Ahni & Zoe, Creative Memories Closing Down

Ahni & Zoe by Creative Memories CEO Chris Veit informed the company’s consultants today that the company will be winding down operations in the next month.

AhniandZoelogoAfter filing bankruptcy in April 2013 for the 2nd time in less than five years, Creative Memories discontinued its traditional product line of bookcloth albums, tools, and white pages. The company was re-launched last fall under a new brand name – Ahni & Zoe – with a re-imagined and extremely limited product line that focused on the Fast2Fab album concept of using albums with pre-printed pages to achieve fast results.

The new version of the company was largely met with a lack of enthusiasm from consultants, who left in droves following the conversion of Ahni & Zoe. The exodus increased in February 2014 when Creative Memories co-founder Rhonda Anderson departed the company and announced she was forming a new venture under the umbrella of Youngevity. The new brand, called Our Memories For Life, attracted a large number of top Creative Memories leaders, leaving large amounts of consultants suddenly without uplines and reporting directly to the home office.

Creative Memories closing is not unexpected to close observers of the brand. After the bankruptcy, The Antioch Company (parent company of Creative Memories) became owned by a Liquidating Trust made up of the company’s creditors. The Liquidating Trustee’s responsibility was to maximize the value of the trust’s assets to ensure maximum payout to the creditors. As the Ahni & Zoe brand foundered, it became increasingly obvious that the maximum value was in the company’s assets instead of profits from ongoing operations, and the company informed consultants that a sale was being pursued.

Several weeks ago, word leaked that Creative Memories Japan, along with the company’s patents, manufacturing equipment, and brand names, had been sold to Flowerdale Group Limited of Hong Kong. Negotiations were described at that time as ongoing for acquisition of the rest of North American operations. Today’s announcement makes clear that no such deal was able to be completed and as a result, Creative Memories North America is winding down operations to close its doors.

Caleb Hayhoe Jr.

Caleb Hayhoe Jr.

Flowerdale Group Limited is a Hong Kong private equity company founded and owned by Caleb Hayhoe, a Canadian expatriate. The Flowerdale name originated with a brand of tea that his family used to sell through their company, RB Hayhoe, before it was sold when he was young. The Hayhoe family has a long heritage as entrepreneurs and a long relationship with Asia, having founded RB Hayhoe in the 1800’s to import tea and coffee and other food products to Canada. Hayhoe earned degrees from both the University of Western Ontario and the London School of Economics. He went on to found RT Sourcing, an Asian sourcing company, when he was only 28, before selling it in 2008 after 16 years and founding Flowerdale Group.

Hayhoe is the father of two teenage children. His wife Jenya passed away in 2012. Together, the couple founded the Silvercrest Foundation, which funds projects focused on disadvantaged young people in countries like Cambodia and Vietnam as well as environmental conservation projects.

So what does this mean?

  • Consultants have been officially notified that their contracts will be terminated effective September 3rd.
  • All orders are now “while supplies last.”
  • Orders will be accepted until 11:59pm CT on August 21st.
  • All orders will be shipped by September 30th.

Consultants are being promised the possibility that a new business venture will be made available to them moving forward by Flowerdale. In a letter to consultants, Hayhoe described in general terms his plans:

I don’t have all the answers right now, but in the weeks ahead we will be devising how to transform the business to make it more competitive and relevant, using modern marketing channels. It will give you access to the products you love and offer you an opportunity to make money and benefit from a team. So though it will look different than the party plan business you know, my goal is that it’s simple, fun and profitable for you. I welcome your help and advice and will be reaching out to many of you.

Hayhoe, who has long had business ties to the company, also referred to the loss of his wife as part of his affinity for the Creative Memories mission:

My long relationship with Creative Memories has given me a deep affection for the Mission. From a devastating loss in my immediate family, I have learned how preserving our memories and family bonds is incredibly important and healing. I am determined to carry forward this mission and I hope you will join me on that journey.

Flowerdale seems very interested in reviving the traditional Creative Memories line, so although the current Creative Memories entity is closing down, it is quite likely that we will see those products available on the market soon, either via direct sales or at retail. The company’s stated goal to begin production from their planned new manufacturing facility in St. Cloud is October, so the interruption should be brief.


69 Responses to Ahni & Zoe, Creative Memories Closing Down

  1. Melissa August 4, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    I wish them well.

    • Bcdef Ghijk November 19, 2014 at 11:16 am #

      I hope they crash and burn with the new company. CM treated their consultants horribly and screwed the customers!

      • Danise Still November 19, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

        You are angry at the wrong people. Many of us are “invested” in the CM
        system, and liked their system and products. Hopefully the new company will be successful.

    • randy hintz February 13, 2015 at 10:17 am #

      Worked with them for over 20 years. DON’T TRUST quality. I Left went it never mattered. Suppliers of tape buy from how is ever most profitable. Stay away!!!!

  2. KatieK. August 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Thanks for the concise write up.

    • Doris September 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

      I am confused about this Flower company. They bought the Japanese part of CM, but not the US part, which thus is closing down. So, how can we expect to see anything in the US?

      • Nancy Nally September 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

        There is a difference between buying a company and buying some of its assets. A company is a legal and financial entity. It owns assets, including intellectual property like trademarks, brand names, buildings, equipment, and inventory. The trustee was seeking a buyer to purchase the company as an operating whole, which would have included all of the company’s assets. Mr Hayhoe elected instead to only purchase select assets of the company and create his own new company using them. The old company could not continue to function without the assets he purchased and is thus shutting down.

        Caleb Hayhoe, via his company Flowerdale, purchased the trademarks, patents and brand names of Creative Memories. He also purchased some of the machines used to manufacture some Creative Memories products.

        Mr. Hayhoe is using the brand names he owns and the equipment he bought to start a new company which will be able to sell products using the brand “Creative Memories” because he bought the trademark for that name. So products similar to the old CM products, produced using the same machines, will be being brought to market and sold using the CM name. But it will be a totally new company that Mr Hayhoe created that will be producing the products, not the old company which is closing down.

  3. Shirley Hamblen August 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    Your “headline” is a bit unfair and sensationalized. Why not make the real headline the fact that someone with resources has purchased the company’s patents, etc. and will be opening a new company? The emphasis reminds me of some “news” headlines that point out the one bad part of a very big news story.

    • Nancy Nally August 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

      Headlines are supposed to encapsulate the central point of a story. Vague promises of “something coming” aren’t enough of a story until they materialize into something concrete to be the lede compared to the cold hard reality of the CM network as everyone has always known it shutting down.

    • Nancy August 4, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

      I see nothing sensational about the headline at all. It is truthful and to the point. Nothing dramatic or sensational about this article at all. At this point there are no concrete details regarding future sales or a solid timeline of when they will have product to sell at all.

  4. Vicki Hillegass August 4, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

    Totally agree with Shirley Hamblen’s comment.

  5. Kelly August 4, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    I TOTALLY agree wit Shirley Hamblen’s comment also. I was on the conference call this morning and have been all along.

    • Chris M August 5, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

      How on earth does one NOT understand that CM/AZ is closing. They are cancelling contracts. Employees will either hire on with Flowerdale or find other opportunities…NONE of those opportunities being with a company named Creative Memories or Ahni & Zoe. Flowerdale Group is buying ASSETS…that’s all. Not operations. In fact, they have said that they are moving their new assets to another location when they take possession. NOTHING will remain of CM. Nancy’s title is NOT even remotely misleading. CM/AZ is going out of business. I’m not sure how that isn’t clear.

  6. Julie Amstutz August 4, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    I quit in the first of August! After they (CM/ahni and zoe) didn’t recognize me as a consultant 19.11 years/months of consultancy….. Who needs them?

  7. Kat August 4, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

    I clicked to read precisely because of the headline. I love your updates,and found this one very interesting. I had no idea that he was connected in such a personal way. Very inspiring to think a legacy May be re born from his own need to preserve the memory of his late wife. Than you Nancy

  8. Kathy Kelley Merrill August 5, 2014 at 4:16 am #

    Thanks for the info! Great write-up! And the headline is just fine!! (Many, many years ago, my major was journalism – I get it!)

  9. gabmcann August 5, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    Let’s hope that the company continues in some form

  10. Susanne August 5, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    This is very sad, and obviously a very emotional development for their long-term consultants who were holding out hope that against the odds CM could find new life. After two bankruptcies, an asset sale will not like turn into a rebirth of the company in the same tradition. But maybe something smaller and more financial sound will?

  11. Renee T. August 5, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    I own nearly every product CM ever sold, and had been a devoted customer since the early ’90’s. I did not find anything problematic about your title, and I found the overall tone of your article very hopeful. I would be so very happy if some of the original products were resurrected, and the focus could get back to its original mission. Clearly, the leadership of the last decade or so has not been the party to make that happen. Thank you, Nancy, for your excellent work reporting the happenings in this hobby so many of us love!

    • Jean R. August 5, 2014 at 9:56 am #

      I totally agree with Renee

    • Casey August 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

      Agree! The article was to the point and concise. CM/ A&Z will cease to exist which is not at all unexpected given the events over the last year. I did not find the title of the article to be misleading at all. Thanks to keeping us in the know, Nancy!

  12. Kristi burklund August 5, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Hopefully we could get another great scrapbooking business like CM going again. I still love the old way of doing it. Stickers and such!!!

  13. Teresa August 5, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Nancy- thanks for a fair and accurate summary. I will be sending this link to several people I know who are interested in the end of Creative Memories and Ahni and Zoe. The negative comments are a sign that some CMAZ folks are still “reality challenged”.

  14. donna c August 5, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    Great job Nancy! So thankful I’m a part of Stampin’ Up! Come on over…we welcome you all to an amazing company who is growing everyday. SU has amazing demo support and of course our new partnership with Becky Higgins Project Life, and can’t forget the Blendabilities!
    I wish the new owner the best and do hope he finds success! Let’s keep our industry going!

  15. Nicole August 5, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    The St. Cloud Times is reporting this as the company closing as well.

  16. Joanne Hall August 5, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    Holy roller coaster ride! And one I’m glad to be off to be honest with you. I LOVED Creative Memories … the old Creative Memories. I struggled with Ahni & Zoe but I’m not a quitter so I gave it my all. The blessing came to many of us in February when Rhonda Anderson resigned and went to Heritage Makers. I joined and A & Z deactivated me. Initially I was crushed – I thought I could do both (until they revised their policy and procedure manual) Now 5 months later I have 65 people on my team and I’m at a rank equivalent to the highest level I ever achieved in my 14 years with Creative Memories! It’s sad to see all this happening but I’m elated to have this wonderful business with Youngevity/Heritage Makers/Our Memories for Life!

    • Amy August 6, 2014 at 12:38 am #

      Joanne, how much money are you making from your HM/OM4L team as compared to your CM team? A percentage is fine instead of actual dollar amounts.

  17. beckie belote August 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    Thanks so much to all of you that have been so supportive and wishing our consultants and staff well from Ahni and Zoe by Creative Memories. I do think the article was good Nancy 😉 but as a consultant who does understand we will be moving forward in a non party plan direct sales model of some sort, details to come, I also felt the title was a little pessimistic but I’m sure it caught eyes and as a result, readers get to see that we are on our way back up and I am grateful for that. For people that absolutely value safe albums and supplies that they can count on, our comeback will be so well received especially now that our new owner has announced his commitment to offer the best of both lines….the CM book cloth albums, blank pages and page protectors and other offerings to be decided by surveys that will go out to our sales force next week BUT ALSO the ever so relevant simple line that was designed to help busy moms who value their photos but just don’t have the time to do anything with them….or for those that DO have time, but want to give a quick album to celebrate and honor someone special but in the time it takes to watch a favorite TV show. Yes, our sales force was shocked that we would have to close the doors at all…. we knew we had a new owner and were hoping for an easy transition but of course, business deals do not always work out the way we want … but in this case, I do feel that the close was for the best. We need some fresh paint and new leadership and new ideas … Our mid October opening date was stated by the new owner to be ” conservative” and his new plant has already been set up in St Cloud as Nancy pointed out so any fears of losing who we are as far as the quality and safety that we have offered your precious photos is something that will live on. This is but a bleep on the radar to those of us that have weathered quite a few storms with internal conflict and bad business decisions…this is the prayer we have been asking for. So no condolences needed. Watch out, here we come.

    • Nancy Nally August 6, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

      Beckie – It’s important to make the distinction that “the company” has not been sold. Some of its assets have been, including the trademarks and equipment. It was not purchased as an operation entity and thus “The company” as it exists today will cease to exist when the liquidation is complete. That’s not pessimistic – it’s legal reality. The sales force, the consultant list and contracts, were NOT purchased by the investor, which is why the contracts are being terminated. Anyone who wants to move forward selling whatever products that the new Flowerdale company produces is going to have to sign a new contract with the new company that is being formed, and will most likely have to start over again with consultant structure (if they even use that type of structure).

      I’ve seen the new owner say that he was going to survey the consultants about what they want but I highly doubt the new product line will be decided by that survey. It will be simply one of many factors I’m sure that decide what they are going to offer. He’s also not made any promises about what exactly will be in the new product line so it would be wrong to assume any certain product will be sold by his new company.

  18. Beckie Belote August 7, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    Thanks Nancy. …I keep forgetting that the legal business reality stuff is important to some while the majority of our consumers just want to know, “will I be able to get my albums and pages that I like in the future!” I hope you get the spirit in which my message was intended (gratitude and positive vision for our new beginning) and understand my intent was not to mislead…. With that said, just want to clarify that our consultant list, has indeed been purchased by Caleb Hayhoe and will be his way of communicating with us during our short transition period. (of course he can’t buy the sales force itself as we are independent contractors) I confirmed and re-confirmed this statement via two reliable home office sources despite already knowing the answer since it was previously announced to our field. I can see how the “ending of contracts” could make it seem as you claimed. I do see your point that the whole ‘package’ was not purchased because you are right, some non-essential things for moving forward were not purchased such as the current inventory we are selling off (why purchase it if he can make it himself) and NEW computer systems, that have been ineffective and complained about by almost all of our consultants…. so you are accurate about the current entity, as it exists, closing but want to re-iterate that a new and different and more improved version with stable financial backing(fact) will come in it’s place. (I am fine with saying that that new and improved is my opinion and I am absolutely fine with the doubters but I know(opinion) we will earn back any lost faith and likely recover many lost consultants)

    And of course, I certainly hope that not everything that comes in on surveys will be added back to the line because if that were the case, we’d be right back where we started in the “complicated land” that we were in when we closed last fall and that is something we do not want to duplicate for us or for our I agree with you wholeheartedly on your remark about the surveys. but , and I quote, our owner did say, “my vision for our product line is not just my vision but will be OURS. I will be sending a survey out to see what it is our consumers most want and I’ll be adding back the things that are most popular”. He expressed his personal preference for the “classic CM” line and I quote, “It is my plan to invest in continuing to build and improve the simple Ahni & Zoe line AND restore some of the beloved items from the Creative Memories line (bookcloth albums, pages, paper, etc.) for those who enjoy that approach to preserving memories” (this was in writing)…so I do not see how any of my statements above conflict with this. If anyone questions the integrity or business savvy or philanthropic mindset of this amazing man, feel free to google and research him. I am grateful, Nancy, that you included the link to Silvercrest Foundation for people to easily see the kind of person he is. I am proud to be moving forward with this new venture and am also proud to be a part of our past. Of course, nothing is ever an absolute and that would be true of ANY company, ANY day of the year. Thanks for allowing these final thoughts. Clearly, I am passionate about what I do and about those I have had the pleasure to work with. This message is in no way meant to demean other scrapbooking and album making channels. The task at hand for those that dedicate their lives to helping others with their pictures is vast and there is plenty of opportunity for all of us and since the companies I am aware of are all so different, anyone could surely find a place to act out this mission in a way that best suits them and their families. If they would like to join our family though, they will have to wait to get more details.

    • Laura Maguire August 8, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

      Beckie, THANK YOU for our eloquence! I share your passion and I totally and wholehearted trust our new owner to follow through on his words.

  19. Danise Still August 7, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

    I was so disappointed when CM basically went out of business. They had a good line of products/tools,and an outstanding philosophy of the meaning and joy of scrapbooking, journaling and memory keeping. The new ahni zoe line didn’t hold a candle to that. Hopefully this new ownership will be able to bring some of that back in a way that is financially workable for consultants, customers, and the business as a whole.

  20. Kat August 9, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    I am really curious about something and the more comments I read about CM AND AZ,why the heck did it get into trouble? I have many new consultants from CM,And what they have shared about how they were told about closing down and if any one of those awful things happened to me,I would keep a safe distance from them in the future. So how does a company go from bad to worse in a short amount of time? Sometimes,things should remain in the pile,and not be a candidate for revamping.

  21. Roz Witcher August 10, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Many CM customers have moved on but still are longing for the quality products and fellowship generated around the CM way of memory preservation. I wish this man well on his ventures to provide us with quality product. However, I must say I am currently like a kid in a candy store with CTMH.

    • Danise Still August 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      What is CTMH?

      • Tammy B August 11, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

        Close To My Heart. I have moved on after 12+ years with CM… this is my new adventure… I fell out of love with the New A&Z products… so sad. =(

      • Janet August 11, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

        CTMH = Close to My Heart 🙂

      • Bobbie Ward-Hinds August 12, 2014 at 11:31 am #

        Close to My Heart

      • Pam Trostle August 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

        Danise – As others have mentioned CTMH stands for Close to my Heart. CTMH is celebrating 30 years in the crafting industry this year, with the same woman that started the company all those years ago at the helm of all decisions! Not corporate owned. A strong debt free company meeting our customers paper crafting, stamping &scrapbooking needs! Love CTMH, been with them 4 years!

  22. Debbie Mortensen August 11, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Close To My Heart is CTMH

  23. Nicole August 11, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    I am hopeful that we’ll see CM quality strap-hinge albums again in the not too distant future. However I’m perplexed by the extensive listing of items from the CM factory and warehouse that are being auctioned off in September. Wish I had a listing of what is going to be left after all this goes.

  24. Teresa August 12, 2014 at 12:46 am #

    I am stunned at how delusional some people are!!! There is no AZ, there is no CM, there is no “we” or “us”, there is no “our company”. CM/AZ is dead. The owners- the trust that represents all the people they owe money to, or took money from- ordered the company to shut down so they (the trust!!) could sell it off in bits and pieces to pay at least some of the debts. Talking about the future of “our company” is about as realistic as talking about the future of Borders Books or Circuit City.

  25. anzphotomemories August 12, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    Becky, Thanks for your positive comments. I, too, am looking forward to what comes out in the Fall, in part a result of our surveys. The important thing to remember is to write your stories and preserve your photos for family and friends. If it’s not recorded, it didn’t happen.

  26. Vickie B. August 17, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    Really sad to see everything shut down for good and people put out of their jobs as a result. Any chance that another company will pick up their line of wildly popular border maker punches? The auction list doesn’t show any of the CM molds or dies for sale, so I presume that someone has stashed those away for a purpose. I want to finish adding to my collection, but the prices for the punches on eBay are staggering!

    • LindaB September 10, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

      See Rhonda Anderson’s new venture, Our Memories for Life. They are selling new items that fit the old Border Makers:

      • Vickie B. September 25, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

        LindaB., thank you for the tip! Nice to have a way to still get a bit more use out of my Border Maker 🙂

  27. Marci August 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    As a consumer, it has been an awful ride. Awful – period. I invested tons of money into Creative Memories products, both paper and digital. I invested time, energy, time, time, money, etc. As a consumer, I felt like the bankruptcy left me in a lurch. No real options. Hold tight. Try Ahni and Zoe. Well, it looked downright inadequate on the website. Confusing site. Why hang my neck out there and invest into something that truly looked like it would not succeed? I’ve been holding out hopes that somehow something would get back off the ground to redeem all that I’ve invested. For crying out loud, how many photos do I have stored in Memory Manager waiting to be converted into a scrapbook?!! And now what? I am with Teresa. There is no “we”, or “company.” I think the consumer base has been lost as far as digital scrapbooking goes. This news release looks like another drawn out affair that will just mean time is passing by and customers have to go somewhere for their photo needs in the meanwhile. Really, this has been an awful ride. I think bridges have been burned in the process. The perspective of one consumer.

  28. Bonnie August 29, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    Very very sad that Creative Memories will be totally gone. I was told when I bought my products that they were “lifetime guaranteed”. Not her fault who would have thought! Why did Creative Memories ever go bankrupt in the first place?? Anyone know why????

    • Nancy Nally August 31, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

      Bonnie, Creative Memories has been bankrupt twice in the past five years and the answer to “why” is extremely complicated. It’s a combination of factors like a changing market, an employee stock ownership plan that burdened the company with a ton of debt, and severe mismanagement.

  29. Krissy September 8, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Nancy, thank you for your very informing article. As a former CM consultant of over 10 years, I hope that Mr. Hayhoe will bring back the CM products that we all know and love. I tried A&Z, but my customers did not like any of the products. Looking forward to seeing what the future holds….

  30. Kim September 10, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    Severe mismanagement and lack of understanding of what their customers wanted sent CM down the tubes. Of course, if you are a traditional scrapbooker, you would not be interested in the A & Z concept. I saw my consultant struggle with trying to show her customers that you could still use the A & Z albums to do this. Now there are tons of scrapbookers out there looking for what Creative Memories used to offer. I probably bought 90% of what they sold and I really, really miss the beautiful paper packs and coordinating items.

    • Danise Still September 10, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

      The CM “stuff” was good quality, and spoke to the creativity of the customers. The new concept spoke only to the younger digital crowd who have less elective $$ and not yet mature enough to value the concepts of CM. The papers were special, and the tools were of good quality and addressed the needs of the scrap booking consumer.

  31. Kathi September 23, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    I was at the auction today and bought some inventory, but most of the auction was equipment. There were stacks of paper, stickers, albums, etc. on the floor that were not part of the auction. They are moving those items ‘across the street’ to the new company, whatever that will be.

    There was such an overwhelming amount of fancy desks, computers, chairs, equipment. Everything was very modern and top of the line. From my standpoint, they had too much money tied up in a fancy warehouse and immaculate office space.

  32. Suzi Hagamon October 24, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    Ahni and Zoe near the end still had little Christmas (Santa) scrapbooks for sale. Can you still purchase them somewhere? I need several and when I went in to get them the site was down.

  33. Kellie November 2, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

    The real problem here is for someone like myself with 10 years of family photos left hosed basically when my computer failed as well as the external hard drive back up. I tried to download the software on the new computer & couldn’t of course as their servers are now down. Great. With help, was able to discover 67 files on my hard drive with all of my photos randomly scattered about. There was no trace of all the labels, organization, etc I spent enormous time doing. A software developer wrote code for me to find the actual sort boxes of photos so that I can import them into better software already organized. Thank goodness, that would have been a lifetime project to dig around in those folders & try to figure out what they all were. If anyone else out there needs this help, it is possible!

    • Kathy Christensen November 11, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

      I am scared to ask this question, but I have been out of touch with digital CM scrapbooking for about a year now. My question is, “If I have 2 Creative Memories digital scrapbooks completed on my computer, does this mean I can not send these to someone to have the 2 digital scrapbooks of my grandchildren be printed???” I hope and pray my 2 books can be printed!!!!!!!!!!

      • Jean R. November 12, 2014 at 11:57 am #

        This is a pretty easy one Kathy Christiansen! If your SBC program is working and you downloaded the Panstoria link when CM was closing,you can download your books directly to Panstoria for printing. Panstoria is the original developer for the software and has resumed control of it for SBC users. If you go to and search the site you will find a link to download to allow you to do this if you did not do it when CM was closing. The other option is to purchase the Artisan software from them and everything that you have in SBC will automatically convert and you can continue using the software as you always did but now with all the support and updates you can no longer get from CM. All your current CM content will now be labeled Artisan and will convert itself. Your third option is to save all the pages as jpgs and drop them into another digital company’s blank pages in their book. This would be my last choice, personally, especially if you want to continue using the software you are used to (which is now Artisan). The jpg pages don’t always drop in easily and every cpmpany does not have exactly the same size pages so sometimes things are cut off. Hope this helps.

      • Kat November 14, 2014 at 7:51 am #

        That’s a horrible feeling to have! I would think if you can access them online you should be able to download it to your computer? On another note,someone inn the previous comment above asked about the sheet protectors for CM albums. FYI,Close to my Heart sells them specifically for those customers wanting to add to their existing albums. I hope that’s a little bit of good news for you guys.

        • Jean R. November 14, 2014 at 8:21 am #

          I have tried to answer twice but cannot seem to get my reply to post so if this is a duplication , please forgive! Your problem is an easy one to solve. As long as you have the SBC software still working on your computer, all you need is the link to Panstoria (the original developer of the software) to send your books to them for printing. You can no longer install the software on a new computer or a different hard drive. If you did not get the link when CM closed, go to and search the help zone for it and you will find it. Better yet, just get the new software called Artisan and when you install it, ALL your CM content and projects will transfer over automatically to your new Artisan program and you will be good to go with Panstoria. An alternative is to save each page of your books as jpgs and upload them to someone else’s printing program onto blank book pages. This is risky because of sizing and your pages may not fit exactly. As long as your SBC software is operable, if your get the link for printing from Panstoria, you are good to go. I highly recommend purchasing the Artisan program going forward because it is the same as your SBC software and is supported and updated.

          • Kathy November 14, 2014 at 11:17 am #

            Thank you, thank you, thank you! 😉 Wish me luck!

      • Jean R. November 14, 2014 at 8:09 am #

        Kathy Christensen, that is an easy thing to do. If your computer still works with your SBC software you are fine. You can no longer download the SBC software (in case your computer crashes or you buy a new one) but if you downloaded the link to Panstoria ( the original developer of the software) for printing you can simply upload your books to them for printing. If you did not get the link just go to and search around the help zone area and you will find it. Because Panstoria no longer supports or updates SBC, it would be wise to simply purchase the Artisan software and all your CM content and projects will transfer over like a charm. It is easy to do and you will not lose anything. I hope this helps.

      • Renee T. November 14, 2014 at 9:36 am #

        I am still using my CM Storybook Creator+ 4.0 to make digital pages and print photo books. I believe the rights to the software were returned to the original developer, and the software is currently being supported by Panstoria. However, since you apparently have not logged in for such a long time, I think you first might have to go into your program and determine if you have the most current updates, and see if you can upload your book to Panstoria, if you want the book printed by them. Their quality is excellent, but they are somewhat expensive, and there are cheaper alternatives. You can also convert and save your CM pages to .jpgs, and then you can upload them for printing to anyplace that prints photobooks, like Shutterfly or Snapfish, etc. The choices are many. From what I understand, the CM software will continue to work and will continue to be supported by Panstoria, until such time as you replace the existing computer that the software is loaded on. At that point, you will not be able to activate the existing software on a new computer. If you elect to stay with this software, you will need to buy the Panstoria version of the software, Artisan, which is not very expensive and operates the same as CM’s SBC. I believe all your existing CM content will also work in the Panstoria Artisan version. There is a lot of info on the panstoria website, and pixels2pages is also a great resource for issues pertaining to the former CM softwares. HTH

  34. Jean R. November 3, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    Ahni and Zoe had NO digital software after the closure of CM at the end of August last year. All the software transferred back to Panstoria as the developer of it in the first place and I imagine if you had just purchased the Historian software for your new computer, you would have been able to access and restore the photos from the shadow copy or from the old vaults. The shadow copy would have restored all the organization structure at least. I am sorry for your terrible loss of photos and I have been in your position when my computer failed in the middle of the CM closure, and as a consultant I was in a real bind. I was able to restore EVERYTHING because it was all backed up in several places and I switched to Artisan/Historian software so I would not have to worry about the old CM software anymore. I would advise anyone who is still using the old SBC/Memory Manager software to do the same.

  35. Jennifer January 23, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

    Kellie, I would love to get the info from you on how you found those sort boxes. I have thousands of pics in a jumbled mess on my new laptop. [email address redacted per site terms of use]

  36. dena April 26, 2015 at 2:33 am #

    I have a backup from my old computer that I can not open- and thousands of pictures stored in it in a proprietary format. Because I don’t have the old software on my new computer, I can’t open the old backup and get my pictures. No, Panstoria will not restore an old back up. Now what?

    • Renee T. April 26, 2015 at 7:38 am #

      I believe if you purchase and install the new version of the former CM software (artisan or historian by panstoria) on your new computer, you will be able to access your old backup. Each has a 30-day trial version, but they may limit some of the functionality during the trial. You can try to get some advice from the Facebook groups “Pixels to Pages” or “Your Stories Go Digital.” Both of these groups were very helpful to me regarding issues with the former CM software (which I am still using)… Good luck!

      • dena April 26, 2015 at 9:42 am #

        I did install artisan (a trial version) on my new computer, but it doesn’t restore backups. It looks for new or existing pages or projects. I don’t have a vault anymore, and that’s what the software is looking for.

        • Renee T. April 26, 2015 at 9:59 am #

          If it were me, I would contact Panstoria tech support to determine whether, if you purchased a fully functional version of the paid software, it would allow you to access your backup in the CM format. I’m just not certain the trial version you have installed is fully functional. I know the situation is very frustrating! Has really caused me to reevaluate how I manage my photo library. Never want to go through this again! I hope they are able to suggest something to help you!

  37. Lisa Voorvaart October 11, 2017 at 10:07 am #

    The new owner of Creative Memories has done an excellent job of bringing to us the products we love. He has taken his time in both re-introducing older products and bringing in new products. While I don’t love the design of many of the pre-decorated pages, paper, stickers, etc., I am thrilled to be able to continue creating albums with the only one that I love – the CM cloth albums and the variety of page inserts available to me. I applaud Mr. Hayhoe and his commitment to selling great products and continuing in the scrapbooker mission of preserving memories and people.

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