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Archive | January 15, 2009

Fiskars Dropping Production of Consumable Products

Fiskars announced via the Fiskateers blog on Tuesday that after their CHA-Winter introductions they will no longer be introducing any new consumable products such as paper, stickers, and rub-ons. Instead, the company will return to its roots manufacturing durable goods – tools such as scissors, stamps and gardening implements.

The announcement says that the Heidi Grace, Cloud 9, Ink by Steph, Lil Davis, and Kimberly Poloson lines will continue, but that they will only contain non-consumable products in the future.

Why the drastic change in direction? According to the blog announcement, the company wants to get back to what it does best:

Fiskars has taken the time to reflect on the numerous awards and accolades they have received over the years in the area of tool design, and has decided that it’s time to get back to its roots and do the thing that it does best: design and produce innovative, awesome, award-winning crafting and garden tools.

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Simple Scrapbooks To Cease Publication

Lin Sorenson, VP/Editorial Director of CK Media, announced today on the Simple Scrapbooks blog that the May/June issue of the magazine will be its last.

The editorial mission of Simple Scrapbooks will be combined again with that of Creating Keepsakes, where it originated from. Subscribers to Simple Scrapbooks whose subscriptions extend beyond the May/June issue will have their remaining issues fulfilled by Creating Keepsakes. Simple readers who already have Creating Keepsakes subscriptions will have their subscriptions extended by the number of issues they will be owed by Simple when it ceases publication.

Simple’s Managing Editor Angie Lucas was blunt in her statement on the Simple blog about what caused the magazine’s discontinuation:

There simply isn’t enough advertising to keep two magazines afloat. The economic situation has been difficult to say the least—and we’ve all been feeling it, no matter what area of the country we live in, or what industry we work in. I’m sure you can relate. Tough times. Tough measures.

Lucas also says that CK Media’s plan is to make Creating Keepsakes bigger to accommodate the addition of the Simple content to it, although she admits at this point that she is unsure whether it will be integrated into the magazine’s general content or have its own dedicated section. She also assures readers that their favorite Simple personalities – Cathy Zielske, Wendy Smedley and Stacy Julian – will continue to have roles with CK Media providing content both online and in Creating Keepsakes.

Unfortunately for some, this announcement comes just as Simple was about to announce a new team of Ambassadors and Simple Gals. Lucas pledged in her statement to announce the new team members’ names shortly, so they can receive some recognition for making the teams, even though they won’t get a chance to work for the magazine.

Simple Scrapbooks has long been my favorite magazine – and not just because I was one of the winners of their 2004 Coolest Album contest. To me it was always a great day to find my issue of Simple waiting for me in my mailbox. I am very saddened to find that its fabulous content is now (almost certainly) going to be diluted and limited by being combined with Creating Keepsakes.

But even more than the personal sense of loss for the readers is the alarm that this sounds for the industry. This is the second CK Media publication to shut down in the past few months. (Digital Scrapbooking magazine announced in early November it was ceasing publication.) As Lucas pointed out, the advertising market is clearly tight in the scrapbook industry, a symptom of the general difficulties in the scrapbook market right now. Who will be the next company or magazine to fall? It’s becoming obvious that even industry heavyweights are not immune from the problems in the market.


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Tinkering Ink Becomes Part of Creativity Inc.

The consolidation of small companies into larger ones continues today in the scrapbook industry with Tinkering Ink owners Paul and Kezia Whitteker announcing via the company blog this morning that Tinkering Ink is now part of scrapbooking mega-company Creativity Inc.

Creativity Inc. was already the parent company of Westrim, DMD, Crop-in-Style, Blue Moon Beads and Autumn Leaves. In their announcement, the Whittekers said that having access to the resources of the larger company would be beneficial to Tinkering Ink’s long-term future:

By merging Kezia’s talents with the long standing success and resources of Creativity Inc. (home of Autumn Leaves) we can offer limitless possibilities for creating and manufacturing new products and a broader range of choices.

Tinkering Ink will be at CHA-Winter as part of the Creativity Inc’s display in booth #3835.

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