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Starting a Successful Creative Scrapbooking Business, Part I

If you have the talent to create eye-catching scrapbooks, why not turn your hobby into a lucrative creative scrapbooking career? It’s the perfect part-time job for anyone with artistic flair, creativity, and a bit of old-fashioned chutzpa!

Creative scrapbooking has taken the world by storm. It’s relaxing, fun, social… and, let’s face it, incredibly addictive! After all, what scrapbooker doesn’t smile with pride when she or he finishes a decorative project?

If you have the talent to create eye-catching, creative scrapbooks, you can actually turn your hobby into a lucrative creative scrapbooking career. In this three-part series, we’ll show you some of the secrets to running a home-based creative scrapbooking company that regularly adds extra coins to your coffers!

Why Creative Scrapbooking?

People from all walks of life have photos and mementoes cluttering their homes. They’d love to organize and arrange them, but don’t have the time (or, in some cases, the ability.) That’s where you, as a professional scrapbooker, can step in!

Through creative scrapbooking, you can create delightful, entertaining, and touching memory books that will be certain to have a very long shelf life. Imagine… your scrapbook creations could someday become precious family heirlooms passed down from generation to generation!

What Types of Scrapbooks Sell?

Creative scrapbooking is an incredibly versatile field because you have virtually no boundaries. Graduation scrapbooks, family tree scrapbooks, baby scrapbooks, wedding scrapbooks, and achievement scrapbooks are only a few of the countless styles of creative scrapbooking inventions you can market.

Use your imagination; anything that’s relatively flat can go into a scrapbook, so the sky’s the limit.

Can Scrapbooking Really Be Profitable?

Creative scrapbooking, as with any legitimate business, won’t make you rich overnight. But if you’re determined and plan your creative scrapbooking operation pragmatically, you can absolutely make money from this burgeoning industry.

Best of all, creative scrapbooking is a low overhead industry. You’ll need to start with a modest amount of scrapbooking supplies, but you can build your stock over time thanks to fast shipping and wholesale prices offered at Internet scrapbooking supply stores.

How Can I Start Professionally Scrapbooking?

Obviously, the first step to starting a creative scrapbooking company (even one with a single employee, aka “you”) is to develop a business plan. This document should include an overview, financial information (including income and expense projections, marketing ideas, local competition statistics, and realistic growth rates.

Though you may not be able to find exact data to work into your creative scrapbooking business plan, try to be as complete as possible. The more information you include, the better your chances of success.

Do I Need Any Formal Training?

Though there are no credentials needed to call yourself a creative scrapbooking pro, you may want to take a few community courses on scrapbooking design. Doing so will keep you “in the know” as far as the latest products and trends are concerned; it will also provide you with fresh ideas to propose when working with clientele.

What Do I Need in Terms of Stock?

One of the most essential items you’ll need to start a creative scrapbooking venture is scrapbooking paraphernalia. Chances are, you already have some supplies around your home, but if they aren’t organized, it’s time do so.

Invest in some bins (dollar stores have a plethora of options) and label them according to scrapbooking supplies, such as stickers, papers, backgrounds, adhesives, albums, markers, scrapbooking magazines (for inspiration), and borders. This way, you’ll always know exactly how much of each scrapbooking necessity you have and can order more before you run out.

Do I Need to Rent a Space for My Scrapbooking Business?

Though it would certainly be wonderful to have an “offsite” locale for your creative scrapbooking enterprise, it’s more likely that you’ll need to make due with your current digs.

Anything from a corner of your family room to a renovated closet can serve as your creative scrapbooking “headquarters”. Just make certain that you have enough space and light to work your magic and store your scrapbooking supplies!

What Will I Tell My Family?

If you’re worried about “breaking” the news to your family that you’re setting off on an entrepreneurial scrapbooking journey, you’re not alone. Many first-time business owners are reticent to reveal their plans to loved ones for fear that their significant others will not be supportive.

With that said, it’s critical to the long-term success of your creative scrapbooking business that you have the “buy in” of your kin. So take a deep breath, muster up all your courage, and boldly state, “I’m going to become a professional scrapbooker!  And when the money starts coming in, the first dinner out is on me!”

The Next Step

Are you eager to start your creative scrapbooking adventure? In our next articleBusiness Management Articles, we’ll explore how to set your prices and market and advertise your home-based scrapbooking services…

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Michele Cardello, director of marketing and creative for Life Imprints, a creative scrapbooking supplies company in Cleveland, Ohio, has worked in the photo packaging industry for 10 years. Cardello helps customers find creative ways to preserve and appreciate a lifetime of memories.

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