Nancy Nally is the owner of Nally Studios and the publisher and editor of Scrapbook Update and Craft Critique, two websites focused on the scrapbooking industry. And avid scrapbooker for more than 20 years, Nancy has a keen interest in news and trends that affect the industry. Each quarter she brings us a news roundup on the latest from the scrapbooking industry. Here’s Nancy on what’s been unfolding in the spring and early summer months:
News from Pink and Main
Up-and-coming stamp company Pink and Main continues to grow and expand with some recent big announcements. On May 1, the new Pink and Main retail store opened at Georgia Square Mall in Athens, Georgia. The company has also recently announced collaborations with two well-known industry designers. Tammy Tutterow, known for her work with Ranger and Spellbinders, has designed a new set of wedding-themed stamps and matching dies called “Happily Ever After” that was part of Pink and Main’s monthly product release for May 2019. Pink and Main has also announced that Lorrie McCullers, who was most recently with Art Anthology, is now the new Education Coordinator and Wholesale Accounts Manager for Pink and Main.
Direct-to-Consumer Companies Go Wholesale
It’s becoming a hot craft industry trend for companies that were formerly selling only direct-to-consumer to announce the commencement of wholesale operations. Three well-known brands have made wholesale launch announcements in recent weeks. After hinting for a while about upcoming changes at the company, Papertrey Ink announced on May 6 that the brand will be transitioning over the next few months to an exclusively wholesale operation. At the same time, the company announced the launch of a new brand called Ink to Paper that will continue to sell direct-to-consumer. Ink to Paper will operate using Papertrey’s familiar monthly product release model, and many Papertrey signature staples like their ink and cardstock will migrate to the new brand as well.
Kit club Studio Calico indicated in early May that it has plans to launch wholesale products, but no details have been forthcoming. The company previously launched a wholesale product line in 2009 before signing a licensing agreement with American Crafts in 2011 to handle their wholesale operation. That arrangement ended in 2015. Ali Edwards Design, which like Studio Calico is a partner of influencer enterprise company Inked Brands, also announced in May that the brand will soon be launching wholesale products.
Edwards is launching her foray into wholesale with a splash, with a partnership with HSN that will debut on-air on June 11 at 11am EST. Later this year, a slightly revamped version of the 2018 December Daily kit will also be featured on HSN. Edwards previously had stamp designs available wholesale through Technique Tuesday, before leaving that company in 2014 to start her own independent brand.
Ellison’s Ongoing Legal Disputes
As reported in this column back in April, Sizzix parent company Ellison Education is still engaged in patent infringement litigation against multiple companies over its patent on technology for dies that align with stamps. The only action in the Ellison case against Stephanie Barnard Designs since March has been the addition of a new attorney for Ellison and a protective order stipulated to by both parties that dictates how confidential business information will be handled during the discovery process.
Similarly, court action in the Ellison case against Hero Arts has been limited the past several months to a protective order and revisions to the schedule for the case. In the most recently filed Ellison case, against Heartfelt Creations, action since March has been focused on dueling briefs from the parties about Heartfelt’s motion to dismiss the case. Ellison has also been going through the legal paperwork of adding their California lawyers to the Heartfelt Creations case, which is taking place in Indiana. Significant action has taken place in Ellison’s case against Avery Elle, however. According to court records, a binding settlement was reached on May 13th during what is called an “Early Neutral Evaluation Conference” between the parties held in front of a magistrate judge. A court session to finalize the settlement is scheduled for June 28th. Details of the settlement are unknown, and likely to be kept as confidential between the parties.
MISTI Legal Action
The legal action between My Sweet Petunia and Stampin’ Up continued as well these past few months, with My Sweet Petunia alleging that Stampin’ Up has infringed their patent on their MISTI stamp platform. Stampin’ Up lost their initial motion to dismiss the case in late April. The case now moves into a discovery phase that is scheduled to take most of the rest of 2019, with a yet-to-be-determined trial date.