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ANW/Crestwood Buys Creativity Inc. Scrapbook, Decor Brands

ANW/Crestwood, the parent company of brands such as Paper Adventures and TPC Studio, has announced that its deal to acquire most of Creativity Inc’s brands is now final. Creativity Inc. brands Westrim Crafts, Autumn Leaves, DMD, Crop in Style, Hip in a Hurry, Room Relish and Paper Bliss are all now a part of ANW/Crestwood.

Creativity Inc. had previously announced in February that it was selling its scrapbooking brands and its Hip In A Hurry brand to ANW/Crestwood. Shortly before that announcement, Creativity Inc. was seen clearing out the remaining inventory for those brands at CHA Winter 2010 and had indicated to Scrapbook Update it planned to shelve the brands.

Creativity Inc. is retaining the rapidly-growing Blue Moon Beads brand.

At ANW/Crestwood, the Paper Bliss brand will become part of the TPC Studio product group. The rest of the newly acquired Creativity Inc. brands will be made into a new ANW/Crestwood unit called CreativityWorks. This unit will be based in the Los Angeles area and will operate in parallel to the company’s existing consumer units, TPC Studio and The Paper Company. Executive Vice President Nick Lazarou and Vice President Abbey Blaszczyk will run CreativityWorks for ANW/Crestwood.

For 2010, an agreement between the two companies will have product shipping continue out of the Creativity Inc. location in Van Nuys, CA. By the end of the year, however, ANW/Crestwood anticipates consolidating shipping for all of its units in one location. CreativityWorks will continue to operate a Hong Kong procurement office as Creativity Inc. has historically done for the purchased brands.

In a statement, ANW/Crestwood President and Co-CEO Mark Caliguire said, “We have acquired a business with a long history in the craft market, with brands that have been mainstays for years, but more importantly, this new company is comprised of a group of people with energy, creativity, product knowledge and a desire to continue to broaden into a number of new markets while expanding our core craft business”. He added, “I am excited about the sourcing expertise we have acquired and how well this will integrate into our current product teams.”

EVP Nick Lazarou stated, “The owners of ANW/Crestwood bring a new commitment to energizing this business. We have been given the green light to take this to another level with the commitment of the financial and creative resources necessary to make CreativityWorks a consumer products company to be reckoned with.”

Added VP Abbey Blaszczyk, “We have been working on designs, licenses and sales strategies to execute in anticipation of the finalization of this deal, and we are ready to hit the ground running with numerous product presentations in an array of consumer retail channels”.

ANW/Crestwood has a large booth (#1623) reserved for CHA Summer 2010 in Chicago.

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Creativity Inc. Sells Scrapbook Brands

Creativity, Inc. has announced that it is selling its scrapbooking brands Westrim, Autumn Leaves, DMD and Crop In Style to ANW/Crestwood, along with the company’s Hip In A Hurry brand.

At CHA Winter 2010, Creativity Inc. was clearing out the remaining inventory for those brands and had indicated to Scrapbook Update it planned to shelve those brands. The sale to ANW/Crestwood, which is the parent of The Paper Company, Paper Adventures, and TPC Studio, will finalize in March. Operations for those brands will continue in Los Angeles under Nick Lazarou and Abbey Blaszczyk. As part of the transition, Creativity Inc. will provide support services for ANW’s west coast operations, including warehousing and shipping, throughout 2010.

Tinkering Ink, which became part of Creativity, Inc. in January 2009, does not appear to have been part of the sale transaction.

Going forward, Creativity Inc will focus on growing its rapidly expanding Blue Moon Beads brand.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to expand our business with the addition of these outstanding product lines and brands” said Mark Caliguire, Co-President of ANW/Crestwood. “We believe that there is a very strong fit with our existing customer base, as well as the opportunity to grow in new channels with our combined products, brands and design skills.”

“With our combined design and sourcing talent, we believe that we can offer truly compelling products in all our categories” said Nick Lazarou. Abbey Blaszczyk added “There is a great fit between the cultures and working style of Creativity and ANW. We are already working on new products that we can offer together.”

“These businesses have been a very important part of Creativity and I believe that they will be an equally important part of ANW/Crestwood” said Ron Cooper, CEO of Creativity. “The sale of these businesses allows us to focus completely on growing our Blue Moon Beads fashion beads business. We have doubled the sales of Blue Moon over the past 5 years and believe that we can do so again with the resource focus and streamlining that this transaction provides. In short, we hope that this transaction will help both businesses be more successful.”

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News From CHA Winter 2010

Here’s a news round-up of stories that came to Scrapbook Update’s attention at CHA-Winter 2010 in Anaheim:

Queen & Co. Halts Shipping of Disney Print Paper

Prior to CHA, Queen & Co. showed a sneak peek of a collection called Magic Memories that was designed to be used for Disney scrapbooking. One of the prints, the white background one in the photo below, featured interlinked circles that were obviously a mouse ear pattern:

Disney is notoriously protective of its trademarks such as its Mickey ears logo. After receiving questions from multiple potential buyers about whether they were on questionable legal ground, Queen & Co. is opting not to ship that paper design to err on the side of caution. The rest of the papers in the collection will ship as scheduled.

Darice Acquires Core’dinations

Effective January 22nd, cardstock company Core’dinations has been acquired by Strongsville, Ohio-based Darice. Almost two years old, Core’dinations made a big splash at CHA Winter with its embossed cardstock collection packs that coordinate with collections by companies like Jenni Bowlin and Cosmo Cricket. The core of Core’dinations cardstock is a different color than its surface, creating interesting effects when sanding or embossing it.

Anthony Grinnell, Core’dinations director, said “Our business has seen tremendous growth since it’s inception in February of 2008. We will be able to accelerate that growth as we join with Darice and their extensive line of paper-crafting products.”

“Bringing Core’dinations product lines into the Darice family of products allows us to provide the most comprehensive and highest quality paper-crafting assortment for our retailer customers” said Mike Birkholm, Darice’s president. “Additionally, we are pleased that Anthony will continue to provide creative and strategic direction for this great line of products.”

Darice was founded in 1954, and is most widely known for its non-scrapbooking crafts products in areas such as jewelry making, kids crafts, and floral design.

EK Success Goes Peanuts

Charlie Brown and the gang are coming to EK Success. They have acquired the licensing rights to create products featuring the popular characters. A few products are coming in the CHA releases, and a few sneak peeks of Halloween products were on display in the CHA-Winter booth as well.

CHA 2011 Dates Conflict With Paperworld 2011

The schedule that has been announced by CHA for the 2011 show in Los Angeles – Jan. 29th through Feb. 1st – is exactly the same as the dates for the Paperworld 2011 show in Frankfurt, Germany. Paperworld is the world’s leading trade fair for the paper, stationery and office supplies market. Many scrapbook industry companies have ties to it.

Craft Critique Sponsoring Event for Professional Crafters

Craft Critique announced they are sponsoring an event for professional crafters in Chicago, on Oct. 21-23, 2010. Few details are currently available but you can sign up to receive future updates at the Crafty Con website.

Creativity Inc. Discontinuing Scrapbook Products

After offering only limited introductions at CHA-Summer 2009 in Orlando, Creativity Inc. is shelving its scrapbook product lines. The parent company of Westrim, Crop-in-Style, Autumn Leaves and Foof-a-La had its booth in the General Crafts section in Anaheim, and had only a small display of clearance merchandise that was scrapbook-related.

Mudd Puddles Picked Up By Creative Imaginations

Mudd Puddles, one of Scrapbook Update’s CHA-Summer 2009 Hot Picks, is no longer being produced independently by creator Dave Felber. The announcement was made at CHA-Winter in Anaheim that Mudd Puddles is now part of the Creative Imaginations line of products. The product, a great fit at Creative Imaginations due to their affinity for doing beach-themed products, is now limited to just 10 colors.

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