Earlier this afternoon, online retailer Two Peas in a Bucket announced that they are closing down effective July 10th.
All sales on the site are final effective immediately. Gift certificates may only be redeemed through July 4th, 2014 11:59:59 p.m. CST. Returns and price adjustments are no longer being accepted.
Access to classes, workshops, bookmarks and gallery items will cease when Two Peas closes for good on July 10th. Peamail will also be available through that date. Access to posting on the company’s message boards has already closed, although they seem to be available for viewing.
At the same time as the company announced the closure of its operations, it also announced the immediate closure of its affiliate program. The company was a pioneer in affiliate marketing in the scrapbooking industry, which is now a widespread practice.
Wisconsin-based Two Peas In A Bucket was formed in 1999 by Jeffrey and Kristina White. The Whites were a continuous presence at Two Peas, although it changed hands several times while under their leadership. In May 2006, the Whites sold the company to Canadian media company Kaboose, Inc. for a reported $600,000 in cash plus additional considerations. A little over two years later, in Sept. 2008, Kaboose sold Two Peas to Leisure Arts (terms not disclosed). In 2012, the company returned to the apparent ownership of the Whites through a Delaware-based LLC called It’s Like This LLC.
Two Peas’ financial difficulties have been apparent for some time to industry watchers. Lack of a steady stream of new product had been noticeable in the store for some time. Most vendors were no longer extending them credit, and as a result the company was only ordering small quantities of inventory (causing fast sellouts), and was sticking mostly to ordering paper and largely skipping more expensive SKUs such as embellishments and stamps. A few months ago, Two Peas began limiting their shipping options on orders containing 12×12 paper to USPS Priority Mail, which provides free boxes for items that size. The company’s LLC registrations in both Delaware and Wisconsin also expired months ago.
One bright light in the company’s final months has been its stellar signature offerings of embellishments (especially flair) and stamps,which were clean and simple and with a sassy edge that set them apart. The revamped digital store, once the industry leader in the early days on digital scrapbooking, had become home again to several quality designers after falling on hard times for awhile. The company has also been offering popular online classes with quality instructors like Shimelle Laine (who goes by Glitter Girl on the site) and Jen Gallacher.
Two Peas in a Bucket has been a presence in the industry for more than just its retail operation. Being a member of its “Garden Girls” design team was a much-coveted career stepping stone for industry designers. The team’s list of alumni reads like a who’s who of designers in the industry today: Ali Edwards, Jennifer McGuire, Kristina Werner, Rhonna Farrer, Marah Johnson, Elizabether Kartchner, and Amy Tan – to name just a few. The current team included Jen Gallacher, Shimelle Laine, Celine Navarro, Marcy Penner, Jennifer Kinkade, Jill Sprott, L Craigie, Lisa Dickinson, Melanie Blackburn, Nancy Damiano, Paige Evans, Stephanie Bryan, and Wilna Furstenberg.
The company also influenced the shape of today’s industry via its forums, especially the Pub board that served an audience of members who were trying to build careers of some kind in the industry – mostly as designers. The talent incubated in that board in its heyday are now many of the industry’s stars and business owners. Relationships were formed, both business and personal, that now extend to far outside of an internet forum.
For much of scrapbooking’s early days and heyday, Two Peas and Scrapbook.com were viewed as the twin pillars of online retail in the space. A representative for Scrapbook.com had this to say about the closure of their long-time rival:
Scrapbook.com was surprised and saddened to learn that Two Peas in a Bucket announced its closure. Two Peas in a Bucket was one of the pioneers in our industry and it did much to bring scrapbooking to crafters across the world. Specifically, its layout gallery documented the history and evolution of scrapbooking over a decade and a half and it’s sad to hear it will be gone. We wish it were otherwise and we wish their founders and employees well.
On a personal note I would like to say that I will be forever grateful to Two Peas, and especially the Pub Board community, for the encouragement I found there while in the early days of building what became Scrapbook Update, and for the friendship that I found there.