Apr 23, 2008

A scrapbooker is a scrapbooker is a scrapbooker...

In the April edition of the ScrapBiz members-only newsletter, I touched on current industry research. The stats were taken from the Scrapbookers Trend Report done by The SMART Group for PMAI. It was 200+ pages of information that I believe should be required reading for scrapbook retailers. It talks about WHO scrappers are and what they are buying. It was great stuff even if I was partially blind after reading all of it on my screen.

Then, this morning, I got yet another email from a scrapbook business owner outside of the U.S. who was looking for stats for HER country. This always makes me scratch my head. Here's why it baffles me:

  1. Scrapbookers in France read the same magazines as scrapbookers in New Zealand. Yes, they might have a local magazine, but...
  2. even if they are reading a local scrapbooking magazine, they are often seeing the same products because we (the international scrapbooking community) attend the same trade shows and buy the same hot products.
  3. scrapbookers in England scrap for the same reasons as scrapbookers in Canada. Most of us scrap our families. Therefore, the demographics will be largely the same no matter where you are. Scrapbookers are generally married women over 35 with children. You can find those all over the world.
  4. Celebrities are the same. Scrappers at CKC Japan were just delighted with classes by the same celebrities you can find at CKC Seattle. Shoot, they didn't even seem to care that the chipboard words they were embellishing were in English and not Japanese (a situation that I can't seem to wrap my mind around...)
  5. Scrapbookers do the same things - they all need/want adhesives, albums, tools and paper. I believe the buying trends in other countries will mirror what happens in the U.S.

It's always interesting to me that people don't see what a melting pot scrapbooking is. There might be a difference in language, for example, products with English words and phrases won't sell well in Brazil. But card stock and tape runners will sell great among the upper middle income 35+ moms there. I think we sometimes struggle too hard to be different because we are in a different country and think it must be different. But this particular hobby has the distinction of pretty much being the same everywhere.

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