About Premier Needle Arts

The Premier Needle Arts family of companies offer six leading, top-of-mind consumer brands with more than 18,000 products, which are either self-manufactured, or are sourced from the highest quality manufacturers around the globe. Today, our brands are sold directly through our own consumer sites, Amazon, and through OEM partners. Our machines brands are also found in more than 50 different countries and are located at more than 1,000 independent retail locations.

We employ more than 370+ team members, located in 12 states and two countries. These team members are dedicated to passionate innovation, with emphasis on ease of use and high quality. Education, training, and inspiration go hand-in-hand with providing the best tools and products to support our customers’ creative endeavors. Each day, you will find our team focused on designing, engineering, manufacturing, and delivering products for our creative customers.

Premier Needle Arts is located in North Salt Lake, Utah and is proud to be part of Blue Point Capital Partners family. To learn more about our companies and brands, please visit them at their corresponding websites.  

Handi Quilter (North Salt Lake, UT) creates branded and private-label longarm quilting machines, quilting tables, frames, and longarm quilting accessories.

VISIT SITE

The Crafts Group (Vancouver, WA) is a leading supplier of consumable products used in various enthusiast markets, including knitting, quilting, and crochet.

VISIT SITE

Crafts Group Distribution (Columbus, OH) Ohio-based distribution center provides fulfillment services for Crafts Group and our partner company, Superior Threads.

VISIT SITE

Berroco Facility (North Smithfield, RI) Leading supplier of knitting and crochet yarns and patterns serving Local Yarn Shops (LYS) and e-commerce retailers.

VISIT SITE

Our “We Believe” statements are our core values and philosophies, which drive our actions daily.

We Believe

  • …engaging with our consumers emotionally, before monetarily, provides a more meaningful and lasting relationship.

  • …our brands are central to our overall success.

  • … in building products or services with a value proposition in mind.

  • … we are a TEAM!  Working together WE will accomplish more than as individuals.

  •   Diversity and inclusion are part of our DNA.  Together we are building an inclusive culture that encourages, supports and celebrates diverse voices, internally and externally.

  • … in being accountable to ourselves, our team members, and our consumers (do what we say, when we say).

  • … in having a family-friendly environment, because work is not everything, it is just a portion of life.

Leadership

Mark Hyland

CEO, Premier Needle Arts

Mark Hyland is a seasoned marketing, sales and corporate executive with 30+ years of experience building brands and successful organizations.  During his career, Mark’s hands-on leadership style found him in various leadership positions implementing strategic direction and execution guidance at multi-million to billion dollar brands and companies including: Wal-Mart, Weider Nutrition, Schiff Nutrition, Fruit of the Loom, EAS, VMI, Handi Quilter, Food Insurance.com, and Premier Needle Arts. Mark joined Handi Quilter as CEO in 2005.

Today, Mark continues to provide his leadership to the brands and companies of Premier Needle Arts, working with each of the management teams of the PNA portfolio of companies on their key initiatives to maximize organic growth and strategic direction, while continuing to search out smart strategic acquisitions. Mark serves on the boards of several private companies’ within the industry and consumer space, as well as advisory roles with non-profit organizations.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and advertising from Brigham Young University. Mark and his wife Suzanne, an award winning long-arm quilter, reside in Cottonwood Heights, UT. He is the author of the book Help! I Married a Quilter. Mark can be found enjoying the mountains of Utah, hiking or skiing, during his leisure time.

Darren Denning

CFO, Premier Needle Arts
President, Handi Quilter (machine) Division

In addition to his current position with Premier Needle Arts, Darren joined Handi Quilter in 2006 as the CFO/COO and later stepped into the role of CEO in June, 2012. Darren has played an integral role in developing Handi Quilter’s business model and go-to-market strategy, which has resulted in continuous growth. His responsibilities continue to include oversight of all financial, administrative, legal and information systems operations, in addition to his new duties as President of the Handi Quilter Division.

Darren has Bachelor of Science and masters degrees in accounting from Brigham Young University and is a licensed certified public accountant. He has held various executive level and management level positions at Venafi, an encryption management technology company, and Lineo, an embedded Linux software company. Darren began his career in the Salt Lake City offices of Deloitte and Touche and Ernst & Young. His experience includes operations and financial management, legal, contract negotiations, SEC reporting, strategic financial planning, and private and public equity financing.

 Darren and his wife reside in Sandy, UT and is passionate about golfing and enjoys water sports with his family.

Matt Petkun

President, Crafts Group, Direct-to-Consumer Division

Matt Petkun is the President of Crafts Group, LLC. The direct to consumer division of Premier Needle Arts, a manufacturer and ecommerce retailer of, headquartered in Washington State, with a distribution facility in Ohio, and light manufacturing facility in Dongguan China. The Crafts Group division operates direct-to-the-consumer brands: Knit Picks, Connecting Threads, Superior Threads and We Crochet. Matt purchased the Crafts Group in 2009, from his family. Matt is a seasoned ecommerce leader, providing strategy and technology experience to growing brands and companies.

Prior to his role at Crafts, Matt spent 11 years in technology investment banking and equity research with D.A. Davidson & Company.  Matt’s industry work focused on the semiconductor and related systems software industries.

Matt received his Bachelor’s degree from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, and has completed graduate work in History at the University of Notre Dame. Matt serves on the boards of several private companies in the retail and consumer ecommerce space, as well as non-profit organizations. Matt resides in Bend, OR where he enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and three children.

Ursula Morgan

Chief Marketing Officer, Crafts Group Division

Ursula is a global award-winning seasoned technology and craft business executive. She is a visionary leader who cultivates teams that transform technology platforms, specializing in ecommerce, content/entertainment, product design and marketing. Her professional areas of expertise include; consumer technology, business strategy, content strategy, ecommerce and subscription revenue. She has also dedicated her time and passion to growing the craft market through her work on the boards of The Association for Creative Industries and Craft Yarn Council.

Before joining Crafts Group in January 2020, Ursula led the digital innovation and marketing team as Senior Vice President at CSS Industries. Previously Ursula held the CEO role at Creativebug, a SVOD platform and led the acquisition of Creativebug by JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores in 2017. Additionally Ursula has held many leadership roles throughout her career at JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores and Future Media. During her tenure at Future Media she partnered with market leading clients including Microsoft, Sony, Nvidia and Best Buy. Ursula holds a Masters of Arts degree in business from Edexcel, London, currently resides with her husband in Portland, OR. She enjoys knitting & sewing in the winter months and camping & hiking in the Oregon and Washington beautiful landscape in the summer.

Nate Arnesen

SVP Sales and Marketing – Handi Quilter

Nate joined the Handi Quilter team in 2012.  In his current role as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, Nate leads a talented team of sales and marketing professionals; working with retailers, domestic and international distributors, consumer shows and events, and directly with the consumer.  Always focused on providing the consumer an engaging, inspiring, and satisfying experience.

While not a quilter, Nate spent the 10 years prior to joining Handi Quilter building, directing and leading businesses in adjacent categories and industries of general craft and scrapbooking.  Nate is a veteran of Provo Craft, BasicGrey, and Lifestyle Crafts where he held various key leadership roles including Product Line Manager, VP of Sales and Marketing, and President.  Nate holds Accounting and Management degrees from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Colorado State University.  Nate lives in Kaysville, Utah and is happily married with four children.  He enjoys spending his spare time with his family, golfing, and skiing.

Kara Tripp

VP Operations – DTC/GM Columbus

Kara is a natural builder of both people and culture.  Joining Crafts Americana Group (CAG) in September of 2008, she brought her background and expertise in warehouse and people management.   Over the years Kara has held various management positions within CAG/PNA and was elevated to Vice President of Operations for the DTC brands in 2018, increasing her responsibility and oversight.   Kara’s current role and responsibility is for purchasing, inventory management, and warehouse management, including all light assembly functions within the Columbus facility. Her focused leadership continues to build a highly engaged, continuous improvement minded team.  With Kara’s oversight, new projects, process, and implementation work to drive efficiency, including a major warehouse automation initiative (Fall 2020) to facilitate growth and efficiency for the direct to consumer brands.

Kara holds a bachelor of arts from Grace College where she also participated in athletics, holding records in both basketball and softball.  Kara’s interests include running, with 1 road and 2 trail marathons under her belt, weekend hikes in the hills of Southeast Ohio with her dogs, boating, and spending time with her better half and friends.

Karl Taylor

VP Finance

Karl’s professional career has been in finance and accounting for more than 15 years. Karl began his career in public accounting with  Ernst & Young, in Denver, Colorado, moving to the private sector holding multiple positions and leadership with a few startup companies, American Residential Communities, and Ancestry.com. Karl earned his Bachelor of Science and masters degrees in Accountancy from Brigham Young University and is a licensed CPA.

Karl joined the Handi Quilter team in November 2017 as their Controller and was promoted Vice President of Finance in July 2020. Karl enjoys spending time playing and hiking with his wife and six children. He lives in Centerville, Utah where he is active in the local community supporting local youth programs. He is the recipient of the distinguished Silver Beaver Award from the Boys Scouts of America.

Warren Wheelock

Executive Vice President, Berroco

Warren Wheelock established the Berroco brand of handknitting yarns over 40 years ago. Berroco yarns and patterns are sold primarily through local yarn stores (LYS) throughout North America. The company is based out of North Smithfield, Rhode Island in a former Tupperware factory.

His focus is technical development of yarns and brand marketing. He has a long family tradition in textiles and worked for many years for a family woolen mill, Stanley Woolen Inc., located in Uxbridge MA.

He holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from the University of Vermont.

He is an avid outdoors person, and enjoys hiking, running, biking and skiing. 

Caroline Wheelock

Director of Berroco Product Development

Caroline has led Berroco product development since 1986. Her focus is on developing and strengthening relationship with suppliers and sourcing products for the North American market. She and her husband, Warren, co-manage the Berroco operations. 

She grew up in the French textile industry as her family owned a yarn manufacturing business and graduated from the Universite Catholique de Lille.  

Caroline is an avid knitter and an occasional gardener. She and Warren have two grown children and a cat.

They both enjoy the great outdoors and love to escape for biking and hiking in the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire.