A view of the industry through the
eyes of a chain buyer.
How Do We Turn This
"Crafter" into a Scrapbooker?
An essential goal if the scrapbook market is to
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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 email@example.com.To
read previous "Benny Da Buyer" columns, click on the title
in the right-hand column.