Apr 17, 2008

It's a Scrap Tragedy...

In the late 90's, Utah was the unofficial center of the scrapbooking universe. In fact, modern day scrapbooking was born in Spanish Fork, UT at what is now Keeping Memories Alive. My mom attended a world conference on records in Salt Lake City in 1980 and took a class all about scrapbooking from the founder of Keeping Memories Alive. She still has an order form for albums from KMA that was given out at the class.

It seems, though, that Utah has tumbled off their altered pedestal recently. Last time I was down there, it was actually HARD to find a scrapbook store! At one point, they were nearly like LDS Temples along the Wasatch Front in that you could hardly drive by one LSS without having another pop into view.

Now the 13-year old All My Memories store is shutting down. The company disengaged itself of it's wholesale business in 2006 and shut down their other 3 stores in Colorado. Now the final store is gone and AMM has turned into a scrap tote company. Too bad, I always thought their paper products were SO CUTE!

Without naming names, it seems like the Utah brands have all become a little tarnished. They were once the "it girls" in the industry, but recently, there's been very little in the way of new designs. It's as if they didn't notice the industry was growing anywhere else in the world and the continued to believe that their stuff was HOT. It was - in the stores in Utah, which are far and few in between now.

It's always been interesting to me how Utah scrapbook companies work together and act a little shocked when you approach them from somewhere else. I have been asked myself "are you in Utah" when I've talked to some of these companies about ScrapBiz. My response always is, "does it matter?" And, I've always had trouble convincing Utah manufacturers that home-based businesses were legitimate businesses. Which was always curious to me since A) many of them were working with direct sales companies (aka home-based businesses) and B) many of them started out as HB businesses themselves and C) Utah is the capital of home-based businesses.

Did they not notice that other brands were blowing past them in recent years? Several of them seem to be struggling with shipping issues and stale product lines this year. It's almost as if they have been in denial about the growth of the scrapbook industry outside of Utah. It's sad to see some of these companies fade as we owe them our respect as the Grandmothers of our beloved industry. But, I hate to think that in the near future, we'll be paying our respects to the passing of some of them. They let their brands slip quietly into relative obscurity and that's a true business tragedy.

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