So early last week I got a call from Mohawk that there was some news coming out later in the week. I knew it was big since the prospect of my signing a non-disclosure agreement was mentioned. I wasn’t quite sure what it would be, but never in a million years did I think it was that Mohawk bought Crane!This is great news for both industries on so many levels. Both Crane and Mohawk are two distinguished American brands with not only so much rich paper and stationery history between them, but a great deal of pride and craftsmanship going into what they do.
Chris Harrold, Mohawk’s VP Creative Director, told me informally last week that really the two are New England neighbors, with Crane in North Adams, Massachusetts, just on the other side of the mountains from Mohawk’s Cohoes, New York, location and only 40 miles away. The big difference, he continued, is that Mohawk doesn’t have the name recognition of Crane to consumers.This acquisition includes all three Crane brands: Crane & Co., William Arthur and Vera Wang, and the combined companies will expand Mohawk’s product offering to include Crane’s extensive, iconic line of boxed stationery, wedding invitations, holiday cards and other personalized products, as well as Crane Crest, Crane Bond and Crane Lettra.
So while Mohawk will now add the Crane papers to its paper portfolio — specifically the toothy cotton Lettra, long a favorite choice for letterpressers — what is remarkable is how much will not change. Mohawk and Crane will maintain their respective existing brand names and continue to offer their unique portfolios and offerings, while at the same time expanding products, offerings and channels. All Crane employees with the exception of the three owners will join the Mohawk team.The biggest question I have at this point is, how will this effect Crane’s presence at National Stationery Show? Crane has not exhibited in several years — though they hold a lovely breakfast event — but Mohawk does. Could this mean Crane’s iconic windows are returning to the show floor? I sure hope so! I haven’t gotten any answers yet, but if I do, you can be sure I’ll be sharing it here!