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MemoryWorks To Cease Direct Sales Operations

MemoryWorks, the direct sales company that gave birth to wholesaler Simple Stories, has announced that it will be ceasing operations effective December 31st.

The company was founded in 2002 by Kevin and Amber Crowell, and carried a range of products from My Mind’s Eye, Fancy Pants, Echo Park, BoBunny, Teresa Collins, American Crafts, Bella Blvd, and a host of other companies. The 2009 release to MemoryWorks customers of an exclusive in-house pocket scrapbooking collection, the same year that Project 365 and Project Life also grabbed the imagination of scrapbook consumers with pocket scrapbooking, catapulted the company in a whole new direction. “Life Documented by Simple Stories” was a massive success and lead the company to launch the Simple Stories wholesale line in 2010. Since then, MemoryWorks has increasingly lived in the shadow of the explosive success of Simple Stories, which quickly became one of the industry’s juggernauts, riding the wave of consumer passion for pocket scrapbooking.

Kevin Crowell, President, explained the decision, saying, “We are very grateful for the devoted MemoryWorks consultants that we have worked with over the years. While the decision to cease operations has been difficult, it enables us to focus our resources fully on the continued growth and expansion of Simple Stories”.

The MemoryWorks retail store in Ogden, Utah will remain open at this time. MemoryWorks employees will be absorbed into the Simple Stories organization.

The company’s closure leaves a couple of thousand consultants (the company’s website boasts of 3,000 consultants) looking for a new home. With the recent changes at Creative Memories leading many consultants there to depart as well, that leaves a large pool of potential consultants for remaining direct sales companies – notably Close To My Heart and Stampin’ Up! – to compete to attract, at a time when modern lifestyles and a poor economy has made the direct sales party business model more challenging.

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12 Responses to MemoryWorks To Cease Direct Sales Operations

  1. Gayle Wheeler November 1, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    What a crappy thing to do to your consultants. Good grief.

    Modern lifestyles and a poor economy have presented challenges for many companies, not just the direct sales party model. While some folks are busy rolling up the carpet and shutting down the printing presses, our doors are still wide open, thank you very much.

    • ss20ts November 1, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

      While it might seem”crappy,” they could be in serious financial trouble. Many companies in the papercrafting industry are in trouble. This isn’t some big surprise. It’s been going on for years. The economic meltdown did not help at all.

      You appear to be a SU consultant and if your business is growing, that’s wonderful for you. In general, that is not the way our industry has been for the past 5 years. It got too large too quickly and was about ready to downsize and then the economy sank and landed on the Titanic. This industry depends on disposable income to survive. Many papercrafters have stockpiled supplies and have drastically cut their purchases. And I’ve noticed that many companies who were huge a few years ago and are now at the bottom of the barrel with some ceasing to exist.

      • Kim November 12, 2013 at 9:36 am #

        Your comment is exactly correct. I will take it one step further. Disposable income is that income available after taxes and mandatory charges. As an agriculture economist scrapbooking falls under discretionary income defined as that income available after taxes, mandatory charges and necessary items. Mandatory charges is house note, house bills, car note, but not credit cards. Necessary items are food, clothing and energy. Everything else is discretionary. Health care is now on that border between disposable and discretionary. I literally mean health care and not health insurance. Our politicians have not wanted to use the “I” word (inflation) but one only has to look at what food cost prior to melt down and today to see inflation at work.

        Our world of scrapping is beginning to consolidate. One only has to look at the current business model of American Crafts to see this occurring. American Crafts now includes Crate Paper, Studio Calico, Pebbles, Imaginisce and Becky Higgins. Each company purchased with the previous owners kept on to design and maintain their identities. Dear Lizzy and Amy Tangerine almost having their own identities within American Crafts. Webster’s Pages recently partnered with October Afternoon to keep it from going under due to customer service problems. Thus the downsizing you speak of in your comment.

        For this economist it’s an interesting progression to watch.

        I am also a small business owner of two businesses. One in energy and the other in food production (ranching). I truly am thankful for being in recession proof businesses. We also have used the model to be debt free except for the notes on the land which we are concentrating on paying off. The businesses should be totally debt free in two to three years. Both businesses feed my addiction to scrapping.

  2. Kat Ancheta November 2, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    It does seem that companies tried to grow too fast. I am a CTMH consultant. Before making a decision to join, I did my homework. The company is solid and debt-free. The founder Janette Lynton knows her stuff. I am happy to be in a company with solid footing. I don’t know why the SU rep would be so happy, haven’t they done away with the scrapbooking line?

    • Gayle Wheeler November 2, 2013 at 8:37 am #

      Nice promo. I’m “so happy” because a) I, too, am happy to be with a solid, debt-free company, b) the company offers a wide selection of stamps, tools, papers, and embellishments popular for ALL types of paper crafting, c) the dead weight (i.e. albums and Simply Scrappin’ Kits) were dropped due to poor sales and in line with what the current scrapbooking trends are, d) I’m a paper crafter with a heavy emphasis on card making, as are the majority of my customers along with the other “92% of paper crafters who create cards more than any other type of project”.*

      When I mentioned “our doors are open” in my comment above, I was referring to the business model in general and specifically the two companies mentioned. It was meant as a show of support and it certainly wasn’t taking a swipe at another company.

      *Source: http://www.worldcardmakingday.com/about/card_making_facts.html

  3. Gab November 2, 2013 at 3:53 am #

    What a shame for all the consultants

  4. Susanne November 2, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Wow, it is great news that they have enjoyed success in one aspect even if not in the home party arena. You have to respect their decision to make the change before even more consultants were involved. And as a general note (I have no inside knowledge here) but having been in business and a home party consultant, I’d be a little wary of claims that privately-owned companies are debt-free. Often, small business owners could be liable for personal debt that is not disclosed to you. Continued success to them on the Simple Stories line!

  5. Laura November 2, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Thanks for the CTMH shout out Nancy! We are going strong and some exciting things are coming! Notably a pocket scrapbook program in the spring 2014 Idea Book and Catalog.

    • itsybel November 4, 2013 at 10:15 am #

      Why do consultants always turn everything into an ADVERTISEMENT for themselves. very selfish isn’t it? this topic is about CREATIVE MEMORIES filing bankruptcy and consultants wondering what is going to happen next. CTMH is just another consultant company with sales reps–not business owners.

  6. Karen Johnson November 2, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    I am truly sorry to hear about MW shutting its doors. If anyone is looking for a new home, with a solid company and a close sisterhood, please check out my site. We have from the Simple Stories “style” coming February, to your all out creative crafting.. We are not memory snobs!!! All memories matter (my saying)…..I would love to speak with you if you heart is with still being a consultant!!! I love CTMH and have been with them for almost 14 years! Best of luck to all former consultants and SS.

  7. itsybel November 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Many independents are going strong too . . . Not every scrapper likes the home party scene, there’s still lots of options

  8. Amanda November 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    Interesting. I like SS, so I hope this doesn’t end up being a bad move when the wave of PL ends (or when the market is saturated). I hope th can stay creative and adapt with the market.

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