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American Crafts to Produce Studio Calico Lines

American Crafts announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Studio Calico to manufacture, sell and distribute Studio Calico’s popular line of scrapbooking products.

Studio Calico was founded as a kit club in 2007 by April Foster. The company began manufacturing and wholesaling their own product lines in 2009. Both the kit club and wholesale product lines have become successes with consumers, rapidly growing the start-up company into a major player in the industry. Products such as Mister Huey’s color mist, Fabrips, and Wood Veneers have made Studio Calico not only a bestseller but a trendsetter during the company’s short life. The company’s designs are arguably responsible for igniting the passion for wood grain texture that is currently over taking the industry, for one.

American Crafts is based in Orem, Utah and has been making scrapbooking products since the early 1990′s. The company is known for products such as its Thicker line of alphabet stickers, pens, albums, and paper collections. In 2009, American Crafts purchased the Pebbles line of products, and they also launched a signature line of products by Amy Tangerine at CHA Summer 2011.

While both companies are known for their graphic design style, Studio Calico’s interpretation tends to be slightly distressed with muted colors, where American Crafts’ designs are very clear and bold with bright colors.

Under the agreement with American Crafts, Studio Calico will continue to design and promote product under Foster’s ownership and direction. Foster will continue to direct the “look and feel” of Studio Calico as in the past. American Crafts will handle the manufacturing, marketing, wholesaling, and distributing of that product. Effective immediately, retailers wishing to order Studio Calico products can do so through American Crafts, and Studio Calico product will be shipped from American Crafts’ warehouse in Orem, Utah.

American Crafts President Jeff Mitchell explained in the announcement why American Crafts is partnering with Studio Calico:

Studio Calico products have a distinct style to them that have quickly captured crafter’s attention. American Crafts looks forward to producing, selling and marketing even more great Studio Calico-brand products for years to come.
American Crafts acquired the Pebbles brand two years ago, and we’ve worked hard during that time to further expand our American Crafts’ product offerings, too. We think that Studio Calico’s products have a boutique feel with general appeal and that adding them to our mix allows us to serve customers even better.

Foster, for her part, describes the arrangement as the next progression in Studio Calico’s development:

We started Studio Calico to deliver fresh products to customers by way of our kit club, which we’ll keep doing. Recently, we started manufacturing our own products to provide more options. This partnership with American Crafts takes that to another level – it’s exciting to think that more people than ever will come to know our brand.

The operations of the Studio Calico kit club will continue to be run independently by Foster, and are not affected by the licensing agreement for wholesale products with American Crafts.

This arrangement follows on the heels of similar decisions in the industry made by Cosmo Cricket to join the Advantus family for manufacturing assistance, and by Sassafras to discontinue manufacturing products in favor of licensing designs.

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10 Responses to American Crafts to Produce Studio Calico Lines

  1. . October 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    I wouldn’t say that SC started the woodgrain trend. After all, woodgrain paper from Cosmo Cricket, the Designer Woodgrain stamp from Hero Arts, and other products were out much earlier than SC was even producing their wholesale line.

    • Nancy Nally October 7, 2011 at 9:36 am #

      Things can be in the marketplace without really catching on, capturing people’s imagination…I believe it was Studio Calico’s use of wood that really grabbed people’s attention and lit it on fire and made it exciting to people.

  2. Amanda M. October 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Hey Nancy…this is super interesting, I had just recieved the email from Studio Calico and popped right over here. Would love your “take” on this – editorially speaking, I know you don’t speak for either company. They are two of my personal favorites and I wonder what you think this means for the companies, the products and the industry as a whole?

  3. JillT October 6, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    So the ‘empty’ store and big sales are now making sense :)

    • Beth in OK October 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

      ^^This.

  4. Laurie Hansen October 6, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Studio Calico just release in conjunction with Hero Arts a line of stamps during the Summer CHA. Not that I might the merger between Studio Calico and American Crafts but it worrys me that Hero Arts will be forced to terminate sales of its Studio Calico line.

  5. StumpedAgain October 7, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    Great update Nancy. Once again, you are on top of things. Thanks for keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry.

  6. Gab October 7, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    Very interesting news

  7. Angela S. October 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    I have to agree that the wood grain trend started to take off before SC got on the bandwagon with it. However, since they are a kit club, then these kit scrappers, which tend to roam the message boards more than many others, were able to fan the fires. But for the past year and a half, SC has been under the gun with many of it’s loyal fans with kits becoming smaller and even excuses about why they aren’t being shipped in a timely manner. From some industry speculations, they lost almost 30% of their memberships in the past year because of SC’s failure to put out unique product. Many of their lines this past year are just redux of other lines but in different colors and/or packaging. SC has lost its mojo and it will be interesting to see if AC will be able to breathe life into a deflated balloon. With Foster claiming that she will continue the kit club as before, I am not sure that is reassuring. She has lost a large audience with so many months this past year of not being able to deliver a complete kit to many members. She continues to accept new members but I, one of many, have gotten the email that a ‘substitute kit’ will be delivered because she failed to anticipate how much product she needed for this month’s kit. She has basically been selling cars before they were made and failed to order steel to make the bodies to begin with, as my son analogized it.

  8. Ali January 22, 2012 at 3:32 am #

    I very much agree with angela.s above. It will be definitely interesting to see
    How AC go with it, haven’t really re-ignited pebbles have they?

    And the wood grain ‘veneer’ – SC took kaisercraft’s originally product offering, ripped it off and made it ‘mainstream’!

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