Publisher: Josh Blanc Volume No.6
Issue No.5 Date 10/10/05
2006 Directory info due October 15th
MN Tile Festival: Final Report
Dark and Stormy Night…
Licensing Tile Designs
National Tile Conference for 2006
HTA Job Openings
Spring Home and Garden Show
People at the meeting - 14
Host: Mercedes Mattila, Special Guest – Bruce Stalber, Roger Mayland, Cathy Bryson, Jane Swan, Stephanie Kazrowski, Diana Lein, Chris Kelly, Nancy Froseth, Mim Rodvold, LeeAnn Johnson, Deb LeAir, and Josh Blanc
2006 Directory info due October 15th
It is crunch time once again for the 2006 directory. October 15th is the first deadline to not be charged a late fee for membership submissions. October 30th is the drop dead deadline with a $25 late fee. Writers are asked to submit their articles by the 31st. No articles will be considered after October 31st. If you are one of the five selected to be printed in the 2006 directory you will receive $100 stipend. Others selected will be posted on the HTA website and a stipend of $25 will be paid. Look on the www.handmadetileassociation.org website for all the specs.
The HTA has received many RSVP’s for the 2006 directory withmany upgrades to existing ads and additional artist memberships. Things to keep in mind for next year are: the 5th annual MN Tile Festival which will coincide with the National Tile Conference running September 14th through the 17th. 10,000 directories are printed every year. Over 2,500 directories are sent out all over the country to ASID, AIA members and the Tile Heritage Foundation, galleries, museums, and tile centers.
10% discounts for all members for advertising and events. Members receive 10% off once a year at Continental Clay and Clay Squared. It is an affordable and great tool to get your business name in front of the right people.
Final report on MN Tile Festival
The MN Tile Festival was a success on many levels and has vastly improved in other areas. We did not give a formal survey this year (we will bring it back for next year) but from talking to artists both Norma and Josh were able to conclude similar results to previous years. Some artists keep improving sales and other artists have increasing and decreasing gross sales.
First we need to thank all of our artists, members, patrons, and our coordinator Norma Hanlon.
Thanks to Katy Epler and the ASI (American Swedish Institute) staff and volunteers for helping coordinate the festival from the Institutes’ side.
Thanks to Digi Graphics/Photos Inc. for their sponsorship of the MN Tile Festival. They provided 10,000 postcards, 100 posters and two full color banners to advertise the show.
Special Thanks to all of our volunteers JoAnn Hendricks, Ann Aune, Cathy Bryson, Layl McDill, Jack Kaczrowski, Jim and Jillian Swan, Joel and Ruth McKinney.
Also thanks to Terry Florin who could not attend due to medical reasons for championing the MN Tile Festival. We wish her well in her recovery and hope to see her for our 5th annual MN Tile Festival.
We had 650 people attend the MN Tile Festival (does not include vendors and volunteers)
We had 403 people pay full price, which was 45 less people who paid full price from last year.
212 used the $1 off coupon, which was 145 less from last year.
156 used postcards with a $1 off as a result of people handing out postcards throughout the year.
50 postcard coupons were used that were from member’s mailing lists.
We had 35 children in attendance. This was 45 less than last year.
19 members used their free passes to get into the show out of the 90 members but over 30 were in the show so over half of the membership was in attendance.
8 ASID members used their free passes from the 500 that were sent out but they all did receive the HTA directory. We sent out color coded passes for ASID members
9 new memberships were initiated.
We had artists from six states represented. MN, WI, IA, IL, MO, WA
We had a patron fly in from Chicago just to attend the festival and she reported it was well worth it! We gave her a free pass for making the extra effort to make the show.
We had about 200 less in attendance from last year. Most account the lower attendance by not having a presence at the MN State Fair.
1 commemorative tile sold from the 75 made
The commemorative tile for the MN Tile Festival did not go off as well as we had hoped. Laura McCaul made 75 - 4” x 4” MN tile festival commemorative tiles. We only sold one. After talking with Laura McCaul we realized that the tile was probably too expensive at $60 each. Low by Laura’s pricing but high for commemorative objects. Laura is going to keep the tiles for a project in her home. The HTA is purchasing ten of them to give to volunteers and sponsors. I would like to thank Laura for being our guinea pig in this experiment. Next year we would like to try again but in a much more scaled down project. Maybe making 2” tiles and pricing them at $10 to $15 each. Other ideas include doing what we did at the state fair by having each HTA artist make 10 to 20 small 2” tiles as either give-away to the first 100 people in the gate or having t-shirts made up for the festival to sell. We are looking for ideas so if you have one, please e-mail email@example.com.
Dark and Stormy night….
It was a dark and stormy night at the HTA meeting on October 4th. It down poured from 6pm till 9pm, the rain created major flooding in the city as we left the meeting at 8pm most of us could have used boats instead of cars to get home! Luckily it was nice and dry in Mercury Mosaics studio. This is Mercedes’ third studio she has had and given us a tour of. Mercedes, first started out in her basement of her apartment, moved to a large underground studio to start her switch plate empire, and then moved to her new upscale space at 125 W. Broadway in an old bowling alley converted to swanky studios and office spaces. She has made some good trades to get bowling alley lanes converted to work tables. Mercedes gave us a rundown of all the new improvements of her glazing techniques of switch plates and told us the lowdown on her impending licensing deal with swichhits.com one of the world’s largest web-based switch plate retailers.
Licensing tile designs
Mercedes Mattila of Mercury Mosaics said two years ago she emailed samples to switchhits.com too see if she could sell her switch plates on the site. Jimmy, the owner, told her she needed a website before he could consider her. Mercedes spent the next year working on the website and improved her glazing techniques and she submitted her work as actual samples to switchhits.com. He agreed to put the designs on the site after several discussions & several months. In his trial run Jimmy buried her designs way into the site but within 48 hours she had over 40 orders for the designs. Jimmy quickly gave her front page billing with a label of ‘funky ceramic’ designs. Her orders were off the charts. Unfortunately and maybe fortunately she was in the process of moving her studio at the time and was having horrific problems with the city inspectors to put in her new kiln, creating a backlog for her orders. This situation from switchhits.com was not good he had a great new product selling like hotcakes but he could not get the product in a timely manner. Negotiations started about licensing Mercedes designs so they could have a major stock of the designs that could be shipped within 72 hours. The range of licensing deals, Mercedes found out, was between 2% to 10% with the more organized and developed products getting a higher percentage. Mercedes’ was able to swing a 5% licensing deal. The operation will be shifting to New York in the next couple of months where the plates will be glazed to her specifications. She will go out and train the company on her technique and they will have the sole right to sell the designs. The company will have to send her samples for her approval before they can mass produce the designs. Mercedes will be able to make new designs and submit them over time getting paid a design fee and new percentages if they decide to add them to the line. The biggest change will be that her stores will be able to order and have the plates shipped in 72 hours where it takes her two weeks currently. Mercedes’ letting go of producing the switch plates will allow her to work on her other mosaic artwork and get a check in the mail for her designs. It was a lot of hard work and major angst to get all her ducks in a row for this licensing but she feels confident that she is moving in a good direction now. If you have more questions contact Mercedes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Stahlberg of Affordable Energy presented the HTA members his utility bill analysis program. Bruce’s main goal is to help small-to-medium sized business owners control and reduce their energy cost. Knowing the process of Excel and Center Point, the major energy suppliers in the region, he does research with your meter against the billing comparing to the machines you use. He helped Warren Mackenzie, our local pottery legend, save over $900 and made his operation run on smaller monthly bills. Bruce says usually he can find good savings for ceramic and glass artists that run a couple of kilns. He makes money only if you save money. So if he saves you money he would collect 45% of that savings you would receive 55%. You would also receive all the future savings from the more accurate readings of your equipment! With energy prices soaring, this was a timely speaker for the HTA. You can reach Bruce @ Affordable Energy at 612-724-8977 or email email@example.com
National Tile Conference fore 2006
Why is the HTA planning a new tile Conference for 2006? If you were to look back to the Twin Cities before the first Tile Symposium in 2001 the landscape of tile artists was in the beginning stages with many of the artists in a hobby and fledgling business stage of their work. The HTA was still printing in black and white there was no historic map and the tile festivals was just an idea. As the symposium planning took place, the HTA and its members became a lot more serious and we took the opportunities it created and improved all portions of our mission. In the years after the symposium many artists just starting out have developed from hobby artists to part-time and full time tile artists. Many of the small tile businesses have grown to larger small business firms. The MN Tile Festival is an annual event with posters, postcards, banners, sponsors and an advertising budget. The HTA is attracting more tile artists and new members of the community all the time. Since the last symposium the HTA has doubled in size. You might ask: What was it about the symposium that was so important? One of the major factors I believe was the educational component. Having so many people from the national tile community visit and leave us with their knowledge and skills through lectures, workshops, and tours had an amazing effect and inspired the community at large for years to follow. Now is the time to bring back the next level of professional development for the local tile community. People will have new and different questions to ask their national counterparts. I believe it is an important component of being self-employed to continue to be educated and inspired by existing professionals. There is nothing like having the school come to your backyard and rediscover what you have and what you have to offer others.
As we ramp up the planning for the Tile Conference I hope you will want to help plan and participate in the conference both on the level of professional development as well as outreach to our community. The more the public and the trade know about tile the more they will want tiles to be a part of their homes and businesses. I look forward to working with all of you as we put this conference together and to the advancements this conference will make for our tile community over the next five years. If you would like to help in the planning please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
HTA Job Opening
We need a new coordinator for 2006 – Norma Hanlon is stepping down after four years of developing the MN Tile Festival. Norma is willing to help the next person get the show up and running. Please contact Josh Blanc if you are interested in being the next coordinator.
We will be looking for a new individual to run the festival for 2006. There is a $500 stipend for the job. The most important qualification that we need is an individual that is organized and will follow through on the project. It is a great opportunity for someone to get to know how to run a festival and meet lots of artists. If you are interested please contact Josh Blanc we would like to have a person committed by November 1st.
We need four people signed up to stuff envelopes for our mailing list on February 16th 2006. Please e-mail Josh Blanc to sign up. email@example.com
Spring Home and garden show
The Spring Home and Garden show is March 1st to 5th. $1295 is the fee for a booth. We will consider mocking up a booth like we did at the 2004 MN State Fair. This time we would be able to create a 1’x 1’ section for each member. A great marketing strategy from the past was having each member make 2” x 2” tiles to give away, at the 2004 MN State Fair, each member made 300 to give away and promote the HTA. The goal would be to hand out directories and talk about the tile festival and get additional memberships. The HTA would need to have a coordinator and volunteers. We would also need to build a wall for the booth to display the work. Early estimates would be $2000 to $2500. We would need at least 20 people to participate and firmly sign up with the intention to make this happen. Preliminary cost would be $100 to $125 per artist to show. Please e-mail Josh Blanc to sign up, no money is due yet, we just need commitment by October 31st from people, and then we will get a final price. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be included.
Next meeting will be December 7th at Clay Squared. This will be a proofing party for the directory. All advertisers will be sent a proof, the proofing party will show the entire book as it will look in its entire layout. We need as many people to proof the directory in person as possible!!
Address 34 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
www.claysquared.com for directions
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10% discounts for all members for advertising and events
Members receive 10% off once a year at Continental Clay and Clay Squared