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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Death of the scrapbook?

With the closing of Two Peas in a Bucket and the merging of so many companies....is the scrapbook industry dying?  This question has been posted a lot over the last few months.  So that got me wondering....is it dying?  Has it peaked?  Was there a bubble?

After doing some research, it turns out we have been asking these questions for a long time.  I found one article from way back in 2004 wondering how paper crafting could possibly maintain its current success.  The truth is....it can't and it didn't.

That is what most would call a bubble.  I remember those days in the early 2000s.  There were so many new companies and new product.  It was hard to keep up....actually, impossible to keep up.  And impossible to sustain.  Last week one of our followers mentioned Junkits and Rusty Pickle, two of my favorite companies, and it took me on a trip down memory lane.  In my craft room you will also find, Scenic Route, Cosmo Cricket, Keeping Memories Alive, Lil' Davis, Gen X, Daisy D, Chatter Box, 3 Bugs in a Rug, All My Memories and more.  Companies who have come and gone or moved on to other things.

Keeping Memories Alive was one of my 1st purchases when I started scrapbooking back in 2000.  They were one of the few companies to produce scrapbooking supplies.  Most of my friends were using Creative Memories, which was also sold and now appears to be closing.  The KMA brand was purchased by Scrapbook.com where you can still purchase their albums.  I still have some of their paper and die-cuts, which I use from time to time.

While saying goodbye is hard, it was only natural that not all of the companies would make it.  It is also not surprising that so many of the companies are merging.  That to was predictable too.  One industry expert described it like this:

"When the process of turning grain into flakes was first developed, over 300 new cereal companies were opened within 3-5 years of each other. Of course, we all know now that only a few remain, even though cereal remains a vital, stable part of our diets.

The same thing will happen throughout the scrapbooking industry as we mature, but we are still growing (out of our infancy, but definitely in our toddler stage). We are already seeing this happen, as many of the larger companies are buying up the smaller manufacturers."

And that quote was from 2003 via Creative Leisure News.  

So that gets me back to my original question....is scrapbooking dying?  I believe the answer is yes and no.  It was bound to contract as all bubbles do.  But I do not believe it will go away completely.  It was around long before the bubble and will be here long after the bubble ended.  The scrapbook industry has long since peaked and as it continues mature it will continue to consolidate.  

In my own journey with scrapbooking, I walked away for several years.  Not because I did not want to scrapbook, but because I was limited on time.  In the last 6 months I have reignited my love of scrapbooking, I will talk more about that on Friday.  I know I am not alone.  So  maybe scrapbooking will go through a renaissance.  Cuz as we know......everything that is old is new again. ;)

So tell me....have you stopped a certain type of crafting only to start again?  What products do you have in your stash from companies no longer in business.

Happy crafting and thanks for stopping by.


  1. I only make cards and don't do any scrapbooking and have only been paper crafting for about 5 or 6 years so can't say I really have many products in my stash from companies that are no longer around. I do own some stamps that I purchased used that were made by companies that are no longer with us like PSX and the like.

    What amazes me is how many new stamp companies are always popping up on the Internet. With so many companies either going out of business or getting swallowed up by another larger company, I don't see how little, new companies can really make it. You see one here or there that is unique in their offerings and they catch on and seem to grow but that doesn't happen often.

    While it appears that there has always been some ebb and flow in this industry as you described above, it just my opinion, but I think a lot of the more recent closures and mergers are happening because the economy is so bad. This, after all, is a hobby industry and it's products are not necessities. Most people, including the media, don't want to be honest and tell it like it is, but the economy has not been in an upswing and in reality we are not in a recession, but a full scale depression. Unemployment has not gotten better (not that they ever report the "real" numbers)... they've just stopped counting the people who have been out of work for an extended period of time or have given up looking for work. So, as long as the economy is so bad, more and more people will have to cut back or even give up their hobbies just to keep the heat bills paid, food on the table and gas in their vehicles. None of us want to give up the activities that give us some escape, but those things have to be the first to get cut when money is tight. So, that means that only the strongest and most popular companies will have a chance of surviving as the customer base for scrapbooking and other paper craffing supplies shrinks.

  2. Hello Anonymous,
    I would agree that we are not in a recession. But that leaves us with a definite need to use what we already have in our stash. Such is the nature of this blog. "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" is a good motto!

    1. Hi Shirley,
      I just LOVE This Motto " Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" However some are better at having the Knack for this. I like to Follow this Motto whenever and wherever I can and though I find it very Easy around The Home, I find it Incredibley DIFFICULT in My Craft Room due to continuously Changing Trends. Is there a Certain Wat that I am Missing?

  3. Online has hurt us as well. You can do all of your scrapbooking online with digital images and photo shop...hate to say it, but even your site has hurt the industry. Craft classes online take away from the teachers that teach in the store...if they can get it when they want it, it's easier for them so they no longer have to sign up for classes in the shops....not coming in for classes is one less opportunity for the teacher to promote store items. Right now, my scrapbook classes bring in 2 - 3 people. My card classes bring in 10 - 12..Not a large group, but in our area it's pretty good. We have two other shops within 10 miles of us and this month we have all downsized....One of them put the building up for sale.

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  5. I believe it is historical fact that Hollywood flourished during the great depression as people sought escape from their day-to-day survival struggles. As Anonymous points out, “none of us want to give up the activities that give us some escape” I believe the scrapbook industry is not dying it is just changing form. Valerie’s observation that online opportunities are taking business from local retailers reflects the larger trend that is happening not just in the crafts industry but also in almost all retail arenas. The reduce reuse, recycle mantra will most likely bring us full circle to where many home-based crafts began— quilting and fabric arts, for one example. I think in the long run, the very technology that seems to be destroying this industry will ultimately promote the intrinsic value of the handcrafted arts. As books themselves disappear from retail stores and library shelves, crafters and artists make handmade and altered books, reviving some of the traditional bookbinding and papermaking arts that all but disappeared in the age of mass production. I think for myself, this entire discussion will inspire me to avoid trends and work more on honing my craftsmanship.

  6. Thanks everyone for your responses....always more to think about. :) I am certain the recession did not help, I still think that the scrapbook industry would have 'corrected' either way. But it might have taken longer.

    Again...thanks for sharing.