lovely wall hanger designed by Angela Beavers. My portion of the workshop was a country Christmas card featuring the Fence Pop Stand, Cocoa the Horse, Props 5 and the Western Edges.
Here's the Friday night workshop in full swing:
The next day I taught two retailer classes. The first was a gift card pop-up card class featuring the brand new Gift Card Accordion die and companion Flourish Gift Frame. These dies launched at Collins and will ship at the end of October.
Project #1 showed off these two new dies.
Project #2 used the Sleigh Gift Card Holder, Merry & Bright Clear Stamps, Rudy the Reindeer and the Merry Christmas die sets.
Learn how to assemble the Sleigh GCH die in this video:
Project #3 also used the Sleigh Gift Card Holder die, but minus the sleigh. Instead, the Paris Edges and Eiffel Tower plus some gorgeous Graphic 45 paper all combined to make an elegant glittered Happy Birthday card.
Next up was the Characters & Props board class. Now that we have so many Characters (17) and Props (7) dies it's difficult for the stores to have the room to keep all of them in stock all the time. This display board can help the customer know all their choices so the store can special order any they don't have in stock. Many of the retailers who weren't able to take this class wanted to know how to get one for their store. Stay tuned for that, my retailer readers - we have a plan forming!
The board also shows off the three new additions - Lucky the Rabbit, Props 6 (western) and Props 7 (woven basket) - which will ship at the same time as the Gift Card Accordion and Flourish Gift Frame in late October.
After I was done teaching my three classes I was delighted to be invited to attend Susan Tierney-Cockburn's class. The project was a gorgeous 3-panel tag card using a variety of Susan's Garden dies including her fabulous stone wall die. Swoon! Here I am sponging a sky using Susan's Pan Pastels and clouds-die-used-as-stencil.
Saturday night is always the Sample Making Frenzy, where every vendor sets up one or two Make 'n Take tables. My table featured a simple pop-up tree card using the Merry & Bright Collection. I had planned to do all the prep work for this card at the show, in between classes, etc. I was thrilled when the ECD team stepped in on Thursday to help me complete the pre-cutting of the pieces. Aisling cut fifty sets of Christmas Trees and Joep cut all the pop stands and embossed the cards. What a life saver! Thanks, team!
Here's a shot of the Make 'n Take in full swing. Our prep amount was extremely accurate, as I was left with just 2 kits at the end of the 3-hour session. Yeah!
Sunday is the trade show. Here's where all the education pays off - in orders! We stayed quite busy and of course having the amazing cards by the Designer Challenge Team on display, plus the awesome giant poster of Pop it Ups dies by category (made by the amazing Marli) made it easy for the retailers to place their orders.
Sharp eyes in the photo above may have spied the two new Clear Stamp sets coming out in the Fall Release. I've had a lot of requests to release the Characters as stamps so people can color them with their Copics. I'm starting with two small Clear Stamp sets - just 3x4 with smaller outline versions of a Character and phrases to fit the theme. The stamped versions of the Characters are about half-size to the die version, so you could use them (say) on the fronts of the cards, on the envelopes or to make kids for your Characters by combining the stamps and the dies. The coordinating phrases will work great with all the decorator labels, tags, etc. in the Pop it Ups line. Here are some visuals so you have a sense of how big the stamps are in comparison to the dies.
Without Els at the show to remind us nobody thought to get our usual "team photo" - whoops! Huge thanks to the staff at Elizabeth Craft Designs for all their prep work getting ready for the show with catalogs, boards, posters, etc. and to Joep, Aisling and Susan for making the show a success.
Check back with me tomorrow for this month's Designer Challenge. The theme is Celebrate with Frame Edges and the team has knocked it out of the park as usual. Look for the new Fall Collection dies and stamps to ship to independent retailers at the end of October.