Craft World requests bankruptcy protection

May 13, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

Craft World International, a distributor of craft and needlework supplies with warehouses in New Windsor and Ellsworth, Kan., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday.

The action, filed in federal court in Baltimore, will offer the company protection from its creditors as it seeks to reorganize.

In a release issued this week, Pat Hevrdejs, the company president, said, "Filing under Chapter 11 will provide adequate assurance to suppliers to enable the company to obtain necessary supplies and inventory to fill customer orders."

The distributorship also will be offered to potential buyers.

"In the long term, the best interests of the company would be to sell it to a manufacturing firm or a retail chain or to consolidate with another distributor and augment already-existing volumes," Ms. Hevrdejs said in an interview yesterday.

The company permanently laid off 26 employees May 6 -- 23 in the New Windsor warehouse and three of its six national sales representatives, said Ms. Hevrdejs, who has served as president for about 18 months.

About 70 workers remain at its two locations. Temporary workers are hired according to sales volume.

"It is hard to answer questions about future lay-offs," said Ms. Hevrdejs. "We have to answer to the market place."

Ms. Hevrdejs traces Craft World's problems to the late 1980s, when consolidation in the craft industry began.

"Historically, the backbone of the business was the small, independent craft and hobby stores," she said. "Now, chain stores bypass distributors and buy directly from manufacturers."

The company, founded in 1969 in Timonium, moved to Carroll County several years ago.

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