Apr 13, 2007

Scrapping Men and the Wall Street Journal

Last weekend, an article appeared in the WSJ about men and the scrapbook industry. Honestly, I had consulted with the reporter, Kelly Crow, last summer on this exact article and was surprised to find I was NOT quoted in it. I was also surprised that the article had the premise that men are being lured into the industry. It's not something that I have EVER heard talked about by the many manufacturers I work with. Men are always welcome, but no one is actively attempting to lure them in.

What IS true is that companies are producing more male-themed products. But those are being produced so we don't have to scrap photos of our husband's on hunting trips with Bambi stickers by Disney anymore. The industry is finally making a more concerted effort to produce more man and boy-themed products - for the women to use. I thought the idea that the industry is catering to men in order to grow was silly. No one is advertising in Sports Illustrated or GQ. While there are and always have been men who scrap (as stated in the article, Mark Twain was a scrapper), the industry is not courting men specifically - just providing a broader range of products.

I think where men WILL become interested (and this was something I discussed at length with the reporter) is in digital scrapping. I blogged about this last year: LINK Men do scrap, but I seriously doubt that the salvation of the industry rests on testosterone laden shoulders - nor do I think that any vendors are sitting around thinking that the new line of fishing stickers will cause men to FINALLY start scrapping. Men aren't, as a whole, crafty in this manner.

Brown yarn didn't make men start knitting and patterns of stuffed and mounted deer-heads didn't cause men to take up cross-stitch. Men might have a brown knitted scarf or a deer-head cross stitch picture hanging on their office wall - but it wasn't made by them.

Men will always be part of the industry either as an investor, a consumer or a business-owner. But, they are not going to embrace it and "save" it the way the article made it sound. Interesting reading, but off the mark.

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