Winter 2020 Catalyst
Crayola believes in unleashing the creativity and self-expression that lives in the hearts of kids young and old around the world. The company’s mission to help parents and educators raise creatively-alive children is carried out in Pennsylvania by more than half of its 2,000 employees worldwide.
Known for its iconic Crayola crayons introduced in 1903, the Crayola brand has grown today into a portfolio of hundreds of innovative art tools, crafting activities and creative toys that give kids the power to express all that inspires them as they explore, discover, play, pretend and dream.
Today, the Crayola brand name is recognized by 99 percent of U.S. consumer households, and is a long-standing favorite of kids, parents, teachers and retailers. According to Young Love, a study of U.S. parents’ and children’s most-loved brands, Crayola is one of the highest-ranking brand among parents and the 14th-most-adored brand of boys and girls 6 to 12 years old.
Some of the colorful products Crayola is best known for include crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint, watercolors, Model Magic, Silly Putty, Color Wonder, and most recently, Take Note pens, markers and highlighters. In addition, products for 2019 holiday gift giving included the Crayola Sprinkle Art Shaker, Glitter Dots and Color Chemistry set.
Creativity and innovation have been a trademark of the company. Over the years, Crayola has introduced innovations such as washability, erasability and mess-free capability. Crayola washable crayons, markers and paint are specially formulated to easily wash from skin and most children’s clothing.
Color Wonder products are clear, with color appearing only on Color Wonder paper, not on clothes, walls, skin or furniture. The company also recognizes that not everyone colors on paper or similar surfaces and has been very actively developing and marketing digital and online creative products.
Crayola products are sold in more than 80 countries and packaged in 12 languages: English, French, Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Japanese, Swedish and Norwegian.
Crayola is proud to be among the outstanding manufacturers who call Lehigh Valley, PA, home. In 1900, founders Edwin Binney & C. Harold Smith began manufacturing in the Lehigh Valley because of the area’s natural resources. They operated an old gristmill on the Bushkill Creek in Easton, grinding slate found in nearby quarries to make one of its first products — slate pencils for schoolchildren.
In 1902, the company made the first dustless chalk, in which the chalk particles fell to the ground and did not create a dust cloud in a student’s face. After finding a need for colorful, durable and affordable crayons in schools, the first Crayola crayons rolled off the assembly line in 1903. The first box of crayon colors sold for a nickel. Today, the company makes the majority of its Crayola products in the Lehigh Valley.
With its corporate headquarters and three manufacturing facilities in the Lehigh Valley where crayons, markers, paints, modeling compounds and Silly Putty are made, Pennsylvania has been the home of Crayola LLC — a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. The company also operates sales offices in the United States, Canada, Australia and Mexico; and has distributorships in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
In 1976, the company built its company headquarters and an 11-acre manufacturing facility in Forks Township, PA, just a few miles away from its original facility. Crayola also operates a manufacturing facility in Bethlehem, where paints, modeling compounds and activity kits are made. Every day in the Lehigh Valley 1,200 Crayolians — that’s what they call themselves — make 13 million crayons, 3 million markers, 500,000 jars of paint, 170,000 pounds of modeling compound and 22,000 Silly Putty eggs!
Crayola also believes it is important to ensure today’s children have a healthy environment for all of their creative tomorrows. For that reason, they incorporate social and environmental priorities and practices into its Crayola products and relationships with consumers, customers, suppliers and employees. They encourage all to play a role in protecting and greening the environment.
The company’s 20-acre on-site solar farm completed in 2010 generates enough electricity to make 1 billion Crayola crayons and 500 million Crayola markers a year. They also strive to be landfill-free and are also looking forward to using 100 percent renewable energy in the making of their products.
The Crayola Factory, a hands-on creative discovery center, opened in 1996 to help revitalize downtown Easton. Families came from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York to experience Crayola creativity in action. With more visitors, came more restaurants and stores; and today, downtown Easton thrives.
The Crayola Factory was re-invented and renamed Crayola Experience in 2013. Millions of kids and families have been visiting Crayola Experience in Easton for more than 20 years and making colorful memories. Because of the success of Crayola Experience in Easton, Crayola has opened four other Experience locations in Orlando, FL; the Mall of America in Minnesota; Plano, Texas; and Chandler, Arizona.
Crayola believes the Lehigh Valley is full of creative, resourceful and hardworking individuals. More than 200 of its employees have been at Crayola for 20 years or more and generations of families have been working there throughout the company’s history.
The company’s location — close to New York and Philadelphia — while still having a small-town feel — helps attract talented workers from outside the region. In addition, partnerships with outstanding local colleges and universities provide a highly qualified pool of interns and employees.
Crayolians are proud to work for the company because they know what they do matters — they know they bring creativity into people’s lives. Parents and teachers know that when kids are able to create and explore through art, it helps with a child’s development. And Crayola believes that those creative kids will one day grow up to be creative adults who will lead the world.
Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.