This Week's Closure Announcements:
- Victim #1: Anthropologies (Hurst, TX) announced their closing via their blog (here) last week.
- Victim #2:Windy City Scrapbooking (Chicago, IL) announced their closing today via their newsletter. (Excerpt here.)
- Victim #3: Creating Something Special (Peculiar, MO) announced a restructuring, inventory reduction, and business model change via their newsletter yesterday….. No reference available as they don't have a website or blog that I could find (??)
- Edits: Additional closures addded below after the original posting of this article…
- Victim #4: Memories Galore (Richmond, VA) announced (here)Sunday, Dec 5th that they will be closing both of their stores on December 20th.
This is upsetting. What the heck?!?
I mean, stores close. It happens, I know. As I've read about independent scrapbook stores closing throughout the past year 18 months, I've blamed it on whatever scapegoat I could think of: bad luck, the economy, the owner's poor business skills, competitor coupons, etc…… I think I'm running out of things to blame.
So what's the solution? Is there a solution? Or should we just sit here & watch our favorite hobby struggle? No, paper crafting isn't going to die a horrible death …. but it's definitely struggling. And I'm not going to accept lame excuses. We need to DO something!!
I think we need to focus on bringing new paper crafters into the fold. Do you remember the survey we did (here) in mid-November about Creative Memories?
No? Well, to refresh your memoery, here were the results…
Let's think about that for a second. Creative Memories was THE scrapbooking leader for many years. 1990's through about 2005 had them leading the way — and according to the poll results above, they were a huge influence in introducing women to our craft.
And yet now, while CM is definitely still a force in the industry, they are no longer the clear leader. Who is the new clear leader?
There isn't one!
Instead of one clear leader, we have a wonderful and creative selection of amazing smaller companies playing important roles in the industry. I LOVE it that the new, startup manufacturers like Echo Park now (and Graphic 45 a couple of years ago), can have such a fun impact on our everyday projects.
The problem is that these new "leaders" are exciting for the existing paper crafter — the current scrapbooker & card maker….. which has left us with a cavernous hole that needs to be filled! We need a new leader! We need someone out there who will "galvanize" the marketplace and bring new scrappers into the fold!
Who or what could that new leader be? At one point, I believed it would be us at PaperCrafter's Corner…. and while we are certainly doing our part, we are not it….. but I am still committed to believing that some new person or company is out there waiting to pick up the baton.
Hopefully they'll do it soon! (Until then, we are relying upon YOU to share the "gospel" of paper crafting with others.)
Any suggestions as to who we can tap to take over the paper crafting recruitment reins?