The Scrapbooking Industry: My Take

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As you know, I’m fairly “scrapbook obsessed.” (REALLY???? We hadn’t noticed!). Which means that, yes, I scrapbook but also that I think about it 24/7, read all the scrapping books and magazines and blogs, participate on message boards, watch scrapbooking on tv, attend and hold crops, work as a scrapbooking consultant and have my own little s/b business as a compliment to that, etc. etc. (Yes, I could go on!). As a person who is this involved, I have some opinions on what I think is happening in the scrapbook industry so I thought I would share them and see what you think. Note: When I refer to the scrapbooking industry here, I’m talking about paper scrapping not to include digital. First of all, it’s no secret that in late 2006/all of 2007, the industry has slowed down. By that I mean it’s not making as much money for the biggies, i.e. the magazines and the major scrapbooking product companies. Secondly, tons of local scrapbook stores (LSS’s) are closing with only a few new ones opening. Since LSS’s used to be the heart of the industry, I take this as a major hit. I think there are 4 major reasons for this downturn: the economy, the internet, digital scrapbooking, and the industry itself.

Okay, the first and easiest reason is the economy. Not that the economy is horrible, but it has taken a hit in the last few years with gas prices so high, mortgage rates going up while home values stagnate or recede, and jobs being outsourced to other countries where they can pay someone 50 cents an hour to do the same job an American would be paid $12/hour for (major pet peeve of mine, but we won’t go there). But the bottom line of our economic shift is that we all have less disposable income to spend on scrap supplies. Yeah, I know, horrors! Everyone I’ve talked to – ladies like me who have scrapped and shopped for years – has had to tone down their spending. I used to fill my Honda with gas for $25, and now it costs $45. There went the $20 I would’ve spent on supplies last week, and that adds up to $80 less from this one consumer over the course of a month. May seem small but not when you multiply $80 by the millions of scrapbookers who routinely shop. Before we used to think nothing of dropping $80-100 at the LSS every few months, but now it might happen once a year by using those gift cards from Christmas. Because our money is so tight, we’ve become smarter shoppers who rely on…big box craft stores and their lovely coupons. While this is convenient and cost-saving to we consumers, I feel it has really hurt the industry. I’m the most guilty of it than anyone I know, so I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it, just pointing out that it has had a definite effect. When I can get a Colorbok 12×12 album using a 40% off coupon for $12 instead of $20, or use a 50% off coupon to buy a Crop in Style Cube for half-price, I’m going to do it. But when I do, I’m taking the money I would have spent at the LSS and giving it to Michaels which is a huge nationwide chain. As much as I adore Mikes, they are not contributing to my community, donating items to my crop, or supporting my local scrapbook community like an LSS would. When we continually give our (few) scrappin’ dollars to Mikes, Costco, Hobby Lobby, et al., we are making it virtually impossible for the LSS to stay in business. When I asked one local owner why she was closing her store, she said, “Everyone thinks running a store is so profitable because scrapbook supplies are expensive. But it takes A LOT of pieces of 69 cent patterned paper to pay my light bill.” In other words, sure, there is a good mark-up on scrapbook supplies but it’s not like owning an appliance store or a car dealer where each sale can net you hundreds/thousands of dollars. A person has to walk out of the LSS with a bagful of supplies (or a full-priced Cricut or a full-priced QuicKutz) for them to see a significant profit per sale. I don’t know of one LSS owner who is making a killing, even the very savvy, business-smart ones. When I used to have 7 LSS’s within 100 miles, I enjoyed shopping at them so I could have the latest and greatest and enjoy the atmosphere there, even if it cost a bit more (see THIS POST for more on my love of LSS’s). But after I heard that comment from the owner, I made even more of a point to spend my scrap budget at LSS’s. Now I’m down to 1 LSS and I go there at least once per month even though it’s a 45-minute drive. The rest of the time, I do use my coupons and look for deals at big box stores. I suppose as a matter of principal, I could refuse to shop ‘big box’, but #1-I’m not that strong (LOL), and #2-Would it really make a difference if one lone scrap shopper in America made that effort? Nope. It would take a banding together of many of us, and I don’t see that happening. For most of us, the slowing economy has made it so that we put our budget ahead of the things we enjoy about our LSS’s.

The second trend that has negatively effected our industry is the internet. It’s tied in with the big box/economical reasons above but, basically, there are so many advantages to internet shopping that many of us have transitioned to it either partly or fully. There are so many positives to buying scrapbook supplies from the internet: easily view everything that’s available, compare prices to get the best deal, and take advantage of screamin’ deals on Ebay – all in the comfort of your warm, dry house while wearing your jammies! The only negatives: credit card/ID theft issues, waiting for the package to arrive, and sadly, taking our money away from the LSS’s. The major upside is that the internet has allowed any scrapper who would like to open up their own ‘store’, whether it be Ebay, Etsy, or a full-on store website. As a scrapper who recently quit full-time work and was interested in working from home, I can appreciate how that kind of opportunity could be irresistable and even considered it myself. However, this freedom in e-commerce has led to a saturation in the scrapbook market…and the eventual failure of many online stores. Don’t get me wrong, I think you can still make some pocket money in this type of venture but I don’t see many people making a full-time income from it. There are many huge sites that have done very well for a long time (ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOBBIES, EMBELLISH IT, etc.), but they are rare in my opinion. (If I’m wrong on this, please educate me :-). Bottom line is that if we’re all shopping online and forcing vendors to give us the rock bottom price or go out of business, and forcing the closure of LSS’s which offer all the products that keep the big magazines/companies going, then we as online shoppers have negatively impacted the very industry that we so love.

The third big effect I see involves digital scrapbooking. I don’t know any official statistics, but I’ve concluded that a large portion of paper scrappers (maybe 50%?) have transitioned partially or fully to digital scrapbooking. I base this on the number of people who talk about it on MB’s, post their digital pages, demand representation in the ‘paper scrapbooking’ magazines, and the number on digi-websites and blogs. I’ll bet Costco is making a killing on 12×12 page printing! Digital scrapbooking is very popular and it has to have had an effect on the paper scrapbooking industry. It goes something like this: A paper scrapper wants to try digital scrapbooking. She looks around online and downloads one free digi-kit from 50 different sites. She tries the digital thing and realizes she can complete a whole album while sitting in the car with her laptop at 5 of her son’s baseball practices. Not to mention no fuss, no mess, no sticky desktop to clean when she’s done. She thinks, “Why didn’t I try this sooner?” and tells all her friends to try it, which they do, and they all love it. Ms. Digi Scrapper looks at all of her paper scrap supplies and says, “I’d better stop buying supplies because I will never even use what I have, much less new stuff. And besides, why pay money when I can get all those digi-kits for free?” Now the only money she is spending is on printer cartridges and digital page printing (although I hear from lots of digi-scrappers that they don’t even print most of their pages; the pages live in their computers to view onscreen, post on their blog, or e-mail to relatives). Anyhow, even if some of this 50% of scrappers remain hybrid, I’d bet they still don’t spend anywhere near the amount of money on supplies as they used to. As for the creators/sellers of digi-elements, are they getting rich? Have we just transitioned the profit from the paper scrap companies to the digital designers? Personally, I don’t think so. Again, why pay for something when there are so many freebies? I love the ARTICLE Kim Guymon at Scrapbiz.com wrote about this subject and she explains it very well. But, again, the bottom line is this huge transition to digital scrapbooking has changed the face of the scrapbooking industry as we know it. I imagine if you’ve gone totally digital, you aren’t concerned but as a ‘completely paper’ scrapper, I kinda’ wish it wasn’t happening. I’m not blaming anyone – the digital scrapbookers or their industry – I just wish digital had come along after my lifetime or something, LOL. It’s like when I get mad sometimes and DH says, “Why are you mad at me?!?” and I say, “I’m not mad at you, I’m mad at the SITUATION.” (Pout, pout).

“Fourthly” and lastly, I place some blame on the scrapbook industry itself. I think they have bowed to the pressure we put on them for something new, “the latest and greatest”, all the time and they just release too many dang products! Coming from me, this statement probably shocks you, right? I can shop like nobody’s business and drool over all the new products. I discuss them here on my blog and post links to enable your shopping as well. But just because we want the new stuff all the time, doesn’t mean the industry has to provide it. I think the popularity of the scrapbook magazines with their ads for new products, their awesome pages and articles featuring the new stuff, and all the internet advertising of same has pressured the makers of scrapbook products to keep putting out new collections. Well, I’m no expert but I imagine that costs a lot of money – designing, advertising, attending trade shows, sending reps to the stores, and filling orders. When the industry was really thriving, that was all well and good. But now that it has slowed, we’re still expecting tons of the latest and greatest, and they are still delivering. How can that be profitable? Add to that the new companies that continue to appear and it boggles the mind. A few of the longtime, larger companies have recently gone out of business and I predict that more will follow. I’ve also noticed limits on production that frustrate stores and consumers. It has to eventually fall apart, as much as I absolutely hate to say that.

So there are my thoughts on today’s paper scrapbook industry. I think about it a lot as I read the message boards and hear so many complaints lately like this: “CK has gotten so thin”, “My LSS closed :(“, “The freebies at CKU/Expo have gotten so limited,” and “Why is there no Michael’s coupon every week like there used to be?”. I’ve noticed that CK, the premiere scrapbook magazine, has changed to a company with horrible customer service and thousands of loyal subscribers dropping their subscriptions. I see Creative Memories, the premiere (or at least original) scrapbook home party company, firing employees and making decisions that continue to alienate their consultants and, hence, customers. To me, the answer to these questions and the reason for the negative trends all lies in the fact that the scrapbook magazines and the companies who make the products are not thriving like they used to be. As scrappers, that’s just something we have to realize and live with. Hate to be Debbie Downer, but I think it’s only going to get worse… Please don’t shoot the messenger. I’m not happy about it either, fo’ sho’. Now tell me what YOU think – I would love to know if I’m ‘in the dark’ or ‘on target’.

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24 Comments on The Scrapbooking Industry: My Take

  1. Nicole
    October 2, 2007 at 5:02 am (7 years ago)

    That was a mouthful…I read every word!! And I think you are right on target!!!

    I know that I personally buy SB supplies only maybe 3 or 4 times a year and when I do, I buy a lot at once and try to go with kits (ei big paper packs, coordinated kits with albums and papers, etc). I can do that now that I have already purchased all of the basic tools, like trimmers, etc.
    You know the only thing holding me back from trying digital is that I know that I would like it and I don’t want to waste all the sb stuff that I have. Plus DH would freak if I started downloading all kinds of crap onto the computer. He is a computer geek!!

    Interesting article!!

    Reply
  2. Heather Prins
    October 2, 2007 at 11:38 am (7 years ago)

    wow girl, how do you so eloquently put into words that stuff that circles around in my brain. I am in total agreement with you. I too love and purchase new products too often and always look for more, but i agree that its totally too much and too overwhelming. It makes me want to go digital for that very reason, but i like the touch & feel of stuff. With all the fun this industry provides, i forsee a lot of problems. Sustainability for sure, and also the way they seem to alienate the general masses while boosting the careers of the chosen few scrap celebrities. I love the like of Ali & Donna, etc. but is it only about being famous, getting published by using the latest & greatest?

    Reply
  3. americanmom
    October 2, 2007 at 12:27 pm (7 years ago)

    Hi Nicole ~ I was hoping to hear from you :) I agree with you about buying kits etc. Any way we can save money! And your reasons for not going digital are probably pretty common. We’ve invested all this money in our supplies, so it’s scary to go out on that digital limb, isn’t it?

    Reply
  4. americanmom
    October 2, 2007 at 12:34 pm (7 years ago)

    Hi Heather ~ Luv hearing from you too! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with these ideas/opinions spinning around in my head, LOL. I’ve been thinking about it for some time, but was kinda afraid to post about it. I didn’t want to come off like I’m being critical of the industry or just really negative about it. Which isn’t my point at all…just that it’s changing and maybe this is why. I totally agree with your point about ‘scrap celebs’ and I’m seeing a lot of backlash about that too lately. Sounds like another issue to write about!

    Reply
  5. Katherine B
    October 2, 2007 at 1:34 pm (7 years ago)

    Truly one of the best posts I have read. And very, VERY accurate! I even had my husband read it.

    Someone recently posted a thread over on 2P’s asking about where the industry is headed and I replied with a link to your post. I really hope that you don’t mind. What you said was very powerful and EVERYONE needs to read it.

    For your information: Recently Imagination Project left the industry. Li’l Davis Designs also. THREE LSS in my area alone closed within a year of each other. More to come I’m sure.

    Reply
  6. americanmom
    October 2, 2007 at 3:07 pm (7 years ago)

    Hi Katherine ~ Thank you so much for reading the post and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate you posting it on 2peas, too. I just lurk but all the great discussions over there have helped in educating me and informing my opinions about the industry. I had heard about Lil Davis, D’Marie, and the things going on at Chatterbox, but I didn’t know about Imag Project. I feel bad about your LSS’s; I’m sure you will miss them.

    Reply
  7. Slyn11
    October 2, 2007 at 4:45 pm (7 years ago)

    yeah well…If SB goes completely digital I would rather not scrap. I actually made my first page digitially…hated doing it. And I am someone who loves to graphic and web design on the computer. It just didn’t nourish my creative side, as paper does. Plus I hate flat…I need lumpy bumpy touchable stuff. Digital pages look like scans to me…blah.

    Anyway about the industry…here in the NYC metro area, I think we are still waiting for the SB boom. I think I have see more scrapbook interest here of late than I have in the past few years. Here is what it is…men, singles, young people, diverse peoples..are getting into the act here. More than just SAHMs…and this the exciting part.

    Scrapbooking is becoming more inclusive…and this why it will last. If other people besides moms realize that memory preservation is important and paper crafting is fun…then some stores and businesses will continue to strive. They just have to reassess their marketing stragtegies to target untapped markets. They haven’t done that very well up to this point. How many scrapbook stores are in Manhattan?

    Reply
  8. Jen
    October 2, 2007 at 5:35 pm (7 years ago)

    Your insight is exactly the same as mine!

    I would love to hear your opinions on where the sb industry is headed in the future. Will there be more companies going under, fewer or the same number of product releases, few lss’s, more or fewer big box stores carrying sb products and those store carrying a larger or smaller collection, etc, etc

    Reply
  9. Tania
    October 4, 2007 at 7:03 am (7 years ago)

    You sure hit the nail on the head. This is one of the best posts I have read for a long time.Thank you, I love the way you write. It’s so true. I own the only small Scrap Store here in a country town in Australia, and am constantly are thinking about these very things. Although I have a very loyal following here, and am very grateful for it, the oversaturisation of product in the market is so temping, and I can’t possibly stock most of it. I see girls buying things elsewhere, sometimes from from larger stores, sometimes online, and I wonder, how would they feel if I wasn’t here at all… and ALL they had was the large store and the internet. I know they come to me for inspiration and classes. I also can find them something if they need it, therefore the SERVICE. But I worry, that if they weren’t getting the service and inspiration from me… would they continue scrapping? Without crops? without classes? Without that friendly touch?

    Reply
  10. Stacey
    October 4, 2007 at 9:01 am (7 years ago)

    Nice writing girl! Where I live we have no scrapbook stores big or small. I finally openned my own online store and sell from home. I wanted to be able to get the supplies I wanted and soon found out so did a lot of others in my area. My online store business still really serves my locals. Just this past couple of weeks has my online store taken off with orders from people all over the U.S. which is nice but my goal is still to be a supplier here in my local area for quality fun scrapbook items. I had wanted to open a brick and mortat but you are right it is a whole lot of paper to sell to make the rent. I think it is such a bummer. I hope the industry picks up again more for the sake of all the wonderful memories out there that will be preserved. I work a full time day job now and my store is a sideline. It is a sideline that I have deep passion for!

    Reply
  11. Sandra @ The Memory Workshop
    October 4, 2007 at 7:05 pm (7 years ago)

    Somewhere along the way, the industry matured and the manufacturers and retailers started catering to existing scrapbookers. Bad idea. Products got more sophisticated and expensive. Idea books became less about teaching people how to scrapbook, and more about showcasing “name brand” talent and products. Everyday scrapbookers got left in the dust in favor of in-house design teams and “scrapper of the year” finalists.

    New scrapbookers got ignored, or were simply overwhelmed by choices. They didn’t know where to start! Casual scrappers started feeling out of the loop because they’d come back to scrapping after a few months they couldn’t recognize all the names and brands.

    Yes, in some ways, scrapbooking is more inclusive…but at the same time it has become highly specialized. There seems to be a need or desire to label everyone as a certain “type” of scrapbooker. (anyone here a “Life Artist?”) Scrapping outside of your type gets harder all the time as the products, magazines and websites define even smaller niches.

    So now all the mature scrapbookers own everything they could ever need, and whether its because of budget, space, guilt or burnout – they’ve stopped buying. And there aren’t enough newcomers to take their places.

    Successful retailers – whether they be retail storefront, online or home based – are the ones who continually educate their customers and seek out new scrapbookers. New scrapbookers aren’t just more of the same ‘type’ of scrapbooker…its time to redefine *who* scrapbooks, and create services and solutions for those people. Successful businesses will also offer solutions for demystifying scrapbooking for the overwhelmed newbies and creatively challenged and time crunched existing scrappers.

    Scrapbooking had its big surge in popularity, and now its adjusting to its place in the craft world. Its not dying, its not going away. Needle arts are seeing a big surge right now. (notice how “needle arts” is so much more sophisticated than “knitting?”)

    I love this craft and I’ve carved out a little corner of the scrapbook industry. Scrapbooking doesn’t have to be complicated. I don’t just welcome the newbies and everyday scrapbookers…I embrace them!

    Reply
  12. Kim Guymon
    October 5, 2007 at 4:10 pm (7 years ago)

    Sandra is right on the spot. The biggest issue this industry faces is NOT the economy as much as it is that we forgot to keep spreading the “scrap love”. Most store owners think that sending out an email to CURRENT customers is “marketing”. When their businesses start tanking because they lose customers, they think their party is over and close rather than figure out how to bring in MORE customers.

    How many people do you pass on the street each day that have photos? 100% of them, I’d guess. How many of those people you pass do anything with those photos? Less than you would imagine. Scrapping seems too complicated or girly to those people. They fail to see how owls or grunge compliment their photos from the third grade concert. We need to show them how simple preserving their memories can be. And, as they gain more confidence, they will buy more sophisticated products.

    But, we forgot too early that not every woman scraps. Shoot, we’ve even forgotten that 2Peas members don’t define the industry. Most of my scrapping friends think that 2Peas would be a soup – not a scrapping site. Most scrappers are simple and want themed products to go with their photos. Or, they just want to do something with their photos. They just may not know what.

    We’ve got to reach out to those people in order to keep growing the industry.

    BTW – new research shows the industry is STILL growing. It’s just not growing at the speed it was. It’s not all doom and gloom.

    Reply
  13. Aimeslee
    October 6, 2007 at 9:29 am (7 years ago)

    Great food for thought. You know when they say something has run its course? Well, this is how I’d describe the industry as we’ve seen it since (omg, I’m actually gonna use this phrase) the turn of the century (aka 2000 or so). I mean, it’s evolving. Not dead yet, just changing. I do think we are witnessing the democratization or egalitarianizing of it, though. I was very cognizant of this when I began noticing how scrappers who were into the whole DT and getting published thing reacted to print sources kind of shutting them out (like, stand in line), and all of a sudden you saw scrappers left and right on this DT or that DT of websites, blogs, nontraditional sources. This coincided with the rise of the challenge blogs. And then the print mags could do nothing right in the eyes of many. We’re still in this phase. This tells me that the Scrap Diva days as we knew them (Stacy, Ali, Cathy, Heidi) are either coming to an end, over already.or going to get much, much harder to replicate.

    Make any sense? The evolution has been dramatic in the past year. Volatile times. Lots of niche markets reaching their saturation points. Not just one answer. The proportionate ratings share of paper v. digital may completely invert, cuz I don’t really see the younger generation being amused by a nondigital hobby. I think the scrappers who embrace cruises and paper and mags and books will continue, but new scrappers will be young and need some sort of digital interface.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking read!

    Reply
  14. Scrappy Cats
    October 7, 2007 at 1:23 pm (7 years ago)

    Lots of food for thought here. Makes one really think.

    Reply
  15. Joy
    October 7, 2007 at 2:54 pm (7 years ago)

    Very insightful observation! I agree with everything you said – especially about the digital scrapbooking phenomenon. It is a natural evolution, just a computers have evolved, so have computer users. So, what is wrong with digital scrapbooking? The only negative I can fathom is that it may curb some paper scrapper’s spending. That’s it… but I started out as a digi-scrapper and then migrated into paper and I love both. I do some hybrid, but I love the feel of paper and the 3 dimensional aspect of creating memories for my children and bring ancestors alive for my children’s children. However, I can get MUCH more creative when I scrap digitally allowing me to put more of myself into my pages. That is the legacy I want to leave to my family – my own style and creativity. That is where digital scrapbooking really shines. I can create my own papers and elements and make my pages in my own style in every way. My photos that were taken by a real begginer photographer (me) now look as if they were professional – simply because I can manipulate them the same way a pro does – running actions. My biggest investment as a scrapbooker has been to purchase PhotoShop. Even though I had it before I ever started scrapbooking (I am a graphic designer), I never would have started scrapbooking without it. I made my first scrapbook page digitally back in 2000 just playing around with my photos. It has been an addiction since then. Long live the scrapbooking industry – paper and digital!

    Reply
  16. Royanna Fritschmann
    October 7, 2007 at 5:39 pm (7 years ago)

    As a paper scrapper of 27 years turned digital….I agree with most of what you said. I am both a paper and digital designer and owner of a digital scrap company….I see both sides of the coin…and yes I too love the feel of paper in my hand…and so my focus is on Hybrid….I think digital gives you way more options for manipulating and paper gives your senses the feely touchy that it needs! It is sad that the paper industry is slowly subsiding but I truly think there is a real happy medium in the wave of evolution to Hybrid Scrapping! Thank you :)

    Reply
  17. Cheeky
    October 9, 2007 at 12:03 pm (7 years ago)

    Just in the last month 4 LSS’s have closed down. I like the little shops – they give me much more variety than the bigger chains.

    I agree with your thoughts here…..yep I do

    Reply
  18. Patricia
    October 9, 2007 at 4:28 pm (7 years ago)

    This article was very good. You have some great insights. I can tell you as a digi designer (even though I am new at it) most of us are not making a load of money. My hope in entering into the digital scrapbooking designing “career” is to support my habit. I doubt I will make enough money to pay the bills. It would be nice, but it isn’t part of my expectations so I won’t be disappointed when it doesn’t happen. There are so many freebies available that many people never buy kits. I give out freebies on my blog as a way to promote my work. It is the industry standard in the digi scrapping world. I also know that there are a lot of paper scrapper that are downloading digital kits from freebie sites, then printing them out and using them in their paper LO. Yet another area where paper scrapbooking companies are losing money. I don’t have an answer. I hope that digital and paper can continue to co-exist. I like to read all the magazines and even watch the TV shows. I don’t think you could do a show about digital scrapbooking. I

    Reply
  19. Jennifer White/ScrapKitty Design
    October 9, 2007 at 7:32 pm (7 years ago)

    Interestingly, I see the paper/digital conversion going just the EXACT same way the changeover in the photo industry went. My DH was with Kodak for 13 years, and got laid off when they did not adjust to the digi revolution quickly enough.

    The SB industry will adjust in the very same way, and no, it will never be the same. There will ALWAYS be paper, just as there will ALWAYS be film. But your choices will be limited, and it will be more difficult to procure (driving 45 mins to your LSS). BUT – you can’t turn off the technology. AND there are opportunities within the new technology if you embrace it. I got to assist Jessica Sprague at CKU a couple months ago, and it was great to sit with her and see where she’s taking her scrapping. She’s very hybrid, and I think that’s where the larger companies are going to go. It gives you all the lumpy bumpy texture, but the creative flexibility of digi. Eventually, the big companies are going to come in and put us ALL out of business, but for now I think we each need to conduct business as we see fit. You WILL see shows about digital scrapping, actually the wave of video tutorials is foreshadowing that!! And I too miss the collegiality of the LSS I used to work for before it closed, but I have found a similar community online, and find it every bit as satisfying! So you never know, the world will be different, not better or worse, just different!

    Reply
  20. Michelle Powell
    October 10, 2007 at 9:03 am (7 years ago)

    Very well written!

    As a digital scrapbook designer, I have seen the increased popularity in digital scrapbooking over the past year. There’s still a lot of emphasis on hybrid too. In fact, the site I design for, Divine Digital, has both digital items and items for hybrid scrappers as well. To agree with you on the ‘are they getting rich’ question, no, we’re not getting rich, but even with all the freebies out there, a lot of scrappers are using those freebies as a ‘sample’ of the designers work, and if they like the freebie, they’ll come back for the ‘paid-for’ items as well.
    Right now, my designing is paying for my scrapping habit, my high speed internet and the hosting for my other site where I have new designers wanting to learn the trade, get their feet wet, and maybe make a few extra bucks while they’re at it.

    I absolutely LOVE digital scrapbooking, but I still use paper supplies to make greeting cards for family, and to continue with my hybrid book that I started!

    Reply
  21. Fhung
    October 10, 2007 at 2:08 pm (7 years ago)

    Very insightful article! I started out paper-scrapping and still keep all my paper-scrapping supplies even though I have gone digi and have never done any paper-scrapping anymore for the past 2 years. True that I have been paper-scrapping for a very short time before I stumbled into digi, but somehow I’ve managed to collect quite a lot of supplies (well, by my standard anyhow). I just love them, especially the metal embellies.I plan to use them someday to make ‘things’; I love crafts, art and design in their many forms.

    It was through the internet that I got into paper-scrapping in the first place. I purchased 90% of my paper-scrapping supplies online because where I live (Hong Kong) there is no scrapbooking supplies store. The few craft supplies shops carry a bit but not what I wanted so I rely on online shops all the time.

    The biggest attraction to digital scrapbooking for me is that I don’t have to worry about messing and wasting my supplies. I can reuse them over and over and nothing is wasted if anything goes wrong.

    As a digital designer, I love that I can create whatever I want for my pages. And yes, I notice increase in my customer base and sale in the past 2 years of running my own digishop online. Digital scrapbooking is going global – there are more and more customers from European and Asian countries, not just the U.S. and it’s all good.

    I think paper-scrapping will stay. I love hybrid and I love using paper-scrapping tools and supplies to do them :). I think we’re going to see more hybrid scrapbooking. Yes, all is good :).

    Reply
  22. maggie
    October 16, 2007 at 9:40 pm (7 years ago)

    OMG I luv this article you are so eloquent…If it wasn’t for the internet I would not have known about scrapbooking.
    It so happen the first site tha tI found that mention scrapbooking wa s a digital store.
    From that I was hook into scrapping then evolve into creating beautiful kit, selling at stores and eventually opening my own store online..
    I am curently in luv with hybrid and create tutorial on the EDS blog, and also teach at my LSS how to create sentiments and other items on your pc to combine with paper.. There are great mag that cater to the hybrid, Scrapbook dimensions magazine is a great one, step by step tutorials using digital and paper.
    This has been a great transition for me I do believe there are rooms for everyone in this industry, customer service is the key..
    Thank you,
    Maggie

    Reply
  23. Tracy Beck
    October 21, 2007 at 8:19 pm (6 years ago)

    Ok, so am I crazy to want to buy the LSS in my town before it goes out of business? I can pinpoint a lot of areas that can be improved and Recollections going out of business is certainly going to mean that a lot of local scrappers will need a new home. I was thinking of going into photo processing and lots of crops and classes in the evenings so that SAMS and working women can attend.

    So am I crazy?

    Reply
  24. Monica
    February 5, 2010 at 10:14 am (4 years ago)

    I think the article was very well written and to the point. I have also read through all of the comments. I think it’s sad to see the LSS close when they do but honestly some of them should have never opened in the first place. I am not a scrapper that NEEDS the latest and greatest, but I do like selection, quality and customer service. That is the one thing that I see lacking in this industry and many others. I also see that new scrappers are intimidated by “scrapper of the year” etc. What makes that person better than me or you? Every idea is just an adaptation of something else that was “borrowed” “cased” or “stolen”. I think that in order for this industry to turn around, there needs to be some reality put back in it.

    Reply

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