A debt of gratitude
The store that got me scrapbooking is closing.
Back in the days of teaching live classes on the Creating Keepsakes circuit, I would tell this story about how I, a graphic designer who loved writing and photography, became—to my complete surprise—a scrapbooker.
It started when I read an article in my local paper about a new "photo, memory, scrapbooking" store that was opening in Roseville, Minnesota. In the article, they mentioned a huge supply of photo albums and as a photo-taking mom of two young kids, I was always in the market for a new photo album. So I got in my car and made the three-mile trek to the what turned out to be the rest of my new, memory saving life.
I would always embellish my story when recounting it to my classes. I would tell them that I walked into the store and my jaw pretty much dropped. I was expecting Holly Hobbie-laden oversized books and cheesy stickers with sayings like, "Ears to you!" for Easter or goofy photo frames proclaiming, "No. 1 Family."
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Instead I saw this:
I literally stood at the front of the store and thought I must be in the wrong place. This was a scrapbooking store?
The warmth of the wood displays. The jeweled-toned wall colors. The lighting. The shelves of paper. The stuff so elegantly displayed. It seriously felt like a Pottery Barn for crafting.
It was as if the Heavens opened up and a single beam of light shone directly upon me as I heard choirs of angels singing, "Ahhhhhhhhhh."
The mother ship had called me home.
That day I picked up my very first scrapbooking supplies. Some cardstock, adhesive, patterned paper and a scrapbook magazine (Ivy Cottage, remember them?)
I went home and I made this:
And honestly? My life has never been the same.
Every few days, I'd head back to the store for a few more supplies to pile onto my dining room table. I picked up a second magazine, the premiere issue of Simple Scrapbooks, the publication I would one day become art director for. On an internet search for "scrapbooking," I came across Two Peas, a site where I would make some of the truest friends I have ever known.
Hell, I wrote two books! What? Honestly. All of my life I'd wanted to write a book, I just never knew it would be about scrapbooking and that they'd turn out to be pretty damned good. And Archiver's carried those books!
I knew nothing of this hobby beyond the occasional Creative Memories party and because of Archivers, I fell madly in love and this love transformed my personal, professional and creative life.
There are times when I'm quite certain I would not be here and you would not be reading this were it not for me walking into that scrapbook store back in 2001.
I won't say that I was the ideal customer over the years. As I became clearer on how I wanted to save my memories, I realized it involved less and less products.
Further, when Archiver's rolled in, the other smaller stores had trouble keeping up and eventually went out of business.
I went to the store last Friday and picked up a few things I didn't need just to remember that joy I would feel every time I walked in there. I felt like I was somewhere where people understood me. Where people didn't think I was wasting my time. Where people went to save their lives.
I started to relay my story to Carole at the register and she simply said, "Don't make me cry!"
I just wanted to share this story today and to say thank you to Archiver's. I wish you could have made it. I really do.
This scrapbooker will always be grateful.