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Sassafras Closing Wholesale Operations

Sassafras (aka Sassafras Lass) has announced in an email to customers that they are ceasing the production of wholesale products. Instead, the company’s ownership will focus on licensing opportunities for the company’s designs.

The company is known for its unique signature style that can be described as graphic, retro, funky, and offbeat. They are also known for their three dimensional paper embellishments, mostly floral designs.

In the announcement, signed by owners Tim & Rebecca McAllister, the company explained:

Effective immediately Sassafras is changing direction. We will no longer be producing wholesale craft and hobby products.We believe strongly that in order to thrive we must purse our true passion, design. Moving forward we are putting our complete focus into the world of licensing art and design. We are thrilled at the potential for Sassafras designs to adorn all sorts of goods from fabric to children’s apparel, party ware, as well as Sassafras paper crafting products via licensing. We will keep you updated.

Of course the emotions are bittersweet as we say goodbye to this chapter of Sassafras. We are truly grateful for your loyalty, enthusiasm, and friendship. You have been the driving force behind the last 8 years of our creative journey. We would have never grown the way we have both professionally and personally if it wasn’t for you! Thank you so very much for keeping us constantly inspired!

The news of the shutdown of Sassafras’s product production will be disappointing to their fans but not a huge shock to many in the industry. The company skipped exhibiting at the CHA Summer 2011 show in Chicago, and unlike most companies who stayed home, did not release new product lines either.

For those who want to get their favorite items before they are gone, Sassafras currently is running a large inventory clearance sale on their website, and some items are also available online through sites such as Scrapbook.com, Two Peas In A Bucket, A Walk Down Memory Lane, and Simon Says Stamp.

Update: Sassafras has hinted on their blog that they have lined up Studio Calico as a licensing partner to produce some product designs with.

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7 Responses to Sassafras Closing Wholesale Operations

  1. Laura September 26, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    An item in Studio Calico’s most recently released kit was produced/co-branded by Sassafras — it was a sheet of border stickers.

    • Laura September 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      (Not sure if that’s exactly what will happen in the future — I just had a feeling it was a kit exclusive item.)

      • Nancy Nally September 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

        Sassafras will not be producing in the future – that’s the point of licensing. You do the designing but leave the hassle of the actual manufacturing and selling to someone else. I’m not sure exactly what production/licensing arrangement the item for the SC kit was produced under, but it was billed as an exclusive item from Sassafras for the Studio Calico kit.

  2. Laura September 27, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    What it all amounts to because of the economy (the recession ended in 2009 according to the government) and waning scrapbooking, is another one bites the dust. So sad.

    • Nancy Nally September 27, 2011 at 11:38 am #

      I do not believe that a declining scrapbook market (which actually isn’t declining as much as people seem to think it is) is actually to blame for this, although the economy could definitely have played a role in several direct and indirect ways. There was definitely a market for Sassafras’s products but the business climate is becoming very challenging these days. It is impossible to get credit to create inventory, stressing small manufacturers to the breaking point. Also, in the scrapbook industry, many companies have been severely stressed by going into big box stores and then losing those slots as the chains turn to producing more of their own in-house brands. Sassafras was in Michael’s for awhile.

  3. Kim September 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    I’m sorry to see this happen because Sassafrass was one of my favorites. I hope to see their designs in the future and they don’t totally disappear like Scenic Route and Daisy D’s (I still mourn those – they were my favorites). It seems there is less and less product that I really like – I don’t like themed and whimsical stuff, I like the classic and timeless stuff. Because there is less, I’m buying less . . . . .

  4. Gab October 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    They are one of my faves too

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