Sep 5, 2005

The Scrapbooking Rainbow has more colors in it than just BLUE...

Since the attorneys for this particular company I am about to Blog about seem to have itchy trigger fingers, I shall not mention this company by name. However, recently, I have found that they have been very creative in their interpretation of the law. They seem to have long memories when it comes to what someone has done to them so I'll just leave you to figure out who I am talking about...

Recently, a new scrapbook business owner had fliers made up for her son to pass out in their neighborhood. Shortly after distributing these fliers announcing her new scrapbook consulting business, there was a knock at her door. There stood a consultant for this un-named company. She demanded that this person collect all the fliers because, "I have been working this neighborhood for a year and a half and it's MY territory!" HUH? I didn't realize that once a consultant from this un-named company moved in that all others were fobidden by some make-believe law from opening a business, too. Sounds like somebody feels a little threatened that her customer will discover the evils of eyelets...

A couple of weeks ago, I went cropping at a friend's house. My friend has a lot of tools from this un-named company because her neighbor is a consultant. So, pretty soon, the consultant neighbor shows up. She is going to crop and mark her photos. At one point, tthis woman needed a pen to mark the backs of her photos. Another scrapper offered her a Zig writer. The woman said, "OH, it's not a XX (fill in the name of the un-named company) pen, I can't use this. I need something that will last" and handed the pen back. The other scrapper (who had a boat-load of Dollar Tree scrapbook stuff) was sort of taken aback by the rudeness of the comment. It was thrown out in a very arrogant manner. I had to bite my tongue and turn my head so she didn't see my eyes rolling.

My friend asked me to help her with a layout. So, I offer her some suggestions. The consultant from the un-named company practically steam-rolls me and grabs the photos and starts giving her "professional opinion" about how they should be laid out. Again, I sat back down and bit my tongue... The layout was "vintage un-named company". Then my friend hauls out her patterned paper. Every time she holds up a piece with the photo she wants to scrap, the consultant says, "Too busy" or "wrong color" or "you really don't need the paper". She was trying her darndest to keep my friend from using "contraband". The paper was from a Provo Craft Stack and was therefore CERTAIN to dissolve the photos and the album in a matter of days.

Sometimes it's good to hold your tongue, though. This consultant from the un-named company started blabbing about the convention for this un-named company that she had just gone to. She said that their lab had discovered that ALL paper eventually turns acidic through absorption of chemicals in the air, touching, etc. I thought, "DUH - your hands have acid on them, lady. The paper has acid on it the minute you touch it." So, if what she said is true, then perhaps their position about their paper being superior is a load of hooey (that's a technical term, of course - LOL!). So, if ALL paper eventually turns acidic, then what does it matter? She said something about dumping vinegar on the paper. Well OF COURSE vinegar on paper makes the paper acidic. Unless I am going to scrap while I'm eating sauerkraut, then I'm probably pretty safe from having vinegar splashed on my paper.

There are plenty of "tales from the crypt" about this un-named company. Apparently, they think they own the words in their name in ANY form, tense, or configuration. They have annoyed more than one business owner with a letter demanding they stop using business names like "Create Your Memories" or some other such name. I hardly think anyone is going to be confused by EVERY name with ANY configuration of the words in their name. The law says the name must cause confusion. I hardly think every name they have ever sent a letter on would have caused confusion.

Then there is the backbiting of their consultants. One woman reportedly carved the company logo into a jack-o-lantern several years ago. Another consultant saw it when she was out Trick-or-treating and turned her into the company. She got a letter of reprimand for unauthorized use of their logo. GOOD GRIEF! It was probably another consultant who didn't know she had competition in the 'hood.

Then there are the legendary Ebay letters. Just try to sell something from this un-named company on Ebay. If it's new or nearly new, you will probably get a letter demanding that you reveal where you got it and why you're selling it. If you didn't get a letter, you can bet some time was devoted to making sure that you were NEVER connected with this un-named company. They cannot legally stop a consumer from selling their old products on Ebay. They just wish they could...

I think it's time this un-named company wake up and realize that competition happens. It IS happening. It HAS happened. The superiority complex is getting rather tired and old. Customers have choices and it's time that this un-named company came to terms with that rather than throwing around the 800-lb gorilla of arrogance and intimidaton. They continue to view the scrapbooking universe through blue-tinted glasses (the color of their tools). Maybe it's time to take those off.

People tell me all the time that their consultant isn't like this at all and that she has her "business albums" and her "personal albums" and that her "personal albums" are made with all sorts of products and brands (which I am sure there are GREAT consultants - but I don't understand pretending that you ONLY do it THEIR way). I also hear that there are "bad apples" (probably true again) and that these attitudes are NOT the corporate attitude. But, I must say that I hardly believe the attitude doesn't come from the top-down. If it didn't, then you wouldn't see it anymore. I have been to half a dozen parties for this un-named company over the years and I have yet to run into a consultant that didn't leave me feeling like my way of scrapping was inferior (I have usually scrapped at least TWICE as long as the consultant - a fact that usually makes her nervous). One person even reported that she was un-invited to a party because she had scrapped too long. The consultant only wanted people who had never scrapped. What was that - a cult indoctrination meeting?

There is no correct way to scrap. If you want to scrap in the style of this company - that's fine! There are no rules for scrapping. But, the point is that it's MY choice on how I want to scrap - not theirs. They have some great tools (I own several) and, from what I have heard, some great albums. However, they need to lighten up on the rest of us...


This is JMHO...

9 comments:

Callie Ann said...

I totally agree with everything you said, it is wrong what they do to people. I use to be one of those consultants, I didn't like their business practices and got the heck out of it. I am a big Rubber Stamper (a number one sin in their eyes). They stiffle people's creativity, totally. About the only thing that I like about that company is some of their tools are very nice. I must say I have never been happier since becoming a rebel and getting out in the world and seeing life. I have so many renegade products now. It is just wonderful. Thanks for sharing your story you totally did the right thing in getting the word out. ~Callie

Jan S. said...

Thank you so much for saying what I feel! I went to 2 parties of this un-named company and I left feeling so terrible! I was supposed to see the light I think. I only saw red! I love a few of their tools but will not buy anything else from the un-named company because if I use it on "inferior" products the world just might stop spinning!

glo-girl said...

Wow. Well said. Former (said CoMpany) consultant here. I joined to get some albums at a great discount but as soon as they started pressuring me to "convert" all of my friends to their way I had to quit. I mean every meeting I went to, I came home crushed, and felt like they had sucked the creativity out of me. There was no room to do anything any way but theirs. I even tried to show fellow consultants how to make a fold out page using THEIR products, and was quickly reprimanded for comprimising the quality of their product by cutting the edge of their page off. Hello, duh~ don't you cut when you punch shapes out of yur perfect paper???? Ugh!!

Sarah said...

So true! I attended a home event with a representative of the nameless company and was so turned off by the negitivity and narrow-minded approach. Last time I checked this was supposed to be a *creative* endeavor. Maybe someone needs to look that word up. Since then I've just tried to stay away from them.

Not too long ago, however, I found myself in a *situation*. A friend and I were at an event and another rep for the unmentionable company was there. My friend said to me in the presence of the rep "This is like what you do, right?" I didn't want to get into it, so I kinda muttered "yeah" (even tho nothing could be further away from what I do). The rep comes over and says "You scrapbook. Who's your representative?"...presuming of course that one can't possibly scrapbook without a representative of the unnamed company.

Funny.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments...all I can say is that Consultants from un-named company (self included) in my neck of the woods would NEVER treat customers or friends like that! I have never felt pressured to use "only" said products and never felt stifled creatively. It behooves us to be militant and only deters people from even scrapbooking in the first place. I am the first to tell prospective customers that I am not the police. It is about educating people on photo preservation so that they make their own decisions. I want people to make scrapbooks, not argue with them over the best pen or paper!!!
Bummer that not everyone is flexible. Please know that un-named company does NOT endorse militant behavior!!! What you mentioned is NOT part of our business practices. Keep scrappin'...whereever and with whatever products YOU choose!!! That's what matters most.

justascrapper said...

not all consultants for the company you're referring to are like you are portraying them to be...and it seems to me like the pot is calling the kettle black here.

if you don't want to use their products or their consultants then don't...but why do you feel the need to put them down or be just as rude towards them as you say they are?

Anonymous said...

I agree with last poster , most consultants from said company are not like that nor are they trained to be like that. Competition is a good thing and in the long run good CustoMer service is what matters most. some people are just not nice and some are plain rude but don't judge everyone who has decided to represent this company with their home based business on a few bad apples.

Rexann Roussel said...

I am a leader with the un-named company and I actually thank you for your opinions and the comments others posted. I have said for years, as has a very outspoken co-founder, that consultants need to be open to everyone. I hope glo-girl knows, this company has been listening to customers such as her and in their magazine, they have even PROMOTED the kind of page she was talking about. I know, I know...a little too late for many. BUT...the point is, this company is working diligently to change consultants that have militant attitudes and it is a shame there are so many out there! At leader trainings, we are taught to train our teams to embrace everyone...to encourage our creative customers while helping those that want simplicity. Even out current Get-Together makes a point to encourage the creative scrapbooker as well as the traditionalist.
I am really sorry for those of you who have had terrible experiences. I don't blame you for snubbing the company as a whole. I want to issue an apology to you and even ask your forgiveness. I, as a fellow scrapbooker, know how personal and cherished my albums are and I don't want anyone telling me how they should be done.
Please keep scrapbooking, keep sharing your photos and telling your stories...no matter how you choose to pass on your heritage...it will make be important and meaningful to your children and grandchildren!
Happy scapping, Rexann

Anonymous said...

I too am involved with the unnamed company and I have to say that one of the big reasons I joined is to take the pressure off of me to scrap in a style I hated. The unnamed company isn't alone when it comes to " our way of scrapping" mentality. I don't have an artistic bone in my body and have no desire to learn. I scrap in a minimilistic style and I was welcomed by the unnamed company more than anywhere else.
I never tell others how to scrap or not to use products from other companies. That's not my call to make and never will be. And I enjoy looking at ALL styles of scrapbooks and I celebrate those who create them.