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, 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?