2014: Scrapbooking’s Year in Review

I don’t like to write “year in review” posts until the year is actually over. It seems to me that it’s tempting fate the moment you hit publish that the biggest story of the year will happen. So, now that the ball has dropped in Times Square and the last note of “auld lang syne” has faded…here’s a look back at the high points and low points of 2014 in scrapbooking.

AtlantaGoodbye to Old Friends…


The industry, unfortunately, said goodbye to a lot of longtime institutions this year. Several designers, including Jenni Bowlin and Kristen Young (of Lily Bee Design), decided to take their creative efforts in a direction outside of scrapbooking.

The Craft & Hobby Association’s traditional summer show was among the things that the industry lost in 2014 (although 2013 was technically the last show). The ending of the show in Chicago, however, allowed for the birth of a new show: CHA PaperArts. The inaugural CHA PaperArts show took place in Atlanta in July (photo above).

Perhaps the most shocking event of the year for most people was the June announcement of the impending closure of longtime online retailer Two Peas In A Bucket. The site’s online store, design team, and online community had been a powerful market force during the height of the scrapbook trend and it’s loss was felt hard by many devoted community members.

No sector of the industry was hit harder than publishing in 2014, however. The year began with New Track Media, the publisher of the newly revamped Paper Crafts Magazine, being sold to F + W Media (the former publisher of Memory Makers). The year ended with the announcement of Paper Crafts Magazine shutting down. In between, All American Crafts (the publisher of Scrapbooking & Beyond) filed for bankruptcy liquidation, and Northridge Publishing – the producer of Scrapbook Trends, Cards, and Cricut magazines – suddenly ceased operations under mysterious circumstances.

Our final goodbye wasn’t really a goodbye, but more of a “see you later”. In August, not long after the departure of co-founder Rhonda Anderson, Creative Memories – in its current incarnation as Ahni & Zoe – announced that it was filing for liquidation bankruptcy. However, the Creative Memories name was resuscitated out of the bankruptcy by investor Caleb Hayhoe, who bought a large portion of the company’s assets and reopened an overhauled version of the company late in the year.

Making New Friends

While some things were ending, new partnerships were beginning to move the industry into the future.

American Crafts continued its expansion spree in 2014. In April, the company acquired cardstock company Bazzill Basics and shortly thereafter, also added We R Memory Keepers to its growing portfolio. Studio Calico, which licenses with American Crafts to manufacture and distribute its wholesale products, also made a major acquisition when it purchased Big Picture Scrapbooking from co-founders Stacy Julian and Kayce Rehn.

Studio Calico got itself another new partner this year: Ali Edwards. After concluding her contracts at Technique Tuesday and Designer Digitals, she signed a new partnership with Studio Calico to help her run her own signature branded store to sell her product lines on her own website. While that partnership may have ended for Designer Digitals, a big new one is just starting for owner Katie Pertiet. She announced in December that she is partnering with Our Memories For Life, the new brand being launched by Rhonda Anderson, to be the brand’s exclusive product designer.

It was a big year for Kelly Purkey. It began with the launch of her signature line with Basic Grey, and is closing with the announcement that Hero Arts will be launching Kelly’s new line, Clearly Kelly, at the upcoming CHA Mega Show next week.


Two industry companies – both retailers – made mainstream news headlines this year. First it was Michaels Stores, which announced in January it had possibly been hit with a credit card data breach. (This was later confirmed to be true). On June 27th, Michaels Stores launched their long-awaited IPO on the NASDAQ exchange. Initially, response to the stock was unimpressive but it has since gathered momentum and is performing well.

Hobby Lobby made even more headlines in 2014, and earned themselves a place in legal history, with their lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage mandate. After a long legal battle that was surrounded in controversy, the case reached the Supreme Court this year. On June 30th, the court announced its decision to side with Hobby Lobby in the case, provoking protests and boycotts of the retailer.

18 Responses to 2014: Scrapbooking’s Year in Review

  1. Colleen January 2, 2015 at 4:28 am #

    And Archiver’s closing … That seemed huge to me.

    • Nancy Nally January 2, 2015 at 11:15 am #

      Good point. I forgot their final few store closures were in 2014…most of the big news related to their closing down happened in 2013 (the bankruptcy, closing the Mall of America store, etc).

  2. gabmcann January 2, 2015 at 4:56 am #

    Thanks for a great summary Nancy.
    Wishing you and your family all the very best for 2015!

  3. karen January 2, 2015 at 5:47 am #

    Thank you, Nancy, for your updates; I always look forward to reading them.

  4. Susanne January 2, 2015 at 6:54 am #

    Here’s to a rebirth of the industry in 2015!

  5. ScrapperQ January 2, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    Excellent summary, Nancy. Thanks for posting the CHA peeks earlier – I’m in love with Kelly Purkey’s new line. And I’m still boycotting Hobby Lobby…

  6. StumpedAgain January 2, 2015 at 8:21 am #

    Great job as always, Nancy. Thanks for keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry.

  7. Hanna Lyons January 2, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    Thanks for the review Nancy. It seems to show the industry shrinking and consolidating. I would be interested in knowing more about brick and mortar retailers; is it basically Michaels, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby and Joann? Are there any places in the country where small stores have survived? Also, I’m just now returning to paper scrapbooking after doing digital for a number of years. I would be interested in your analysis of that landscape. Thanks again. I find your work really helpful.

    • Nancy Nally January 2, 2015 at 11:41 am #

      There are many vibrant small paper crafting retailers still operating around the country! Just not as many as there used to be, so it is a little harder to find one than it used find one.

      Hmm, I think you just gave me an idea for an article!

    • LisaVB January 8, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

      There are a few of us around. 🙂 I’ve been online for almost 12 years and have a B&M store for over 6 now. I’m in northwest Iowa.

      The B&M landscape has changed drastically over the past 3-5 years I think. Lots of different reasons why and I don’t want to play the blame game but I think there are a number of reasons out there why stores just couldn’t make it work.

  8. Gena D. January 2, 2015 at 10:18 am #

    Isn’t this the year that Creative Imaginations/Splash of Color closed? (Imploded?)

    • Nancy Nally January 2, 2015 at 11:19 am #

      There wasn’t room to include everything. I debated heavily about this particular item before opting to leave it out. I didn’t want the “bad news” part to get too long and it felt like other items were more critical to include in it.

  9. MS January 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    Love coming to your blog! I visit daily and enjoy your articles on the industry.

  10. Ivette January 2, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

    Thanks for your reviews. Happy New year!

  11. anne hoyle January 2, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    i love that Teresa Collins has her own lines at Joann now.Good news for those smaller compa ies not under American Crafts!

  12. Kerrie January 4, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

    thanks Nancy for the recap ..i had forgotten about some of these …here is to an awesome 2015 and hopefully growth in our industry

  13. Bonnie Mulligan January 6, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

    I’m sorry that Scrapbooking & Beyond is no more, also the other print mags. I know there are a lot of scrappy resources avaiable on line, but I still enjoyed buying those magazines.

  14. Kelly Purkey January 9, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

    Hi there, Nancy! Thank you so much for including me here in your round-up. Looking forward to an even bigger + better 2015! For everyone!

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