One thing I noticed at Memory Trends that I had never noticed before was the huge number of men in suits. It was like the mafia was taking over MT! They were everywhere! There has always been men at Memory Trends - vendors, store owners, etc. But I don't recall seeing so many dressed like an ad for "Men's Warehouse".
When I got home from Memory Trends, I pondered that for a few days - then I sort of got an attitude about it. The Scrapbook industry is a women's industry - we don't need the MBA's to come in and clean up after us! We are doing just fine on our own, thank you!
Who are the men? Well, some were probably investors looking to invest in the industry. They seemed to be standing around in groups - I assume they were comparing notes. I guess that means the industry was "grown up" a bit and now the venture capitalists are snooping around.
However, it concerns me because this industry is about art and emotion - two things many men can't really understand. Once they take over, is the scrapbook industry in danger of becoming nothing more than a commodity on the store shelf?
I already don't like what some (some, not all) men are doing to the industry. I heard a rumor that the sales manager of a very large scrapbook company is taking accounts away from their female customer service reps and giving them to their male customer service reps because the women spend too much time "servicing" the accounts and too little time selling their products. OUCH! If that's true, I think we should put that man in a large dunk-tank full of sharks at CHA and show him who's boss. Women are women - we take care of each other. It's not a bad thing. It's just not a guy thing. I enjoy talking to customer service reps. Yes, they are busy, but they have the time to be friendly. I don't want an emotion-free high pressure phone call from a male sales rep that makes me feel like I'm buying a used car, not products for my business.
In a nutshell, men are welcome in this industry. My own DH knows more about the scrapbook industry than he cares to admit! But, men need to understand that they are not welcome to come in like a marauding band of Huns to "fix" it.
We are doing pretty well on our own...