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Welcome!

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I am delighted that you are interested in learning more about the Gem Affiliate program, a team of instructors certified to teach in-person classes based on my gemstone quilt patterns. While it is not necessary for you to be certified in order to teach my patterns, I believe the Gem Affiliate program will give you knowledge, tools, and resources to take your business to new heights. I've listed specific benefits of this program below, including new ways to increase your business income. If this interests you, read on!    -- MJ

Description

Gem Affiliates are independent quilt shops and quilt teachers who have been certified to teach in-person classes based on my gemstone patterns. The Gem Affiliate program is a respectful, mutually-beneficial collaboration between your business and my brand with the ultimate goal to expand both. Gem Affiliates can significantly expand the menu of classes they offer to shops, guilds, and groups, as well as at retreats, conventions, and shows, by teaching patterns such as The Birthstone Series (a collection of 12 blocks representing the traditional birthstone gems) and new patterns and products scheduled for release in the coming months and years.

I welcome teachers at every stage of their career -- experienced and brand new alike. The skill level of my patterns range from those designed for the "Confident Beginner" (such as the Birthstone Series) to those designed for the Intermediate and Advanced sewist. (My Diamond Divas series now in the works is one such series of patterns aimed at the more experienced maker.) As a result, teachers of all experience levels can feel confident in their classroom and share patterns of interest and sufficient challenge with their students.

The target launch for the program is late 2018 with two inaugural retreats planned from which attendees can choose: the first option in late 2018 and the second in early 2019. More information about the retreats is listed below.

The Gems: Current & Future Products

I've been making quilts for 30 years and gemstones for over 20. It's a passion that grabbed hold of my soul in the mid-1990s and has become a joy -- if not an obsession -- ever since. My original goal was to simply make art quilts. But that changed as it dawned on me that there might be lots of people out there who would enjoy creating their own gems. I pour my 20 years of experience (joy, frustration, and exploration) into every pattern so that quiltmakers can confidently and proudly create their own treasure trove.

The Birthstone Series -- My first pattern series is the Birthstone Series. Designed for the Confident Beginner, this collection of 12 traditional gemstones each with its own special cut is a perfect entrée to teaching and making gem quilts using the same freezer-paper piecing technique I use to create my giant gem portraits. Here are few of the Birthstone Series features:

  • The 17" square blocks are designed to use the fewest number of fabrics and pieces, yet still sparkle with light and color. Most can be taught in a single day-long class. (The Diamond has the most pieces and may require more than a day to put together.)
  • The cost is not prohibitive; suggested retail price for students is $18 per block.
  • The blocks are designed around the spectacular Painter's Palette solids from Paintbrush Studios, and are available to students as fat-quarter "Birthstone Bundles". Teachers can order these wholesale directly from Paintbrush Studios.
  • If teachers prefer to use fabric other than Painter's Palette solids, I have mapped the blocks to three additional fabric lines: Kona Cotton, Michael Miller Cotton Couture, and Bali Batiks.
  • I've created tutorial videos to introduce teachers to the technique. These tutorials are available only to shops and teachers who purchase the Shop Kit (see more below), and so are not available to the general public.
  • I've created a Piece Plan for each block to help you assist students in assembling the facets once they've been cut apart.
  • Each block has a special challenge (albeit an easy one) to help students grow in skill and confidence.
  • By virtue of the fact that each block corresponds with a particular month, you can easily market and schedule classes all year long. In addition, you can plan Birthday Party themed sew-ins or other special events to market the series.

FACETS by MJ Kinman (Collection by Northcott Fabric) -- I'm delighted to announce that Northcott has created a line of digitally-printed fabric and coordinates inspired by Lila, one of my art quilts. The collection, as well as four patterns I designed, will be introduced at Quilt Market this November (2018). The fabric and the patterns will be shipped to shops during the first few months of 2019. However, Gem Affiliates will have access to the patterns and digital images so that they can familiarize themselves with the contents and begin marketing classes. (Fabric won't be available to Gem Affiliates until it arrives in shops, so it won't be possible for you to make samples before then.)

I am also planning two collections of recommended quilt, handbag, accessory, and clothing patterns that would work well with the FACETS fabrics: a Wedding Celebration Collection and a Pretty Princess Collection. Teachers will be able to develop trunk shows featuring these items and market the trunk shows to shops that carry the FACETS line, thereby helping them engage customers and increase sales.

And finally, I'm working with Blue Fig, a company that creates sewing- and craft-related totes and luggage. They are expanding their Learn To Sew program for kids ages 6 and up. We are discussing using designs from Northcott's FACETS by MJ Kinman collection to create fun projects for new young sewists. This venture would allow Gem Affiliates to expand their target audience to kids and youth if they chose to do so. Engaging younger generations of makers is critical to the success of all our businesses! (Click the image to visit Blue Fig's website.)

 The Elizabeth (From the diamond divas series)

The Elizabeth (From the diamond divas series)

The Diamond Divas Series -- A second series on the drawing board features larger patterns that could be used either as art or functional quilts. These patterns will include classic cuts, such as a Princess Cut Square diamond and a Brilliant Cut Solitaire diamond, in various color ways. The image to the right is of the first pattern I've created called The Elizabeth.

Patterns in the Diamond Divas series will be released one at a time over a period of the next two years so as not to saturate the market and give you time to schedule classes. In addition, one of the benefits of being a Gem Affiliate is that you will have access to the Diamond Diva patterns several months before they are released to the general market. (Note: Quilt shops that are part of the Gem Affiliate program will, of course, have advance access to the Diamond Diva patterns, just as independent teachers will.) This advance time will give you time to create samples, and then market and schedule your classes.

Book with C&T Publishing (Working Title: Diamond Divas & Drama Queens) -- I am currently writing a book about the diamonds and the freezer-paper technique for C&T Publishing. The book will be out in Spring of 2020 and will provide Gem Affiliates with yet another opportunity to market classes around its release.

Future Projects -- Plans for future art quilts include a series inspired by the National Gem Collection -- the Hope Diamond, the Hooker Emerald, the Blue Heart Diamond, and other gorgeous gems found in the collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. My goal is to create a series of simplified blocks for quiltmakers inspired by these gorgeous diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and other colored gemstones. Gem Affiliates will have access to these patterns months before they are released to the public, so that they can begin marketing to their client base.

A Short Introductory Video to the Birthstone Series -- And just for giggles, here's a short video featuring your's-truly that I made to introduce myself and the Birthstone Series. It's part of the first of three videos that I created for shop owners and teachers. The first part is available for public viewing out on YouTube, while the final two parts covering technique are available only to people who purchased the Shop Kit. 

Have I caught your attention?
Do you want to join me on the amazing ride ahead?
If so, read on!

 

Benefits of Becoming a Gem Affiliate

I hope you're considering becoming a Gem Affiliate because my patterns delight and inspire you. But there are other reasons to join us, too. Here are just a few:

  • Distinguish yourself from other teachers in the marketplace by promoting your Gem Affiliate certification
  • Gain exclusive access to marketing tools to promote the patterns and designs that are not available to non-affiliated teachers
  • Watch your business grow when you include a wide-range of classes and events that feature unique and inspiring patterns
  • Increase your profitability by purchasing patterns and fabric at wholesale price and share with your students at suggested retail pricing
  • Join a growing company that will continue to create new designs over time to keep your clients and students coming back for more
  • Get access to my new patterns well in advance of their release to the general market so that you can create samples, market your classes, and secure bookings
  • Receive timely notifications of pattern updates and news of upcoming designs
  • Meet a great group of creative, talented makers just like you
  • Participate in retreats and gatherings around the country that will help you grow your business and nurture your creative flame

Requirements

The Gem Affiliate program is a training-based program rather than a competitive application. While any training invariably requires an investment of both time and money, the process to become a Gem Affiliate is deliberately designed to be rigorous yet reasonable. I want to provide the knowledge and tools you need to immediately begin growing your business without breaking your budget or swamping your schedule. The following program requirements are designed with that goal in mind:

  • Those interested in becoming a Gem Affiliate must attend an in-person retreat planned and hosted by me (MJ). This requirement pertains only to interested teachers located in the US and Canada. Those who live outside North America may participate in an online webinar specifically designed for international teachers. Of course, international teachers may also participate in the in-person retreats! A description of the retreat (and webinar) is listed below.
     
  • Gem Affiliates must purchase the Resource Kit for any pattern series they wish to offer as classes. Kits are likely to range from $75 to $200. Contents of these kits are described below.
     
  • Gem Affiliates must teach a minimum of six (6) classes within a one year period to maintain certification. (I realize that life can step in the way of the best-laid plans, so exceptions to this requirement will be made on a case-by-case basis.)
     
  • Gem Affiliates are required to sign and abide by the Code of Conduct described below to maintain certification. Affiliates must review and sign the Code of Conduct on an annual basis.
     
  • Gem Affiliates are welcome to teach at major shows and conventions (i.e., AQS' Quilt Week, Quilts Inc. Festival) after consulting with me about my teaching schedule at those same shows.
     
  • Recommended, but not required: I encourage Gem Affiliates to participate on my monthly conference calls, featuring topics of interest, current questions, success stories, and open forum for questions by Gem Affiliates.

Resource Kits

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A Resource Kit will be developed for every pattern/series released. These kits will be available to Gem Affiliates several months prior to their release to the general public (and non-Gem Affiliate shops). Kits will range in price from $75 to $200  depending on the number of patterns included in each. Each kit will include the following:

  • Pattern(s) and instructions
  • Link to video tutorial that I have created specifically for that pattern
  • Class pricing suggestions (of course, depends on your market)
  • Fabric suggestions for Painter's Palette solids by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics
  • Tips and talking points 
  • Mapping to other fabric lines (i.e., Kona Cotton, Michael Miller, Northcott, etc.)
  • Access to professionally photographed images of the patterns for use on your website and/or social media platforms
  • Access to digital layouts for postcards and fliers announcing new patterns that can be downloaded and printed locally
  • Content for Gem Affiliate Facebook page featuring the new pattern

NOTE: If you are not quite ready to join us as a Gem Affiliate but want to start teaching classes featuring the Birthstone Series, please contact me to request a Shop/Resource Kit by clicking here to send a message via my CONTACT form. I want to be sure that you're aware of the resources available on my website that will help you plan classes and assist your students.

Code of Conduct

To remain in good standing as a Gem Affiliate, teachers must:

  • Clearly state the official name of my company and the pattern in all communication with shops, guilds, groups, or individuals (example: the Birthstone Series by MJ Kinman|Textile Artist); affiliates are not allowed to teach the pattern under their own business name without referencing my brand
  • Clearly state the official name of my company and the pattern in all marketing material, announcements, or social media posts
  • Include my Facebook page name and Instagram handle in social media posts featuring my patterns; this allows viewers of my social media sites to see your classes and successes, further expanding your marketing reach
  • Teach only in-person classes; developing online classes is not permitted by Gem Affiliates
  • Teach to the pattern instructions without shortcuts or modifications, nor use another piecing technique
  • Not copy or modify my copyrighted patterns and teach them under your own name
  • Refrain from writing articles, books, or ebooks about the patterns without my express permission
  • Direct students to purchase patterns and fabrics from shops (if teaching at that shop); if the shop does not carry the patterns or fabric, Gem Affiliates may assist shops in obtaining patterns and fabric
  • Sell patterns to students at no less than suggested retail price; the price may be included in the class fee, added as s "kit fee" or sold to students directly
  • Ensure that they have signed release forms on hand before placing students' or other Gem Affiliates' work product on their website or social media platforms
  • Offer students the opportunity to complete an evaluation of the class and their performance at the end of the class; have forms available in class for that purpose
  • Take care to create and maintain a safe emotional space in the classroom for all students when teaching under my brand

Handling Violations of the Code of Conduct:

If it comes to my attention that a Gem Affiliate has violated the Code of Conduct, the following will occur:

1. At a first instance of a violation, I will talk with the Gem Affiliate to discuss the issue, determine the situation surrounding the alleged violation, explore different ways to handle it, and plan steps to change behavior if necessary.

2. If a specific violation continues -- or a pattern of multiple violations develop -- the teacher will be removed from the Gem Affiliate program. The former Gem Affiliate will receive written notice of removal by mail and email, including instructions to refrain from teaching my patterns and to remove all mention of the Gem Affiliate program from their website and/or social media sites. Their contact info will be removed from my site and their access to the private Gem Affiliate Facebook site will be revoked.

3. In some cases, a single violation may be so egregious that it warrants removal from the Gem Affiliate program. I reserve the right to make that determination.

4. If it is determined that a former Gem Affiliate continues to teach my patterns and is representing themselves as a Gem Affiliate, I will take appropriate legal action.

My Commitment to You

1. I will never ask you for your list of shops, guilds, groups, or students. This is your confidential business data.

2. While I reserve the right to develop online classes for each pattern series, I will do so only after you have had ample time to market, schedule, and teach your in-person classes. The suggested time period between releasing patterns to Gem Affiliates and creating my online classes is one year.

3. While I may teach one of the more complex patterns from time to time at local, regional, or national shows, my interest is primarily teaching the freezer-paper technique classes that I have developed. My goal is not to compete with your business, but to complement your business.

3. I reserve the right to increase or limit the number of Gem Affiliates in a given area based on demand. However, I will avoid bringing lots of teacher into any one location so as not to dilute your business' ability to thrive. Please keep in mind, too, that you are not limited to teach in your geographic area. If you have a connection with a guild, shop, or group in another area, by all means, pursue it.

Gem Affiliate Retreat

Teachers interested in becoming a Gem Affiliate must attend a 3-day retreat that I host close to my hometown, Louisville, Kentucky. Details of upcoming retreats are listed at the end of this section. Space is limited to 20 people for the December 2018 retreat and 30 people for the April 2019 retreat. You only need to select ONE date that is best for your schedule. 

During the retreat, Gem Affiliates will:

  • Have opportunities to build relationships with other affiliates
  • Learn more about me, how my diamond quilts came about, my vision for the Gem Affiliate program, and plans for future patterns and products
  • Learn the basics of how to create a freezer-paper template, the technique I use to create the patterns, as well as my art quilts
  • Create one of the Birthstone blocks
  • Demonstrate how to teach one aspect of a Birthstone block pattern with and for other affiliates
  • Have the opportunity to learn from other experienced teachers how they built their successful businesses
  • Prepare for and script a successful gem class
  • Learn how to handle difficult situations and students in class
  • Have the chance to complete exercises that will help them map out teaching opportunities available to them in their home regions and other areas to they have connections in; and create outreach and follow-up plans targeting shops, guilds, shows, conventions
  • Have the chance to create an "elevator speech" that will increase your confidence when marketing your business and result in lots of bookings
  • Have a chance to build a professional Facebook page if you don't already have one
  • Provide me (MJ) with a professional head shot, profile, contact info, and a link to your existing website and/or social media platforms so that I can include you in the list of Gem Affiliates on my website, and welcome you on my Facebook and social media platforms
  • Get access to private Facebook page for Gem Affiliates that is to be used solely for information and resource dissemination
  • Get access to monthly conference calls for Gem Affiliates on which I will share updates, news, have short information sessions, share stories of success, and provide an open forum for questions
  • Enjoy inspiring and motivating speakers
  • Receive information about success tools for your business, such as...
    • Contracts and agreements with shops, guilds, and other groups
    • Professional services and how they can help you 
    • Online services that can help you with design, printing, shipping, and other activities
    • Contact and ordering information for Painter's Palette solids from Paintbrush Studio Fabrics
    • Contact and ordering information for patterns from me (plus the chance to purchase patterns and bundles in bulk at the retreat, as supplies last)

The first two introductory retreats from which interested teachers can choose are listed below. Both are scheduled at Wooded Glen Executive Retreat and Conference Center, a beautiful, all-inclusive retreat center in Southern Indiana. Here are a few details and you can learn more by visiting their website at https://woodedglen.com:

  • Wooded Glen is a certified retreat center encompassing a meeting center and lodge of sleeping rooms on nearly 600 acres of forest
  • It is centrally located just minutes off of I-65, 45 minutes from the Louisville airport, and 90 minutes from Indianapolis
  • It is fully accessible to individuals managing mobility issues
  • Lost Lake Lodge has 50 private rooms furnished with two queen-sized beds, a private bath, wireless high-speed Internet access, 50-channel satellite TV, and a private patio overlooking the grounds and small lake
  • Wooded Glen hosts many quilt- and craft-related gatherings, so are very familiar with the needs of makers like us
  • There are several meeting rooms that will meet our needs, as well as areas, both inside and out, where small groups can gather for break-out sessions or informal chats
  • Meals are served buffet-style in the dining room and snacks and beverages (all-inclusive!) are available all day long (and warm cookies and cold milk served before bedtime)
  • Two kitchenettes with refrigerators are located in the Lodge where guests can store personal food or beverages (no stove available)
  • Pricing includes lodging, meals, snacks during the day, meeting room, and the cost of the workshop (Note: Wooded Glen does not have a liquor license, but participants are free to bring in their own wine, beer, or liquor while at the retreat)
  • A 50% deposit is due upon registration, with the balance due one 30 days prior to the event. If registrants must cancel, a full refund of their deposit will be provided up to 60 days prior to the event. If a registrant cancels between 30 and 60 days prior to the event, they will be refunded 50% of their deposit.

First Retreat: December 6-9, 2018 (Thursday thru Sunday)

Participants are invited to arrive on Thursday in time for dinner and a meet-and -greet on Thursday evening. We'll spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning together. Participants should make travel plans for Sunday afternoon if possible. For participants flying into Louisville, we will do all we can to arrange transportation/shuttle service to Wooded Glen. 

Price (includes lodging, meals, snacks, and retreat workshop):
   To share a room with 1 other person (8 rooms available): $1,000 (Non-refundable deposit due upon registration: $150)
   For a private room (1 room available): $1,150 (Non-refundable deposit due upon registration: $150)
Registration Opens: NOW
Payment Schedule:  
   
A non-refundable deposit of $150 is due upon initial registration.
   Half of the balance (price minus the non-refundable deposit of $150) will be due 90 days prior to the event: $425 due September 5, 2018.
   The remaining balance will be due 30 days prior to the event: $425 due November 5, 2018.
Cancellation Policy:
If you discover that you cannot join us after you have registered, we will take the following steps:

    1. If we have a waiting list and are able to fill your spot, we will refund your payment (minus the $150 non-refundable deposit) once we have received payment from your replacement.
    2. If we do not have a waiting list, we encourage you to find a replacement to take your spot. We will refund your payment (minus the $150 non-refundable deposit) once that individual has paid their deposit and applicable portion.
    3. If we do not have a waiting list nor can you find a replacement, the following policy will take effect. (Please note that our policy is guided primarily by the cancellation policy of the retreat center, which expects a portion of the anticipated revenue to be paid regardless of how many participants attend.)
      • Participants who cancel between September 5 and October 5 will be refunded the full amount of the $425 paid on September 5.
      • Participants who cancel between October 5 and November 5 will be refunded $200 of their September 5th payment.
      • No refunds will be offered if participants cancel after November 5 (after paying their final balance).   

     To register and pay your $150 non-refundable deposit for the DECEMBER 2018 retreat, click the button below. 
    After clicking the button, you'll be taken to my SHOP page. Be sure to scroll through the Birthstone patterns
    down to the bottom until you see the two items pertaining to the Gem Affiliate Retreats. 

    Second Retreat: April 4-7, 2019 (Thursday thru Sunday)

    Participants are invited to arrive on Thursday in time for dinner and a meet-and -greet on Thursday evening. We'll spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning together. Participants should make travel plans for Sunday afternoon if possible. For participants flying into Louisville, we will do all we can to arrange transportation/shuttle service to Wooded Glen. If you would like to purchase a Birthstone Series Shop/Resource Kit and have it shipped to you prior to the retreat, you will have that opportunity when you register below.

    Price (includes lodging, meals, snacks, and retreat workshop):
       To share a room with 1 other person (8 rooms available): $1,000 (Non-refundable deposit due upon registration: $150)
       For a private room (1 room available): $1,150 (Non-refundable deposit due upon registration: $150)
    Registration Opens: NOW
    Payment Schedule:  
       
    A non-refundable deposit of $150 is due upon initial registration.
       Half of the balance (price minus the non-refundable deposit of $150) will be due 90 days prior to the event: $425 due Jan 3, 2019.
       The remaining balance will be due 30 days prior to the event: $425 due March 3, 2019.
    Cancellation Policy:
    If you discover that you cannot join us after you have registered, we will take the following steps:

    1. If we have a waiting list and are able to fill your spot, we will refund your payment (minus the $150 non-refundable deposit) once we have received payment from your replacement.
    2. If we do not have a waiting list, we encourage you to find a replacement to take your spot. We will refund your payment (minus the $150 non-refundable deposit) once that individual has paid their deposit and applicable portion.
    3. If we do not have a waiting list nor can you find a replacement, the following policy will take effect. (Please note that our policy is guided primarily by the cancellation policy of the retreat center, which expects a portion of the anticipated revenue to be paid regardless of how many participants attend.)
      • Participants who cancel between January 3 and February 3 will be refunded the full amount of the $425 paid on January 3.
      • Participants who cancel between February 3 and March 3 will be refunded $200 of their January payment.
      • No refunds will be offered if participants cancel after March 3 (after paying their final balance).   

     To register and pay your $150 non-refundable deposit for the APRIL 2019 retreat, click the button below.
    After clicking the button, you'll be taken to my SHOP page. Be sure to scroll through the Birthstone patterns
    own to the bottom until you see the two items pertaining to the Gem Affiliate Retreats. 

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