talking about this industry.
This week our friend Ali Edwards announced a redesign of her site as the evolution of her brand has brought her new & exciting adventures. And her new site looks fantastic. I’m so happy for her and so very excited about the evolving journey that she is on.
And that got me thinking.
I’ve been feeling pretty sentimental about our industry lately. Our industry. This industry. I started “traditional scrapbooking” fresh out of high school in 1994 and within a year I was teaching at local stores, but the “scrapbooking industry” really took on a whole new meaning for me when I landed a job with Creating Keepsakes magazine after writing a few creative articles for the new publication. This industry has been a huge part of my life in that way for nearly 20 years now. Huge.
And just like the rest of you who have “been around” a while like me, we’ve seen lots of change. We’ve seen an amazing evolution. We’ve felt the heartbreak as several companies – and too many shops – have had to close their doors during a tough economy. Likewise, we’ve seen new companies arise and soar. We’ve seen acquisitions and partnerships and collaborations of all kinds. We’ve seen healthy competition, new ways to share, and new products to inspire.
This got me thinking about those who have played a significant role in this industry and where they are today. My dear friend and prior boss Lisa Bearnson sold Creating Keepsakes magazine years ago and took a break for a while, then revived her career selling scrapbooking products (including Project Life® time and time again) on the Home Shopping Network. Our friend and another industry icon Stacy Julian has now partnered her Big Picture Classes up with our friends at Studio Calico.
Then there’s Cathy Zielske and Heidi Swapp. A couple more long-timers around here. Two very different artists with two very different brands who are equally passionate about inspiring others in the space of memory keeping just like the rest of us … but with their own respective flavors. Cathy just went through an awesome website overhaul herself (talk about beautifully clean design!) and as you know, Heidi is now a part of the American Crafts family AND she has co-branded with our own Project Life line of products which you’re all probably aware of now. Woot!
Oh, and American Crafts. Our friends. Our partners in distributing Project Life to the masses. How grateful we are for that relationship. They might be acquiring companies and partnering with brands left and right (honestly, I don’t know how they can keep up with it all!) … but somehow they’re able to pull it off and I’m in awe. More importantly, I’m grateful for their role in this industry. They’ve been around forever, too, and deserve a lot of credit for all they’ve done to strengthen our industry. One more to mention: Most of you know Rhonna Farrer and her app that is rocking people’s socks with fun photo magic tricks. So cool. So proud of her for all she’s accomplished, and for the positive influence she has on so many!
In one way or another, in big ways and in small ways, I am honored to be associated with each of these phenomenal people and brands. And there are more. I didn’t mean for this to become a who’s who and what-ever-happened-to…. And I’m certainly not able to be inclusive to mention everyone. But you can see, the evolution of this industry is obvious. And it’s beautiful – to me. The reason it’s so beautiful is that this is pretty much one big family of people and businesses that care about helping others preserve their memories and tell their stories. That’s significant and truly meaningful for a thousand reasons.
And you know what else? There’s a lot of love and support happening in our circles. We really do honor our differences and celebrate the fact that we all have something special to offer, each of us with our unique angle on helping others in their memory-keeping endeavors.
Part of cultivating a good life is celebrating others’ successes while honoring our common goal through our unique differences.
Okay – a little sappy. I know. But seriously — many of these people I’ve mentioned? We’ve shared tears together. We’ve shared joys and frustrations and passion for what we do with each other. I love being a part of this special place where we celebrate with each other and our respective journeys. We’re seeing it this week with so much love and support around Ali and her new site. I have felt it myself over the years, and am already so grateful for all the support from my colleagues and friends regarding our new app about to come out.
I think it’s safe to say that all of us who work in this industry — We know that YOU guys are what keep us going. I thank you. And I love you for it.
And for the love, why am I so emotional today? ; )