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American Crafts Buys BoBunny Press

American Crafts announced on October 6th (Friday) that they have purchased Utah scrapbook wholesale company BoBunny Press from the family that founded it over 20 years ago.

BoBunny exhibiting at Creativeworld at Messe Frankfurt in 2015.

BoBunny Press was founded in 1996, on the eve of the scrapbooking boom, by Jan Lanoy. The Layton, Utah company grew to include Lanoy’s husband Don and son Matthew over the years, and today BoBunny product lines are sold in 40 countries.

“It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to the industry, the store owners and the friends that we’ve made over the years, ” says Jan Lanoy. “But with me retiring, I wanted to make sure that crafters could continue to enjoy BoBunny for years to come. I have confidence that American Crafts will do a great job of making sure that happens.”

“The Lanoys have established a wonderful brand that resonates with crafters around the world,” says American Crafts CEO Wayne Mitchell. “They have tirelessly helped built the industry, and American Crafts is proud to continue their legacy by offering BoBunny products to the craft market.”

According to the announcement, product from BoBunny will begin shipping to retailers on November 1st from the American Crafts warehouse. Until then, retailer orders will ship from BoBunny’s current warehouse. Invoices dated October 3rd or earlier should be paid to BoBunny. Invoices dated after that date should be remitted to American Crafts.

Ordering of BoBunny branded product will be available immediately through the company’s sales reps, and new product will be developed under the BoBunny brand, according to American Crafts. Some of BoBunny’s designers have been hired by American Crafts to continue the brand’s signature look and feel under the new ownership.

This is the third acquisition this year by American Crafts, which has become known for acquiring smaller companies in recent years as it has made eight previous acquisitions and signed several high profile licensing deals as well. Earlier this year, the company first acquired Core’dinations (from its previous owner Darice) in January, and then DCWV’s paper division in June.

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Update

JOANN store exteriorMakeover. One of the country’s largest (and at nearly 75 years old, one of its oldest) craft chains is undergoing a rebranding. The company long known as Jo-Ann Stores recently began calling itself “JOANN” in company announcements and has a newly redesigned logo and a fresh new shade of green as its signature color.

In addition to the new cosmetic look, the new JOANN is also engaging in a branding campaign, promoting the hashtag #handmadewithjoann and launching a series of videos about creating and creators.

In addition, JOANN has created a new mobile app that is much more community focused, allowing users to share their own creative projects.

“As shoppers’ behaviors and preferences evolve, we need to adapt the way we connect with them,” said Chris DiTullio, senior vice president, marketing and omni-channel at JOANN. “We’re committed to the longtime loyalists coming in to our stores, as well as the next generation of creators who want to shop, learn and share wherever they are. This app is so exciting because it offers something no other craft retailer does – the ability for customers to confidently share their finished projects with us, and with friends, family and one another as well.”

Partnership. Etsy has announced that it is launching a partnership with Printful that will provide print-on-demand integration to Etsy sellers. This will allow graphic artists to sell on Etsy and have Printful handle the logistics of printing and shipping items like t-shirts, mugs, hats, totes, wall prints, and other items.

“We applaud Etsy on adopting more professional services for their sellers,” says Printful CEO, Davis Siksnans. “Sellers can continue devoting time to their craft while leaving logistics to third-parties like Printful.”

Support. Taylor Swift got support from an unexpected source during the recent trial in Denver over her successful civil suit alleging she was groped by a radio DJ during a fan meet & greet. The offices of Craftsy are right across the street from the Denver courthouse where the trial took place. The Craftsy staff showed their support for Swift during the trial with a series of Post-It note messages on the windows that were clearly visible from the street below. Swift’s unofficial girl squad at Craftsy did not go unnoticed – they received a delivery of flowers and a note of appreciation from the singer on Tuesday after the trial’s conclusion.

Delinquent. The Tennessean reports that on the evening of August 8th, firefighters had to climb to the roof of the Dickson, Tennessee Hobby Lobby store to remove a 15 year old trespasser trying to use the store’s roof as an impromptu skateboard ramp.

Calls. Tombow USA has a call open until September 11th to find members for their 2018 design team.

Jobs. The following craft industry jobs are currently listed as available:

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Update | Kickstarter, Stacy Julian, Merger, Crimes, Jobs & More

Recall. American Crafts is recalling two of the Jane Davenport acrylic paint kits that were sold in Michaels Stores in the U.S. and Canada before June 16th, 2017. Some Jane Davenport Portrait Paints Kit and the Jane Davenport Matte Acrylic Paint Kit may contain some defective paint containers that split and leak during use. Click here for full info on the recall, and contact acinfo@americancrafts.com for information on how to get a refund for your paints if you own the affected kits.

Start-up. Designer Lesley Oman is about to conclude a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch her own stamp company, called Heffy Doodle. Her campaign has raised over $15,000 so far to fund the launch of the new company.

New. Stacy Julian, founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks magazine, has a new product line coming in 2018. The product line, called Story by Stacy, was announced on June 30th at the annual Close To My Heart convention and will be a Close To My Heart exclusive. Julian was associated with a previous product line called Photo Freedom with Echo Park Paper, but it is fitting that she should get a product line with Close To My Heart – she started her scrapbooking career as a consultant with the company in 1993. Follow the Story by Stacy instagram account to keep up to date on the upcoming new line.

Story by Stacy logo

Mergers. Liberty Interactive, the parent company of tv shopping channel QVC, announced on July 6th that it is acquiring QVC the remaining 62% part of competitor HSN that it did not already own. Liberty also owns online retailer zulily, Evite, and interests in several other companies. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017, after which HSN will remain operating in its St. Petersburg, Florida headquarters under the direction of Mike George, CEO of QVC. The move will combine the two eCommerce channels, both of which have strong presences in the craft segment, into the internet’s 3rd largest retailer.

Hoaxes. Like a celebrity death hoax that won’t go away, the viral Facebook post that claims “Hobby Lobby is closing all of its stores” is making the rounds again. No, it’s not true this time either. This go-round was probably triggered by the recent stories about Hobby Lobby facing government penalties over the illegal importation of ancient antiquities.

Crimes. A 46 year old man was arrested in the Hobby Lobby in McAllen, Texas in the evening of July 13th, accused of using his cell phone to take photos up the skirt of a female shopper in the store. The man was charged with making invasive visual recordings, a felony, and released after posting $10,000 bond.

Crimes II. The Joann Fabric & Crafts store in Thousand Oaks, CA reported to police on July 8th that the store had been the target of petty theft and embezzlement for a six month period beginning in January.

Earnings. Etsy will announce its second quarter 2017 financial results after market close on Thursday, August 3rd. These numbers will be being keenly watched by investors, as Etsy has had several rounds of layoffs recently and also launched its new Etsy Studio website for selling craft supplies.

Location. Michaels Stores is increasing its presence in New York City, with plans to build a second Brooklyn store in a new building going up at 1633 E. 16th Street. Michaels has signed a lease for 20,000 square feet on the ground floor of the building, expected to be completed in 2020.

Sneaks. The AFCI trade show in Salt Lake City is over, but the sneak peeks aren’t. Today we did a major new update to the Summer Sneak Peeks page on Scrapbook Update…check it out for all of the latest!

Jobs. The following industry jobs are currently listed as available:

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American Crafts Acquiring Die Cuts With A View Paper Division

American Crafts has announced that it is acquiring the paper division of competitor Die Cuts With A View (aka DCWV), which is well-known to many papercrafters for its paper pads sold under the Stacks brand name.

Provo, Utah-based Die Cuts With A View, which was founded twenty years ago by Nancy Hill, has large amounts of shelf space in national craft chains with their Stacks pads of patterned paper. Some of the pads are specialty paper featuring glitter and other decorative elements.

In addition to the DCWV paper crafts division, American Crafts has also acquired the company’s letter board product line.

In the announcement, American Crafts CEO Wayne Mitchell expressed the company’s excitement to have the Stacks brand under the American Crafts roof. “Over the years, Mike and Nancy Hill have done an outstanding job of building the amazing Stacks® brand,” says Mitchell. “Their products have influenced thousands of crafters’ creativity, and American Crafts is proud to continue their legacy by offering Stacks® and the letterboard to the crafting market.”

Mike Hill, CEO of Die Cuts with a View Acquisition Corp, said in the acquisition announcement that American Crafts will make a good home for building the DCWV brand’s future: “American Crafts is a company that’s well respected in the crafting industry, ” says Hill. “Over the years as the market landscape has changed, many wonderful crafting brands have found a soft landing place there, where they’ve continued and flourished. We expect that tradition will continue with the DCVW brand.”

DCWV Letterboard

DCWV Letterboard

The acquisition of the DCWV letterboard product gives American Crafts two letter board products, since Heidi Swapp launched a similar product at the January 2017 Creativation trade show. The design style of the two products, however, is drastically different. The Heidi Swapp boards, available in 3 sizes, are portrait shaped and all white, with an almost elegant look to their black and gold text elements (some of them in script). The wedding and party market appears to be a prime market for that product. In contrast, the DCWV letterboard has a landscape shape and less formal colors, with design elements (including trendy emojis and other graphic elements) available in a wide variety of colors.

Heidi Swapp Letterboard

Heidi Swapp Letterboard

The DCWV Home and Blue Moon Beads brands were not part of the acquisition by American Crafts. Those segments of Die Cuts With A View Acquisition Corp were purchased by New View, according to the announcement. (I believe this probably refers to New View Gifts, a Pennsylvania based gift and home decor company whose products are available from retailers such as Amazon, Wayfair, and Kohl’s. New View Gifts registered a new presence in Utah the day of the announcement of the DCWV sale.)

American Crafts will continue to produce paper crafts products under the DCWV brand, and many of the brand’s key designers and product developers will be continuing with the brand as it moves forward under American Crafts.

Retailers can begin ordering DCWV paper crafts products from American Crafts immediately, and shipping of DCWV products will begin from American Crafts’ warehouse after a 7-10 day transition.

American Crafts has been over the years acquiring an immense portfolio of recognizable paper crafts brands. They started slowly, with the acquisition of Pebbles in 2009 and then Crate Paper in 2011. Licensing deals were signed with Studio Calico in 2011 and Project Life in 2013. But then in 2013-2014, American Crafts went on what can only be described as a buying spree. Between July 2013 and June 2014, the company acquired Bazzill, We R Memory Keepers, Pink Paislee (& the Heidi Swapp license), and Imaginisce. After the licensing deal with Studio Calico ended in the past two years, it appears American Crafts is looking to expand its portfolio again, first purchasing Core’dinations brand from Darice earlier this year and now adding the DCWV brand.

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Update | Amazon, Prima, Jobs, Events, Trends, & More!

Losses. Condolences to the family and friends of Jeff Murphy, known to many in the industry after his thirteen years in sales at EK Success/Wilton Brands that ended last year. Murphy passed away last week in a hiking accident in Yellowstone National Park.

Openings. Hobby Lobby has set the (tentative) opening date of its new store in the Ozark Crossing strip mall in Harrison, AR for August 7th. The store is expected to hire between 30 and 50 workers.

Costs. Users of Intuit’s Quickbooks Online accounting software service are being notified about upcoming price increases that will go into effect in July for users. The price for the Quickbooks Online Plus level of service will increase from $39.99 to $50 per month. Suggestions for replacements include Sage, Xero, and Less Accounting.

Changes. Amazon has announced to affiliates that it is retiring the aStore tool in its affiliate program due to low usage and poor conversion rates on the tool. Starting on July 14th, new aStores can no longer be built, and on August 11th existing stores will no longer be able to be edited. The feature will be completely retired on October 27th, at which time all aStore links will redirect to the Amazon.com home page.

Ventures. Toronto-based Scraptime host Christine Urias is branching into food art, marketing a line of candy through her new company Sweet Artisan Candies. https://shop.amytangerine.com/subscribe

Designer Laura Bray is preparing to launch a line of stamps in her signature style later this month under the Laura K Bray Designs brand name, available through her website. To get a sneak peek of one of the set, visit her blog.

Events. AFCI President Mark Hill attended the 41st Japan Hobby Show put on by the Japan Hobby Association in April, and shares an interesting look at the event and trends seen at the show on the AFCI blog. Some of the trends seen may be regional while some may be harbingers of things to come in other parts of the world.

Alt Summit has announced their 2018 event dates. The 2018 Alt Summit will take place from February 26th-28th at the Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs, CA. Registration begins on Wednesday, June 21st

Alt Summit 2018

Trends. Trend Curve is predicting that pink will be a hot trend for the Christmas holidays for 2018-2019. Also, Quilt Market’s e-insider has a look at trends from Spring Quilt Market for quilt fabric, which often shares design and color trends with scrapbook paper and embellishments.

Fun. Maybe it’s because he didn’t get the memo that scrapbookers think cats are trendy and cool…but whatever the reason, Garfield the Cat has been poking fun at scrapbooking.

Teams. Prima Marketing has design team calls open for their Design, Mixed Media & DIY, and My Prima Planner teams through June 30th. For information on how to apply for the teams, visit the Prima blog.

Jobs. The following industry positions are listed as open and taking applications:

Financial:

Sourcing:

Design:

Marketing:

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Update | Stampin’ Up, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Jobs & More!

Color. June means a new Stampin’ Up! annual catalog, and with it a new edition of the trend-based “In Colors” that are added each year to the Stampin’ Up color palette for a two year limited edition. Of note this year is that the palette is completely pink and green in shade: Fresh Fig, Berry Burst, Powder Pink, Tranquil Tide, and Lemon Lime Twist.

2017-2019 Stampin Up In Colors

Endings. Craft Ideas magazine is ceasing print after over 40 years in production. The Summer 2017 issue will be the magazine’s final one. Editor Molly Goad told readers in a letter published on the magazine’s blog that the company is looking for strategic partners to continue the magazine, but has no certain relationships at this time. Best wishes for the future to their talented staff . some of whom I’ve previously worked with – from the Scrapbook Update family.

Redesigned. Tonic Studios has issued an update to its customers indicating that it plans to ship a redesigned version of the Tim Holtz stamp platform beginning the week of July 9th.

As we move to catch up with the demand for the product we will be releasing the incoming shipments on a first come first served basis based with our retail partners on when we received the orders. We will be confirming the expected delivery date to each of our retailers within the next 7 days. The first shipments we expect to be dispatched on the week of 09 July with the second delivery to be on the week of 16 July. We are working to improve this wherever possible; however, we want to provide a clear and realistic route to completion. We also want to be realistic that the product will be entering the country during the holiday period which may involve additional small delays. These dates are when we will receive product into our warehouse in California so there may be a few more days to get the product to the partners and then onto the consumers.

Shows. Hotel reservations are open for Creativation 2018, which takes place in Phoenix from January 18th-22nd, and badge registration begins on Tuesday, June 13th.

Crime. According to a report in the Santa Clarita Valley area publication The Signal, the assistant manager of the Hobby Lobby store in Saugus, California has been arrested on child pornography charges. Donald Anthony Little has been charged with two felony counts related to alleged sharing of child pornography images online, and with being in possession of more than 600 child pornography images on his laptop computer. Little is free on bail pending his arraignment on June 22nd.

Neighbors. The White Sands Mall in Alamogordo, New Mexico, is losing its major tenant with the impending closure of the Kmart that has been there since 1976. However, the owner of the property told the Alamogordo Daily News that his company isn’t worried about filling the space, and has over a dozen prospective tenants lined up to tour the space. What’s the draw, in an era of dying malls? The mall will be breaking ground this month on a new Hobby Lobby next to the soon-to-vacant Kmart. “A lot of merchants, it appears, love to be next to Hobby Lobby,” Griffith told the paper.

Earnings. Michaels Companies held its earnings call for the first fiscal quarter of 2017 on Tuesday morning (June 6th) before NASDAQ market open. Net sales were flat for the quarter, with comparable same store sales down 1.2%, due the company said to a decrease in average purchase ticket. Gross profits, though, were up .6%, due to an accounting adjustment from the Lamrite West acquisition and increased margins (from the expansion of the company’s store branded merchandise lines). Michaels held its fiscal year 2017 expectations the same overall at net sales growth of 2.2% to 3.7%, and says that it expects that in the 2nd quarter same store sales will be down .5% to 1.5% (or flat to down 1% on a constant currency basis). The company plans to open four new stores in the quarter, relocate two others, and close four Aaron Brothers stores.

Michaels stock (NASDAQ: MIK) did not react well to the news from the Tuesday earnings call. It had been trending upward on Monday the day before the earnings call, closing up $.28 on the day at $19.83. Opening at $18.91 on Tuesday due to losses in after hours trading, after the morning earnings call the stock dropped hard and closed at $18.16. This was followed by an additional drop to $17.51 by close on Wednesday, a total loss of over 10% in value over Tuesday and Wednesday. Today, the stock started trending back upwards, closing up $.81 at $18.20.

New. American Crafts is launching a new decorative food collection with Sweet Sugarbelle in Michaels Stores. The line will include stamps and cutters and dough die, along with edible coloring book pages and paint palettes, to create decorative cookies.

Peek. If you are fan of artist Katie Pertiet, you might appreciate this profile with a peek into her studio and thoughts on design in a profile done for the blog of art licensing company Wild Apple.

Jobs. The following industry jobs are currently posted as available:

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