Thursday, July 17, 2008

10 Year Anniversary!

In the scrapbook industry at least. Whoa it's been an interesting ride! :)

I started with PaperKuts Magazine when they had a full-time team. I can't even remember if we got paid or not. LOL! I loved working with Angie, Vicki, and Sandy. So much fun to watch the industry taking it's first steps. Was able to go to a few tradeshows and meet some very cool scrapbookers.

After a few years at PaperKuts, I went solo to freelance. I had my first publication in Creating Keepsakes. I felt so cool!! :)

My first manufacturing gig was with Making Memories. It was a dream job. They were so generous with product and pay and just treated us so well. Jenny Weston was my contact person and she is the most amazing Design Team Lead in the world. Ultra organized, very sweet, and just watched over us very carefully. It's fun to see how Making Memories has changed their style over the years.

Then I moved out East to Georgia and tried a couple of things: Scraptalk.com as a designer (my first online gig), publications here and there, and some other manufacturers.

I worked for Li'l Davis in its early years when their laser die cuts were all the rage. When Jenni Bowlin came on it went crazy. They are fun company with cutting edge products. I loved trying my hand at collage (but it's definitely not my favorite design style for my personal style).

I took a chance and tried out for my first design team (the rest had been by invitation up to this point). I contacted Karen Foster Design. Within a few months I was invited to join their team. Also another company that just treats us right.

I entered a contest with Deja Views and that's how I got that opportunity. Renee Foss is one of those DT Leads that you want watching your back. Deja Views/Little Yellow Bicycle are just awesome to work with: generous in every aspect. Love them so much!!

After I moved back to Utah, I was blessed with more opportunities: Inque Boutique, filming Nth Degree for Creativexpress, freelance work for CK on occasion, and now my writing gig with Scrapbook Trends.

It has been an amazing ride. I'm not sure how many more years I want to keep doing this. I think I will always scrapbook. Just not sure how much I want to take on as my family grows and changes (no I am NOT pregnant). I think I'm going to let some of my design teams go within the next year. Working 30 hours a week sometimes is a lot of work (even if I'm getting up in the wee hours of the morning to do it).

I've been sad to see the industry change lately. The economy is affecting everyone--including scrapbookers. Companies are slower to pay (if at all). That makes me sad. I hate to see a large company that doesn't offer financial compensation for hard work. Product is great, and I LOVE it. :) But spending 6 hours on a project for a sheet of paper and a sheet of stickers just isn't worth it any more.

I'm sad to see LSS failing--even here in Utah. Hate to see the little guys going out of business.

I'm sad to hear that CHA will be smaller this year and releases are smaller as well. I'm really interested to see what everyone thinks after the tradeshow this week.

I wonder where I'll be in the next ten years--more scrapbooking, another industry, back to school? I don't know.

I just feel grateful for the amazing people I've had the opportunity to meet and work with and for the creative outlet this has provided me.

So tell me about your scrapbooking stories? I'm sure you have lots of great memories as well! :)

4 comments:

  1. Happy Anniversary Jen! I enjoyed reading about all of your accomplishments over the years. I remember when you were with Paper Kuts! It IS sad to see how the economy is affecting the industry. I have a very good friend that owns an LSS here in NJ. She is managing, so far. I pray frequently that she will be able to keep going! Looking forward to another 10 years of your work!! Enjoy your day!

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  2. What a great statement Jen. I just wondering why all the DT members working so hard for a hand full products. Crazy.
    I'm scrapping since 4 years and feeling so sad that scrapbooking is now all about the product and not the stories and pics. Just my thoughts.
    Love reading your blog and your layouts. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  3. Congratulations on 10 years! It was pretty interesting to read your story -- and I must second your comments about Renee Foss. She is outstanding!

    My story goes from a Creative Memories party in Fort Wayne, IN, to a job at Paper Crafts magazine! Good stuff!

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  4. Jen, congrats on your longevity in this business. That isn't the case with many. But when you truly have talent and a good work ethic, the world is your oyster.

    I love hearing your journey, and would like all the nitty, gritty details. So interesting.

    I know what you mean about companies not paying. It was really bad in the Rep world. You just can't expect people to work hard and spend their own money on travel, and then wait for months and months to be paid!

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