Why buy the album when you can buy the company?


Ahni and Zoe are in trouble. They need to find a buyer or they will have to close.

Therefore, here’s some unsolicited advice for potential buyers:

  1. Dump Ahni and Zoe. They don’t resonate with anyone. Everyone knows Creative Memories.
  2. Dump direct sales. It’s too expensive. Switch to online only. Price products competitively.
  3. Dump low quality products. Customers value products that last.
  4. Dump current management. They have had their chance.

Is there anything left worth buying? I don’t know, but at least we know what doesn’t work.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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25 Responses to Why buy the album when you can buy the company?

  1. Lois DuBose says:

    No one knew Creative Memories either, 20 something years ago!

  2. Nicole says:

    If someone would buy the Creative Memories brand, bring back bookcloth albums, jeeped pages and ISO standards, there’s a market for that. A direct-to-consumer website would allow them to cut out all the commission levels in the middle and sell the albums for a reasonable price. I wish that’s what they would have done a year ago. If only I had the money, I’d do it!

    • Midge Gravelese says:

      Yes, Nicole!!

    • Carol says:

      Sounds like a workable plan. But these company people never did listen to the field.

      • Paula Arends says:

        Years ago they listened to the consultants all the time. Consultants served on advisory committees. Then they started hiring upper management from other direct sales companies that knew nothing about scrapbooking. The consultant committees ceased to be. My personal opinion is that one of the reasons the downward spiral began.

    • Charlene says:

      I completely agree. I’ve noticed that whenever a company sees a downturn in sales, they diversify and make things work. However, when they return to their core line, things get back on track.

    • Elaine says:

      +1 this

  3. Midge Gravelese says:

    đŸ™‚ #4 Management had their chance TWICE! byebye!

  4. laurie says:

    I agree DITCH Ahni and Zoe. People are so confused with this company name. They tried to be trendy and it doesn’t work.

  5. kimberly Downes says:

    whats the expression… Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice shame on me. It is so sad that women cannot separate their emotions from business common sense

  6. Karen says:

    Hello Heritage Makers

  7. Joyce says:

    There IS a market for the new products, but so many of the former consultants can’t accept change when it is not what THEY want to use. So sad that there are so many people that only want to say negative things instead of taking positive action.

    • Teresa says:

      Why SHOULD consultants accept what they don’t want to use???? Rejecting products that don’t meet your needs, whether it be for quality or design, IS taking positive action. Blaming those who refused to buy the A&Z stuff for the failure of the company is ridiculous. It is the fault of those who offered unwanted products in an unacceptable manner.

    • Lois DuBose says:


    • Nicole says:

      The trouble is, it isn’t just former consultants who don’t want to change to a new product. It’s lots and lots of former customers, which is why A&Z is now in receivership. Lots of customers out there, looking for the products they loved for over two decades.

    • Nancy says:

      Customers (who were LOYAL for years and years) and consultants (who were LOYAL for years and years) are not to blame. WE did not change the product line. We were content and thrilled with CM as it was (bookcloth, blanks pages, tools, etc). Management changed…NOT customers or consultants. Management changed the offerings, so the customers took their hard earned money to spend on the products that other companies offer to fit their needs. End of story.

    • nancy Lewis says:

      Joyce, that is abolutely absurd. Where do you get your information? If what you’re saying is true (and it isn’t) please explain why then was CM in bankruptcy twice BEFORE A&Z ever came on the scene. It has nothing to do with us, we have all stood by them, followed all their advice on promoting the new products and it just isn’t selling. What are you doing to grow the company?

    • Ann Morelli says:

      In order to be successful there has to be a market for your product. There is no market – or not enough of one – to sustain A&Z. No name recognition, no following (google Project Life). Marketing doesn’t make sense. And once again management did not listen to the salespeople. Oh the lemmings are all rah rah…but they keep falling off the cliff so they really can’t sustain the sub par offerings.

    • Paula Arends says:

      I do agree there is a market out there for the Ahni & Zoe product. It just doesn’t happen to be my customer base and and at this point in my life I don’t have time or desire to build a new customer base. My problem, not Ahni & Zoe.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Where are you finding your information about A&Z’s financial issues, Mark? How do you know they’re struggling financially and need to find a buyer? I hear they’re struggling; I hear they have issues with product; and yet I can’t find any evidence…which makes this all seem like hearsay and nothing else.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a consultant of A&Z so I’m not trying to defend them. I’m just a truth-seeker who can’t seem to find any proof about “rumors” and “gossip” that seems to spread from other direct sales consultants and former CM employees and consultants, and when I can’t find proof, it comes off as falsehoods rather than truth that I’m hearing.

    • Mark Mizen says:

      All information related to the bankruptcy is publicly available. In addition, people involved with Ahni and Zoe and other direct sales companies post extensive information on Facebook and other sites.

    • Nancy Lou says:

      On recent training calls and emails they (AZ) have spoken about looking for a buyer. Also, financials, like Mark said, are public record due to filing bankruptcy.

  9. Rhonda Anderson co-founder of Creative Memories has brought back bookcloth, updated the strap hinge page and joined with Heritage Makers to create Our Memories for Life.

  10. Elaine says:

    May I add one suggestion?

    5. Still use word-of-mouth advertising and maybe implement a rewards/referral program (kinda like what Bing has). A lot of the sales I experienced as a CM consultant were from parties/classes and word-of-mouth from my friends who attended the last party/class.

    Now I am not a business person (no MBA here) so please forgive me if I don’t understand how the business world works, but this is how I imagine the referral/reward program could work: For every referral to purchase online, the person referring can earn money towards his/her own purchases of the product (or cash if that’s all they’re in it for). If the person conducts a “class/party” showing products and how nice they are and how they work and that person get orders/referrals from that party, the reward could be even more money towards product. B/c in all honesty, I did CM back in the day to earn money for my own product LOL

  11. Pingback: Shutterfly Up For Sale | All About Images Blog

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