Two Peas was created by my husband, Jeffrey, and I in February of 1999. As a new scrapbooker, I wanted to be able to find more cutting-edge products that I was seeing in the magazines and was having trouble finding in the local stores. At the time, the entire industry was still in its infancy stage and there was a lack of attention to the hobby in local markets. Driven to the internet to find items, I discovered that there was not an Internet-based company that featured these products as a local specialty retailer would--- for instance paper by the sheet, individual die cuts, and not grouped together in kits. With an interest in finding these products and providing them to other scrapbookers in the same dilemma, Two Peas in a Bucket was created. Products that are not found in local discount stores but are featured in industry magazines, at trade shows and other unique arenas are the mainstay of Two Peas. It was for the love of products that Two Peas was really created.
As it was then, Two Peas is still committed to bringing new and trendy scrapbooking products to the Internet. Patterned paper is still the largest percentage of the Two Peas in a Bucket product inventory, and the majority of this is offered in individual sheets rather than the usual packages offered by larger companies. Two Peas was the first to do this. This is what Two Peas does best. I have been heard saying many times “ you can’t scrapbook without paper”. Though this is not true with the arrival and success of Digital Scrapbooking, paper still is very important to the Two Peas Store Mission.
The site is a collaboration of Jeffrey and I, whose individual and diverse talents have been easily combined to create this awesome site. As a computer consultant for several years, Jeffrey had enough background in computer programming to do all of the technical design and development, while I provided all of the creative design work, including logo, appearance of the site, and general direction of the site contents. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in Art History and Classics, which had been encouraged by the love of the arts taught in the years of growing up in a family deeply involved in artistic endeavors. Spending years learning various arts and crafts, an appreciation was formed for all hobbies and crafts. Scrapbooking has been the last of a long line of crafts that I have done in my lifetime. It has been 12 years and I am still here, and have not moved on to another craft as I had with all the others. I actually been scrapbooking my whole life, in different mediums and just didn’t know that was what I was doing until much later. I seem to have developed a passion and a love for Scrapbooking that I do not have for any other hobby or craft.
With the interest in providing a place for other scrapbookers on the World Wide Web to call a home, Two Peas in a Bucket was created with more than just a store in mind. There had to be a place to post (or share) their own creations. After having spent some time on the Internet prior to building Two Peas the importance of having a place to share your creations was very apparent to us. A gallery was born. This is a special spot for people to not only see what others were doing and to learn from them—getting inspiration—but also to share their own accomplishments. There also needed to be a place for people to talk to one another; to communicate about the techniques they were trying, or hoping to learn more about. “I made this! What do you think? “ “How do I adhere a button?” A community message board was created to allow people to share their experiences, talk about ideas, and make new friends.
So we started out with a small loan of a few thousand dollars from my parents and built this little site. We didn’t know what to expect. Actually, I do know what we expected. We expected to make around $500 and attract a few customers as well as users. The journey to where we are today was fast paced, the site growing beyond our control, often likened to a monster, and bringing us to a successful ten years later. We vastly under-estimated our success, and at this point we have users numbering into the 400,000s and attracting millions and millions of page views each day.
Until July 2001, Two Peas in a Bucket was located in the basement of our home. We moved to a new house in this time frame doubling that space for a while. In 2000, Jamie Ward, Warehouse Manager was hired and brought on full time. Jamie has been an incredible part of Two Peas and its success, and is considered a third piece of the puzzle right behind Jeffrey and Kristina. A move to a corner of our current warehouse location was made in the summer of 2001. Up until 2002 Jeffrey worked a full time job as a Computer Consultant, and worked for Two Peas after hours or whenever he could spare a minute or two. These earlier years were spent constantly upgrading the site, always designing something new. We have done all of this growth and success with minimal staffing and a lot of time and devotion from all who have worked for Two Peas.
In those early years ‘Growing pains’ were a problem for the company. With all of the rapid growth, Jeffrey and I were painfully aware that we could not do this alone anymore. In 2006, we were acquired by Kaboose, a Canadian Media Company, which taught us a lot about how to run a business. In 2008, Two Peas was acquired by Leisure Arts, who has been in the crafting industry for more than 35 years. This new partnership brings many new facets to our company, already we have doubled the size of our warehouse (by literally cutting a hole into the space next to us), inventory levels are higher than ever before, we have more staff than we have ever had allowing our developers to get back to the business of creating new features for the site, improve our shipping rates and so much more.
We are a family. We call it the Two Peas family. Jamie, Rob, TJ, Kathy, they have all been in our lives for a long time, each in their own way. The others, well, they become part of the family as soon as they accept a position in our company. We have a lot of new faces around here in the last year. We love them all. They have fit right in and made their own place in our team. I don’t know how we would work without them at this point. We are a loud, rowdy bunch at the best of times, not unlike a family we liken ourselves to. Our real families are very much a part of Two Peas as well. Kristina’s Mom is seen in the warehouse on a regular basis, her dad helping out with building projects, Jamie’s Dad bringing in treats and extra hugs all around. Children are also a regular sight at Two Peas…. Jeffrey and Kristina’s 3 children speak of the ‘warehouse’ as if it’s just another home. And we have dogs here. Big Dogs. Jeffrey and Kristina’s 2 – Artemis (Black Lab) and Lucy (Great Dane); Jamie’s Penske (Greyhound) and sometimes even her little Mimi (Shih Tzu). Other dogs are known to visit and create a fun stir as everything comes to a halt when they are here. Everyone wants to see them.
We lunch together as a group on most days; eat a special lunch on birthdays; often make after-hour treks out to hang out together; have a big Christmas party each December and try to have as many other fun get-togethers that we can, including everyone’s spouses and children as well. We care about one another and look out for another. We have been through a lot together.
If the warehouse and office staff is our immediate family, then the Garden Girl design team could be considered our extended family. The idea behind this was my experience in teaching at a local store. The fulfillment that I gained from watching someone understand the process better; to see the light go on and watch them walk away happy and excited to do this new hobby…. The team was created in 2000 in attempts to educate our users, and to supplement the store sales. It’s so much easier to sell a product if people can see how it’s used. The Garden Girl team has been a close-knit group for so many years, even with the designers switching in and out on a regular basis. Their involvement in the site, and its design, its features, the site functions and products has helped to make Two Peas what it is today.
It is this family dynamic that makes Two Peas what it is today.
This has been an interesting journey, the last 10 years. We have made a lot of mistakes and knowing what we know now, would have done things differently if we could have a Do-Over. We have had great successes and learned so much about all things scrapbooking, business, e-commerce, the Internet, developing and success.
Since I am so passionately involved in Two Peas, feeling very strongly about all things that occur and knowing that it has touched so many people, it is with much emotion that I celebrate it’s birthday this year. I am so grateful to all who have been involved in Two Peas, our vendors, and without question, the hundreds of thousands of people who visit our site everyday. Thank you.