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Early Scrapbooking


During the fall of 1993, Keeping Memories Alive opened the first wholesale division in the scrapbook industry providing other stores with a source to purchase all of their scrapbook products at one place. This step helped move the industry forward as small scrapbook stores began opening up all over the United States. As scrapbooking became more well-known, people were searching for new, fresh ideas on how to preserve their own memories.

As a result of many requests from customers, Marielen Christensen authored and published the first idea book for scrapbookers in March of 1995. In 1996, Keeping Memories Alive made history again, as they launched the worlds first commercial website for scrapbook supply sales. In the United States, scrapbooking as a hobby has taken off in recent years, possibly in part because of its first commercial website. Another reason may be the strong social network that scrapbooking can provide. It is now a multi-billion-dollar industry with a large number of companies creating scrapbooking products.

Across the world, scrappers or scrapbookers get together and scrapbook at each other’s homes, local scrapbook stores, scrapbooking conventions, retreat centers, and even on cruises. Scrappers share tips and ideas as well as enjoying a social outlet. The term crop, a reference to cropping, or trimming, printed photographs, was coined to describe these events. This hobby has in the US surpassed golf in popularity: one in four households has someone playing golf; one in three has someone involved in scrapbooking. In the late 1990s, many scrappers in the US opened stores to turn their hobby into a business.

Within approximately five years, many of those stores were forced to close due to a downturn in the economy and the fact that many store owners mistakenly assumed that loving to scrap was enough to run a retail store. Many owners simply didn’t know how to run their stores. During this time, more multi-level direct sales companies were formed. Several were closed due to mismanagement, while others weathered the tough times. It also gave rise to a new breed of business - the home-based retailer. Companies arrived to provide information for individuals who wanted to break out of the direct sales mold and go out on their own. While vendors had traditionally stayed away from the home-based market due to fraud, they began to warm to the idea of the non-traditional sales channels as a way to get their products in front of more consumers through home parties and workshops. Working with a company like this enabled them to tap into legitimate home-based retailers. Originally, it was hard to find scrapbooking supplies, but now most major discount stores and almost all major craft supply stores in the United States stock them.

Scrapbook Totes