so, is it the crunched economy that is killing

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Posted 10/14/2009 by Long ago Barney in General Scrappin'
 

Long ago Barney
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Posted: 10/14/2009 10:24:02 PM
so many god sb companies or is it people going digital or is it that people are dropping out of sbing?? curious as to others op.

MotherofJackals
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Posted: 10/14/2009 11:29:38 PM
IMO it's the economy combined with lack of business experience in some cases. Many scrapbook companies seem to be owned an operated by people who are new to the business world.

I also think that the popularity of the hobby has peaked. Some companies walking away since the cash cow isn't giving milk anymore.

TracieClaiborne
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Posted: 10/14/2009 11:53:18 PM
I think it is the slow death of the local scrapbook store.
The wholesale companies depend on the local scrapbook store to support them.
This industry was birthed in the local scrapbook store.
Now that they are dying, so are the companies.

I worked at 3 LSS's that went out of business and we predicted this years ago.

BearsnCubs
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Posted: 10/14/2009 11:53:37 PM
I think the economy has a huge part in it.

TreeLover
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Posted: 10/15/2009 7:05:01 AM

so many god sb companies or is it people going digital or is it that people are dropping out of sbing?? curious as to others op.

I know that among my friends we have a deep saturation of product. We cannot be in a single bubble on this. I think we are like a LOT of our fellow scrappers.

One of my scrap buddies stated last weekend when we had our all day crop at a mutual friend's home that she could buy nothing but adhesive and have enough to scrap with for the rest of her life. And about 10 others either chimed in or nodded in agreement.

We have the Wishblades, Pazzles, Expressions and so on.

We have the punches, the cutting templates, the storage containers, the travel totes.

We have enough Bazzill to start our own paper warehouse.

We have printed paper galore.

We have almost every adhesive machine Xyron or Tombow or CM or anyone else ever made that was worth a darn. And a few that weren't even worth half a darn.

We have embellishments and sticker letters and Primas and crystals and you name it.

We have scissors in every shape and size and length.

We have 12x12, 9x9, 8x8, 7x7 and 8x11 albums stacked up along with hundreds of sleeves for the pages to go in just stacked up on bookcases.

We have bone folders and ScorPals and scoring wheels for rotary trimmers that we no longer use because we've gone on to bigger and better trimmers.

We have Genesis and Rotatrim and Carl HD and Dahle trimmers.

What the heck else do we need?

I truly do believe that if I were to order 10 refills of my pink and green adhesive and 5 of my monster adhesive and two more bottles of Diamond Glaze you could lock me in my studio with a stack of photos and I'd be good to go for at least the next 10 years. Just please send fresh fruit and water daily!

The women I was scrapping with have not been hit by the economy in any meaningful way. I know that cash flow is not impacting them. But the sense of being fully saturated is. And I think there is likely a ~perfect storm~ of sorts where in a saturated scrappers view there isn't anything new and exciting out there that makes enough folks want to buy in any significant way and there are also folks who don't have money for superfluous extras, which is how scrapping is seen in many households, either due to the economy or their regular lot in life.

People were beating their breasts over the Scenic Route failure and I went to see what was available on the site and I found that the things I liked of theirs I already had plenty of and there wasn't anything I hadn't seen a million times before on their site. It was stale and uninteresting. If I already have over 65 inches of patterned paper (I was always told to measure in inches, not pieces) and over 90 inches of Bazzill, why would I want to buy anything from them that wasn't hot, fresh and new?

And why would anyone else?

I don't think we can just blame the economy. The industry needs to come up with fresh designs in consumables and give us a reason to want to buy their products.


ScrapinCT
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Posted: 10/15/2009 7:10:19 AM
I think its partially the economy.

But I think companies keep product too long. I like a new line of paper, I buy it and then have to wait 6 months for the next new line. The more they put out, the more they sell. Thats where I always shop at LSS too, because Mikes and them dont change paper often enough for me.

Companies don't think very logically at times either. Everyone makes distressed paper right now. Why not do something that everyone else isnt? People like me and many I know, don't like the distressed look, so we buy nothing.

I think our stores have caught on. They have tag sales, 10 times a year in total (among all LSS). It gives us a chance to sell the old and buy the new. I am selling 182 next weekend at the sale, and then will buy new in the store. That's a great way for stores to profit



andibb
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Posted: 10/15/2009 7:31:29 AM
I think the number of die-hard scrappers out there is a stable number but those who jumped in when it was the "hot" hobby have probably fallen by the wayside. It happens in every craft field: scrapbooking stores have been replaced by bead and yarn shops in our area.

The number of magazines has declined so the publishing frenzy of a few years ago has calmed down. I do believe that there were many wonderful scrappers out there who got discouraged over the inability to get published and simply gave up sb'ing. Instead of scrapbooking being enjoyable, it became a painful reminder of dreams not realized. Those who scrap to tell the family history still do so to this day. Those who "competitively scrapped" are not so visible or active anymore.

Those of us who have scrapped longer than 10 years remember all too well that there were few products available back in the day. So we hoarded, stashed, traded, swapped, and built our stashes to a point where it will be a challenge to use it all. (Tree Lover: I measured my PP stash and it's 64 inches--as tall as I am, yikes).

I don't think digital has been a very big factor since tactile scrapping is still strong. It might be a factor in the future, but not just yet. Pricing varies too much in digital kits and after working all day, most scrappers want to avoid computer usage, not do their hobby on one.

I think the turning point was years ago when CK ran an ad that said "Make your friends envious" or something to that effect. Scrapbooking then seemed to turn towards stocking these studios and scraprooms to the point where it became nearly impossible to grab a tote and take off to a crop. When folks started scrapping inside their own homes instead of going to crops at CM-style parties and church basements and firehalls, CM slowed down and the pub frenzy took off which seemed to alienate scrappers from each other. For awhile, no one even wanted to post to online galleries and I remember lots of messageboard fights over not attritbuting a scraplift properly. In a way, it could be petty and I think that behavior drove away potential newbies to sb'ing.

My budget hasn't decreased but I'm not finding anything desirable out there at the current time, so I fortunately find myself with extra funds. I joined debt-free divas, participate in DebbiT's stash challenges, and thanks to Wookiemouse, my scraproom is under control.

I am falling in love with my stash all over again: now I am using it and not replacing it. It's really returned the joy of scrapbooking to me when I use those gorgeous pp's instead of saving them. I create my own embellies in colors I love and am finding it as exciting as when I first started and had to make my own stuff. I rediscovered my exacto and find it therapeutic to handcut titles. No cricut for me.

Everything goes in cycles and I'm sure a few years from now, sb'ing will become hot again. Maybe not sb'ing the way we do it now but perhaps a different form or method. Time will tell.

JMHO.

jloubier
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Posted: 10/15/2009 7:43:11 AM
I totally agree with the previous Peas about over-saturation. I have not set foot in a scrapbook store in months. No desire to either. I still scrap, and I still have plenty of papers and embellishments to choose from without having to buy anything new. It feels good to acturally use my stash, knowing I once spent money on it and that it did not go to waste.


Jacynthe




Helen *Mc
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Posted: 10/15/2009 8:12:59 AM
I personally think its a combination. Probably economics hit hard, but scrapbooking did peak about a year ago or so and was plateaued, slightly falling due to economics. The magazine industry was hit hard also, so most of it is economics. What is left over is perhaps new business owners, taking into account that there is always a majority of first small business owners who fail.

Though, I'm not sure I entirely agree with die hard scrappers being necessarily a completely stable number. Some of us have had to review our hobby and course of action due to job loss or the bad entry level market for jobs. No one can scrap if they have no money, though one good thing about being a die hard is perhaps the fact that we have enough supplies to last a lifetime anyway! lol!



Sandyscraps
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Posted: 10/15/2009 9:41:22 AM
I really think you ladies hit alot of it on the head. Most scrappers have too much stash. And as I say over and over again we are not getting new scrappers into the hobby. CM is pretty much dead around here. And as a long time LSS owner it hurts us. CM was the way most people were introduced into the hobby. I know I was. And then my customers came looking to expand their horizons. My current customer base is completely different than when I first opened. Very few of my original customers still come around. Some because there are stores closer to their homes but alot have quit scrapping.
We are getting more and more card makers in, partly due to Stampin Up and partly do to the fact that the instant gratification is in cards not a 2 hour layout.
Quickutz used to be a huge seller for us and I mean huge. I can't give their products away most days now. So many people have Cricuts and other digital cutters that they do not need dies, fonts, stickers, accents.
In Canada the economy is getting better but I can tell you that my sales are down and we have lost some LSS in the area but sales have still not picked up. I believe alot has to do with those people realizing they have a ton of products on had already.
Within a year it will be very hard to find an LSS. They will only be in Metro areas.
And I know that they are going to some big changes from alot of manufacturers. I can see it happening in policy changes, the huge number of sales the manufacturers are finally offering to the over stock LSS. Unfortunately the marketing is not there. Manufacturers are putting product on sale so fast now, just trying to recover costs. And alot of times it is product I just bought a month or so ago. Dumping product is not the way to make the hobby rebuild but that is another story.
There are so many factors that are contributing to this decline and it will get worse much worse.

lancene
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Posted: 10/15/2009 10:31:44 AM
I suspect the downturn is due to a combination of all the things that have been mentioned. I've been scrapbooking for about 13 years and there is VERY little I need or want. However, when a new and interesting tool does come out, none of my local vendors (and I live in a moderately sized town - 2 LSS, 2 Michael's, a Joann's and local craft/sewing store) carry it. Although the LSS will order a product for me, they only do it once they have a large enough order to justify the shipping expense. I understand, but for my purposes it just makes more sense to order online. I continue to collect Michael's coupons, but I rarely find much to buy with them - I get adhesive and replacement blades for my trimmer. I think the stores are making purchasing decisions based on the bad economy (they aren't willing to take a chance on an unknown product); I think long-time scrappers are saturated with product AND keeping on eye on the bottom line; a lot of inexperienced people thought that a love of the hobby was enough to equal success in business; and fewer new scrappers are joining our ranks. I do not buy into the overly dramatic scenario that scrapbooking is "dying" - but as anything does, it will change and evolve with time and circumstance.

Loydene
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Posted: 10/15/2009 10:31:55 AM
I agree with the over-saturation concept -- I - and my posse -- are with TreeLover -- we have scrap rooms stacked with ... everything needed for all our next lifetimes.

I was in Michaels (with a coupon) and Archiver's (with a coupon) yesterday --- everything look like what I already have. I don't need anything ... and everything that is out, looks like my stash -- so I don't "want" anything. There isn't anything new to tempt me.

ScrappinRandy
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Posted: 10/15/2009 10:58:35 AM
I think it's the economy and natural selection so to speak. The best of the best are keeping afloat but others not so much. I know this is not the case 100% of the time but what I see with my own two eyes, it is.



pennyscraps
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Posted: 10/15/2009 11:16:23 AM
Well I wrote this long and pithy post and then the internet ate it so I'll try again....

I agree 100% with treelover and andjibb. I have scrapped for 15 years now and have spent the last 4 perfecting my scraproom and my stash. I have an entire row of my Expedit full of pattern paper and 3 cubbies of cardstock to boot. I have gone to CE and CKU. Been there, done that, got the t-shirts. After shoulder surgery and recovering and regrouping this year, I have realized that I have been busy shopping for the past 2 years and not scrapping. I realized somewhere along the way I got swept into the stream of shopping for projects and printing a picture here and there and making a kazillion mini albums. No mas!

I am working on catching up on getting 2008 and 2009 photos printed. I am learning PSE and I am taking scrapbooking classes online. I am loving my hobby again - the basics of pictures and words and a little of this and that. Excluding retreat and trip activities, I have scrapped more LO's in the past two months than probably all of last year. (When my 15 YO DS asked me one day when was I going to make a LO again I kinda' woke up!)

I am so much more satisfied right now and totally in love with my hobby. I am content to scrap at home in my whole big room and the music I love with my family hanging around than hauling all my stash here and there for 5 hours of a blitz on half a table. I have had so much joy this month in just reconnecting with my photos and getting my picture orders going and organized. (Thank you Wookiemouse for your amazing energize challenge and thank you Stacy Julia for Photo Freedom and BPS!)

One quick case in point I'll make is I think the manufacturers are out of touch with the marketing curve of us scrappers, e.g. the launch of the Gypsy. It is totally out of touch with where I am as a mostly stay at home scrapper. I would LOVE if they would have downloadable images that we could buy like music on iTunes. I am much more apt to buy this and that and not think I need to have a $300 Nintendo-esque toy tool.

I think, like some others, that the strong will adapt and survive and I'll still be tooling away in my little red room, scrap slap happy. And you'll be there in yours, right? Poring through our 6 foot piles of paper....


Penny

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MotherofJackals
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Posted: 10/15/2009 11:19:54 AM
I think you all have a point with saturation. I know several people who have decided they can't buy until they use more of their current stuff. They have the money but have run out of space. I know my stash is modest in comparison to some but it's easily 10 times what it was 10 years ago.

I also agree with ScrapinCT as well. I happen to like some of the current styles but it's often hard to tell if a paper is from one company or another because they are all so similar. If I didn't like some of the current trends it would be hard to stay interested in the hobby and I wouldn't buy.

MotherofJackals
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Posted: 10/15/2009 12:27:39 PM

I've only been doing paper crafting for about two years (I've been a Pea for less than a year) but I already feel like I have more than enough stuff.


That's how I felt years ago. I had lots of stuff, plenty to create anything I would ever want. Add a tool here, a great sale there, a product line you just love and multiply by 16 years of stamping and scrapping and you end up with a ton of stuff.

scrapper2k
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Posted: 10/15/2009 1:34:20 PM
I agree with the oversaturation. There is new product so often, the stores can't keep up. I buy what I like, not because something new came out.

Take my favorite company, for example. Quickutz. New releases every month, gift sets, and exclusives. Unless someone is a major collector, just how much can you justify needing? They came out with four gift sets last spring. They were hyped at being produced in small amounts, buy before they disappear... You can find them all now at 50% off.

I chose QK because I'm a major font collector and I love them but I worry they might not be around forever. Ditto on the other companies we all love and the lss.

daisysmom
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Posted: 10/15/2009 1:38:39 PM
When times are tough, people give up the "luxuries", and I thinking crafting is one of those. Why buy more (when you don't really have the money), when you can make do with items in your stash?

At least that's my thinking...


***Lisa***

Empty nester, Disney lover, Starbucks drinker, scrapbooker forever!

kshenkar
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Posted: 10/15/2009 2:01:20 PM
I think the loss of LSSs and magazines have to do with larger trends, that are only exacerbated by the economy. The reality is that larger corporations have a much easier time staying afloat than small businesses, and are able to take risks on new products and get distribution happening fast. The LSS is suffering in the same way that a small family-owned business does, too.

As for the magazines, they are part of the general problem with print media. When you can get your information online, you dont need to get it from a printed source as much. For example, I used to find out the new products from magazines alone. Now, I know about the product even before it hits CHA (from sneak peeks) while the magazine won't hit the stands for another few months. That said, I LOVE being able to hold a magazine in my hand, which is why I subscribe to BHG and CK.

And, of course, the economy matters--when you can't pay your mortgage, rub-ons will have to wait. I still spend within a certain budget, but the reality is I can't rely on my husband's job being there a few months from now, so I have to be careful.

Sorry that's so long! Just my 2 cents)

TracieClaiborne
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Posted: 10/15/2009 2:01:36 PM
I also agree that people have so much, they just plain can't justify buying more but I have to disagree with...


I don't think we can just blame the economy. The industry needs to come up with fresh designs in consumables and give us a reason to want to buy their products.



I wish that were true for me! I could easily spend hundreds on the new stuff that just came out. I love a LOT of it. October Afternoon and American Crafts ar two that stand out as having fresh and exciting designs. Also, MME, Jenni Bowlin, Making Memories, the list goes on!

wookiemouse
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Posted: 10/15/2009 4:19:27 PM
I also agree with the over-saturation. My financial situation has not changed with the economy - it's actually improved over the past year. But my spending has plummeted - why? Because there's NOTHING NEW OUT THERE! I can count the number of new things I got that are truly NEW on one hand - the Tim Holtz tiny attacher, my Fiskars apron lace border punch....gosh, that's really all I've bought lately, other than things that I've run out of like adhesives and markers. Everything else is same-ol, same-ol. That's how you kill business.

Stacy

ScrappinRandy
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Posted: 10/15/2009 4:31:45 PM
Another thing I have noticed about myself is when I start a new hobby, I buy everything or so it seems. Then the wanting subsides a little. And as time goes on I buy less and less!



paperpea
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Posted: 10/15/2009 4:47:29 PM
I really don't think the economy is the reason. It's been declining for a while and there are companies who do well despite the economy. If women will clamor to purchase expensive die cut machines, and have every one that comes out and all the accessories for them, the economy is not a problem.

A whole bunch of women had one or two good ideas to start something but lack the business knowledge and creative ideas to continue long-term. They would have been better off to team up with an existing manufacturer and license their line.

It's like magazines. Everyone tries to blame the economy but it is more the fact that magazines are dinosaurs when you consider the plethora of inspiration available online for free.


tracy

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TravelAgent
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Posted: 10/15/2009 5:07:34 PM
In my case, the "too much stash" syndrome hit first, and then the economy gave me that strength I needed to get off the buying binge. The more I use my stuff, the more I realize I don't need more. I can't make a dent in what I have now, and while tools are nice, you can only use so many of them per page, too.

Julie



Donna in GA
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Posted: 10/15/2009 5:49:12 PM
For me it is a combination of a huge stash, very little time to scrap, and a LSS that just doesn't thrill me. She bought out a store that I loved and moved it to a building that is just very awkward. I don't like shopping there because it just feels so cramped.

Right now, about the only thing I am tempted by is new Cricut Cartridges, but I have to wait until the are on sale.

momof3b1g
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Posted: 10/15/2009 6:08:23 PM
I think alot has to do with running out of ideas. News trends etc. I haven't liked alot of what they have been bringing out the last year.
Prices have gone up and not worth what you get. Shipping has gone up.

Some is economy, but things like the Silhoueete not having to buy anything. Sure has helped me not spend.



2boysandwill
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Posted: 10/15/2009 6:28:34 PM
I think the prices have gone up waaaay high...the economy is simply helping us not feel guilty about it.

I remember purchasing pp for under .50...now, I'm LUCKY if I get it for UNDER $1.35

Just the other day a BG paper pack was $27.50 I said "What?!?" when I saw that sticker price. It's just not worth it...everything is TOO EXPENSIVE now.

daisymarie
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Posted: 10/15/2009 8:09:59 PM
I agree with the previous posters that the sb industry is slowing down for several reasons.

The state of the economy has made all of us more careful with our spending. With most of us having such big stashes, we have been more frugal with our money and have tried to use what we have.

I just went to CKC last weekend and noticed it was much smaller both in the number of vendors and shoppers.

I have also reached the point where I'm getting tired of this hobby and am interested in spending my money on decorating and updating my house. My daughter has gone away to college and I'm not taking many photos now.

I have been buying a lot of Graphic 45 to finish my heritage photos.

LindaBabe54
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Posted: 10/15/2009 8:57:39 PM
Golly! I can't help but wish I scrapped with some of you gals! I could help lower that stash! My "stash" such as it was, is down to practically nothing in the two years since my LSS went out of business. I stock up when we go traveling and it's gone by the next trip - and now, one of my go to stores (1000 miles away) is closing too. I shudder to think what I'll do when I run out of paper/cardstock (gotta SEE it to buy it) and there are no more LSS.

aerynkelly13
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Posted: 10/15/2009 11:14:01 PM
I guess I'm one of the few helping out then, buying things. our financial situation was horrible last year, and food took a priority. Add in the fact that I have a medium sized stash that could sustain me through a little while of not buying and was falling out of love with the hobby and I bought almost nothing. BasicGrey Archaic, that was it. And I didn't even end up cutting into it.

But now things have improved for us, DH printed me off a ton of pictures and I'm finding that not only do I like my old stuff, but I'm liking a lot of the new stuff coming out because I was out of the game for a whole year. It's like when you don't watch a TV show and catch a bunch of seasons on DVD (just did *that* with Supernatural). It's all new to you so you get really jazzed about it, even while everyone else is all "been there, done that".

I also agree with the gal that said when you start a new hobby you buy a lot and then it tapers off. It happens with everything. Because either there's so much to collect, so many accoutrements you need (consumable or otherwise), or you're still unsure as to what exactly it is you like about the hobby. Finding your style is easier with more options. I have, for example, a TON of fabric from when I first started quilting. But in the last two years I've bought very few things because I know what I'll use vs what I just like the look of.

In any industry if there's too many of us that are long term, and no "hobby money" for newbies to want to play with, then you're going to have a downturn no matter what. Even my friend that I just took to the Expo, she wants to scrapbook, but doesn't have the money to, so she's taking my old stuff and trading haircuts for it (she's a stylist). That's certainly not adding any funds to the companies.









aerynkelly13
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Posted: 10/15/2009 11:18:53 PM
2boysandwill: I dunno where you're looking, but those prices are insane. I just picked up BG by the sheet for .70, paper at Mike's for .50 and NO BG I've ever seen cost that much. Online prices are always the cheapest and the most expensive I've seen a pack was $18.95 stuff sold here at 2Peas.

LindaBabe54: How come you don't buy online? I don't have an LSS, and my Mike's and Joann's are both an hour and a half away, so I don't have an opportunity to shop local either. But I can get stuff shipped to me faster and cheaper (gas/time/sticker price wise) from several online sites. That'd keep you better stocked on basics as well as most online places are able to sell the entire paper lines and packs of cardstock.









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PeaNut 70,644
February 2003
Posts: 19,346
Layouts: 785
Loc: Southern California

Posted: 10/16/2009 12:51:29 AM
IMO, if they just went out of business this year or last year, it was the economy. If they went out earlier than that, it may have been a combination of all that you mentioned, plus the fact that big box stores like M's majorly expanded their scrap sections then. I can tell you with certainty that this Two Peas board was more active three to four years ago (not sure about more recently)and that's about when digital seemed to really take off. That's also when a lot of LSS's in my area closed, so despite the expanded box stores, that makes me think scrapping did drop off at that point.

Oversaturation could be a factor too. I think we Peas have stash problems more than most scrappers, but even though I only buy with specific projects in mind, I have so much leftover stash now, I rarely need more than adhesives, certain colors of cardstock, and since I have no diecutter, certain colors of letter stickers.



ostrich girl
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 288,003
December 2006
Posts: 5,658
Layouts: 4
Loc: Enjoying the spring in Ohio

Posted: 10/17/2009 8:40:06 AM
I agree to a lot of the comments posted, but would like to add one of my own.

Because so many of us have been doing this for so many years, we definitely feel more confident in our pages and projects.

When we started, we weren't really sure how to do stuff, or how to make it look like the pages in the magazines.

So we looked to the manufacturers to guide us, and that meant buying a lot of product to achieve that look.

We have learned to define our own style. We have learned how a lot of that stuff doesn't really fit or work with our everyday routine. Yeah, it could looks like the fancy pages and projects featured in the mags, but we don't feel like we have to compete to achieve that look.

When you start a new hobby, you look to others to guide you to make sure you are doing it "right". We don't need that anymore, and the excitement of having all the new stuff has worn off, because we have realized that we are not about doing it "right" anymore, we are looking to do it because we want to.

ibrokeitmommy
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 222,623
September 2005
Posts: 2,575
Layouts: 46
Loc: Michigan

Posted: 10/17/2009 9:11:05 AM
ITA with Scrappinrandy! I think alot of us started when there were very few companies out there so when the abundance of product started rolling in we bought it all! It was so new and great. Well now that we all have a huge stash it's more limited to what we think we will actually use vs what's the new hot item.

I know now that I do not need 10 different Christmas lines each year when I only scrap 3 or 4 Christmas layouts.




miss ellen
BucketHead

PeaNut 65,634
January 2003
Posts: 828
Layouts: 103
Loc: California

Posted: 10/17/2009 9:32:31 AM
I read somewhere that if we spend twenty dollars a month, we can help keep our LSS in business. I have been doing my part, have you?

dalayney
Shut the PEA UP! Yer gettin me all twitterpaited!

PeaNut 123,471
January 2004
Posts: 16,907
Layouts: 165
Loc: Husker by Heart in WI

Posted: 10/17/2009 11:36:06 AM
Well, I am fully supporting the scrapbook stores in my area, as I have now moved to Wisconsin where I have some good ones close by me.!

Before I had to travel two hours to an Archivers, or any small owned Sstore... Now? They're 15 min from me. I'm in heaven.


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