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Monday, October 21, 2013

Creative Memories to become Ahni & Zoe by Creative Memories. NEW PRODUCT LINE

Here it is – what the new version of CM will be offering.

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That tape runner looks just like the old CM tape runner – but since learning that 3L makes the adhesives for CM I will be using those after I’ve gone through my stash of CM Tape Runner refills.

update:  Looks like it’s the same as the blue CM TR.  I am stunned at the prices.

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UPDATE:  This adhesive is tabs (larger, square pieces), not small strips like the old CM Tape Runner.

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You should be able to view the full PDF here http://www.creativememories.com/uploads/2/2/0/8/22088492/2._party_products_hosting_final_ii.pdf

Link to newCMs catalog 

Same *stuff* - different packaging & names.

They kept the wrong stuff! Ditching loyal customers to seek out new, “time-starved Moms” = not such a good idea, in my opinion.

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Information about CM’s name change:

(Click on image to make it larger)

A friendly word of advice:  Don’t Google “Ahni” with the kiddos around, especially if you’re using the image search feature.

(Seriously, who re-launches a company without researching the name?)

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It looks like the Fast 2 Fabulous albums are still 12x12 and at least the pages can be wallpapered for those that don’t like the pre-printed pages.  It makes no sense to me why CM wouldn’t offer plain, unprinted pages to keep it’s loyal customers happy – but then, much of what CM has done recently makes no sense to me at all.

When CM notified me that they were going to release all CMCs from their contracts at the end of August I was sad but knew that even if the company emerged from bankruptcy it would be a far cry from the company I had signed up with.  I’m not just talking about the product line, but the (lack of) ethics, morals and simple business sense, too.

CM may have changed their mind about releasing me (and other) CMCs from our contracts but I find that unacceptable and haven’t changed my mind.  I know CM isn’t a good fit for me and will not partner with them and their new venture.  I feel this was not a decision I made but it was made for me and although the new very limiting, simple, cookie cutter product line may or may not have tipped the scales in favor of my leaving CM I’ll never know because what I’ve learned, witnessed and experienced since April has forced my hand.  I could not sleep at night if I was in business with this company.  I am fortunate that I’ve never depended on my income from CM (although I have appreciated it) and my heart goes out to those that do.  I don’t begrudge any consultant that chooses to stay with the company, or anyone that wants to sell these new products.  I just have one bit of advice:  This is business, keep your eyes wide open and information is knowledge and power.  Anyone that tells you something different is probably hiding something from you.

I am thankful for all the great people I’ve met – in real life & virtually – as a Creative Memories Consultant.  One of those people, Nicole S. - a sister CMC, has been very, very instrumental in keeping a great group of CMC, former CMCs, customers and others informed during this mess – even when CM tried their best to limit access to information and discouraged CMCs from looking elsewhere for information.  Nicole was on the receiving end of some very hurtful, unprofessional & unkind words from one of the Co-founders of CM, simply because she dared to share speculative information about what the new CM would carry. This information was given to her by a reliable source and included that newCM would offer Fast2Fabulous albums, Picfolio-type albums and just a black pen.  The Co-Founder really latched on to that part about a black pen – and chose to eliminate almost all the other information that was being discussed (and now seems to be spot on.)  She called for CMCs to become “rumor squashers” and help her out by correcting those that speculate.  She deleted posts from those that tried to set the record straight and unfriended anyone that dared to post anything but praise for her and her rant.

When I saw the contents of the newCMs consultant kit I had to chuckle. 

(some of the contents shown below)

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Lo & behold, just a black pen.

Thanks to Nicole and our great group we have armed ourselves with information and are empowered with knowledge. We’ve been able to help each other through this transitional time – even when CM has done their best to keep us in the dark.

33 comments:

Sheri said...

How very disappointing. Sadly, I can't say I'm surprised. Thank you for the information Lisa.

Nicole said...

The silver lining has been the friendships indeed. :) Excellent post - even before you said nice things about me.

Jo Briden-Jones said...

I'm glad to see that you (and sister consultants in the US) are now aware of the unethical behaviour of CM. It was heartbreaking for us consultants in NZ and Australia to be left adrift with barely any information at the beginning of May. Good luck with your future endeavours!

Angela Wagner said...

I agree with your comment about "keeping the wrong stuff". I want their classic albums. I can't find that quality anywhere.

Anonymous said...

How very sad for all of us true 12x12'ers who love being creaitve with our pages. Your comments were so so true.

Elaine said...

Thanks for your honesty! I see a lot of crafting companies eliminating products traditional scrappers rely on. The industry as a whole is changing quickly.
I'm a SU rep. Even though it is a much stronger company financially, they have announced a marketing foccus on women under 35 right now too. That age group must be spending a lot!!

Sarah said...

Oh my gosh - I can hardly believe the price of the tape refills LOL - I wish you lots of luck and best wishes with your future endeavours and am impressed with your honesty and integrity :-)

Jacque said...

Beautiful Life was also the tattoo that Casey Anthony got after she killed her daughter. The name was obviously not vetted. Makes you wonder about the business plan.

I wish you the best in your next endeavor. Check out Close to My Heart. Jeanette Lynton knows how to run a company.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're only posting one side of the story (regarding Nicole getting blasted by one of the co-founders of CM).

Sincerely,

A former CM consultant (I quit before all of the brouhaha started. The reason? Prices were too high - CM couldn't complete with Hobby Lobby/Archivers/Michaels, etc.)

Lisa Graham said...

Rhonda Anderson is welcome to chime in with her side of the story but being that she has ignored multiple requests for clarification I imagine she will not.

Anonymous said...

Have they lost their minds--that Google search I just did to find the new site was disgusting. Who wants to use or mention to friends a company whose name brings up garbage and is ridiculously unrelated to CM. I have invested 10 years as a customer & am totally uninterested in those products you mentioned. The new markers they launched were dried up within days of buying them. I have markers 10 yrs old that still work. It sickens me what they did to the company. Hobby Lobby here I come! Thanks for keeping us informed.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lisa! I'm not sure how I found your page but it was here that I got a look at the "new" CM. How disappointing. I've been a CM cropper for almost 10 years and I can't believe that they've become. Your page is incredible and CM is losing a true professional. I'm sorry they chose this direction and unless they make some changes that cater to us seasoned scrapbookers, I won't be getting any products from them in the future. Sadly, they don't have anything that I need or want. I'll miss getting the new catalogs and seeing the new products. Time to move on. Appreciate your honesty and all the information you provided.

kathy said...

how did you get those images from the a&z pages...it isn't working for me kahoffman66@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the new product line. I've been waiting anxiously to see what the new "line" is. As a "time-strapped" Mom, but loyal CM user, I am somewhat disappointed in the product line. First of all, yawn! I like the idea that you can combo F2F and the "slip-in" pages, BUT if they aren't selling additional pages (only) so you can customize your look, they are missing the big picture. I AM NOT buying 2 expensive albums, so I can get a look I want. "Time-strapped" Moms are also cash-strapped Moms. I also think they have missed it once again with the new rollout. I felt that somehow CM got "behind the curve" in their products. Where they used to be the leading company if albums & technology, I started seeing products BEFORE CM had them. A&Z seems to have the same problem. These are the same album styles we are seeing everywhere else. And a magnetic display board...really??

Taunya R said...

As a customer & consultant I am sad. I won't be going on with the new company. Moved on to SU. And mourning the loss of the quality of pages & albums that I loved enough to become a consultant.

I refuse to have some marketing "pro" decide the limits of my creativity. They completely took the "creative" right out of their business.

And the name. AYE AYE AYE!

Angela Mansfield said...

As a former Australian CMC I find all that has happened terribly "underhanded", and all of us here did not even get the chance to do final orders like you girls in the U.S. did.
I may be reading between the lines a bit much, but their new business plan to me looks like they include treating outgoing CMC's with disrespect, hardly an endearing attitude with a restarting company.
I can't see how they are going to keep going with the product range they now offer. If they continue to be rigid and are only listening to the marketers and not the Consultants and customers, then I don't hold much hope for them. Very dissappointing, really. I have now moved onwards and upwards with CTMH and even though they don't have the same products as the old CM things, I am learning to like the albums, and their techniques and training with products is just great.
I wish you the very best Lisa, I hope you continue on with what makes you happy. I've enjoyed popping onto your blog here and there, and you've always been very informative. Thankyou

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lisa. I was searching for what CM was going to do and your page came up. Being a traditional scrapbooker who likes to start with an empty page, I will not be purchasing a F2F or PicFolio-type album from the new company. They've alienated their loyals, in my opinion! Dumb move.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lisa, some of this is news to me; of which I am passing on. I agree with most of the comments thereafter as well. While still a hopeful CMC up until the roll out, the fact that they took away the embellishments/foam dots and title stickers is what is doing me in. That is what made the F2F albums at least pretty (&SIMPLE FUN), and that little extra was appreciated. Now our albums are stripped of everything beautiful in terms of the kit idea. I am turned off. I am insulted listening to the webinars where they continue to put down things about the old company (which I loved). They roll out the idea that the new direction is/will be more "FUN". I do not see how a party will be any bit more engaging for party goers. It looks like boredom to me.

Jaime Llewellyn said...

It was really good to read your post and here about the changes being made in the company. I recommend you look into Close To My Heart. They have been around for 30 years and are operating "in the black." I have been a consultant for almost 5 years and love it. www.JaimeL.ctmh.com

Michele said...

It just really makes you wonder about sound business decisions and who makes them. Why didn't they empanel a variety of career consultants to new consultants and asked them what worked in their business and what didn't? What sold and what to remove from the line.

I was a CMC for almost 8 years (until 10/2011) when I saw the writing on the wall. It made me sad to deactivate after I had worked hard to build a client base but the products were going downhill and "suggestions" to the company did not receive responses.

Home-based businesses are never easy but harder when the company is going against the grain of what the customers want and BUY (plain 12x12 pages and clean albums) and against consultant suggestions.

scrap128 said...

I'm not sure if I am missing something here, but I can't even find how to order anything from this new company. I wanted to see a larger photo of the slide in 12x12 picfolio pages to see if they would fit the binder style album that I have to switch to so I was going to just order a pack and try them out, but I am having no luck. I cant find a website that can refer me to a consultant the way we used to do. This is not good. A customer at her computer with credit card in hand can't spend her money because she can't get into the digital store. I wonder how many other customers are having the same issue?

Oh well...does anyone out there know if there is ANY company that produces side loading 12x12 sleeves? Seems the only way to keep the dust out of pages and keep the pages down as you are leafing through the book (using a WeRmemoryKeepers 3 ring binder album for the first time). Once dust gets in, very hard to remove. I don't like to store the book on its side, but will for now.

HINT to any startup out there: Design a side loading page and you will have millions of scrapbook customers. FOR LIFE!!!

Lisa Graham said...

Unfortunately, you're not missing anything - orders can't be taken yet. Thousands of consultants orders catalogs and kits and shipping of these has been delayed. Sad but not surprising. I think it will be early next year when products can actually be ordered.
CTMH is going to be producing side loading sleeves after the first of the year - they'll fit in CM albums! CTMH not only listened to customers but they are acting - making products customers want! How very, very refreshing!! Let's hope someone recognizes the need for quality strap hinge albums with blank pages and steps in and makes them!!

Jen said...

I'm trying to order page protectors for a 8x8 creative memories album I have finished. Anyone know how I can get them?

Thanks!! Jen

Anonymous said...

I just learned about this yesterday. So disappointed as I started scrap-booking in 1994, probably one of the firsts :) After a total of 15 completed albums of my family's entire history, I am not willing to change now. Did some research last night and found that Hobby Lobby has 12 x12 blank pages and slide page protectors that will work in our CM albums as well as 2 side hinged albums. Hanging on as long as I can!

Anonymous said...

Ahni and Zoe does have side loading FYI. I am a consultant and waiting for my kit but I believe it is similar to the pic folio memorabilia page.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa, Just read all of your posts. I answered a survey just recently for Anhi & Zoe (I refuse to call them Creative Memories). I didn't not and will not renew with them, as I said in my responses to them. This is the first time I have gone looking for others responses. I refuse to sign any contract that gives the exclusive rights to MY customers that I have worked hard to develop and please. They have not given us a product worth selling and I am not a LIAR or a con artist. They have put the old company into this new positions of untrustworthiness. After they released me last year, I joined CTMH. WOW I cant believe what we have been missing. I have sold more product in the last 5 months than the last 2 years with CM. CM screwed up and left a lot of us with product that we will never sell for what we have into it. I think they should buy back all out left over product that we cant get rid of. Then maybe they might save a little face. They will reap the reward of their actions. I however will move on. Its good to see that I am not the only one who felt so abused. Thank you for your post. Sabrina Canadian Consultant

Laurie Fike said...

I'm trying to make a decision whether to order the kit, from what I hear from my old upline, it's not going over very well at all! People do not like it, I've polled my past customers and they hate it.

I signed on to CM in 2002 in Germany, signed back on in the states in 2006. I love making my albums and I'm not so opposed to the new albums but I think we have to get through to past customers we do sell the best of the best albums out there. And they can do what they want to with the new albums. They can embellish, crop pics and so on. It's still their album to do as they want.

Does anyone know how it's really looking out there since I haven't pulled the trigger and ordered my kit yet?

Can you give me some advise if you have got yours and what you think working on them? What is your customer response?

I need help making this decision, I mean it's $139 investment and I can use the albums to show. Then only $250 every 6 months to stay active. That is better.

I think they will add more to the line when it gets going. But leaving out our famous tools was a huge mistake!

Lisa Graham said...

Laurie - I think it's safe to say that if you do choose to go with A&Z you're going to need to find a new customer base. Sure, some of your CM customers may like what they offer but from what I've seen & heard - not many people are liking the A&Z albums, especially those that are used to CM's products. The A&Z albums have a very different texture & feel to them & many can't get past that. The most accurate description I've heard is they're like those old rubber pants that used to go over diapers but with more of a waxy feel to them. the coversets attract dirt & fingerprints & dent easily. Buying the consultant kit could, at the very least, be a good deal for you. I'm not sure what the price is on the kit & what's included in it but they're usually offered at a nice discount. I've always said that if you like a DS company's products then becoming a consultant is a great way to get what you love at a great price. Sign up, buy what you want & if you don't want to continue as a consultant then don't & you'll still have products you love for a good price!

I think the whole business model A&Z is using is a very bad idea. They're marketing to "time starved moms" and only supporting parties. I would imagine not many time starved people hold home parties. Also, for a company relying on sales from parties they don't have many options for those people that go to parties to only support their friends - something around $20 - $30. And of course turning your back on loyal customers & consultants - doesn't make very good business sense!

I chose not to go with A&Z after I saw how CM treated their CMCs & customers during this last bankruptcy. Even if they carried products I liked I don't think I would have been able to continue my relationship with them. I wish only the best for those continuing with the company...there are a lot of former CMCs that are owed money and the only way they'll get it is if A&Z succeeds. Plus, I really, really hope (still) that they'll bring back plain pages & our beloved bookcloth covered coversets. The rest I can do without but I just can't find anything that compares to those.

Wayne Bannatyne said...

Did CM ever come out of bankruptcy? Does anyone know how to contact them? All of the numbers listed for them appear to be disconnected.

Lisa Graham said...

Wayne - CM has sort of reinvented itself as Ahni & Zoe. Here's the website for their contact info: http://ahniandzoe.com/pws/homeoffice/tabs/contact-us.aspx

Wayne Bannatyne said...

Thanks Lisa. That is where I originally went but no one has returned my inquiries and the phone numbers give me that "fast busy signal" that tells me they aren't working.

Lisa Graham said...

Perhaps a post on their Facebook page would get their attention - they do seem to monitor that. https://www.facebook.com/creativememories

Wayne Bannatyne said...

Thanks Lisa. I will do that.