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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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