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