Dec 18, 2007

My Wish List for Scrapbooking 2008

2007 was another rough year for the scrapbook industry. According to some accounts, several dozen stores are closing each month in the U.S. This year has seen the failure or selling of some prominent names on the manufacturing side of the industry. I would imagine that some of the consolidations were done in the name of a "Fire Sale" and not because it was going to make the current owners rich, but because they wanted to keep the brand alive.

It's not all doom and gloom. I believe the industry is still growing in some areas while it shrinks or plateaus in other areas. Not unlike the housing industry. I guess too many thought the industry had rockets attached to it and the ride would never end. No one planned for "normalization".

So, what is my wish list for the scrapbook industry in 2008? Here goes:

  1. Retailers learning to market their stores to more than just their current email list. The average life-cycle of a scrapper is 7 years. If we don't bring in more new scrappers, we won't grow. The math is simple.
  2. The scrapbook industry and the photo industry becoming BFF's. We can still be friends with the craft industry, but our best future hope isn't with yarn, it's with photos.
  3. Embracing technology (not necessarily talking about digital scrapping) and figuring out ways to offer it to our customers in a profitable way. This will take us looking outside our traditional trade shows and maybe taking a bit of a risk.
  4. Scrappers focusing on the reasons they scrap more than how they scrap. I hope others will jump on board my Campaign for Real Scrapping.
  5. The death of competitive scrapping. Seriously, aren't we too busy for that?
  6. The end of personal attacks against other scrappers. There are plenty of people in the industry that I don't agree with or wouldn't have any interest in scrapping the afternoon away with. But, do we have to call them names? I hope that in 2008 we can put away our torches and pitchforks and stop hunting for scrap-ogres. Nobody is perfect and again, aren't we too busy for that?
  7. R-E-S-P-E-C-T! We weren't exactly shown in our best light in the media this year. From the Wall Street Journal to Newsweek - we got SPANKED! Sometimes we deserved it, though.
  8. Embrace Diversity :-) I'm an 8 1/2 x 11 scrapper and I got tossed out of the industry over 5 years ago. "You can cut it down". No... No I can't all the time. Patterned paper is often NOT going to work for me. From the newbie to the theme scrapper to the life artist to the fashionista, we should be pumping out a broad range of products - not just stuff that looks like the current trend. Trends and fads burn out too fast to fuel this fire.
  9. Fewer new products and more ideas. Retailers and consumers need to stop asking "What's new?" and start asking for fresh ideas on how to use that they already have. There are some companies doing that. Adornit is one of them. Their new idea books are SO COOL and they really support retailers by giving them the materials to sell Adornit products.
  10. A positive outlook! We don't need to be gloomy. We need to get real and figure out how to pump fresh air into the industry. There are SO MANY people out there who have never tried scrapping. Let's make 2008 a GREAT YEAR and party like it's 1999 (when scrapbooking was growing like CRAZY)

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!


Missy Sue Hanson said...

This is so true and sad......there are several shops in my area that I counted on to get the more special papers and embellishments for my projects, but all of them have closed down this year.

susan said...

You are so right on especially about the photo industry - amen sister!