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American Crafts Acquires Pink Paislee, Heidi Swapp Brands

American Crafts announced today that the company has purchased Pink Paislee, including its Heidi Swapp brand. The deal is effective immediately.

Pink Paislee, founded in January 2008 by Rebecca & Barry Cross, is based in Kansas City, Missouri. The company is known for its detailed feminine designs and licensing collaborations with high profile designers, most recently the Heidi Swapp signature line.

Pink Paislee Snow VillageRebecca Cross, who serves as Pink Paislee’s CEO and Creative Director, and husband Barry Cross, who is the company’s CFO, will be relocating from Missouri to run Pink Paislee’s operations out of American Crafts’ Orem, Utah headquarters. The move will put them in the same location with Heidi Swapp to continue their collaboration more closely on her line of products. As Heidi noted in the announcement on her blog, “we are excited about getting so much done once we live in the same city!”

Founded in 1994 as a pen manufacturer before transitioning to becoming a scrapbooking manufacturer, American Crafts has been growing by leaps and bounds the past five years. This is the company’s second acquisition in 2013, following the acquisition in July of Imaginisce. 2013 also saw the debut of the Maggie Holmes signature line for Crate Paper, and the huge debut of Becky Higgins’ Project Life as a wholesale product under the American Crafts umbrella. Crate Paper was acquired in 2011, along with the licensing rights to Studio Calico’s products, and the launch of Amy Tan’s signature line Amy Tangerine also made a huge splash that year. In 2010, Elizabeth Kartchner launched the popular “Dear Lizzy” signature line for American Crafts. The string of expansion started back in 2009, with the acquisition of Pebbles.

In the announcement, Rebecca Cross said that the acquisition is a good thing for Pink Paislee. “American Crafts is the right company for us to partner with for greater exposure and continued growth. We’re really happy about joining American Crafts and taking Pink Paislee into the future.”
Rebecca expanded on the Cross’s motivation for selling to American Crafts on the Pink Paislee blog:
After having a record breaking year and growing at a rate of over 20% annually we knew we couldn’t keep up with just (4) in house employees. We kept saying over and over: “we need more people. we need more resources. we need a bigger warehouse.” Basically we knew we had to prepare for changes in 2014. Then…something happened. Fate stepped in and gave us the opportunity to become a part of something bigger.
Heidi Swapp is also excited about what she described as “a little more help” on her personal blog. “I just love meeting new people, teaching them new techniques, and opening their eyes to what they can accomplish,” she said. “American Crafts is a great home for the Pink Paislee and Heidi Swapp brands – I’m excited to see what comes next.”
American Crafts President Jeff Mitchell described the future of Pink Paislee at American Crafts:
Pink Paislee has done an amazing job of making really inspiring products. The company’s designs are pretty and feminine and have a strong appeal. This purchase lets us offer another strong collection of products to retailers. American Crafts, Pebbles, Crate Paper, Imaginisce, Project Life, Studio Calico, Pink Paislee and Heidi Swapp are all brands that scrapbookers know and love. We’re committed to keeping each brand distinct and focused on what made customers love them in the first place.

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19 Responses to American Crafts Acquires Pink Paislee, Heidi Swapp Brands

  1. ss20ts December 2, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    Ugh!

  2. sandi December 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    A monopoly? Not always a good thing?…just a thought

  3. Sue December 2, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    At some point, aren’t the boutique designers going to worry about being just one of very, very, very many in American Crafts family. It’s great from a consumer’s point of view as AC isn’t afraid to discount product to move it in locations like TJ Maxx and Marshalls, etc. But for the designers it could lead to overexposure. Then consumers will eventually catch on, and the boutique aspect of these smaller brands’ appeal will be lost forever. I guess it is smart to get in earlier rather than later. Hmmm . . .

    • Kristie December 3, 2013 at 5:21 am #

      I had the same thoughts, Sue! Long term I don’t see how they can sustain so many different lines.

  4. Lucie Hale December 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    I think this is a good sign for AC. Finally a company that is growing instead of shutting down. I love all their products and their designers. And if I can get discounts at TJ Maxx, even better!

    • Sue December 3, 2013 at 6:50 am #

      Yes, good for them for being aggressive. But I’m not sure that consolidating many brands under one umbrella is the same thing as growing – from an overall industry standpoint.

      • Nancy Nally December 3, 2013 at 7:58 am #

        It’s true that the recent AC acquisitions haven’t necessarily grown the value of the industry (although arguably the access to AC resources gives the acquired companies the ability to grow in a way that they hadn’t before). But it has grown the value of the portfolio that American Crafts controls in it. They’ve been expanding their footprint, and to their equity holders, that is the growth number that is important.

  5. Sandy peplinski December 2, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    American crafts is an awsome company. They work with their retailers and make store visits. They are nonpretentious, on one occasion mr Mitchell came to my store michigan with our sales rep Jim. They seek quality personnel, snatching up spencer Livingston from quikutz . This company knows how to run a business and listen yo their customers and consumers

    • Debra williams December 3, 2013 at 9:05 am #

      Awesome!

    • GlitteryGirl December 4, 2013 at 11:47 am #

      Isn’t Spencer Livingston at Lifestyle Crafts, not American Crafts?

  6. Sandy Peplinski (founder scrap tales) December 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    I thought I typed retailers and consumers. Also mr Mitchell did not want to sell that day. He wanted to hear my thoughts on the industry products and future directions. This was 2003

  7. StumpedAgain December 3, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Wonderful. More production for China.

    • Nancy Nally December 3, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      Pink Paislee/Heidi Swapp brands were already manufacturing product in China before the acquisition, just like virtually every other company in the industry.

      • jacqueline December 10, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

        My Heidi Swapp Believe paper pad says…”Made in the USA” on the front???

        • Nancy Nally December 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

          It’s not an “all or nothing” thing. Many of the companies are printing paper here and sourcing embellishments in China.

          • Aunt Judy December 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

            A large portion of the American Crafts company is their pen/marker division which are made in Orem, UT. Their embossing powders are made in California and a variety of paper and paper pads are made in the USA.

  8. VickyR December 3, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    There are still a handful of boutique companies that offer made-in-America products, The Paper Loft and Keller’s Creations, for example. LSS’s should try stocking their products. I support these companies via mail order because my LSS isn’t interested in supporting “Made in the USA.”

  9. Gab December 6, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    I hope this is good for the industry as a whole

  10. Stampindamour December 16, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Thanks for the update! This is good info for the LSS store owners {that are still out there.} I don’t carry any of the AC lines in my store, because most of it can be found at the chain box stores {coupon!}…and I have even seen it at Tuesday Mornings too. :(

    I spend a lot of time searching for smaller brands and companies to carry in my shop. Anyhow, I can’t wait for CHA next month! ♥

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