Reaching Scrapbookers With and Without Children

Editor’s Note: This post debuts the latest addition to Scrapbook Update’s staff, Stephanie Medley-Rath.

Stephanie’s first post opens discussion on an important topic. As a scrapbooker who participated in the hobby for well over 5 years before the birth of my daughter, I’m very conscious of this industry’s emphasis on child-focused marketing. I hope Stephanie’s post can open a discussion among our community on the topic, and help make industry businesses more aware of what consumers they might be overlooking in their marketing.

I recently wrote an article on my site on child-free scrapbookers, that raised some great discussion. Part of the discussion was over the terminology: should this group be described as childless or child-free? Both are value-laden terms, and both describe people without children by choice (child-free) and by chance (childless). The terminology does not matter nearly as much as the point of the article: people without children scrapbook.

The scrapbook industry does an excellent job zeroing in on the key demographic of new moms as new scrapbookers (and rightly so), but in this quest to convert new moms to scrapbooking, the industry as a whole tends to overlook scrapbookers without children.

The industry needs both groups to continue growing and needs to take care to not alienate either group in the process. Why might the industry need both groups? Scrapbookers without children are:

  • More likely to be motivated to scrapbook for reasons other than creating family heirlooms to be passed down to future generations.
  • Less likely to be creating scrapbooks to record stories or memories for other people.
  • Are more likely to be scrapbooking only for themselves.

Scrapbookers without children are more likely to be intrinsically motivated, which means they will continue scrapbooking as long as they remain intrinsically motivated and feel there is a place for them in the hobby.

People who take up scrapbooking for others (e.g., new moms) may not scrapbook outside of their family responsibilities. This means that once their children grow up or their child’s memories are scrapbooked, they may not continue scrapbooking. The industry hopes that new motherhood serves as an entry point into scrapbooking beyond parenthood, but this does not necessarily happen. In some ways recruiting moms to scrapbooking is somewhat risky because it uses guilt and obligation to motivate scrapbooking rather than intrinsic value.

The industry needs both groups and needs to make sure neither group is alienated. When I interviewed scrapbookers without children who were fairly emeshed in the hobby (i.e., they were aware of the larger industry), they often talked about the magazines with cute kids. They talked of being alienated from the larger industry by this perception that it is moms with kids who scrapbook. They mentioned not fitting in at crops and sometimes even being questioned by other scrapbookers for their participation in the hobby.

The industry needs to work at changing this perception that scrapbooking is just for moms. Many of us (myself included) became scrapbookers way before children were ever considered.

The magazines have a reputation of showcasing cute kids on the covers. Cute kids may sell magazines, but does it sell the hobby? Kids on the covers imply that scrapbooking is a child-centered hobby. As a customer, if I don’t have children and see these magazines, I interpret that to mean that scrapbooking isn’t for me. Other craft magazine covers are not nearly as child-focused. Look at the covers of other craft-magazines: knitting, quilting, or mixed-media.

I don’t suspect the magazines are going to change a whole lot but if you are a business owner, you have the power to make sure both scrapbookers with and without children are welcome in the hobby. When you offer classes, make sure you offer classes that are about children and classes that are about things besides children (e.g., travel, all about me, technique-based). When you promote your business on social media, make sure you include posts to reach both of these markets.

Now might be a good time to do a little brainstorming:

  • How are you reaching scrapbookers with children?
  • How are you reaching scrapbookers without children?
  • What could you do to increase your  business’ reach towards scrapbookers with children?
  • What could you do to increase your business’ reach towards scrapbookers without children?

What are your best practices for reaching scrapbookers with and without children? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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86 Responses to Reaching Scrapbookers With and Without Children

  1. Julie May 9, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Thank you!! Please keep spreading this message! I’ve been scrapbooking since I was 14 when I found that I could be artistic and reflect on my happy memories.

    Middle and high school are great times to start. As are single years when people have the free time to scrap and enjoy it. Before children, scrapbooking is guilt-free and fun. THAT is what people should carry over with them into their with-children years. Please do target people without children too! Brand it as energetic, happy, cool, and colorful! I am a person without children, and I scrapbook!

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 10, 2012 at 8:00 am #

      Thanks for your feedback and enthusiasm! I might add that scrapbooking as a teen meant completely disregarding any thought of acid free. It was more fun to cut stuff out of magazines at that age. I kind of miss that complete lack of thought on preservation.

  2. Diana Kennedy May 9, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Thank you Stephanie for writing this article as this struck a chord with me. I have been seriously considering giving up scrapbooking because of the fact that I am child-less by circumstance and child-free by choice. I certainly have been questioned about why as a woman without children would I scrapbook and at times have experienced the feeling of being alienated. There is definitely an untapped market in the industry for those who fall within this demographic. There are companies and blogs that do exist and easily cater to the child-free and child-less such as Scrapbooking From The Inside Out, Melody Ross’s Brave Girls the All About Me Challenge Blog and Scrapbook Your Heart retreat in Alberta Canada, but there is always room for more.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 10, 2012 at 8:01 am #

      Thanks for the suggestions for places to go to that are reaching this demographic. I’m familiar with a couple of them and will check them out.

    • Carrie Glover May 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

      Wow…that is really awful that you have gotten those kind of comments Diana!! I have one little guy of my own, but my scrapbooking is not all just because of him!! I own a scrapbook store and sometimes I do find it rather difficult to bring in new items that aren’t “child” based and I also find it somewhat frustrating that most books & magazines are geared towards kid type pages and projects. I try very hard to bring in a bit of everything because I do have lots of customers who don’t scrapbook children!!

      • Karen Bushy May 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

        Where is your store located, Carrie? If it is in the Midwest, I’d love to come visit!

        • Carrie Glover May 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

          My store is in Edson, Alberta, Canada. Unfortunately a long way from you…lol

  3. Deanna May 9, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    I think it’s sad, that even “among” women, divisive issues divide us! We are divided between rich, poor, black, white, red, working women, sahw, and now scrapping women with or without children? I’m a digital scrapper, and have been “thrown under the bus” by many of my paper scrapper friends. (I was a paper scrapper for 16 years before going digital.) My thing is–rejoice in all scrapping–no matter who does it, why they do it, or what they do it of!! Let everybody express themselves the way that makes them happy. All this divisiveness is really beneath us as women. Let us “be”.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 10, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      Absolutely! I never realized the extent of the digi/paper divide until I began following more digi-folks.

  4. Jeanmarie Cintron May 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    I’m in awe…At least in Puerto Rico, I have never heard of such division in the scrapbooking world. But it is true that the companies are marketing the products towards moms. I am a mom now, but I was also momless or childless and I love to scrapbook, I have scrapbooked for years, about my travels, my experiences, my dreams… Now that I have kids I still scrapbook but without much time, before I really had a lot of time to do as I wished, but now not so much. I like arts and crafts, not merely just scrapbooking, I also paint and do mixed media, and I am also a consultant for a scrapbooking company and I do workshops and my workshops even though I have children are never about child pages or inspired, more likely they will be of the family, ourselves, memories, travel and so on. That is hy I do not put titles on my layouts when doing workshops so that I do not alienate someone in the path, I let them choose their own that way they can use their layout for different things. Keep spreading the word because it is true, scrapbooking is for everyone and most layouts in magazines are kids layouts or babies, but sometimes I see a lot of layouts that are selfcentered as well, I would like to see more travel, more memories, family, friends and so on.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 10, 2012 at 8:07 am #

      One thing I learned in my study of scrapbookers is that there are really very few topics that are off limits (I even saw an album about a funeral and a layout with nudity). Most of us probably don’t really want to see examples of all the possibilities, but it would be nice to see a much wider portrayal of the possibilities.

    • Zaira Ivette June 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

      Hi Jeanmarie,

      I just want to bring to the table that back in Puerto Rico I did feel the separation Stephanie talks about. I lived most of my life (to this point) there. I scrapbooked for seven years there. (I moved to the US just five years ago.) I am aware that the pressure wasn’t as hard on me because back in my little town I was sort of a scrapbooking authority, teaching classes, writing scrapbooking articles for a small local paper, and just bringing something new to people. But the question was there. I just brushed it off the best I could.

      • Stephanie Medley-Rath June 4, 2012 at 6:40 am #

        That’s interesting that you both have made different observations from the same place. Thanks for commenting. This is why we always have to be careful about getting other people’s perspective beyond ourselves. My experience is not going to be identical to everyone else’s and I can run a business if I fail to take into account other’s perspectives and experiences.

  5. Karen Bushy May 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    I own the largest independent scrapbooking store in the Chicagoland area. BY FAR our largest section in the store is TRAVEL! – both foreign and domestic. It takes up a HUGE amount of our available space. We are a full-service store, and have all of the ‘times of your life’ covered, but people love to scrap where they’ve been or where ‘grandma’ came from. Our second most popular section is Americana and military. We have an enormous amount of military material, and MANY returning vets come in with their pictures of their deployment – wanting to make a book of their own memories. Another huge section for us is all things Disney – and that is appealing to young and old, people with families or not – they just love Mickey. I don’t sense a tremendous “division” between those with children and those without.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 10, 2012 at 8:11 am #

      I wonder if the difference is whether people are scrapbooking specific projects or are actually identifying as a scrapbooker? I think the perspective among people who scrapbook is going to be different depending on if they are just making a scrapbook or looking to be a scrapbooker (and participate in the community of scrapbookers).

  6. Judy Webb May 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    I am now scrapping hundreds of very old family photos and am thankful for Tim and Vintage papers in almost every line. Being a scraplifter, I do get tired of all the mostly girl lay outs, but getting by. There is room for all styles and directions, just keep buying paper so companys design for your interest. Digital scrapping is only good if you print your pages. Nothing is as good as a printed photo.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 10, 2012 at 8:12 am #

      I don’t do much scraplifting (not opposed to it, just doesn’t really work for me), but that is an interesting point that the examples used could make scraplifting more of a challenge than it needs to be.

  7. Tara May 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Thanks for posting this; it’s an important consideration for everyone, whether you are a scrapper, or sell to scrappers. Creative Memories just started a series of blog posts about creating Heritage albums, and all my child-free/child-less scrappers are loving the idea of a topic/theme that doesn’t revolve around little kids. Thanks again; I’ll be re-reading and sharing this post!

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 10, 2012 at 8:14 am #

      Good for Creative Memories! What’s important to remember is that why I scrapbook may or may not be the same reason another person scrapbooks. We can unintentionally drive people away when we don’t take that into account and it sounds like CM is making an effort here.

  8. Gwen L. May 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    I’m a long-time scrapbooker with no kids and I sometimes get a little tired of all of the child and mom focus but on the whole I’m not super bothered and I haven’t really run into any “why do you scrapbook if you don’t have kids?” stuff. As a professional marketer I understand it from a business point of view – it’s really your core consumer group and I’d probably do the same thing to some degree. Especially the magazines… Over the years I’ve watched several of them test out non-child covers and focus in their issues, and time after time they end up going back to layouts with kids because they do the best – business-wise – when they’re speaking to their core audience.

    The majority of my scrapbooking is about my travels and hanging out with my friends on the weekend or just every day stuff. And though I don’t have any kids, I and many other childless scrapbookers I know will still scrapbook about children – I do a lot of layouts about my nieces and nephews. But I’m not going to buy whole lines of baby paper or child themed idea books or how to do crafts with your children type stuff… that’s where I start to get a little annoyed with the assumption that all scrapbookers have kids to scrap for or with. (But I get over it. lol.) But when it comes down to it, cute kids as the selling point doesn’t deter me from getting involved and doing my own thing. But I can’t say that it isn’t off-putting to others… I’m sure for some it is a turn-off – a message that only mothers need apply.

    I think something that gets overlooked is that scrapbookers with no children will frequently have higher disposable income and spend more on their hobbies. I know I do! The lack of a need to allocate a significant portion of my budget to children and family needs means I have a lot more money to spend on supplies. And the more you inspire me with ideas that speak to me personally, the more I spend. Just food for thought…

    I do think that product wise, there’s been a lot more recently that works for the type of scrapbooking that I do, but the marketing is still very heavily child focused. And for me, that’s okay (I think this is influenced by the marketer in me). I ignore what doesn’t apply to me or adapt it if it doesn’t directly apply but I still like it. I would, however, really like to see more focus on child-free scrapbooking… maybe as a theme week on the manufacturer or store blogs at the least. Or including a wider variety of designers like Amy Tan or Kelly Purkey, both of whom I follow and enjoy because I can easily relate to their work since it reflects a lifestyle similar to mine. And I admit, sometimes I don’t want to go to the effort of translating a frilly pink baby page into something that can inspire me for a layout about my last Girls’ Night Out. Just sayin’ 😉

    • Karen Bushy May 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

      Oh, I hope you live near my store (greater Chicago area!) We have SO many classes and ideas and groups that have nothing to do with children – mine or anyone else’s! Our “all about me” class recently did a two-page layout on “If I ran the world….” and we scrapped what we would do or change. We have a group of women doing the Tami Potter mosaics and those are most travel pictures, one more spectacular than the next. One gal stood up in a wedding and did much of the wedding in mosaic for her friend (who was the groom). Two of our ‘no kids’ gals are WAY deep into Harry Potter and we accommodate them with as much as we can find in the marketplace. Many, many choices for everyone. My son teaches Copic coloring classes, and he is also doing a class on working with color and mixing patterns and designs.

      • Gwen L. May 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

        I wish I lived near your store! I’m in Utah and funny enough, there isn’t a whole lot here anymore! If I’m ever in Chicago though, I’ll have to look you up and drop by!

      • Theresa Mary Stem May 10, 2012 at 8:58 am #

        I wish I had known about your store when I was in Chicago. I would have searched it out. I live in Pennsylvania and there aren’t many scrapbooking specific stores in the area. I mainly rely on Creative Memories and the bigger craft stores.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 10, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      Agreed, but the thing is the industry on the whole is kind of missing out on the niche of scrapbookers not scrapbooking children. This is a sizable market that could be more fully explored. As you point out those without kids often have more money to spend on their hobby. 🙂

  9. Theresa May 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    Funny, I never really thought about it this way. I’m child-free and have been scrapbooking for about 12 years now. Mostly I do it because I travel a lot and see my scrapbooks as my hard-earned souvenirs. I also want to make sure that my story gets told after I’m gone. With that being said, I got married 9 months ago and have inherited two stepsons. My husband and I joke that I’m creating these elaborate scrapbooks of trips and memories that neither of his sons are going to care about when these books get handed down to them. What a way to bring me down to reality. Either way, I enjoy scrapbooking. It keeps me sane!

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 10, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      Here’s the thing, they may want them or you might have other family members who want them. If nothing else, I’m sure there are libraries, genealogists, and others who would love to get their hands on some of these albums someday.

      • Theresa Mary Stem May 10, 2012 at 9:00 am #

        THANKS! 🙂 I’m hoping to brainwash my nephew into wanting my albums. Either way, they’re made with love and awe of the places where I’ve been.

        • Karen Bushy May 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

          Some of it is age-related and is situational and a perception…..when I told my brother and his wife that I was doing the family heritage book, he was kind of “blah” on the whole thing, and declared little interest. I really think he was picturing the old, black albums mom had – mostly crumbling and falling apart. When he saw the book I made, he really flipped over it and asked if I would make a copy for him, too, since I was going to make one for my sister. I think sometimes people feign disinterest because they don’t really even understand what you’re doing The other thing is, JOURNAL, JOURNAL, JOURNAL!!!! No matter how beautiful a book is, if they can’t figure out what it all is, it simply won’t matter.

  10. Dora May 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Some of my favourite scrapping-bloggers don’t do many kid-oriented pages or projects (I’m thinking of Shimelle, Melissa Stinson, and Amy Tan). I don’t know if they even have kids. With iPhones to shoot anytime and anywhere, huge online shopping resources for finding exactly the thing you need, and many routes for self-expression like blogs, I thought things were becoming LESS about scrapping just kids. We live in an era of tremendous choice and design houses who focus only on babies and kids must know they are missing out.

    Also, you mentioned kids on covers of magazines ,and I guess they do that, but when you look at Scrapbooks, Etc. there’s almost no scrapbooking in it anymore, kid or otherwise. It’s all cards, ornaments, decor, party favors. If they were doing layouts about kids, at least I could lift them and apply to my subject, but they aren’t.

    Great topic! Keep it up!

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 10, 2012 at 8:21 am #

      Funny you bring up Scrapbooks, Etc. as they just announced they are ceasing publication. Perhaps they strayed too far from the core? I don’t know. I haven’t read the magazine in about a year to know how it has or hasn’t changed.

  11. rosa May 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    what a wonderful topic….especially for a woman such as myself; I have been married 4 years, and have struggled with infertility. My husband and I have no children here on earth, only a little girl in heaven who we lost at 3 months of pregnancy. we have decided adoption is not for us. when asked about our child status regarding this, I often feel shunned by all the other “mothers.” I agree, it is difficult to buy any scrapbook supplies that arent all pink, blue, etc., child-themed. I dont mind the magazines, as there are usually other topics in the articles. but at crops I feel so “alien.” The women there are “shocked” that I enjoy to scrap, especially my vacations with my hubby and holidays with my other family members. thanks for bringing up an important topic!!!!!

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 11, 2012 at 7:02 am #

      Interesting. The only crops I’ve ever attended have been among friends so I haven’t run into this problem at a crop, but have heard others run into this problem at a crop. I also heard it from a male scrapbooker who attends store-crops. At first, he’s a novelty, but then he’s accepted. It sounds like we need to change crop culture! And it sounds like I need to go to some store crops without friends to see what happens (and get some scrapbooking done). 🙂

  12. Susan May 9, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Great post and discussion. I’m 53 and took up the hobby a few years ago. I don’t have children or grandchildren. I’ve been to crops where being childless is seen as an issue. I don’t let it bother me or stop my from going to crops. Young moms seem to be the target audience. I’ll won’t be around but would love to see what today’s young designers will create when they face menopause, aging gracefully, retirement, volunteering, lifestyle changes, friendships and the wisdom and changes that comes with age. Those are topics I scrap about and yes it gets me strange looks from time to time. But that’s also the beauty of this hobby – we are a diverse group and limiting marketing and products to one segment doesn’t make good sense.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 11, 2012 at 7:06 am #

      Great point! It will be neat to see how the industry shifts once the thought leaders face some of these age-related changes. We should see more of that now! Older women at retirement age often have more money than younger women, too, that can be spent on fun stuff rather than saved for your kid’s college or own retirement.

  13. Linda May 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    I agree too, there is a huge market of us childless women out here. I have been scrapbooking for 16 years. I do tons of pet pages, and consider them my kids. Also into Travel, and Heritage, and Holidays. also do big family celebrations. When I was looking for 50th wedding anniversary paper and stickers, they were almost non existant 5 years ago. Please keep sending out the message, that there are other events to scrap besides kid stuff. Thank god for the vintage crazy!!!!

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 11, 2012 at 7:08 am #

      My poor dog has been seriously neglected since my daughter was born. (Well that and the shift from film to digital means a lot fewer photos of her as I used her to regularly finish up rolls of film.) I have not looked for anniversary papers, but do recall there were some that came out several years ago. I think Jolee’s Boutique had anniversary themed embellishments, too. As far as ideas on how to scrapbook an anniversary? I’ve seen less of that.

  14. Kory May 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    I’m a childless scrapbooker- and a man. I began almost by accident- and it turned into my favorite hobby. I scrap only for myself. And I know what you mean- the magazines that always have kids on the cover, all the talk about it for mothers- and I’ve even at times felt weird in stores, as if it’s suspect that I’m even in there-

    what a great article!

    and thanks for the stores (I saw a comment above) that have the large travel sections!


    • Karen Bushy May 10, 2012 at 10:25 am #

      I have two men who work in the store regularly, and the rest of the staff loves to work with them… do the customers! While the majority of our customers are female, I will tell you that I was really pleasantly surprised at how many male customers we have. Some are card-makers and some are scrappers; seems like few are both. I think the men are comfortable shopping with us because of the men on the staff, too.

      • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 11, 2012 at 7:11 am #

        Now, this is another post for another day! Yes, men scrapbook! I remember when I looked for male scrapbookers, I struggled and only ended up with six. Two, I just stumbled upon by interviewing their partners. When I told people I was looking for men to interview, they thought I was crazy, like I was looking for unicorns. I knew they were out there and persisted. I wish, though that there was more acknowledgment of this group, too. With online shopping, there are probably way more men scrapbooking than anyone actually thinks.

        • Kory May 11, 2012 at 11:51 am #

          Yeah, there are a few more than I thought I would ever find- I talk to a few at an online forum and a few others I’ve met through my blog. Love that line you said, ‘like I was looking for unicorns.’ I’m going to be laughing over that most of the day.

          And aren’t there like, 3?, on Graphic45’s design team right now? I know I was surprised when I saw that!


  15. *Queen* Britt May 10, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    I feel like I am really alone in this community sometimes. I am 26, single, and without children…which is pretty much like saying I’m invisible. I understand the position that companies are coming from, but what they don’t understand is that they are not only influencing the market, they are influencing the entire community. They ARE creating solidarity among women…who are mothers, but they are missing the larger message: that the crafting community should be a place where creative people from all over the world come to share their lives through expression. The problem is, that a large portion of scrappers are influenced by all that child-centric marketing; it makes them think that paper crafting is an exclusive group of people EXACTLY like them. It is pretty good marketing because people like that idea – it gives them an identity. The problem with creating such a specific group identity is that the resulting group of alienated people not only feel unwelcome in the social aspect of the community, but the consumer aspect as well. Many companies understand this and it shows in their popularity: Graphic 45, Tim Holtz, Authentique and even My Mind’s Eye and Basic Grey. Mostly, these companies focus on collections that are designed well, manufactured in good quality, and have lots of universal appeal. They get it. Even the newish Little Darlings collection by Graphic 45 has beautifully designed b-side papers that could be used for numerous themes. I wish that magazines (especially the major ones) would take a hint and create a little more neutral content.

    • Theresa Mary Stem May 10, 2012 at 8:47 am #

      I used to teach scrapbooking for a craft store and I found that while scrapbooking may be geared towards women with children, most time that demographic doesn’t have time to scrapbook. A friend of mine even said it before giving birth. I was a Creative Memories consultant at the time and she bought a scrapbook from me that she intended to use for her baby. She told me she didn’t know why she was even buying the album because she wasn’t going to have time to have a hobby.

      • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 11, 2012 at 7:14 am #

        That’s one of the bizarre things about it: take up a new hobby at the same time as becoming a new parent? It works really well for a lot of folks, but I can’t imagine taking up this hobby at the same time as becoming a new parent. I probably would have bought a bunch of stuff and put in a closet to be donated if I decided to start this when I became a parent.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 11, 2012 at 7:15 am #

      Thanks for sharing about the solidarity aspects of scrapbooking. The “scrapbooking moms” image is the image non-scrapbookers see, too. So scrapbookers who are not moms, get it from both scrapbookers and non-scrapbookers.

  16. AllisonLP May 10, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    I started scrapbooking after I had kids, but they were not the reason I started. My very first layout was of my house (funny how I remember that). I MOSTLY scrapbook about my kids, and honestly, hadn’t thought about what I would scrapbook about after they have grown up. But I can’t imagine that I will ever want to stop scrapbooking. It’s great that I’m capturing memories about my kids, but I scrapbook for other reasons. I scarpbook because it’s my hobby. I scrapbook because it’s my creative release. I scrapbook because I want to, not because I feel obigated to.
    My question is, will scrapbookers stop scrapbooking when their kids grow up? If they do, maybe they were doing it for the wrong reasons. Do marketers really need to market to them as well? Shouldn’t their love for the hobby be enough to keep them at it?
    For “child-free” scrappers, if they love the hobby, won’t they just keep doing it? Do marketers really need to market to them? How much are we really affected by marketing??

    • Karen Bushy May 10, 2012 at 10:29 am #

      My friend is an avid quilter, and she moved to south Florida about 8 years ago. She is still an avid quilter because that is her hobby, even though it isn’t a very ‘useful’ hobby in southern Florida! She still loves it just as much.

    • Gwen L. May 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

      I personally would think that just because your children are grown, it doesn’t mean you stop scrapbooking. However, after years of teaching scrapbook classes I realized that many people in this hobby are VERY literal (and this is not a criticism, just an observation). If you show them a baby page, they see a baby page – not a technique for doing a cool embellishment cluster or a nice color palette. They’re inspired by it as a baby page and will frequently copy it as exactly as they can.

      This is where the marketing could play a large role in sustaining the hobby post-children. All of those literal scrapbookers will need to actually see how they still have a place in the hobby once they no longer do pages that are so child-focused. Although I said in my original comment that I understand the marketing perspective of using children to get at the core audience, I didn’t mean to say that’s the way it should be! I definitely think it contributes to people leaving the hobby later on because they’re “done.” I’d love to see that change – for the good of the entire industry, and not just because it also happens to benefit me personally 😉

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 11, 2012 at 7:18 am #

      Marketing isn’t just about selling things, but is also about communicating who belongs and who doesn’t belong. If I walk into a store and see no product that I can relate to, then I don’t feel like I belong. If I flip through a magazine and see nothing I can relate to, I put it back and move onto a hobby that does include things I can relate to.

  17. Karen Bushy May 10, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Interesting in light of this conversational thread: Had a lady come into the store yesterday to start her new scrapping project. She is scrapping her ‘bucket list’. I believe she has children, but it wasn’t part of what she was doing. She used several of our work tables to lay out her basic premise, and now she knows where she wants to go with her idea. That would work for anyone, no matter their status, re: children.

  18. reneecrops May 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    I have a 10 year old, and I too have noticed publications are mostly geared towards small children. Which is such a Micro view of things. I can see why magazines are having problems they don’t touch all of the age ranges we are interested in. I don’t see much of teenagers, college students, working people let along the elderly which unless they are holding a child or the picture is from the early 1900s doesn’t exist. I don’t understand this focus. I’m sure there must be some study or another, but I have to wonder who they are giving the surveys. I have friends w/o children who not only scrapbook, but make scrapbooks for others. They complete so many more projects than I can ever hope to at this point in my life. Also, I think Scrapbook Etc. wandered wayyyy off the scrapbooking path into various other crafts which aren’t really in my focus. I feel like they have been testing a new magazine where they can keep the advertisers, but lose the scrapbookers. Sigh!

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 11, 2012 at 7:23 am #

      The marketing surveys that I have had access too, are not real good in terms of sampling (and accusations of number inflation). I’m aware of two major surveys on the industry, and I have not been impressed. I encourage businesses to collect some data on their own local market and own customers. Your local customer base may be very different than what a national survey might say it is. (shameless plug, I have a guide for sale on collecting your own market research on my site).

  19. Debbie P May 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    I have never thought about scrapbooking products being marketed more towards those with children versus those without. Even though I have children and grandchildren and have been scrapbooking for 15 years, there are plenty of other things that I scrap about. My scrapping circle of friends includes one who does not have children and she has more albums completed than the rest of us and we’ve scrapped longer than her LOL! She has done many layouts regarding her travels, her home, her pets, theme parties she holds, recipes, and a ton of our “girl” outings and scrap retreats. She has never mentioned anything about not being able to find products to suit her needs or anything about “this store only has stuff about kids”. Maybe I just haven’t paid that much attention, but I haven’t noticed any of the stores I purchase scrapbooking supplies catering more towards one demographic – those with children. There is always “something for everyone” in abundant supply at the local scrapbook stores we frequent and at the larger chain stores. It’s my feeling that as long as a person has something to scrap about, there’s always a product out there to fit their needs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve actually seen a product that sparked my imagination to scrap something not child related that I probably wouldn’t have done. I would be like “OMG – I have some pictures that would be perfect for this” and next thing I know I’m down another $20 or more! As for those scrappers without children being questioned by others as to why they scrapbook, that is just plain rude. I can’t imagine saying something like that to another scrapbooking enthusiast. There have been plenty of times when I’ve lost my scrapbooking mojo and my childless friend has come to my rescue with ideas of different things to scrap about.

  20. KatieK. May 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Great topic. And the comments are a goldmine. I haven’t had a chance to read them all.
    I teach scrapbooking to a variety of folks. I have always tried keep the focus of ‘why’ based on big reasons and their personal reasons. Never assume, never put a scrapper into a particular group – we can move in/out throughout the seasons of our lives whether we have kids or not.
    Going to bookmark this so I can read all the comments.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 11, 2012 at 7:26 am #

      Great! You are right, the comments are great! I could spend all day replying to every comment. I’m trying to respond with something short, and am compiling a list of lots of ideas for future posts based on these comments.

  21. Cynthia Ewer May 11, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Interesting points–and they echoed a conversation I had with my husband yesterday.

    We’re 50-somethings, currently on a cruise ship, and I have a scrap tote with me and am working on a travel album. As we discussed the pages I’d created yesterday afternoon, I turned to him and said, “Well, I’m doing this for us–so that if we end with Alzheimer’s, we can open these books and remember what we were doing.”

    I scrap because I enjoy it, but I leave the kiddie pages to my daughter-in-law. Yes, I’ve attended crops where I’m an outlier both due to age and to content matter of my work, but thankfully, midlife means never being fussed about such things.

    Publications are a different matter. I’ve noticed the dominance of “little kid, big smile, close-up photo” pages, and it’s regrettable that the market can’t seem to support and embrace diversity.

    Because midlife scrappers are not only out there scrapping, they have both the time and the purchasing power to keep the industry going. I want a gadget, I buy it–but too many scrapbook stores seem to be outposts of Babies R Us.

    Not to give younger women the willies, but I’ve found scrapping quite therapeutic when addressing age-related transitions, losses, and issues. This principle works for all ages. So while I’ve scrapped about the joy of being a grandmother, there are many more strings to my scrapping bow–and I’d love to see the scrap publications and manufacturers acknowledge it beyond the token “Red Hat” junk for older women.

    • Karen Bushy May 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

      I think one of the reasons why most of the scrapbooking magazines have gone by the wayside is because they don’t mirror what scrappers are REALLY doing. I have 26 worktables in my store. When people come for a crop, they get a full table, guaranteed, so they bring lots of stuff and work hard on their books. The astonishing diversity of the themes and the styles is so much fun to see. Of course, there are some ‘kid’ things, but by far and away my scrappers are doing a MUCH wider range of ideas: travel is the biggest – and not just foreign travel, although we have a HUGE foreign travel section. We also provide custom-printed paper for all sorts of local Illinois and Wisconsin ‘exploring’ places that make for delightful layouts. One gentleman who scraps fairly often is doing a whole book on his photos of various weather/cloud formations and where he was when he took the pictures. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any kids in any of the photos, although he may have some – – – he’s never mentioned it one way or another. I have another gentleman who scraps with the neighbor ladies at some of the crops – he DOES do his kids pictures, because he says his wife won’t – she has no interest in “kid pix” so he does it – and beautifully I might add! All that to say, the industry and our croppers are as varied as life itself, and it seems like mostly the now-defunct magazines are the only ones who tried to ‘pigeon-hole’ any of us.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 12, 2012 at 7:54 am #

      Thanks for sharing. When I worked in a LSS, I recall there was one woman who made like the biggest purchase we ever had (that I knew about anyway). She spend like $700. She took a beginning scrapbook class and decided this was for her and proceeded to buy every tool and gadget to get started. She consistently came back to the store and spent big money (I don’t think she ever reached $700 again). Was she a new mom making a baby book? Was she a teenager with lots of free time? Nope. She had just retired. She had the money and the time to consistently devote to scrapbooking.

  22. Addie May 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    I think some of these problems arise from the concept “keepsake” being attached to the hobby at the outset of its current popularity. The idea of a scrapbook’s being something that’s handed down through family members became motivation for many to take up the hobby, their desendants uppermost in their thoughts. But what if “visual journal” had been the earliest concept attached the hobby? Many people say “I scrapbook for me” or “I do it as an artistic outlet.” But somehow that still leaves me with a second class citizen feeling. I’m without children. I make scrapbooks commerating occasions as gifts, but I also will do private, visual diaries that I don’t want anyone else to see –just as I might do a private, writing-only journal for no eyes but my own. What do people do with their written diaries when they die? It doesn’t matter –unless they were famous, of course. I think about the hobby in this personal light, irrelevant to family considerations. .

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 12, 2012 at 7:46 am #

      I’ve long noticed the similarities between diaries and scrapbooks, but never considered the “what happens to them question” for diaries. You are so right, no one makes it a point to ask “who gets the diaries” but we seem to obsess over it with scrapbooks.

  23. Lesie May 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    Listen up industry: those of us without children have more disposeable income!

  24. Lesie May 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    I found your article extremely well-written and well-researched! Bravo!

    As a child-free scrapbooker, I have noticed so many companies (studio calico is a big one) producing theme-neutral products, and I think this reflects an overall theme (should I say non-theme) in the industry for several years. I’ve never had a problem finding great supplies.

    I think the main way that I, personally, miss out due to the kidcentric focus of the industry is when it comes to finding new ideas for journaling.

    I am a full-time nanny, and I have always scrapbooked the kids I care for. People always ask me, “are you going to give those pages to his/her parents?” And I’m like “hell no! These pages help me remember these kids who I won’t always be working with!” Like many people have noted, it’s almost as if people think you have no reason to scrapbook I you don’t have kids! I’m sure people think I’m strange for scrapbooking the topics I do, but I don’t give a damn!

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 12, 2012 at 7:58 am #

      Thanks for the feedback! I hadn’t really thought about ideas for journaling related to this topic. I think it is easier for me to journal pages about my daughter compared to journaling pages on other topics.

  25. Juliana May 12, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    This article has been so very interesting to read, as well as all of the comments. I am a woman with no children myself due to life circumstances and choices and I can see how the market is more geared toward those with children. I think that they do tend to market heavily towards those who have children, however there are plenty of products out there that are not so strongly themed and some of the themed one still work really well to share a story that might not involve a child. Just the other day I used Bo Bunny’s new Lil Miss (a very little girlie themed collection) to create a heritage page of a teapot of my Grandma’s. I started scrapping long before children were ever a thought in my life. I LOVE making things with my hands and the creative process. I started this “hobby” as a creative outlet and something else to do besides just crocheting, cross stitching, etc. I wanted to do something that felt like it had more of a purpose to it. I have always scrapped the photos and memories that I have wanted to scrap and I will continue to do this using whatever products are out there that speak to me! Thank you for this wonderful article and discussion Stephanie!

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 15, 2012 at 7:18 am #

      Thanks! You’re right about the themed products. About a year ago, I went through my themed papers (which I stored as themes) and realized that I had a lot of papers that really would work on projects unrelated to the theme.

  26. Heather T. May 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    I have one child, but I’m much older than most new moms, by about 20 years, and much of the scrapbooking I do is for myself, to showcase my photography and my poetry. Perhaps that’s why I make my own stuff, mostly (I’m a digital designer) — it’s hard to find things in digi-scrapping too that aren’t small child oriented. But, as a designer, I’ll tell you that the non-child-oriented stuff does not sell, so it’s really hard to keep it up… (either that, or I’m a lousy designer *lol*).

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 15, 2012 at 7:30 am #

      I wonder how that translated into paper? I know from my personal experience, I bought a bunch of baby girl-themed papers, stickers, and embellishments. I rarely used it. I have a feeling that what might be going on is that we tend to spend a fortune on new babies (in scrapbooking and in the other parts of our life) and then we realize, we really didn’t need as much as we thought we did. Then we spend less as they get older or our purchases are more targeted.

      Another issues I’ve observed among scrapbook supplies geared towards older kids is that they look like how and what grown-ups think teenagers are and like. Stuff for “girls” is pink with purses and lipstick. Stuff for “boys” includes darker colors and guitars and lightning bolts. Quite honestly, it’s cheesy. I don’t know what your designs looked like, so I don’t know how they fit into this, but this is what I’ve observed in the industry overall. Teenaged-themed products that look just like mom designed them. I suppose they should be appealing to the mom who is scrapbooking her teen, but I’m pretty sure as a teen, if my mom had attempted to buy those cheesy items in front of me, I would have found something better in the store for her to buy.

      Thanks for commenting. You’ve given me a lot to think about and lots of ideas on future posts on teenager scrapbooking.

  27. Cat May 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    This is an awesome article and topic! I’m glad sombody started the conversation. As a child-less scrapper for the last 15 years, I’ve never felt that I didn’t have a story to tell or that there weren’t enough supplies for me to use.

    I take pictures of whatever and I scrap about whatever. I even made a book about my niece and nephew which allowed me to use child centered products. And no, I didn’t give them to their parents either :). These are my memories. And no one really cares about my books but me. I made them to look back on. And with Alzheimer’s in my family, I want to have this record of my life. This is just one reason I scrapbook.

    I also go to crops and find that most of the parents that are scrapping their children’s books see it more as a chore and not a hobby. They make comments like, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing,’ ‘I’m so behind,’ ‘I don’t have time for this” and they just seem miserable. It seems like once they get their chore completed, they will not continue this hobby. So maybe it really isn’t a good idea for marketers or company to be so child focused.

    Yes we have seen more companies produce more neutral product but then there are the big popular manufacturers that focus on every single holiday of the year. And I’m sorry but most adults I know don’t celebrate every single holiday. Lately I’ve been seeing tons of Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s day, and Easter bunny lines. And sometimes that’s all they release. I mean really, can we just get some pretty theme-less paper releases also?

    This spring was the first time I didn’t purchase a single new release because I just couldn’t find anything I could work with. Oh and I’m not into the vintage look either. I did appreciate Theresa Collins winter release though. Very sophisticated and theme-less.

    I did however like the magazines for their techniques and ideas even though there were few instances when found a topic I could relate to. But that didn’t matter because most of the techniques I use today I learned from a magazines. Even some of the techniques that are being regurgitated around the blogosphere today. But I can see how their child centered focus could’ve been one reason for their demise.

    • Julie A May 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

      Cat, you’ve spoken my mind exactly. From seeing the guilt moms seem to feel at ‘not keeping up’, to loving neutral, theme-less product, to scrapbooking for yourself: I couldn’t sum up my own thoughts better.

      • Karen Bushy May 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

        It breaks my heart that you gals aren’t here in Chicagoland to see the fabulous selection of things we have the meet your needs! Big selection here in a FOOD aisle!!!! Ice cream, wine, beer, pretzels, ”Italian Chef”, “Girls’ night out” – all sorts of really fun things. Also, whether you are a “theme” scrapper or not, whether you’re doing ‘kid books’ or not, we all end up with stuff we really can’t use, or our tastes have changed, re: color and/or design, or we’ve used what we want from a line and have the rest ‘left over’. We’ve come up with a fabulous solution, and our customers really love it. We helped a local organization called Mooseheart – a home for parentless children – to begin a scrapbook club via one of their teachers who is one of our customers. The principal at the school there loved the idea so much that he gave the teacher a classroom and storage area for scrapbooking equipment and supplies. I put the word out to our customers – bring us the paper, stickers, adhesives, cutting tools, punches, stamps, ink, embellishments, etc., etc., etc. that are no longer your ‘best idea’. We sort and bundle everything and send it off to Mooseheart. We have now shipped FOUR huge VAN-LOADS of paper and supplies, and now these children who have nothing but some memories have a new hobby! We’ve had some of the older kids here working in our workroom, and they have amazing skill and talent. We help each of them make a book for their own memories, and the boys are doing every bit as good (sometimes better!) than the girls. We couldn’t do it without our generous customers who love having a ‘home’ for things they bought and don’t have the heart to throw away.

        One of the representatives from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is trying to see if they can adapt the program to work with their kids, too, although it is tougher because they aren’t residents of one place. We’ve also sent some things to the local highschool where the seniors who are working in the child-care classes each make a small scrapbook for the children they’ve been caring for, and since many of the seniors can’t really afford too much, they love it that our customers have provided them with so many nice things to make something so special for the little kids.

        All that said, there are SO MANY opportunities and ways we scrappers can ‘Make A Difference” – even with our old scrappin’ stuff.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 16, 2012 at 6:27 am #

      I think the holiday-themed stuff is stuff many people buy because they think: “I celebrate the fourth of July” I should scrap it. Then we don’t take photos or we do but the Fourth of July themed paper doesn’t really work with the photo. I think a lot of the theme stuff is around just like the child-centered focus: it sells even if it isn’t actually used as much as it sells. Thanks for commenting.

      • Theresa Mary Stem May 16, 2012 at 10:40 am #

        The thing is, stuff like that can be used for totally different things. I bought Fouth of July stuff from CM because I liked the patterns. Ended up, I used some of them in my wedding album because we had fireworks at the end of the night.

        Some of the child themed stuff I’ve used when I made a scrapbook for my brother and his fiancee for their engagement. It came in handy for their baby pictures.

        So, when I go shopping I’m not thinking “I can’t use that, I don’t have a child.” I”m thinking more like, “I love that pattern, I’m sure I’ll use it eventually!”

      • Karen Bushy May 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

        Well, it is all situational as to how people use what they purchase. We have a customer who is working on her second all red,white and blue album! It is her favorite color combination, and she literally uses it for EVERYTHING. The design quality of her work is just gorgeous, and the creativity is just beautiful to see. We also had a bride who did her whole wedding book in red, white and blue. It was a beautiful book, but I have no idea why she chose the combination……unless it was her husband’s military service – not sure about that. As I mentioned above, it is all as individual as the people who are doing the work.

  28. LindaBabe May 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    THANK YOU so much for this article and the comments! I see myself in so many of you!

    I’m 64, retired and my ‘child’ is 45 an developing gray hair of his own! Scrapbooking wasn’t around, really, when he was little, and I have no interest (and neither does he) in scrapping his baby photos. I too, am in the minority at crops – virtually everyone at my local crop is young enough to be my daughter or (YIKES) GRAnd daughter!

    However, there are a few advantages to being in this demographic (some previously mentioned) that should appeal to people selling scrapbook and other craft supplies.

    1. Discretionary disposable income. No kids to put through college, no sports fees, orthodontist, etc.

    2. TIME for hobby. No 40 hour work week, kid chauffering, and all the “business” that comes with working and running a multiple member household. Sure, there are meals to get, laundry, and housecleaning – however, the quantity is much MUCH less for an olcer couple than a family.

    3. Adventures, with stories to tell. When I was childbearing age, my life was pretty much bounded by “work” work and “home” work, with little time or money for ‘extras’. Now, I travel, volunteer, join clubs, attend lectures, take local history tours, etc.

    What I’ve found is – scrapping cute kids is EASY (grandchildren) – take a cute kid photo, add some (strongly) themed paper and a few themed embellis’ and done. Think Halloween, Easter, Christmas, school etc. There is TONS of product with Kid focus. But seriously – when was the last time I celebrated Halloween? Did the egg and bunny thing for Easter? In my life there are no school plays, pagents, concerts, ball games, scouts, sports, cheerleading.

    Child free (less) and oldies have to work a little harder, perhaps – not to find stuff to scrap – that’s easy, but to scrap it creatively without the plethora of appropriately themed products. (travel excepted)

    THAnks again for raising the topic!

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

      Thanks for your comments. I have a cute kid (IMHO) and we still don’t dye eggs. This year, I literally filled plastic eggs ten minutes before we headed to my parent’s house where we were doing the egg hunt. I suppose my point is that all the themes serve as a reminder to me how nonconforming, unconventional, and dysfunctional my own family life can be sometimes.

  29. Liz S May 20, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    I started scrapbooking to make a book of my wedding (which I never finished) and moved on to scrap my every day life, travels, and eventually pets. I now have a baby girl and, as so many have pointed out, have almost no time to scrapbook those photos. Fortunately I scrapbooked for all those years before, so I know how to choose my favorite supplies, picture sizes etc and have been collecting sketches and journalling for when I do have time.
    I think I was lucky in that around the time I was getting interested in scrapping things other than the traditional (wedding) there were a few scrapbookers getting published and/or working on high-profile design teams like two peas that didn’t have kids- Lisa Caveney-Brown and Laura Kurz come to mind- and Ali Edwards in particular was writing about everyday scrapbooking. With the demise of Simple Scrapbooks and CK’s cuts in size, it does seem like there isn’t as much of that visible focus any more, and it makes me wonder how the industry plans to keep those who started scrapbooking for a wedding (I think I read somewhere that that was the 2nd most common reason to start after a baby?) until they actually have kids, particularly in this era of older first-time mums.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

      Good point about older first-time mums. The same is true for brides. Brides are older. And yes, travel attracts folks to the hobby, but I think the focus on everyday scrapbooking is great to get a more diverse group of people scrapbooking in the first place.

    • Karen Bushy May 21, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      You actually hit on one of the big problems in the scrapbooking industry. There is no central organization or area of combined thinking at all. The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) could fill that role, but it doesn’t. In the meantime, one of the problems is that the big manufacturers depend on the independent retailers to showcase and demonstrate their products, ideas and new designs, but then they sell the supplies to the big-box retailers at such a discount that the independent stores cannot compete. They are outsmarting themselves and the industry and its customers pay the price for it – – – the “price” is fewer ideas, fewer ‘new and different’ things and fewer hands-on instruction classes. I have many smaller suppliers who have excellent products but they are too small (create too little volume of product) for the big chains to even consider their merchandise. When the independent stores go away, so will the retail channel for so many of these smaller ventures who really produce EXCELLENT material.

      • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 21, 2012 at 9:22 am #

        Do you think the rise of scrapbookers who blog will help create the fresh ideas? Do you think this will benefit the LSS and smaller manufacturers?

        • Karen Bushy June 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

          It will create the fresh ideas in the smaller companies, and the local stores will carry those items, but sadly, people follow price, and that will put the LSS out of business….we are certainly seeing that in Chicagoland. I’m about the only LSS left! People get all excited that they can get three free sheets of cardstock from one of the local chains, but they often don’t stop to think that that chain only carries about 35% of the colors the cardstock company makes. I carry EVERY color made – so the selection on my ‘color wall’ is astonishing. Many scrappers will settle for “good enough” in a color match, just to get 3 free sheets of paper. But then they are VERY sad when the LSS goes out of business and they can’t get the unique and unusual things anymore, and are then TRULY captive to the whims of a corporate decision-maker who doesn’t know a scrapbook from a knitting needle!

          • Stephanie Medley-Rath June 5, 2012 at 9:57 am #

            Should the LSS, then, go after the customers that don’t follow price? I would say I’m somewhere in-between. I’m at the point in my life that I will pay a premium for quality and even a better shopping experience. At the same time, price does still matter, too. There is a price point I’m not willing to cross. Personally, three sheets of free cardstock is nothing–certainly not worth going to one store over another for.

          • Karen Bushy June 5, 2012 at 11:06 am #

            That’s what I’ve done. I don’t ‘price compete’ on anything. I’ve chosen rather to have a most unique array of merchandise. A huge amount of our stock is paper and embellishments that are made specifically for us – – – things people just can’t even get anywhere else. That, combined with items from many small suppliers presents what I think is a beautiful store. For example, Cricut would love for me to carry their products, but they sell they machines to places like Menard’s Home Improvement Centers for far less then they’ll sell them to me, so I don’t give them any space in my store. I carry some of their consumables (mats, etc.) but that’s all. I’m pleased that people routinely come from well over a hundred miles away to shop in my store. Makes each day a lot of fun, to be sure!

          • Stephanie Medley-Rath June 5, 2012 at 11:17 am #

            Ooh, Karen, hold that thought on carrying merchandise like you describe. That comes up in my next post. 🙂

  30. Amy May 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    I think this was a huge contributing factor to a two year break I took from scrapbooking. I didn’t know if I’d ever make it back. I’m so glad that I did and now I can generally get past it. It is though still a large part of why I don’t always subscribe to the major mags- nothing like the Baby issue to be nothing of great value to me.

    I was also very thankful that in the time I took the break, a lot of things changed in the focus of scrapbooking. . . to more every day, to less events, etc that truly were where I think I was headed before I took the break.

    After having a hysterectomy and struggling through the adoption process to get to the other side of it all without children, it’s disheartening when you get an email that says “congratulations you are expecting” from a company that caters to scrapbookers. That one really blew me away. But, you know, I think that a lot of it is just the same culture as you face outside of the scrapbook world. I can say that I’ve not experienced anything as a childless scrapbooker that I’ve not faced outside the world of scrapbooking from others.

    • Stephanie Medley-Rath May 22, 2012 at 11:34 am #

      Thanks for commenting. You’re right about the how the messages about “expecting” also come from outside the industry. Companies really need to think a bit more. For some reason I’ve started receiving two subscriptions to Parents magazine and I recently got coupons for formula in the mail. And no, the companies do not know something I don’t know. I have a three-year-old and none on the way, but somehow I’m back on their “expecting” mailing list.

Let us know your thoughts!