Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching has a guest column at get crafty about the state of needlework industry.
How tired am I of people classifying the needlework industry as country? It's the strawman. It's just such a stereotype. How cool I am to be working in this goose infested industry? Tiresome. Nevertheless, she makes some good points: if an industry wants to attract new blood, it has to be willing to make some concessions, to welcome newcomers, to look for the new new thing rather than sit and wait for the customers who are seeking the new thing to change into customers who are seeking what they've already got.
The good news for Hart is that when I first started going to cross-stitch things, there was a lone woman teaching punch needle. I never bothered to visit her thinking I didn't have time or resources or even interest in it. Now look at it. Taken off...and there I am searching the craft room for the punch needle. Someday, everyone else will catch up with Jenny...
Interestingly, one commenter points out that Piecework--whose editor Hart champions as someone looking to change things--bemoaned the lack of new blood last year. Specifically focusing not on changing the needlework industry, but rather getting the kids involved. We've discussed that.
How come the needlework shop owners get together and wring their hands about this stuff? Have none of them heard of market research? Come on! We're out here--interview us!
Also, in my efforts to spread the word about Sew Simple I want to let you know that I saw it in both Joanns and AC Moore recently. It's out there people.