Friday, June 27, 2014
We Are The Industry : A Gentle Reminder For My Fellow Scrappers
As I'm sure most of you know by now, earlier this week Two Peas in a Bucket announced that they will be closing up shop for good on July 10th. I debated whether or not to write about its closing as there are already several beautifully written tributes including this one by Nancy Damiano and this one by Jill Sprott. What more can one say, really?
Two Peas was a pioneer in the scrapbook industry and it's sad to see them go. I never considered myself a "Pea" … I shopped there a few times and used their gallery as my scrapbook portfolio, but I never posted on the message boards and never considered the website my home base as far as community goes. That said, the news of their closing still saddens me because, to quote poet John Doone: "every man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind." The scrapbook industry sits in this unusual paradox of being large, yet small. There are thousands of us, scattered around the globe, and yet despite our numbers we are an extremely close-knit community. Thanks to blogs and YouTube channels and message boards and Pinterest we bond over a shared love of paper and photos. Any time a store closes or a manufacturer goes under, we all feel the ripple effects in one way or another. So I'm sad to see Two Peas go, even though it wasn't home for me.
But you know what makes me even more sad? To see comments like "well, this is the beginning of the end of the scrapbook industry" and "what is happening to our hobby?! " and all this talk of doom and gloom like scrapbookers have just received a knockout punch in the boxing match of life. So today I'm standing up on my soap box to proclaim: Friends, WE are the industry. You and I - not a store, not a website, not a company. US ... me with my glue gun and you with your sequins. We, the consumers, get to decide on the future of our industry. We get to shape its destiny. Not every business decides to close because of financial issues but most do … so cast your vote with your hard earned money. Invest in the businesses (stores, Etsy sellers, magazines, kit clubs, manufacturers, etc) that you love and believe in. Post about them on your blog. Mourn when a company announces their closure (and some will, because that's part an inevitable part of life) but celebrate loudly when new companies appear. Cast your vote with your voice and time. Host a scrapbook evening and encourage your friends to attend and show them what the hobby is all about. Make a scrapbook for someone. Quit being ashamed of having a "granny hobby" (I am so guilty of this) and share your passion on Facebook and Instagram. You might be amazed at who comes out of the woodwork with a keen interest in this granny hobby of yours.
And, most importantly, cast your vote with your heart. Instead of mourning the loss of yet another scrapbook store, why not make yourself a cup of tea and sit down in a cozy nook in your home and take some time to remember why you even scrapbook at all. Because, at the end of the day, scrapbooking isn't about a new package of enamel dots or a big CHA blog hop or an exciting new monthly kit. It's about combining creativity and documentation; it's about memories and art. And no matter how many stores close or how the retail landscape shifts, we will forge on with paper trimmer in hand because scrapbooking is a part of who we are.
The future of scrapbooking isn't being decided by a handful of corporate big shots in a board room somewhere. It's being shaped and molded and redefined by you and me in scrapbook rooms (and on dining room tables) around the world. We are the industry. May the news of Two Peas closing serve as a gentle reminder to each of us to love on our hobby and on one another, building up the community we care so much about.