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Challenges, problems, and triumphs -- from a manufacturer's perspective.

Printer Version

"How Michigan Scrapbooker Magazine Was Launched

Substantial growth in 3+ years.

by Carrie MacGillis, (December 5, 2011)

I was working as an Editorial Assistant for Michigan Gardener magazine in 2005 and I started to notice that many of the departments in Michigan Gardener could apply to scrapbooking, too: calendar of events, Q&A, educational articles, contests, lists of local stores, and more. I mentioned this to the owners but we didn't do anything about it at the time.

Eventually I found another job and left the Editorial Assistant position. After a couple years I was laid off and I emailed everyone I knew about job opportunities. The publisher of Michigan Gardener replied and asked me if I was serious about the idea of a scrapbooking magazine. I said yes and we started talking and created a partnership. 

 It was shocking how much work was involved in starting the magazine, but I was lucky to have partners who had more than 12 years of experience.

Sometimes we would discuss something for 15 minutes and they would say that took us six years to figure out with our magazine. So I learned quickly that their experience was invaluable and was going to be essential to the success of Michigan Scrapbooker.

We had many meetings and did tons of research. We created spreadsheets and made many phone calls. We had phone conferences while I was folding laundry and kids were underfoot! Finally after about six months of conversations, lots of work, sleepless nights, and tons of stress, we launched the premier issue of Michigan Scrapbooker.

The first issue was published in May, 2008 and was distributed at the Great Lakes Mega Meet in Novi, MI. We purposely timed the first issue to launch at this expo so we could reach thousands of readers at the very beginning. Our first issue was 16 pages and a circulation of 10,000, now we have grown to 24 pages and a circulation of 16,000. We are working hard to continue growing. 

The biggest challenge for us has been the many scrapbook stores that have closed since the beginning of Michigan Scrapbooker. Since our goal is to help the local, independent scrapbook, stamp, and paper craft stores succeed, we are impacted greatly when one closes. The local stores are our main distributors and advertisers.

Now we are reaching out further to the manufacturers. We are seeing a huge benefit for the manufacturers that are involved with Michigan Scrapbooker. The companies who advertise their products in the magazine, and list the stores who carry them, can reach customers who can go directly to the local stores to find the products. NO OTHER scrapbook magazine can do this! We are very excited about the future of Michigan Scrapbooker and we are confident that we are on the path to an amazing success story.

(Editor's note: Carrie can be reached at editor@michiganscrapbooker.com or by calling 248-760-6782.

How did your business start? Send CLN the story: email mike@clnonline.com.

xxx

 

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