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Archive | April, 2012

Digital Designers | Jen Martakis

Meet the Designer | I am happy to introduce you to a wonderful digital designer – Jen Martakis. I have admired Jen’s work for a while now and I hope you enjoy getting to know her!

Jen’s Life | Jen lives in a small farming community in Northwest Indiana with her husband, Nick, and five sons. Her sons keep her very busy, as you can imagine! They range in age from her oldest, who is in college, all the way down to her youngest, who will start kindergarten next fall. With so many boys, her days are full, but she loves having all the boys around. It takes someone special to handle that much activity, but Jen loves it! As she says, “There is never a dull moment!” Continue Reading →

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Colorbok Buys ANW/Creativity Works, Making Memories

Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Colorbök, LLC has announced that it has acquired ANW / Creativity Works, which is the parent company of the Making Memories, The Paper Company, Westrim, Crop In Style, Autumn Leaves and Hip in a Hurry brands.

ANW / Creativity Works is a new company that was just formed in November 2011 from the combination of ANW/Crestwood and Making Memories. In May 2010, ANW/Crestwood had closed a deal for the purchase of the brands Westrim Crafts, Autumn Leaves, DMD, Crop in Style, Hip in a Hurry, Room Relish and Paper Bliss from the struggling Creativity, Inc.

Colorbök has been around since 1984. They have a large presence in Wal-Mart’s much-reduced scrapbooking section. Continue Reading →

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Hampton Art Acquires KI Memories

Hampton Art has announced that it has acquired the assets of KI Memories from founders and owners Kimberly and Ira Sabel.

KI Memories was founded in 2001 and is known for its signature colorful sleek modern style. The company had appeared to be struggling for some time, after a brief foray onto the shelves of Michaels several years ago. Since the fall of 2011, KI’s marketing efforts seemed to have focused largely on its digital products sold through Jessica Sprague’s online store and on its digital cutting files sold through the Silhouette Store.

Things looked especially bad for KI Memories after two of their product lines that were shown at CHA Summer 2011 failed to make it to production and were only released in digital format. A third line from that show, the Valentine’s-themed Hot Date, was well received and did produce a modest success in stores for KI. But the company then skipped CHA Winter 2012 altogether, showing no new lines. On April 9th, KI announced the opening of a temporary online “pop up” shop to clearance inventory for two weeks. That shop closed on April 21st, followed a few days later by the announcement of the company’s sale to Hampton Art. Continue Reading →

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Could Wal-Mart Bribery Scandal Derail Michaels’ IPO?

One of the year’s most hotly anticipated IPO offerings, Michaels Stores, could possibly be derailed because of a scandal involving its CEO’s previous tenure as a Wal-Mart executive.

On March 30th, Michaels Stores filed a widely anticipated notice with the SEC that it intends to become a publicly-held company again through an IPO that could raise as much as a half-billion dollars according to the SEC filing. Its private equity ownership Blackstone Group and Bain Capital have hired JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs to manage the IPO. Michaels was purchased by Blackstone and Bain in 2006 for $6 billion, and has been burdened ever since with a heavy debt load (currently $3.49 billion) that was used to finance the purchase. The company says it plans to use the IPO in part to pay off some of that debt. Continue Reading →

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Paperclipping Roundtable #110: Clash of the Die-Cutting Machines

This week we got down and dirty about one of the most contested categories in the industry: die cutting equipment. Christine Urias and Kerri Bradford joined the panel as we discussed what is out there, what we use and why it works for us.

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