American Crafts Buys EK Success

American Crafts announced today that they have bought EK Success and its family of papercrafting brands from Wilton Brands.

EK Success Sticko show booth

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EK Success is the fourth acquisition made by American Crafts in barely over 18 months. In 2017, the company acquired Core’dinations, DCWV’s paper division, and BoBunny Press. This marks by my count the tenth acquisition made by American Crafts, starting with its acquisition of Pebbles in 2009.

The acquisition of EK Success brings EK Tools, Sticko, Jolee’s, and K&Company into the American Crafts family of brands. EK Success products occupy significant shelf space at the major craft chain stores. But despite this the EK brands have been hobbled by the scrapbooking downturn (and financial issues at WIlton) and no longer carry quite the same market clout or cachet that they did 15 years ago at the height of the scrapbooking boom. However, the marketing and sales power of American Crafts should improve the brands’ market trajectory.

American Crafts said in the acquisition announcement that new products are planned for the EK brands. The entire EK Success design and product development staff is staying on to ensure what American Crafts calls “design integrity” as EK moves forward at its new corporate home.

Wayne Mitchell, CEO of American Crafts, says EK Success’ lineup of stickers, paper crafting and tools strongly appeal to a wide variety of crafters. “I’m excited to welcome the entire EK Success team to American Crafts,” says Mitchell. “Names like Jolee’s, Sticko, K&Company and EK Tools are simply iconic in our industry. We’re thrilled to work with such a talented team to develop even more amazing products we know crafters will love.”

Sue Buchta, CEO of Wilton Brands, says she is pleased that the EK Success team has found a new home at American Crafts. “The members of the EK Success team are incredibly talented and dedicated” says Buchta. “We appreciate how they’ve shared their time and talent with Wilton and EKSB over the years and wish them the very best. I can’t imagine a better fit for this team and these brands than with an industry leader like American Crafts.”

This is the second major divestment in less than a year for Wilton. Late last year the company sold off Simplicity Creative Group to CSS Industries. That deal (which included the Simplicity, Wrights, Boye, Dimensions, and Perler brands) caused some controversy at the time because it brought large pattern makers Simplicity and McCalls under the same corporate parent. It appears that with this second transaction Wilton is now left to focus only its food crafting brands. Food crafting is currently a trendy and growing craft market segment. The trend is being fed in significant part by the popularity among millennials of YouTube stars like Rosanna Pansino, creator of the Nerdy Nummies web series. Pansino, who is about to release the follow-up to her bestselling Nerdy Nummies cookbook, has launched a Nerdy Nummies baking product line aimed at the youth market that is produced by Wilton.

EK Success products will continue to ship from the current Wilton warehouse through September. EK Success products will then begin shipping in October from the American Crafts warehouse in Utah, after what is estimated to be a 10 day down time to move inventory. Distributors will continue as normal. Orders for EK Success products may be placed with American Crafts starting immediately.


21 Responses to American Crafts Buys EK Success

  1. LYNEEN JESSE September 6, 2018 at 12:01 am #

    WOW! Thanks for keeping us all informed. American crafts continues to grow.

    • Nancy Nally September 6, 2018 at 1:43 pm #

      Thanks for reading Lyneen! 🙂

  2. Phyllis Strickland September 6, 2018 at 8:25 am #

    I hope quality doesn’t become an issue like it now is with We R Memory Keepers. I just don’t buy anything from them anymore. WE R Memory used to be the best, and most innovative.

    • Nancy Nally September 6, 2018 at 1:43 pm #

      Hopefully not! Only time will tell, I guess!

  3. Teri Ives September 6, 2018 at 11:12 am #

    WOW that’s crazy.

  4. Cindy deRosier September 6, 2018 at 11:34 am #

    Wow. I’m both surprised and not surprised that another major name has moved to the American Crafts umbrella.

  5. Lindsay Swanson September 6, 2018 at 1:22 pm #

    Was Martha Stewart Crafts under the EK umbrella, too? What happened to her line of tools?

    • Nancy Nally September 6, 2018 at 1:42 pm #

      She was. I am not sure what happened to that deal. Martha has announced new deals with Michaels and Cricut recently.

  6. Arizona SnapSchotts September 6, 2018 at 1:41 pm #

    It would be great if the EI Tools would start ramping up their punches line again. I have many border punches from them that I still use today.

    • Arizona SnapSchotts September 6, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

      That was upposed to be “EK Tools” not “EI Tools” which sounds like something Old MacDonald might produce! 😁

      • Nancy Nally September 6, 2018 at 1:48 pm #

        LOL I think I might start calling my punches that now!

  7. Dianne Keough September 6, 2018 at 7:21 pm #

    Thanks for the updates. Interesting to scythe least.

  8. Gab September 6, 2018 at 8:11 pm #

    Wow! There won’t be too many companies left that aren’t owned by AC!

    • Jersey girl anne September 7, 2018 at 10:06 pm #

      And that’s why I support the companies that aren’t under the AC umbrella as much as possible. Echo Park,Carta Bella( made in the USA) and Simple Stories are three that I love and never tire of. The quality of so many of the companies now under AC has declined greatly. It’s very disappointing.

  9. Allison September 7, 2018 at 10:37 pm #

    I just hope AC knows what they are doing. If they go under, the scrapbooking industry is dead! (Nancy, you have a little typo in your last paragraph).
    Thanks for the news!

    • Nancy Nally September 8, 2018 at 12:19 pm #

      Thanks Allison! Bit cross-eyed by the time I finished doing that one lol

  10. twyladavis September 8, 2018 at 7:37 am #

    Consolidation seems to be the name of the game. That’s a nice little list and when you consider previous acquisitions (like we r’s of lifestyle/quickutz), it’s even more daunting.

    Still I think this is a good fit. Wilton diminished the EK brand and K and Co was all but obliterated when EK took them. Yeah Jolee’s has done alright but rest of the brand has diminished to almost nothing. Remember when Ek and K & Co each had 800+sq ft booths at the shows? I don’t even think I saw EK at afci (I’ll have to check the program to see if they were there.) At least AC will give them renewed exposure and they are squarely in their core competence.

    (Nostalgic note: Remember when Provocraft had a million sq ft of space at the show? I wish I had calc’ed out how much space I just recall it was larger than my house! Maybe a better question is “Remember Provocraft?”.)

    • Nancy Nally January 24, 2019 at 12:45 am #

      ProvoCraft is still around, but their products are all under the Cricut brand name now so you never hear the ProvoCraft name. And although the Cricut brand is successful enough to have an entire aisle at Michaels & Joann’s, they stopped exhibiting at AFCI/CHA years ago in favor of other marketing.

      You wouldn’t have found EK on the AFCI exhibitor listing in previous years…they were just a display that was part of the parent company booth. Didn’t even warrant their own listing anymore.

  11. PjP September 23, 2018 at 1:15 pm #

    OK, I’m just gonna go throw up now. *#@! AC. A pox on ’em!

  12. Tammy October 19, 2018 at 9:34 am #

    Thanks for the (bad) news. It looks like AC is swallowing the whole industry, which can easily lead to high prices and poor quality. I hope they prove me wrong…

  13. Sandra Evans April 23, 2019 at 3:36 pm #

    I know I’m late on this. I picked up some dies at Tuesday Morning today and started poking around the internet and found this article. Look like AC did a dump at TN. If there is something you like or want that is made by EK, better grab it up now. Their quality is the best! Guess I will have to head back to TM for some additional purchases before they are all gone, now that I know the deal.

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