Precious Moments, Inc.


Precious Moments Company, Inc. (PMI) is an American catalog order company that sells giftware. The company was initially formed in 1978 by the illustrator Samuel J. Butcher, as a licensing company.

Precious Moments Company, Inc.
TypePrivate
IndustryDistributors-Discretionary
Founded1978
HeadquartersCarthage, Missouri
Websitewww.preciousmoments.com

History


Illustrator Sam Butcher, together with his partner Bill Biel, sold greeting cards at Christian book fairs under the company name of Jonathan & David. They partnered with Enesco, Corp. to sell giftware.[1]

In 1991, the company created a series of seasonal animated specials, starting with the Christmas special, Timmy's Gift,[2] which focuses on an angel named Timmy following a star which will lead him to the newborn prince (later to be revealed as Jesus) he has to send a gift to. In 1993, a sequel was made titled Timmy's Special Delivery.[3] Other seasonal specials would be made throughout the 1990s, including the Easter special Simon the Lamb (1994), the Thanksgiving special Little Sparrow (1995), Who's Who at the Zoo? (1995), and The Story of Joseph, based on the story of the same name seen in the Book of Genesis.

In 2004, PMI and Enesco ended the licensing contract [4] In addition to its original licensing duties, PMI's functions became product design, marketing, warehousing, and distribution.[5]

In 2008, PMI launched its new line of "Precious Girls Club" products, written by Cindy Kenney. The following September, the company was sued by country music singer Shannon Clemmons for copyright infringement and breach of contract.[6][7] In October 2008, the federal judge assigned to the case dismissed 15 of 18 claims against PMI in the suit, and in November 2008, a jury cleared PMI of any wrongdoing with regard to the remaining counts.[8]

The Chapel


The Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri

The Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri, is a theme park run by PMI. The "Chapel" itself is a structure within the park and was completed in 1989.[9]

The chapel features paintings by Sam Butcher, depicting children or childlike figures cast as Biblical prophets, angels, or figures from the parables of Jesus.[10]

In January 2007, PMI announced the discontinuation of many of its attractions, including the "Fountain of Angels", due to "financial difficulties arising from diminished numbers of paid visitors resulting from higher gas prices and the general decline of the brand". Other closures include the "Wedding Island", "The "RV Park", "The Gallery", and "Souper Sam’s". In Spring 2007, "The Gallery" was remodeled, renamed "The Samuel J. Butcher Museum" and reopened.[11] The Chapel, Gift Shop, and Visitors Center continue to be open to the public.

References


  1. Precious Moments, Inc. "Precious Moments History/Timeline". Retrieved Dec 12, 2006.
  2. "Timmy's Gift: A Precious Moments Christmas (1991)". IMDb. 22 December 1991.
  3. "Timmy's Special Delivery: A Precious Moments Christmas (1993)". IMDb. December 1993.
  4. Jargon, Julie (May 30, 2005), Ending deal to sell Precious Moments; Fragile sales of figurines prompt firm to terminate distribution license early, Crain's Chicago Business
  5. CIO Insight (Oct 5, 2005). "Building a Company, and its IT, in 90 days". Retrieved Oct 5, 2005.
  6. United Press International, Inc. (Sep 20, 2008). "Clemmons: 'Precious Moments' stole idea". Retrieved Feb 3, 2009.
  7. Courthouse News Service (August 26, 2008). "Christian Entertainment Promoters Will Fight It Out In Court". Retrieved Feb 3, 2009.
  8. Rhonda Sholar. "Lawsuit against Precious Moments dismissed". Christian Retailing.
  9. Precious Moments, Inc. "Samuel J. Butcher Story". Retrieved 2007-01-18.
  10. Frank Burch Brown, Good Taste, Bad Taste, and Christian Taste: Aesthetics in Religious Life (Oxford University Press, 2003; ISBN 0-19-515872-5), pp. 138-141, accessed Mar. 4, 2009
  11. Precious Moments, inc. "Precious Moments Park Changes". Archived from the original on 2007-02-12. Retrieved 2007-06-29.