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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.

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Project | Baby Boy Gift Bag

Gift bags are so easy to deliver gifts in, but they are so expensive and it seems I never have just the right one on hand. Craft stash to the rescue!

My local Michaels store carries packs of gift bags in various sizes in neutral colors like white and kraft. These are great to create coordinated items for occasions like bridesmaid gifts, but they are also good neutral canvases to keep on hand to decorate anytime you need a quick gift package!

Baby Boy Gift Bag Continue Reading →

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Sandy’s Effects On The Scrapbook Industry

The northeast U.S. coast was hit hard by the remnants of Hurricane Sandy earlier this week. Dubbed “Superstorm Sandy” by meteorologists, the storm has devastated parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and adjoining states.

Several large scrapbook industry companies are based in the affected area.

Craft & Hobby Association (Elmwood Park, NJ): According to their Facebook page, their offices are closed through today (11/2). Their staff also does not have access to email according to their website. For updates, check their Facebook page.

Due to the widespread power outages from the storm, CHA is extending the deadline to register for the workshop lottery for CHA Winter 2013 through 5pm ET Thursday, November 8th. Conference Program Registration for CHA Winter 2013 has also been delayed and will now open at 11am ET on Tuesday, November 13th.

EK Success (Clifton, NJ): As of yesterday, EK Success was open and operating, with the assistance of the children of their employees! They reported on their Facebook account that they were hosting their employees’ children, who were out of school due to the storm, so their parents could continue working. Check out their Facebook page for a photo of their impromptu kid’s crafts party!

Ranger (Tinton Falls, NJ): Tim Holtz reported on his blog on Wednesday (10/31) that the power was back on at Ranger on Wednesday (10/31), and some employees had returned to work.  Ranger’s blog that same day said everyone was safe as far as the company knew, but were dealing with the after effects of the storm.

Of course, the area is also home to many small retailers as well. Some of them reported in on Scrapbook Update’s Facebook page:

  • Rock Paper Scissors in Montclair, NJ is open!! No credit card system as of today [11/1] still, but hopefully the Internet and phone will be working soon!” — Aubrey Cece
  • “Hey there! Papercraft Clubhouse in Westbrook, CT is back open for business.” — Tracie Larson
  • “We were very lucky in MD. We were south just far enough. Lots of rain but not much flooding. Business as usual at Photo Scraps in Eldersburg, MD.” — Tracy Beck

Hurricane Sandy has seriously impacted the country’s blood supply as the Red Cross has been forced to cancel blood drives in 14 states due to the disaster, and these cancellations are likely to continue for some time. The shortage of platelets is especially critical as these blood products have a shelf life of only 5 days. Please make an appointment today to donate blood or platelets to maintain the nation’s blood supply. You could save a life! 

Blood donations needed web banner

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Winners | French General by Jolee’s Boutique

It’s time to announce the winners from last week’s giveaway! Two Scrapbook Update readers are winning some of the hot new French General collection from Jolee’s Boutique by EK Success to play with!

And the lucky winners are….

The winner of Package #1 is Becky J (MplsBetty), who posted:

Just saw these at Michael’s. Love it.

The winner of Package #2 is Heather Beasley, who posted:

I am lovin’ all the new Jolees. These are going to be a hit!

Congratulations to Heather and Becky! You will get an email in a moment with instructions on collecting your prize! Thanks for reading Scrapbook Update!

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Noteworthy | 4.06.2012

Welcome to the first edition of Noteworthy by Nancy! May has decided to retire her Noteworthy hat, so I’m taking over to make sure that Scrapbook Update still brings you all the highlights of the scrapbook industry happenings each week.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been long enough since CHA in January that we are starting to see announcements about mid-release collections. This week brought a whole new stack of releases that will be hitting store shelves soon, as well as a few other fun bits and pieces!

Teresa Collins made several big announcements this week! The first announcement was a mid-release line for spring called Sweet Afternoon. In contrast to the bold colors in most of her recent lines, this new release is created in delicate pastels.

Continue Reading →

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CHA Winter 2012 | Top Ten Hot Picks

It’s that time again…time for Scrapbook Update to put out the list of the hottest products at CHA Winter 2012! Unlike our lists of personal favorites that we posted earlier in the week, this list compiled by me (Scrapbook Update editor Nancy Nally) is a measure of the buzz and marketability of a product, not just personal tastes. These are the products that were buzzed about the most at the show, that Scrapbook Update believes will be big hits for retailers and that consumers shouldn’t miss!

So, in no particular order…here’s the Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2012 Top Ten Hot Picks!

Amy Tangerine Sketchbook from American Crafts

This may have been the most buzzed-about line at the entire show. Every conversation about what was hot at the show inevitably seemed to include this line eventually. To generate this level of excitement with a sequel to Amy Tan’s red-hot debut at CHA Summer 2011, is a real accomplishment.

Amy Tangerine Sketchbook Album (photo by Melissa Stinson)

Continue Reading →

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