The scrapbook industry is dynamic, with lots of new activity happening all the time including mergers and acquisitions, new hires, major product releases, lawsuits, and more. Each quarter we ask expert Nancy Nally to roundup the latest scrapbook news to keep us up to date. Here’s Nancy’s scrapbook news update for the Fall of 2020 (see her Spring 2020 update here):
Tuesday Morning filed for bankrupcy on May 27th.
Pink & Main will be closing their Athens, Georgia retail store this October.
Closeout retailer Tuesday Morning became another casualty of Covid-19 when it filed bankruptcy on May 27. The store is well-known among scrapbookers as a popular destination for snagging deeply discounted bargains on discontinued products from some of the segment’s largest manufacturers. Tuesday Morning will continue to operate while undergoing its Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy process and has indicated in court filings it has funds available to make disbursements to the company’s unsecured creditors.
Despite the limited shelf space occupied in the stores by the crafts department, American Crafts was listed in the original petition as the company’s third-largest creditor, with an outstanding debt owed to them of over $800,000. Other craft companies listed as possible creditors in court records for the bankruptcy include Advantus, Spellbinders, Paper House, and the now-defunct Clearsnap, among others.
Stamp manufacturer Pink & Main have announced they will be closing their Athens, Georgia retail store in October when the company’s owner Michelle Currie moves to Florida. Currie hopes to open a new retail location after getting settled in Florida but in the meantime, customers can shop via the Pink and Main online store as usual.
Well-known designer and demonstrator Lorrie McCullers, Pink and Main’s retail store manager, will continue as the company’s wholesale accounts manager while also pursuing other freelance opportunities.
Restrictions on large public gatherings due to Covid-19 have led to the cancellation of pretty much the entire 2020 season of scrapbook consumer shows, which usually start in February and run through October. Stampaway, Creating Keepsakes Conventions, and Stamp & Scrapbook Expo, among others, have all canceled events. Creating Keepsakes is currently taking registrations for October and November events in Florida, Oregon, and Tennessee. The Oregon and Florida events were postponed from earlier in the year.
Both Creating Keepsakes Conventions and Stamp & Scrapbook Expo have been running virtual events on Facebook that allow vendors from canceled events to showcase themselves. Stamp & Scrapbook Expo is also creating an at-home version of their popular Make & Take event on September 26th, with boxes available that make 10 projects for $75 (shipping included).
Photo Play Paper (left) and Scrapbook Customs (right) introduced coronavirus-themed scrapbooking collections for 2020.
Photo Play Paper has continued its successful series of coronavirus-themed scrapbooking collections with Becky Moore’s “The New Normal”, which shipped in July. The collection coordinates with the previous “Living the Quarantine Life” collections and again features masks, toilet paper, social distancing, and other topical icons.
Other scrapbook companies are rolling out Covid-themed products as well. Scrapbook Customs has released a coronavirus-themed collection called simply “Covid-19”. In their signature graphic style, some pages are headlined with Covid-related titles, and others feature designs of a virus icon, masks, toilet paper, or other 2020 icons. Stampendous has announced a Covid-themed House Mouse stamp set featuring the iconic mouse wearing the now-ubiquitous mask.
Michaels Stores and Craft Smith have prevailed in U.S. Appeals Court in a suit brought against them by EC Design (better known to planner fans as Erin Condren brand planners). EC Design was suing the pair of companies for allegedly violating its compilation copyright on the Erin Condren LifePlanner by selling a Recollections planner that was similar. The court ruled that because Michaels and Craft Smith “used entirely different artwork and text, even if arranged similarly, it did not copy the LifePlanner’s protected expression.” For more details, the entire opinion can be read on the court website.
The court loss was the second setback of the summer for EC Design. In June, the company became embroiled in controversy over the role of the company’s founder Erin Condren in helping arrange a graduation “march” for her children and their classmates at Mira County High School. The march’s apparent leveraging of the Black Lives Matter movement to win permit approval for an otherwise banned public gathering, along with what many considered privileged statements flouting California’s limits on public gatherings, led to Condren taking a leave of absence from the company she founded and also to a consumer boycott of the company.
Erin Condren brand planners (left) brought suit against Craft Smith (right) alleging copyright violation but did not prevail in court.
Jillibean Soup announced in early June that they are holding a clearance sale because they are transitioning to a design-only business model. The company will no longer be producing and selling their own physical products such as paper collections and wood surfaces. Jillibean Soup plans to continue to make their designs available through licensing to other companies, and by continuing to sell their popular digital cut files in the Silhouette Online store and through their Etsy store, JBSDesignStudio. This announcement comes only 4 months after the (pre-Covid) February announcement that Jillibean would be partnering with American Crafts for production of their products after seven years working with Hampton Art.
Cathy Zielske announced the opening in July of her own online store, CZ Design Shop, for selling her digital download products. Zielske, known for her irreverent and graphic style, had previously been with Designer Digitals for nearly ten years. Her licensed stamps and dies will continue to be available through Simon Says Stamp.
Art Anthology founder Stayce DeWid has announced the sale of the company to her friend, designer Steven Ziegler. DeWid, who has been grieving the recent tragic loss of her son, said in the announcement that she felt running Art Anthology required more than she could give to it right now. Ziegler is a familiar face to many Art Anthology fans, having worked with DeWid previously at shows where she is a regular exhibitor. Although giving up day to day operation of the company, DeWid still plans to assist Ziegler with teaching and product development responsibilities for Art Anthology.