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by Association For Creative Industries
January 16-20, 2020

Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ
Education begins January ​16
Show floor open January 18-20

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Innovation Talks

Saturday, January 18 | 2:45 pm – 3:15 pm

E301: How to Grow Your Flower Business: Now is the Time to Burst Into Bloom 

J Schwanke, Host, J. Schwanke’s Life In Bloom

SchwankeFlowers are blossoming, and flower trends are quickly growing. Did you know that Millennials and Gen Z customers are cultivating a valuable relationship with flowers and plants?  Craft retailers have a garden of opportunity to offer a complete and unrivaled 'Flower Experience' for their customers, giving their business the chance to burst into bloom! Join J Schwanke, host of Public Television’s Life in Bloom, for a talk about the importance of implementing a uniquely diversified product mix, planting innovative displays, and arranging the elements of your store like a bouquet. J will include flower-rich color trends, faux and fresh flower directions, and more. You will leave this talk armed with data on the changing floral customer base, and learn how you can harness the 'Flower Power' to grab the attention of next-generation buyers.

Sunday, January 19 | 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

E401: Connect through Tech: What’s New and Why It Matters

Kizer BenderGeorganne Bender, Consumer Anthropologist, KIZER & BENDER Speaking! LLC

Mannequins that “talk”, tables that queue up videos when you pick up a product, and robots that help keep your sales floor neat and tidy. Sound far fetched? AI, VR and tech that makes running your store easier is here now; the next 5 years will bring even more. Join Georganne Bender and learn about retail trends and technologies that will be here before we know it, plus how to implement them in your own store.

Sunday, January 19 | 1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

B&H LogoE402: Top 10 Quick Tips for Product Photography
Sponsored by: B&H

Marie Segares, Underground Crafter

Marie Segares of the Underground Crafter blog will share her top 10 quick tips for photographing products. Marie is an avid “crafter” and has been blogging, designing and teaching about crocheting and knitting for years.

Sunday, January 19 | 2:45 pm – 3:15 pm

E403: How Video Saved Our Business (and Why It Can Save Yours Too)

Misty_2019_12_05_7366_REMisty Doan, Video Production Manager, Missouri Star Quit Co.

From bankruptcy to YouTube sensation, the family behind the Missouri Star Quilt Co. has had a whirlwind journey. Hear their story and the impact that embracing video and innovative technology has had on one organization. As production manager, Misty Doan is on the forefront for how to use video in the future to enhance their offerings, reach new audiences, and communicate their message. She will share research and insights around video including new tools and apps, challenges you may face along the way, consumer trends, and more.




Monday, January 20 | 11:00 am - 11:30 am
Sponsored by: B&H

B&H LogoE501; Top 10 Quick Tips for IGTV

Kathy Cano-Murillo, Crafty Chica LLC

Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Crafty Chica, will share her top 10 quick tips to create an engaging, well composed video for IGTV. Come learn the best practices to elevate your IGTV content.

1:1 Consultations

On Saturday and Sunday, two well-known experts in the AFCI community will be available for scheduled appointments to help you through your current business challenges. Complete the schedule request by Friday, January 10th. Appointments will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis and applicants will be notified of their schedule by Monday, January 13. Book your appointment here.

About the Experts:

Georganne Bender is a consumer anthropologist, speaker, author, and consultant who has helped businesses internationally in the retail, restaurant, healthcare, hospitality, collegiate, travel, craft & hobby, tanning, beauty, funeral, tech, auto, sales and service industries since 1990. Along with her business partner, Rich Kizer, they are contributors to MSNBC’s Your Business. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine's list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers and have been named two of Retailing's Most Influential People. As global retail thought leaders, KIZER & BENDER are listed among the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers, Top 100 Retail Influencers, and the Top Retail Industry Experts to Follow on Social Media. Their award-winning Retail Adventures Blog is consistently listed among important retail and small business blogs.

Attorney Tammy L. Browning-Smith cannot remember a time that she hasn't been creating or helping other create in her life.  Browning-Smith PC is a law firm that focuses on those who create understanding the unique challenges and opportunities Innovators face on a daily basis.  Copyrights, Trademarks, Licensing, and Litigation are just a few of the areas of law that BSPC participates in daily with clients that work in Technology,  the Arts and Crafts Industry, Government Contracting, and Home Decor just to name a few.   Tammy holds a Bachelor of Arts from Graceland University, a Juris Doctor and a Master of Law in Intellectual Property from Western Michigan University - Cooley Law School.  Tammy and her husband Dale live in Delaware with their two Shar Pei - Zing! and Bob.  In her spare time Tammy can be found in the garden, in the water, or with a craft project in her hand.

Industry Panel: Future Trends & Innovation within the Creative Industries

Saturday, January 18
5:15 pm – 6:45 pm

Moderated by Jim Scatena, AFCI Board of Directors
Amber Kemp-Gerstel, Television Host and Founder & Creative Director of DIY site, Damask Love
Kathy Cano-Murillo, Author, Artist & Founder, CraftyChica
Lee Kellogg, Owner, StampaFe Art Stamps & Guadalupe’s Fun Rubber Stamps

This panel will discuss consumer trends within creative industries. Special focus will be devoted to what they see on the horizon for retailers as consumers become more techno powered and increasingly digital in their buying habits. Additional discussion will highlight where they see innovation in the industry, new products that may be on the horizon and what may be the next big thing.


KathyKathy Cano-Murillo is an author, artist & founder of the award-winning brand, CraftyChica. She spreads the gospel of glitter – literally through her DIY projects and figuratively through her speeches, workshops, books, and essays. A former syndicated columnist for The Arizona Republic, she is now a full-time creativepreneur which has led to multiple Crafty Chica mass retail product lines, and collabs with Coca-Cola, HSN, HP, WordPress, Disney & many others. She has authored seven craft books, two novels, and recently, Forever Frida: A Celebration of the Life, Art, Loves, Words, and Style of Frida Kahlo. She has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed+ more. Kathy is Mexican-American, a native Phoenician, mom of two, a wifey, and owner of three Chihuahuas!

Lee KelloggSince 2003, Lee Kellogg has been the owner of Guadalupe’s Fun Rubber Stamps, a 35 year old paper crafting and gift retail store in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Along with the store, Lee and husband Steve operate StampaFe Art Stamps, their in-house rubber stamp line that is a combo of various stamp companies (Om, Hot Potatoes, Our Lady of Rubber and Rubber Poet) and original art by various artists. Lee teaches weekly classes and workshops in her store that cover a wide range of paper crafts, drawing and nature journaling skills. She also advises other small business owners on best practices. Lee is the author of “Healthy Creative Thinkers”, published in 2018, and produces a daily podcast called Lee!, found on Apple Podcasts.

Amber2Amber Kemp-Gerstel is the founder and creative director of Damask Love a creative lifestyle blog all about doable DIY. Amber has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning American on the cover of Parent's Magazine, she been featured in Better Home and Gardens and was a finalist on the inaugural season of NBC's Making It,  hosted by SNL’s Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman – otherwise known as Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation. Currently, Amber is the host of her own weekly family crafting series on Disney+ called, Disney Family Sundays. Amber's site, Damask Love has partnered with brands like Martha Stewart, Home Depot, The Container Store, Coca-Cola, Canon and is the social media face of JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores. She has been featured on Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Apartment Therapy and in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. Damask Love was named one of the Top 17 DIY Blogs by Domino Magazine and Top 10 DIY blogs by Better Homes and Garden's Magazine.