The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

May 14, 2013

Occasions Group companies to become Carlson Craft

NORTH MANKATO — It started as Carlson Craft in 1948. Now the various Taylor Corp. wedding and social stationery companies will again operate under the Carlson Craft name.

The Occasions Group, formed in 2004, led the North Mankato-based company's wedding and stationery companies. But after analyzing market research among its dealers and customers, Taylor Corp. announced Tuesday the company "decided to focus our offerings across all wholesale marketing channels by going to market under one brand — Carlson Craft, the nation's most recognized brand — and invest millions of dollars to offer dealers and customers more choices and value."

The plan includes additional technology for online tools and mobile apps, as well as new designs and albums, according to a news release.

"We have a rich history in this marketplace," Mike Provenzano, president of The Occasions Group said in a statement. "Our parent company, Taylor Corporation, evolved from the acquisition of Carlson Wedding Service in Mankato, Minn. in 1975 by Glen Taylor, who is chairman and CEO of Taylor today. This became the foundation for what would grow to become a family of companies."

Other Occasions Group companies include McPhersons in Sunman, Ind.; Artco (Stylart) in Rexburg Idaho; International Artcrafts in Stratford, Ontario; and Tatex in Waco, Texas.

The Occasions Group introduced its Renewal Plan, along with a five-year program of significant financial investment, for its dealers. "The Renewal Plan is aimed at giving our dealers a much larger set of choices for products, design, marketing, selling and ordering," said Provenzano. "We'll focus our offerings by emphasizing the Carlson Craft brand across all wholesale marketing channels ... Internet to albums to bridal shows. Our dealers can be confident they will be served from traditional locations by long-standing customer service personnel. Orders will be fulfilled from the closest location for the dealer and the customer."

Taylor Corp. is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States with more than 80 subsidiaries and 9,000 employees.

Carlson Craft is the nation's leading wholesale printing company specializing in personalized social stationery, including wedding invitations, baby announcements, party invitations, graduation announcements and holiday cards.

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