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
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.