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ClearSnap Closing Down Operations

ClearSnap announced today that they are closing down operations. The Burlington, Washington-based company has been  manufacturing industrial and craft inks in the U.S. for nearly 30 years.

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ClearSnap was purchased either by direct sales company Stampin’ Up! or its founders Shelli & Sterling Gardners in 2006. It was being run by Sterling Gardner (husband of Stampin’ Up! founder Shelli Gardner) as a separate entity from the Utah-based Stampin’ Up!.

News of the closure was shared with ClearSnap’s wholesale customers last week. In the announcement to consumers today, ClearSnap said it was sharing the news “with a heavy heart” and thanked customers “for all your continued support over the years.” The company said that the last day to place orders from ClearSnap is July 31st, but gave no final date for ceasing operations.

Clearsnap Inks

My personal stash of Clearsnap inks.

ClearSnap, under its brand name ColorBox, is widely known to scrapbookers and stampers for its signature Cats Eye pigment ink pads. In addition to its pigment ink pads, the company is also known for its Petal Point, Chalk, India Ink, and other specialty inkpads. Graphic 45, Doodlebug, Stephanie Barnard, Ann Butler, Eileen Hull, Donna Salazar, Susan Weckesser, and Teresa Collins have all produced licensed products with ClearSnap.

I caught up with Eileen Hull when she was demonstrating her ColorBox Blends at Creativation 2019 back in January:

The closure of ClearSnap will leave Ranger and Imagine Crafts to fight it out as the major brand players in the retail ink market, along with contributions from companies such as Lawn Fawn, Hero Arts, and others. And of course, Stampin’ Up! and Close to My Heart will continue to provide stamping ink to the direct sales market as well.

Asked about the impact the closure of ClearSnap will have on the stamping segment, Hero Arts CEO Aaron Leventhal told Scrapbook Update:

ClearSnap is a long-time contributor to the stamping market and I’m sorry to hear they will no longer lend their innovative approach and quality products to our industry. We will miss you!  Not having quality companies like ClearSnap means less investment in the industry — in the form of marketing, advertising, new products and creative ideas, which is bad for everyone.

According to the Michaels website, my local store has about two dozen Colorbox SKUs stocked. (Joann’s is only showing a handful of Colorbox SKUs available in store when I search.) Who will get that shelf space is a big question. Will it be Ranger? Or Imagine Crafts? Or store brand products? Or will no one get it, further shrinking the big box’s paper crafts foot print?

If you want to grab reinkers for your favorite ink pad or that must-have item from your wishlist before they are gone, ClearSnap products are available online at Scrapbook.com and Amazon.com

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21 Responses to ClearSnap Closing Down Operations

  1. Sue Wogatske July 31, 2019 at 8:51 am #

    This makes me sad. I really love the Color Box products and ink.

    • Nancy Nally July 31, 2019 at 12:16 pm #

      I don’t think anyone can match their color selection!

  2. Linda Pastva-Callahan July 31, 2019 at 9:34 am #

    Wow, this was one of the very first inks I ever bought to stamp with. Quality ink products, I have many colors in the Petal Box and rainbow strip formats. Sad to hear they are closing.

    • Nancy Nally July 31, 2019 at 12:15 pm #

      Pretty sure my first ever ink pad was a Petal Point primary colored one! That would have been nearly twenty years ago! (yikes, now I feel old writing that lol)

  3. Cindy deRosier July 31, 2019 at 9:54 am #

    Noooooooo!!!!

    • Nancy Nally July 31, 2019 at 12:14 pm #

      This was pretty much my same reaction! 🙁 I do love their pigments!

  4. Phyllis Strickland July 31, 2019 at 12:42 pm #

    This is very sad!! They had always been an innovative company, but less so after the Gardiners bought it. I never understood why Stampin Up didn’t sell Clearsnap inks in their custom colors instead of the inferior inks they get from China or wherever.

  5. creativeunblock July 31, 2019 at 1:56 pm #

    So sorry to hear this! Nancy, I, too, have that old Petal Point pad — and it is still inky! I also loved the Chalk inks for easy stamp layering. I better stock up! Roberta

  6. Erica Dagmar Sandwall July 31, 2019 at 4:54 pm #

    So is Stampin Up going to be selling it under their name now? — “ClearSnap was purchased by direct sales company Stampin’ Up! in 2006. It was being run by Sterling Gardner (husband of Stampin’ Up! founder Shelli Gardner) as a separate entity from the Utah-based Stampin’ Up!.”

    • Nancy Nally July 31, 2019 at 5:31 pm #

      I’ve wondered the same thing. We’ll have to wait and see!

    • Peach July 31, 2019 at 9:40 pm #

      Stamping Up Inks and stamps pads are the original Colorbox Ancient Page inks and stamp pads. Stampin Up adopted this line as their own when Sterling Gardner bought Colorbox. The Ancient Page name went away forever, but it continues as the Stampin Up brand.
      xOx
      Peach

  7. Erna Taylor-Stark July 31, 2019 at 6:05 pm #

    Sad to see one of my favourite companies go down. I hope they don’t reappear under Stampin’ Up, even though I have used their products for a long time too. I hate the way their stamp pads open, but I understand they have redesigned them.. I too have used ColorBox for many , many years and I will miss them.

    • Jeena Huntzinger July 31, 2019 at 11:15 pm #

      Yes, the new stamp pads are a simple pull up, instead of a push back and pull up. You can still slide the lid to secure it for inking, though. They are also thinner and stackable.

  8. Linda Walton August 1, 2019 at 3:53 am #

    This is rather disconcerting. I realize that the industry changes, but above par products are hard to let go of. Thanks for sharing the news, Nancy. I guess I am hoping the inks will reappear under Stampin’ Up, from whom I have never purchased a thing!

  9. Ann D. August 1, 2019 at 5:00 pm #

    It’s my impression that Stampin’ Up did not purchase ClearSnap, but that Sterling Gardiner (husband of the SU co-founder) did.

    I also believe there is a new manufacturer of SU inks as of about a year ago.

    • Nancy Nally August 1, 2019 at 5:29 pm #

      I hear conflicting things about it. (Editing the article to reflect that.) In any event, because the Gardners control Stampin’ Up! too, it’s really a distinction without a difference either way.

  10. kitchen sink stamps August 2, 2019 at 12:50 am #

    WOW!!! 🙁

  11. Gab August 2, 2019 at 8:15 am #

    This is really sad

  12. NMWatt August 18, 2019 at 10:27 am #

    Have you seen the new stamp pads from The Stamp Market? There is a daily reveal this week. What stood out to me is that they are made by ColorBox! They are due inks…

  13. Mary H. August 21, 2019 at 4:09 pm #

    The Stamp Market is previewing their exclusive ink pad collection. And it is made by ColorBox. What does that mean for the collection? Is it one and done – or will it really be ready to ship next month? The colors are gorgeous.

    • Nancy Nally August 21, 2019 at 7:48 pm #

      ClearSnap’s wholesale customers had until July 31st to order inventory so theoretically Stamp Market could have stocked as much inventory as they could order by that date. Only Stamp Market can say for sure if it will affect their shipping date or what ClearSnap’s closure will mean for their plans to produce ink moving forward. They will obviously have to find a new supplier if they want to continue to produce more inks.

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