Could there still be room for old fashioned scrapbooking in the digital age?
I grew up in the age of scrapbooking: gluing pictures to over-sized pieces of paper, recalling important events. I learned this craft from my mother who created my very first scrapbook, my “baby book.”
I tried to keep this hobby going as my children grew. I went to a few scrapbook parties, bought a lot of supplies, and left with a page or two completed. Today, I mostly have a whole lot of pictures — in a whole lot of boxes — waiting to be put in some kind of scrapbook.
They all require you to upload and digitize your photos into stylish templates they provide. The end products are very professional looking — just like a store bought book. They don’t resemble anything like the scrapbooks I grew up putting together. Like other handmade items, scrapbooking has adapted to a digital world — or so I thought.
On a recent air flight, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Jerry and Lois McCall, staff members with Stamp and Scrapbook Expo, an industry-leading consumer scrapbook show that for the past 18 years, has been promoting traditional style scrapbooking all over the United States.
Jerry, Lois and three members of their team were flying to their last show of 2015 which just happened to be 10 miles from my home in Ontario, California. During our flight, I had the chance to talk to Jerry about how he and Lois got in to the scrapbook expo business as a second career and also hear firsthand how the business of scrapbooking is doing in the 21st century.
Jerry and Lois live in the Seattle, Washington area. Jerry worked as a statistician with the Department of Agriculture for 40 years, keeping track of the acreage of wine grapes, wheat and apples. Lois is an artist by trade and is known for her exquisite doll art. It takes Lois a couple of months to create her trademark Santa Claus dolls. Each one is custom made and sells for $400 – $500.
It was through one of Lois’ connections with her doll art that got them involved working as staff with the Stamp and Scrapbook Expo. For the past 10 years, Jerry oversees the Will Call area for each show and Lois is the “Door Prize Host.” She works with the vendors to donate door prizes then every 30 minutes during the show, she announces the winners of the door prizes.
The Stamp and Scrapbook Expo offers two days of classes, workshops and vendor booths. Most classes sell out before the various shows start. Their popular cropping workshops allow guests to bring their own supplies and work on their pages for a nominal fee. On the Thursday before the show opens, guests can sign up for the popular “Make and Take” class where various vendors have 30 minutes each to share new techniques and supplies.
I asked Jerry if they saw a decline in their business with the onset of online scrapbooking services. He said those companies have made an impact, but the truth is, there are a lot of people who still like to create paper scrapbooks. Another boon to the scrapbooking industry has been the interest in making handmade cards. “Carding has become really big. It uses a lot of the same supplies as scrapbooking,” shared Jerry.
How popular is the Stamp and Scrapbook Expo today? Jerry reported, “Dollar wise, 2015 was up over the year before.” Their biggest show for 2015 was held in Anaheim, California where they had over 13,000 guests. And at their 2015 Chicago show, there were 300 people waiting in line for it to open. Clearly, old fashioned scrapbooking is alive and well despite the digital age.
To learn more about the Stamp and Scrapbooking Expo or to find one of their 19 locations for 20i6, visit their website.
Are you involved with scrapbooking or card making?