Archive | June, 2008

Available Scrapbooking Related Positions

Instructional Designer/Presenter: Close To My Heart is hiring a full-time employee for their corporate training department, to develop and deliver training programs for consultants. The location is Pleasant Grove, UT. Salary range is $32k to $40k and the position does require travel.

Qualifications include knowledge of MS Office (especially Powerpoint), elearning authoring systems, and photo/audio/video editing software. Candidates with some college and 1-2 years experience in the Direct Sales industry preferred. For more information or to apply, click on the job title above.


Scrapbook Business Magazine Now Available Online

Scrapbook Premier, the publisher of Scrapbook Business magazine, is now making the issue previous to its current one available online at no charge.

Scrapbook Business is a must-read magazine for anyone involved in any business aspect of the scrapbook industry (and I don’t just say that because I am lucky enough to write for them). The magazine features everything from business advice by a wide range of industry experts to ads featuring the latest products and targeted especially for retailers.

The March/April issue of Scrapbook Business is the one that is available right now (but probably will be replaced soon by the May/June). It features articles like:

  • Insuring Your Debtors
  • Hiring Great Teachers
  • View From The Classroom: Great Performances
  • Business Trends: The Sweeping Changes We Must Face
  • Know Your Niches
  • A How-to Guide to Conducting Digital Classes

Check it out – it’s hard to believe that you can get a magazine this useful for free!


Junkitz Bankruptcy Teaches Lesson in Credit Insurance

The Junkitz bankruptcy is moving toward being finalized now that the company’s assets have been disposed of at auction and the auctioneer’s report filed with the court. On June 20th, the bankruptcy trustee filed his application for compensation with the court. Once that is approved (the hearing is scheduled for August 20th), then the court can distribute the remaining funds to the company’s creditors as required by law depending on their status as secured or unsecured creditors and the amount of funds remaining.

Part of the filing for compensation by the trustee contains a statement of “Anticipated Distribution to Creditors” – and a lesson for any company that does business by accepting credit from its’ customers. The anticipated distribution in the Junkitz case is: Attorney 100% of claim, Secured Creditors 4.06% of claim and the line for General Unsecured Creditors is…blank, meaning they will get nothing.

Approached for comment about the upcoming resolution, several Junkitz creditors declined comment. Former Junkitz designer Teresa Collins issued the following statement:

It is always sad to deal with situations such as this. I knew as a unsecured creditor that I would never receive payment for all the designs and artwork that I created. I am sorry for all the creditors listed, both secure and unsecure that will not be paid. It has been difficult for all parties involved.

The lesson in the sad saga of Junkitz is that if you are extending credit to someone as part of your business you really should consider the option of purchasing credit insurance. Credit insurance works so you buy insurance against the possibility of someone defaulting on a debt owed to you due to circumstances such as bankruptcy. You would then file a claim for payment from the insurance company instead of from the debtor.

Credit insurance can actually be be very affordable, and can save your business if you are cannot afford to write-off (or even suffer a lengthy wait for payment) on credit you are granting.

If you would like to learn more about credit insurance and how it might be useful for your business, I wrote an article about it for the March/April issue of Scrapbook Business magazine that included an interview with Gene Goudy, Senior Vice-President of brokerage firm ARI Global and a well-respected expert on credit insurance. That article is now available online by clicking on the link above and going to page 64-65, or is on page 63 of the print version of the magazine.


Bookshelf: Organization Tips for Scrapbookers

organization-tips-for-scrapbookersOrganization Tips for Scrapbookers: The Ultimate Guide for Storing Your Supplies by Denise Pauley is a book from Creating Keepsakes.It is way thicker than I expected, at 256 pages. This book packs more heft than most of its competitors!

A better title for this book would perhaps have been “1001 ideas for storing your scrapbook stuff”. The book’s pages are extremely heavy on photos and light on text. The huge color photos on every page are definite eye candy for anyone who is looking for inspiration for methods of storing their supplies (although the artsy focus effects in the photos can be somewhat annoying). If you know the nuts and bolts of the “theory” of organizing your scrapbook supplies but are looking for inspiration of visually interesting ways to do it, this book will certainly provide it. The ideas in this book aren’t just functional, they are nice to look at too.

The book does include brief discussions of the basics of organization of your supplies, describing sorting by topic, type and other methods. And it includes cameos from various Creating Keepsakes scrapbook celebs as experts to provide their favorite storage tips. But this text content definitely feels secondary to the eye candy of the photos.

If DIY is your thing, there are some quick projects for organizing such as a fabric-covered “inspiration board” and converting an address book to an envelope letter storage system.

There are some really great ideas in this book but I wouldn’t expect it to help you organize if you are starting from the ground up. Rather, it is for the scrapbooker looking for, as the title says, tips to help them with their storage. It will help you improve existing storage and iron out problems with it, or make it nicer to look at and live with. If you are needing help on just getting started organizing, I would recommend instead getting a copy of The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker. If, on the other hand, you are an experienced organizer just looking to improve your system’s usability or looks, you might find inspiration in Organization Tips.

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Cosmo Cricket Provides Glimpse Into CK Editorial Process

Cosmo Cricket took a break from announcing the results of their recent design team contest today to tell a story that provides an unflattering glimpse into Creating Keepsakes magazine’s behind the scenes relations with manufacturers.

The story was posted on the Cosmo Cricket blog by the company’s owner, Julie Comstock, and it happened just before the company’s first CHA show in the winter of 2007.

Just before WCHA07 (our first winter show as a company) an editor from Creating Keepsakes called me and asked if I could do a project with our soon-to-be-released Buck Naked Lacing Cards. The deadline was tight, she had called at 4:00 in the afternoon and needed the project the next morning, so there wasn’t time to get any product to a designer. I created the following project. Scanned it and emailed it to her the next morning. By afternoon I hadn’t heard back. So, I called. She said to me that the project just “wasn’t exactly what they had in mind.” I asked, “What did you have in mind,” thinking I had misunderstood the assignment. She said, “We just need something really hip and cool.”

If you’d like to see the layout that was rejected by Creating Keepsakes, you can see it in the entry posted on the Cosmo Cricket blog. I’m not sure what Creating Keepsakes thinks is “hip and cool” but that is certainly a beautiful layout.

I really hope that kind of treatment – calling companies for last minute projects, and then not even bothering to let them know that you don’t like the project they scrambled to complete at your request – is not routine at Creating Keepsakes. It is unprofessional to say the least.

Cosmo Cricket doesn’t seem to have taken too much offense from these events. They had a successful CHA-Winter without the promotional push from Creating Keepsakes and have advertised since from time to time with the magazine. But that still doesn’t excuse the treatment they received.

Magazines like Creating Keepsakes (just like many fashion magazines) are in a unique position of power in their industry in that the spotlight of their pages can “make” a company. They have to be careful that having that power doesn’t go to their heads and make them leave their professionalism and their ethics behind when dealing with companies that need Creating Keepsakes more than Creating Keepsakes needs them.

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