Venture coming to town

Published 8:17 pm Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hampton Art, a subsidiary of National Spinning Co. Inc., has bought KI Memories, a leader in the scrapbooking and paper-crafting market.

KI Memories sales, customer-service and other operations will move immediately from Dallas to Hampton Art headquarters in Washington, company officials announced.

While the move will not immediately bring any new jobs to the area, the purchase of KI Memories is one step in Hampton Art’s long-range plan to expand and, eventually, add employees in Beaufort County.

“It’s growth,” said James W. “Jim” Chesnutt, chief executive officer of National Spinning, in announcing the purchase. “We hope to be able to continue to expand and, incrementally, we will add people.”

KI Memories was founded by Ira and Kimberly Sabel in 2001. It is known for its colorful, contemporary design and award-winning, creative product concepts. Kimberly Sabel, the company’s chief creative officer, will work with Hampton Art to continue to develop and design new KI Memories products for scrapbooking as well as other craft categories, it was announced.

“This acquisition will allow KI Memories to flourish in new ways,” Kimberly Sabel said in a press release announcing the sale. “I’m thrilled to be partnering with Hampton Art and its team to develop new and exciting products for crafters everywhere. I am also excited to do so exclusively for the KI Memories brand, as one of its original founders.”

Prior to its sale, some business website estimates showed that KI Memories, a private company, had an annual revenue of less than $500,000.

“We are very excited about adding the KI Memories brand and its outstanding products to the existing Hampton Art portfolio,” said Ed Bolen, vice president and general manager of Hampton Art. “These added designs and products will further enhance our presence in scrapbooking with the widely accepted, high quality lines for which KI is known. We also look forward to developing more innovative product lines with Kimberly on board.”

Hampton Art Inc. is a wholly owned craft subsidiary of National Spinning Co. Inc.

With sales to Michaels, Wal-Mart and Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, among other stores, Hampton Art is a leading global marketer and distributor of paper crafting products under several well-known brands including Hampton Art, Studio G and Ditto.