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Top Scrapbook News Stories of 2009

It’s time to say goodbye to 2009…here’s a look back at the top scrapbook industry news stories of the year.

Paris Hilton Does CHA

The CHA crowd is used to having the likes of Vanna White and Martha Stewart grace the show with their presence. But the show has never quite seen a spectacle like happened at CHA-Winter 2009 in Anaheim when Paris Hilton strutted onto the show floor trailed by a posse of burly bodyguards and foreign paparazzi.

paris-arriving-webWell, now I can check “getting elbowed by German-speaking paparazzi” off my bucket list at least.

Creative Memories Files Bankruptcy

Although the bankruptcy of Creative Memories was technically filed in late 2008, the disposition of it continued into 2009. The court approved the company’s bankruptcy plan on January 9th, but former company officers still face legal action from former employee shareholders over their actions in regard to the bankruptcy plan.

CK Media’s Financial Problems

Stories stemming from the underlying thread of CK Media’s financial issues were a recurrent theme in the scrapbook news in 2009. First Digital Scrapbooking was shut down, and shortly afterward Simple Scrapbooks magazines was closed as well. Scrapbook Update broke the news in February that CK Media had called in turnaround/bankruptcy firm CRG Partners to settle its debts with its creditors under threat of a bankruptcy filing.

In early July, the sale of CK Media’s remaining publications to New Track Media became final, triggering major layoffs at the company.

CHA Craft Supershows

There was something else new at CHA-Summer 2009 besides the venue – the addition of a consumer event that operated the weekend after the trade show. Although controversial when first announced, the Craft Supershow was a massive success in Orlando, and CHA is continuing the event in conjunction with CHA-Winter 2010 in Anaheim.

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Big Names Depart from Creating Keepsakes

As the company foundered this year, a lot of big names departed Creating Keepsakes and its parent company to work on other projects. The departures went all the way to the top of the company, when Creating Keepsakes founding editor Lisa Bearnson announced she was giving up her role with the magazine. Other popular well-known names who departed the company included Becky Higgins, Ali Edwards, Cathy Zielske, and Jessica Sprague.

Stampin’ Up Angers Demonstrators With New IDA

In early fall, Stampin’ Up issued a revised IDA (independent demonstrator agreement) to all of its demonstrators that included new restrictions on their online activity. Stampin’ Up originally interpreted the new guidelines as meaning Stampin’ Up reps couldn’t link to anyone online who linked to anywhere else that sold or promoted non-Stampin’ Up products. Many reps threatened to resign rather than live with restrictions that would force them to remove themselves from a large portion of the online community, and Stampin’ Up was forced to loosen the guidelines.

Memory Makers Ceases Publication

In early May, Scrapbook Update broke the story that F+W Media was planning to shut down Memory Makers Magazine with the Sept/Oct issue. This news was confirmed by the publication the next day. The magazine’s remaining subscriptions were picked up by Northridge Media for digital fulfillment with an all-access pass to its titles.

Melody Ross Departs Chatterbox, Company Shelved by Ultra Pro

In early July, Chatterbox founder Melody Ross revealed that she had departed the company back in April. At CHA-Summer, a rep for Chatterbox parent company Ultra-Pro confirmed to Scrapbook Update that the Chatterbox brand’s product lines were being discontinued. Ten years ago, the company was revolutionary in the industry. Now, it no longer exists.

Lenders Attempt to Force Wilton Brands Bankruptcy

After holding company Wilton Holdings breached covenants of loans it owed, the parent company of EK Success and K&Co was called into bankruptcy court by lenders who filed a petition to force the company into bankruptcy. The issue was eventually settled out of court by the lenders and Wilton. Later in the year, Wilton’s CEO resigned, saying that the new ownership should have an opportunity to select their own management.

Gypsy Introduces New Era Of Scrapbook Electronics

Shortly before CHA-Summer, Provo Craft started executing a viral marketing campaign to raise buzz on its new electronic accessory for the Cricut called the Gypsy.

The campaign was successful at raising buzz on the Gypsy, which is a handheld device that lets users create designs from their cartridge library and then cut them via their Cricut machine. Probable future plans for the device include the ability to purchase individual cut designs from an iTunes-style store, instead of having to purchase entire cartridges.

The Gypsy debuted with an HSN package and a 30 day exclusive run at Michaels. Although the MSRP is $299, over the holidays the street price seems to be hovering around $250.

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