Home
Business-Wise
Kate's Collage
"Vinny Da Vendor"
"Benny Da Buyer"
Kizer & Bender
Memory, Paper & Stamps
Category Reports
Designing Perspectives
Scene & Heard


Creative Leisure News
306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com


 


A view of the industry through the eyes of a chain buyer.

Printer Version

How Do We Turn This "Crafter" into a Scrapbooker?

An essential goal if the scrapbook market is to grow.

by Anonymous (October 4, 2004)

The following is an email from a well known, long-time veteran in the craft industry. She has not been involved in the scrapbook business and is speaking here as a consumer. She is very talented and very creative but she isn't a scrapbooker yet.

As a retailer and a scrapbook enthusiast, you will probably groan as you read her email, thinking the author is "wrong" and is missing a wonderful opportunity for fun, fulfillment, and the opportunity to provide her descendants with a family history that is chronological, coherent, and compelling.

It doesn't matter if you think she's "wrong." This is how she thinks. If the scrapbook market is going to grow, we need to entice our talented, "crafty" friend into scrapbooking. Your store needs to continually attract new customers to replace those will eventually die, move out of the area, suffer financial setbacks, etc.

How do we attract new customers? What advice do you have for the scrapbook retailers in the author's area to transform her? What are you doing to attract consumers like her into your store? Email your suggestions to mike@clnonline.com and we'll share them in our next issue.)

Here's her email:

I've been reading all of the columns on scrapbooking over the last few issues. I'd like to comment, not as someone in the creative industries, but anonymously as a mother and grandmother. There is no fluff in my thoughts and no desire to find an answer for any of the businesses involved. I just thought you might like hearing some candid remarks from a photograph nut who has hoarded a trove of pictures covering four generations.

I only know of one person in my personal life who is into scrapbooking. I am including in this group all of the people I have contact with in my family, in my church, in my volunteerism, in my hobbies, and in my personal life. (Note I have not included anyone I know in our industry.) My one scrapbook acquaintance is a 41-year-old niece who has three children, is a stay-at-home mom, and has always had an interest in crafting.

As for me, frankly I have never been impressed with the idea of "acid free" or "archival". You see, I have family photos more than 100 years old that have survived in an assorted collection of old shoe boxes overflowing the shelves of a hall closet. There they sit, along with hundreds of more current candid shots taken over the last 50-plus years. There is no order to any of them as complete chaos abounds within each box. I like it that way. My one concession to a semblance of order is the specially marked boxes for each of my grandchildren, for they ARE truly extra special.

Now and then I pull out a box in search of a specific photo and it is this very search that brings with it the joy of surprise. I love running across long forgotten pictures of my parents at the New York World's Fair, my adult children when they were eight and ten years old at Disney World, or my wonderful old dog, Dynamite, who died when I was 12.

It's a neat feeling as I am filled with thoughts of times and people from the past. Finding the photo I originally was seeking becomes no longer important. I have the time to indulge and when I need to move on, all it takes is to put the lid on the box. I have not invested any money or time developing a story, finding the just right album and embellishments, or building pages to tell it.

Scrapbooking is for the younger generation. They're just beginning their picture collecting. Having the time to stay on top of them is a challenge since photos will always arrive faster than albums can be completed. Still, those who get the bug and are able to develop their albums while enjoying the company of others of a like mind (in my opinion this aspect is absolutely necessary) will probably stay with it for a long time to come. It's just not for me, a life-long crafter.

Note: email your thoughts on how you would change the author's mind to mike@clnonline.com.To read previous "Benny Da Buyer" columns, click on the title in the right-hand column.

xxx 

 

horizontal rule

horizontal rule



   
   

Benny's Recent Columns...
BERNINA NAMES TOP DEALERS FOR 2012; They demonstrated exemplary sales, service, and customer education.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE; Do it for the grieving families.

AN INTERVIEW WITH SPC'S ALEX NIELSEN; Explaining the new affiliate program for independent retailers.

A LETTER FROM HOBBY LOBBY STORES CEO

HIGHLIGHTS OF MICHAELS' SEC FILING; The finances and the plans.

THREE WAYS RETAILERS CAN AVOID THE BLACK FRIDAY BLUES; How to maximize what should be your biggest sales day.

BE A MEDIA DARLING: 5 TIPS TO A SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW; How to talk to reporters to maximize the positive effects of media attention.

TOP NEW PRODUCTS AT CHA'S SUMMER SHOW; Mostly scrapbook/paper craft products, but not all.

WAL-MART AND OUR INDUSTRY; A brief, casual history of the relationship.

THE STATE OF RETAILING & THE LOCAL BEAD STORE; The fast pace of changes is creating challenges for all.

COMMENTS ON THE FUTURE OF INDEPENDENT BEAD SHOPS; Are chain stores the problem, or is it something else?

MICHAEL'S FOURTH QUARTER, FISCAL YEAR REPORT; Highlights of a positive report.

WHY MICHAELS DIDN'T MAKE A BOTTOM-LINE PROFIT; Evidence that the banking system is coming back.

MEMORIES OF AN OLD FRIEND; Lots of years, lots of fun with Mike Dupey.

MICHAELS AND A.C. MOORE: Fourth Quarter, Fiscal Year Results; Profits, losses and sales.

HANCOCK AND JO-ANN: FOURTH QUARTER, FISCAL YEAR RESULTS; Profits are up!

WHAT'S THE BEST PRICING STRATEGY? A new study reveals retailers can increase profits by changing pricing strategies.

THE RETAIL SIDE OF THE STATE OF SCRAPBOOKING; Comments from Scrapbook Updates' readers.

RETAILERS WRITE...About lower prices than Michaels, the cost of services, tourism, and more.

HAS THE ECONOMY STARTED TO RECOVER? HAVE OUR CUSTOMERS? Two economic-savvy industry retailers have some answers.

IS BIGGER BETTER? Bad customer service can drive a customer to drink.

A NEW TYPE OF CRAFT STORE; Catering to the indie crafter.

CHA EVENTS FOR RETAILERS; How to get more out of a trade show besides ordering products.

HOW TO CAPITALIZE ON "STASH CRAFTING"; Enthusiasts have plenty of supplies? Here are ways to boost sales anyway.

A NOVEL WAY TO CHANGE OWNERSHIP; An essay contest for consumers.

SPARK CRAFTS NEEDS A SPARK; A great concept, but...

FOIL THOSE "FIVE FINGERED- DISCOUNTS"! How to guard against shoplifting.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF INDUSTRY CONSUMER SHOWS; Retailers benefit if they participate.

RETAILERS SPEAK OUT! On chain stores' coupons, individual paper vs. pads, offering a slide-scanning service, investing in technology, and how the younger generation thinks.

SCANNING FOR MORE BUSINESS! A simple, profitable service to offer customers.

IT'S TIME TO RE-AWAKEN THE INDUSTRY'S THINKING; Time to embrace new ideas and expand horizons.

HEY CRAFT INDUSTRY...WHERE ARE YOU? Where's the teaching, the inspiration?

WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE SHRINKING ECONOMY? Think outside the box.

UPDATE: HOW CONSUMERS WILL SPEND THEIR REBATES CHECKS; Food and gas inflation is taking its toll.

HOW PRODUCTS SELL...and why you need reexamine your buying habits.

WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER; We may sell different products, but our challenges and strategies are the same.

THE KEYS TO SUCCESS - AND FAILURE; Dreams get you started, but management skills make you profitable.

AN OPEN LETTER TO RETAILERS; Store traffic declines as gas prices rise? Some answers.

INDEPENDENTS RESPOND TO PROVO; To say they're not happy is an understatement.

ADVICE TO RETAILERS; How to keep a genuine enthusiast - and big spender - happy.

HOW ONE INDEPENDENT IS CATERING TO THE "NEW" CONSUMER; She needs motivation and inspiration, not a smiling bunny.

CLN NEWSBRIEFS; May 8 - June 2, 2006.

THE NEW WAL-MART SUPERSTORE; The craft/sewing department remains about the same, with some major exceptions.

REAL ESTATE WOES; How a landlord drove an independent our of business.

WHAT THE INDUSTRY NEEDS; Creativity, common-sense pricing, and much more.

HOW TO DRIVE A RETAILER CRAZY ... And lose a good customer forever.

THE CRAFT INDUSTRY: SLIPPING & SLIDING; The cause? Competitors instead of creativity.

SPARK CRAFT STUDIOS: THE INTERVIEW; This unique store offers food for thought for every retailer, large or small.

MICHAELS VENDOR PARTNER AWARDS; Winners produced better sales, higher margins.

A SCRAPBOOK VENDOR QUITS - WHAT WENT WRONG? Too much product - and loyalty - or too little?

GOOD AND BAD TIMES IN KANSAS CITY; A lesson in civility.

WAL-MART IN THE NEWS - Charity work, legal hassles, an irate ad, and money.

HOT TRENDS AND TRADE SHOWS; Trends change, but the keys to success do not.

MY LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH MICHAELS, PT. II; There's a lot to like, too.

HOW DO WE TURN THIS "CRAFTER" INTO A SCRAPBOOKER?; An essential goal if the scrapbook market is to grow.

RETAILERS RESPOND TO SCRAPBOOK DILEMMA; How to be a merchant, not a missionary.

BUYER'S HORROR STORIES; Vendors: here's what NOT to do at trade shows.

A BUYER'S VIEW OF "CRAFTS"'; A magazine changes, and buyers disagree.

WHY I DON'T STOP AT YOUR BOOTH; Advice on selling chains.

HEY VINNY: DON'T YELL AT ME; I don't make the rules.