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American Crafts Buys Crate Paper

American Crafts announced today that they have purchased Crate Paper from its founders and owners Lisa and Steve Parkin.

Crate Paper was founded in 2006 in Las Vegas by Lisa and Steve Parkin, and is currently based in Spanish Fork, Utah. The company is known for its antiqued, vintage style that is a definite departure from American Crafts’ signature graphic look.

Co-founder Lisa Parkin will remain with Crate Paper as its Creative Director at American Crafts to maintain the brand’s signature style:

We feel great about this change at Crate Paper for a lot of reasons. But most of all, we’re excited to see our brand gain exposure and grow. We love that we’re working with a well-respected company like American Crafts, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.

This acquisition by American Crafts, along with the recent addition of Studio Calico to the American Crafts line-up of brands (which also includes the Pebbles brand they acquired in 2009 and the new Amy Tangerine signature line), is part of a major effort by American Crafts to move from a company with a single signature look into a “one stop” papercrafting company that offers retailers a full range of styles and supplies for their customers to choose from. This direction has also been evident in the company’s recent broadening of its product lines to include a wide range of stamping supplies and even its own brand of adhesive, at a time when most other companies are narrowing the type of products they are offering and specializing instead.

American Crafts President Jeff Mitchell explained the company’s vision:

We hope retailers will turn to American Crafts more than ever before because of the staple products, broad selection and multiple design styles we now offer. Crate Paper is eclectic, cute and antiqued; American Crafts brand is bright and contemporary; Pebbles is colorful, simple and cute; and Studio Calico is sophisticated and boutiquey. Combine that with a dedicated, in-house sales team and you have a one-stop solution for retailers looking for great customer service and products that sell well.

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16 Responses to American Crafts Buys Crate Paper

  1. Rebecca October 11, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    OMG! I sincerely hope that nothing much changes, because I LOVE Crate paper!!!!

    • Stacy October 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

      I was thinking the same thing.

  2. Jennifer October 11, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    I’m hopeful this means we will see more of these products in the mainstream craft retailers.

  3. Angela S. October 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    I have mixed feelings regarding the AC acquisition of Crate Paper. While they say they are hoping this will cause more recognition of their line to the masses, I’m wondering what serious scrapper has NOT heard of Crate Paper? I know that many scrappers that purchase exclusively from big box stores or home distributors have not heard of them, but that is kind of par for the course of this group of scrappers. However, a scrapper that buys either online or visits a scrapbook store has seen Crate Paper I would assume. I also hope that nothing changes. CP paper quality is one of the best and I really don’t like the quality of AC paper, that is just a personal preference. I am leery of any line that positions itself to be sold into the big box stores. K&Company quality and design has decreased exponentially since they became mainstream at Jo’s, Mike’s, etc… Nothing is new or cutting edge anymore with them because the Big Guys have dictated it to be so. Hence, if a line like CP gets purchased with the intent to introduce it to Mike’s and/or Jo’s, will the leaps of creativity be stifled as well? Mainstream retailers have a large say in the design of product, because they buy in such huge quantities. If CP wanted to do a line that had cupie dolls on it or steam punk or something cutting edge, would Mike’s or Jo’s allow this? They have to sell to their largest demographic audience, which is the casual crafter/scrapper that purchases with coupons and started scrapping via Creative Memories or CTMH, etc… These scrappers won’t know what to do with a paper line that has purple as a Christmas color or pink as a Halloween color. This is my concern when I see acquisitions like this. Let’s hope that CP doesn’t become another K&Co or Queen & Co, and they get to keep up the creative unique lines they are known for.

    • Jersey Girl Anne October 11, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      Well said!

    • Lynn October 13, 2011 at 10:46 am #

      Well said, I too share your concerns.

  4. Lesie October 11, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    Angela, you raise a good point. But I disagree about k and co. They manufacture what I would consider one of the most cutting edge product lines right now, smash. I suppose smash is a bit of a diversion from their typical style, though.

  5. Heather Miller October 11, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    I hope this is not a reflection of our bad economy forcing scrap companies to band together in a last ditch effort to not go under or worse the market for scrapping slowing down. Both would be horrible I can’t imagine scrapping without fabulous products like Crate paper. Collections like toy box should not be replaced by robert, michaels , or Joann products. Their selections are often disappointing and hardly ever the latest products from CHA. I miss private owned scrap stores . All the scrappy goodness seems to be changing or disappearing and I hope it’s not for the worse.

    • Donna C October 12, 2011 at 3:09 am #

      Isn’t that a good thing??? I’d rather see joint ventures, than closures. GO AC!!! Plus, they stated one of the things they were doing was offering choice and selection, so I hardly think it’s going to start looking the same. Wouldn’t make much business sense.

  6. nitasha October 12, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    I’m a little bit concerned about AC announcing that it’s taking over Studio Calico and now Crate Paper too! I really hope, like people have mentioned that the uniqueness and excellent quality do not diminish or get lost in the shuffle of such a huge company! And, I think it’s weird that for the first time ever I saw a Crate paper collection pack in Hobby Lobby last weekend….now granted it was Restoration and not one of the newest releases, but I’m just thinking to myself…what’s up with that…possibly testing the market? Oh, let’s hope that we don’t loose quality for quantity!

  7. Sharon October 12, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    Crate Paper to American Crafts…another indication of two current trends: the US economy with manufacturers stuggling to stay alive, and consumers looking for a bargain, shopping big box. As an independent scrapbooking retailer, I take pride in offering specialty lines you won’t find in M’s etc. BUT, if customers continue to seek out bottom line pricing, your local scrapbook retailer, me included, can’t survive. It’s a simple business principle; cash flow. No sales, no cash, no business. So, next time you’re thinking about where to shop, support your local retailer, no matter what business. It’s the only way we can stay here for you. Enough of that.
    I suspect AC has long been on the prowl for small companies to bring under their umbrella. And AC is not alone in this trend of acquisitions. Good example – Wilton. Wilton recently purchased EK Success, and EK owned Inkadinkadoo, Jolees, Martha Stewart (yes its true in crafting!) and a number of other brand lines that escape me at this late hour. Next time you’re shopping to support your paper addiction, check out the labels for the true manufacturer. You may be surprised!
    A note about products from CHA: please be aware that marketing to consumers, by manufacturers, begins before most retailers can even purchase the new products! So when your local shop doesn’t have the latest and greatest gadget or gizmo, don’t be mad, be supportive! Get your name on your retailers wishlist or waitlist so she knows it’s in demand, and when your fab fav product arrives, you’ll get first call! A little deposit will help her purchase that item for you, so it’s a good idea to offer.
    I LOVE Crate Paper, too! I only hope this acquisition doesn’t mean CP has to give up their signature paper texture. So many companies have sacrificed this feature lately, I am sure in pursuit of cheaper production costs, which I understand, but still miss the textures. Examples of this: Bo Bunny’s fall line, Graphic 45 Christmas Emporiun to name just 2. I will be watching CPaper closely as they work under AC.
    Happy Scrapping and Paper Crafting, Everyon!

  8. Gab October 12, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    I hope the signature of CP doesn’t change

  9. JillT October 12, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    Studio Calico doesn’t seem to me to be a big name unless you are really involved in all around industry news flashes. (I regularly crop with 8-10 people who would be clueless about who makes what and SC is only big if you follow blogs and the industry–just saying there are a lot of scrappers who don’t follow “the news”) I personally think CP is a much bigger all around purchase. They’ve been creating longer, I believe. I also think that sometimes it’s just about getting your life back. Maybe SC and CP just plain want to enjoy their families and take a trip once in a while. They started with little ideas that thanks to their talents grew like crazy and now take up way more time than they wanted. JMHO :)

  10. Vicki J October 12, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    Happy to see another brand was saved but I always worry that if something goes wrong now its one big company going down and we loose alot of favorites that are now under AC wing. Lets hope for prosperity for all!

  11. Jean Rood October 15, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Angela, I have to take issue with your Creative Memories comment and suggest you look at their new fall/Christmas line before you say they wouldn’t know what to do with purple and magenta as Christmas colors. Once in a while we CM people DO get out to the scrapbook stores!

  12. Donna October 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    I too love CP and not that thrilled with AC products at all. We can only hope this isn’t the demise of the great CP we love

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