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Basic Grey Closing Down Paper Operations

Announced today: Basic Grey closing down its scrapbook operations to focus on its fabric licensing business and its new printable design company Modify Ink.

BasicGrey logo thumbnail

Once one of the industry’s hottest brands, Basic Grey was launched a dozen years ago by Rachel & Greg Brenchley at the height of the scrapbook industry boom, and immediately made their presence felt. Their innovative designs became instant bestsellers. The company’s “first come, first served” policy for shipping CHA orders lead to retailer frenzies in their booth on the first day of the CHA show, as buyers clamored to get their hands on the numbered tickets that dictated their place in line to turn in their order so their store could be one of the first to have the industry’s hottest designs.

However, in recent years, the company had struggled to keep up with changing consumer tastes and changing conditions in the industry downturn. They had ceased exhibiting at CHA, last having a presence at the CHA Mega Show in 2014. The company did have a presence at last summer’s SPC Mixed Media show, which took place in Salt Lake City. An attempted overhaul of the company’s design aesthetic in 2015 produced beautiful results but apparently was too little too late.

As part of the closing of paper operations, Basic Grey has announced a warehouse box sale. Boxes containing retail product value of $125 are available for $38 while supplies last.

For retail stores, wholesale ordering will be open until February 15th for existing inventory, and shipping will continue until February 18th. The company will be shipping its recently announced Hillside, Urban Luxe and Saturday Morning lines.

Basic Grey Mon Ami fabric

Moving forward, the Basic Grey brand will be focused on its licensed fabric from Moda. “Mon Ami” was recently very well received at my own local quilt store, and I am particularly looking forward to seeing Urban Luxe in fabric form!

Modify Ink, the company’s other venture, offers customizable printable through its website. Customers can select and customize a monogram, party supply or wall art to make it work for their taste and event.

It would have been hard to imagine ten years ago at the height of their popularity that we would see this day with Basic Grey. But the market changes and companies must change along with it. Many other industry companies are changing their business in less dramatic ways and focusing less on pure papercrafting. Fabric is a natural fit for the design aesthetic of Basic Grey, and it is a healthier market. Good business decisions are not always the easy or popular ones to make. I look forward to continuing to be a customer of Basic Grey – through my local quilt store.

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11 Responses to Basic Grey Closing Down Paper Operations

  1. Lyneen January 27, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

    This is indeed a sad day!

  2. kathyinmn January 27, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    As a quilter I say hurrah, I love their fabric. As a scrapbooker? Boo hiss. And Nancy…are you implying you quilt?

    I wish these designers would design kits for the Project life app. As a specialty run or something.

  3. Ann Wilhelm January 28, 2016 at 2:46 am #

    Very sorry to see their innovative paper designs go away. Basic Grey always had paper that was current and color hues that were fresh….they will (have) been missed!

  4. gabmcann January 28, 2016 at 3:28 am #

    I”m so sad … if I had to pick only one company to craft with for the rest of my life it would have been BG. Hopefully I can snag a warehouse box at least

  5. Kim Sorensen-Nielsen January 28, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

    Oh, I am so sad. I am just now getting to create my ideal crafting studio and was looking forward to hoarding their scrapbook paper again.

  6. Ann in PA January 28, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

    I still have some beautiful, hoarded papers from many moons ago. I look forward to scouting out their new fabric releases at the local quilt shop.

  7. Vicky R January 28, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

    Basic Grey was always a favorite. I have hoarded their paper when I traveled for years as the big box stores in my area just didn’t stock it. And as a pet lover, Max and Whiskers, was the only pet line that I used. If I needed elegant or edgy, I could turn to Basic Grey. Their business decision is catastrophe for me.

  8. aimeslee January 28, 2016 at 11:29 pm #

    Well, it is sad, but hey, since I still have 3 paper holders full of BG 12×12 (just pulled out some Black Tie the other day to use) AND 2 pattern boxes full of their 6×6 pads, Basic Grey paper will live on in my world for many years. I would be more upset, except my first heartbreak tempered me. When Chatterbox quit making its luxurious paper, I vowed to never again get that addicted to one paper brand. I then proceeded to “collect” every BG line until a couple years ago. (I switched over to collecting Tim’s stuff – hahaha). It’s been a great ride, BG, I wish you continued success. I enjoyed it while it lasted. As for Chatterbox, I could definitely enjoy much more but alas, only in my dreams. It almost killed me to make one Christmas card last year because I had to cut into a pristine sheet of Nordic Flowers from the Chalet line. Still have 5 sheets left. My last five.{{{{{sob}}}} xoxo

  9. florayeung February 5, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

    This is such a sad day! Basic Grey has always been one of my fav paper craft company! The designs are so unique and refreshing, great for papers of all settings and ages. It is just sad and I hope that I will learn to integrate fabric into my paper crafting so I can still have some BG designs in my craft. Thank you so much for the joyous ride, Basic Grey!

  10. Lori A Hobbs February 18, 2016 at 9:25 pm #

    This really sucks ! There are no other words for it. I literally cried when Archiver’s went out of business but for my favorite brand too. I am truly one of those BasicGrey-aholics, I have every line they have made and some of them I have 3-4 of the line. I feel like I have lost a relative, I love you BG. I have never used fabric in a layout but there is always a first. Best wishes to you.

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