Challenges, problems, and triumphs
-- from a manufacturer's perspective.
"The History of Plaid Enterprises, Inc.
It's come a long way in 36 years.
Staff Report (November 21, 2011)
Plaid Enterprises was founded in July 1975 by craft industry pioneer
David Cunningham. Doing business as Craft Publications, the company
began as a publisher of how-to craft books. Over the next two years,
the company expanded its product offering to include craft kits,
pearls and beads, wood products, doll house accessories, and paint.
In 1977, the company bought the assets of Cunningham Art Products
which included major paint and aerosol filling equipment. Also in
late 1977, Connoisseur Studios was purchased, providing the brands
Patricia Nimocks and Mod Podge. From that point to the
present day, the company has maintained the position as the
preeminent supplier of paints and finishes to the craft industry.
In January, 1978, the various company operating units were merged
into the corporate entity, Plaid Enterprises. Later that year, Plaid
became one of the first craft suppliers to obtain product placement
in Wal-Mart Stores.
Over the next decade, Plaid continued to grow, broadening both its
product and customer base. Major product introductions during this
period included nationally recognized paint lines Folk Art
(1982) and Apple Barrel (1985).
In 1989, as part of a planned retirement strategy, Dave Cunningham
put the company up for sale. Plaid was subsequently purchased by The
Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corporation in July, 1989.
The year 1990 saw Plaid become the first craft company to sell
product direct to the consumer on television. First through a series
of infomercials, and then in mid-1991 on QVC, Plaid products
received exposure to more than 90 million U.S. households.
Television sales continue today on QVC London; The Shopping Channel
(Canada); and HSN (U.S.).
In 1996, Plaid acquired the assets of Bucilla Corp., a leading
manufacturer of needlecraft products, further broadening the
company's diverse product offering. Also in that year, Plaid
launched its "One Stroke Painting" technique featuring Donna
Dewberry, which grew to be the most successful learn-to-paint
program in the history of the craft industry.
In 1999, another acquisition brought All Night Media, a manufacturer
of decorative rubber stamps, into the fold.
During 2000 and 2001, Plaid built a 282,000 sq. ft. manufacturing
facility and installed state-of-the-art, small-batch paint
production and filling equipment capable of providing more than
three million gallons of water-based latex paints annually. This
plant also contains a flexographic printing department capable of
printing more than 100,000,000 labels per year.
In August of 2005, Plaid opened a sourcing office, Plaid Far East,
in Shenzhen, China. This office ensured Plaid competitive pricing
and speed-to-market in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
Now one of the largest suppliers to the arts and craft industry,
Plaid delivers a wide range of products including paint, jewelry,
finishes, fashion crafting, stencils, needlecrafts, surfaces, and
These products are sold worldwide (in more 85 countries) through a
network of independent dealers, specialty retailers, chain stores,
fabric stores, catalogs, internet and television outlets.
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