****If you don't read about "how I plan a year in advance", scroll on down to the SNEAK PEEKS later in post. If you want more L*K behind-the-scenes, read the whole thing!
Seriously, I'm working this week on my tentative design schedule for 2017. Believe it or not, I do plan ahead...sort of...subject to change, of course.
Here's how it works...kind of an L*K tradition. I tear out a piece of old-fashioned notebook paper (old school!), grab an (erasable!) pencil and get to work. I pencil in what months we will be releasing new designs. That's usually every other month. Unless we're doing a Mystery Sampler, unless market gets in the way, unless...whatever else pops up. In 2016, we had 8 product releases. With only 4 months without new product releases, it seemed like we were always doing major shipments...and we were!
As I pencil in my designs for the year ahead, I refer to the previous year's schedule. There are some designs that occur yearly, and I don't want to forget those. Every year we have Tiny Tidings (tiny holiday designs) and a yearly Snippet Santa.
Then I try to maintain a nice balance of our different product lines and scatter those throughout the year. The goal is to have a little something for everybody.
Chartpaks - usually a large design or group of small designs
Snippets - small designs
Flip-its - series of small design that can be stitched separately or together
Boxers - kits that include fabric, embellishments and BONUS design
"A Little" Kits - themed kits that include fabric and embellishments
Kits - seasonal kits, often Limited Edition
Embellishments - sometimes we have optional embellishment packs to accompany designs
I don't pencil in a whole year at once! But I do have an outline. There's always room for "sudden inspiration" when I find a theme or a quote that really speaks to me and I want to share it with all of you.
And sometimes things I plan on doing just don't materialize. That's why everything is in PENCIL. Then when the new product release is actually scheduled and announced to the needlework shops, I get out the eraser and finalize it in ink.
Sometimes a design that begins as a single design evolves into a series. A good example would be S106 Spring String Snippet. I have so much designing this little "string" that a wholes series followed. Buzzy String, Spooky String, Thankful String, Merry String, Snowy String, Doggy String and Kitty String. They aren't my best sellers, but I love them (sometimes that happens!).
S106 Spring String Snippet
S107 Buzzy String Snippet
NOW...HERE'S A SNEAK PEEK FOR 2017!
* Celebrate with Charm Flip-its. We just shipped the first 2 parts of this 7-part holiday series. They're quick, cute and each one comes with an antique gold charm. So many finishing possibilities on these! Easter Celebrate with Charm is coming in February.
* She Believed She Could. Suddenly I'm seeing this saying everywhere..."she believed she could, so she did". I just designed and stitched this quote, along with another women-oriented saying that I love. This continues my theme for 2016 on self-care and empowerment and "just go girl!". Coming in February.
* Coffee designs! I just finished stitching a series of 3 coffee themed designs. I know we've "done coffee" before, but there's a real "thirst" for coffee stuff. It never goes out of style....
* A Little Stitch Kit. Several years ago I asked my blog readers to submit ideas for Little Kits. I went back through that list (still have it) and decided to do a cross-stitch themed kit. Can't wait to start stitching this model because it's fun. It says "Stitch every day", which is (of course), excellent advice!
* Snippet Sleds. These little buggers are so popular, and they're so fun to design. It's sorta like solving a puzzle...trying to figure out how to fill the allotted sled-size stitch count with a cute design. Each Sleds Snippet comes with 3 sled designs. Last year we released 2 Sled Snippets (6 designs), and hope to do that again in 2017. Each Snippet also includes little sled embellishments.
S129 Snowy Sleds
S128 Peppermint Sleds
* Santa and Tiny Tidings. Every year, these make an appearance. Our 2016 Old School Santa was a very popular guy. And Tiny Tidings XXI was the most popular Tiny Tidings in recent years. I adored the 5 little holiday characters. What should I do in 2017?
* Inspiration Boxer Kits. We've done almost 2 dozen Inspiration Boxers, and they're still popular. I think a little inspiration is always a good idea. A few years ago, we had a contest to submit sayings. I graphed the 3 winners, and I still have the long list of submissions. Want to submit your favorite inspirational saying? Leave a comment below.
B56 Be the Rainbow Inspiration Boxer - our most recent release
* Just Cross Stitch Annual Ornament Issue. L*K was MIA from the 2016 Annual Ornament Issue, but we'll be back in 2017. Would you believe we submit our designs in March? I decided, uncharacteristically, to tackle it as soon as I got the request from JCS last week. I designed it and am stitching on it now. The JCS ladies will be shocked when they receive my ornament issue project in February! Definitely a first for L*K.
What else? What would you like to see in 2017???
Please LEAVE A COMMENT below and let me know what is your "heart's desire" for 2017. I keep a file of suggestions from stitchers and refer to it often. I really love the input.
Here's to a great 2017 together...in stitches!