A few months ago I wrote a post about my very first TNNA show experience when Ginny, Teresa and I flew down to San Diego to participate in The Nation NeedleArts Association’s winter trade show. This May, I had the privilege of attending my first summer show — a much different experience than the first!
This year the show was held in Indianapolis (each season the location of the convention switches between west and east coast of the US to accommodate both edges of our continent). We flew out of Vancouver bright and early Thursday morning, leaving us time to set up and prepare for Friday evening’s activities. Once we landed, we found out there was an abundance of other events taking place in the city that weekend — a mini-marathon, as well as other trade shows at the conference centre — Indy was a very happening place!
Having a booth at the TNNA Summer Show is an excellent way to showcase our yarn and colour palette to new customers and introduce our fall 2014 colourways and bases in person to our retailers. Being able to physically touch our selection of fibre types and see our knitting swatches, colour chips, and yarn display is invaluable when a yarn store owner is trying to decide what type of SweetGeorgia Yarn they would like to feature in their store. Our booth at TNNA is one of the only times we have all 94 colourways on display at once.
This was Channa’s first TNNA experience. As our administrative assistant, she is the first person our customers talk to, so it was important to us the she attend this event to meet our retailers in person. I can help with dyeing and production questions, but she and Teresa have all the answers when it comes to handling orders, shipping, delivery dates… all those important details!
The National Needlearts Association has groups within it’s membership. SweetGeorgia Yarns is also a member of the Yarn Group and the Spinning and Weaver Group. Each of these groups exist to help promote the fibre arts in their own way. The Yarn Group is comprised of designers, teachers, wholesalers and retailers all working together to keep the knitting industry vibrant and growing. They really went out of their way this year to offer perks to its members; they had a lounge to visit on the TNNA floor, hosted an ice cream social, a continental breakfast, lectures on how different members of the knitting community can work together, and special prizes for participants to completed a scavenger hunt.
As well as being the community hub of fibres arts companies, The Spinning and Weaving Group’s latest claim to fame is Spinzilla, the ‘Monster of a Spinning Event’. Last year’s event was a huge fundraising success for it’s charity, the Needle Arts Mentoring Program. This year promises to be bigger and better! SweetGeorgia Yarns is a proud sponsor of the event and we will be hosting a team of our own this October. As Team Captain, I promise we will start whipping ourselves up into the spinning frenzy soon – look out for upcoming blog posts!
SweetGeorgia Yarns also participated in this years Fashion Show. On display this year was the Alexandra Shawl, designed by Anniken Allis and knit with one skein of CashSilk Lace. Also featured was my own Bridgeward Leaves Shawl, a large triangular lace shawl inspired by the foliage around Granville Island. The runway model wore our version knitted with 2 skeins of Merino Silk Fine, but this shawl can also be created with one skein of Merino Silk Lace for a lighter, loftier look.
Our booth was busy – this trade show seemed bigger and more bustling than the winter show I attended before. There was more booths to see, more designers to meet, and more retailers to introduce to our yarns. I tried to check out as many of the free classes and lectures as I could, but I always found myself rushing everywhere to try squeeze all the activity in! It was neat to see the up-and-coming products I will one day be able to add to my knitting tool kits, and meet the faces so passionately coordinating Spinzilla.
The next TNNA trade show will take place in January 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona – I hope to see everyone again then!