a few random thoughts on scrapbooking as provoked by some simple questions the wonderful Wendy Smedley asked on a post during Celebrate Simple Week.
What would you do?
Where do you see the scrapbook industry going?
What needs are out there?
Before I begin here is a bit of my personal scrapping history.
I started scrapping in 2002 when I was invited to a Creative Memories party by a friend at work. Not until we moved to Kentucky in 2003 did I really step out of Creative Memories.
Another group of friends at work, who says accountants aren't crafty, invited me to a Stampin Up Party. There began my stamp obsession with a little Bunko thrown in for good measure. We moved back to Texas and I met yet more crafty friends at work that introduced me to the Scrapbook Retreat. Good times.
Somewhere in between our final moments in Kentucky & our trek back to Texas I discovered Simple Scrapbooks & subsequently Big Picture Scrapbooking.
In the last year and a half I have been on a creative awakening. I attribute much if not all of that to Stacy Julian teaching the Library of Memories Class & her Photo Freedom book. This truly shifted the paradigm in which I created and opened worlds of possibility. I have been able to give life to dreams of mine & continue to chase bigger dreams.
I think we'd all agree that it seems our industry is going through a downsizing of sorts. We have publications ending and local scrapbook stores ceasing to exist. I know that to compensate I am spending more time & dollars online. I still support the one local store in my area, The Scrapbook Barn but I do much of my shopping online and scour blogs & galleries for inspiration. I've recently joined Studio Calicowhere I'm finding plenty of both.
On several occasions I've tried to carry conversations in my LSS or with my friends outside of online scrapping communitities about my online world of inspiration and there just doesn't seem to be a connection.
I sincerely believe that the friendships developed in both places are extremely valuable not only to ourselves but to the industry. There is so much purchase power that follows word of mouth and in the end the industry needs us purchasing both classes & product to remain vital in both the brick & mortar stores and online.
This is why I think there is a need for a bridge between the two. I want this industry to not only survive but thrive. Many of us have limited discretionary income right now. I would love to see partnerships built where we as consumers can leverage the best of both worlds. Think cross pollination. I don't know but I think there is so much to be gained for everyone when good relationships are built and we all work together.
Speaking of working together I think we also need to bring others along. Had it not been for fellow scrappers bringing me along I wouldn't be here blogging to you today. How many times have you been in a craft store and watched someone who is obviously overwhelmed by all the product? I'm sure many women have gone home telling their others about the strange lady at the craft store who was all too willing to weigh in on adhesive. However, that is a chance I'm willing to take because I do believe that as seasoned scrappers it is our responsibility to bring others along if we want our world to thrive.
This may seem to be coming heavy from the business side but in order for what I love to have a strong growing presence in this world the business side must also thrive. I have absolutely nothing to financially gain in this industry from where I scrap. I'm just a crafty mama who takes in all the inspiration she can get & is chasing a few dreams in between her day job.
I need this industry to thrive because it is my place in this world. These are my people. We are out here telling our stories, cheering one another along and as silly as it sounds making not only our little worlds better by championing & celebrating our families but the bigger world better my making a statement that personal realtionships matter. They matter enough to take time out of a busy crazy world to document the threads that hold us together.
So not only do I think that we need more bridges between our local scrapbook stores & online communities I also believe we need even more ambassadors spreading our message. While a large component of scrapping are the pretty things we get to play with I think the bigger, longer lasting message is one of affirming life. Our lives.
I've gone on longer than I intended but from where I scrap these are the thoughts running around in my head.