Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Interview with Michelle McVaney, Scrapbooking Editor at Bellaonline.com. Michelle is also owner of two scrapbooking businesses.
Q. How did you get started in scrapbooking, as a business venture?
A. I have been a scrapbooker for many years. Six years ago I came across a direct sales scrapbook company that offered a business opportunity to be an Independent Scrapbook Instructor. I didn't really sign up to start a business. I was signing up so that I could purchase the scrapbook products at a discount! I was so excited about the great products that I started telling everyone about it and the next thing I knew I had started a scrapbooking business! I was involved with that company for about 3 years. Then I got in at the very start of another direct sales scrapbook company. I have been in business as an instructor for the past 3 years now.
Several years ago I also decided to begin hosting weekend scrapbooking retreats. I have hosted Scrap Camp Weekend retreats for the past 6 years. We have around 100 women who gather together for a weekend of cropping, classes and friendship. Our retreats became so popular and many people began requesting more and more retreats so my sister and I decided to open a scrapbook retreat center! We now own Get Crafty Studios and have weekend retreats every single month.
Q. What does a Scrapbook Instructor do for their customers?
A. A Scrapbook Instructor teachers customers how to preserve their family memories through scrapbooking. We sell high quality archival products to the customers for their scrapbooking needs.
Q. What are some qualities, skills or special knowledge that would help one succeed in this business?
A. The great thing about scrapbooking is that almost everyone has pictures. Anyone can learn to scrapbook. A passion to teach others how to preserve their family memories is a great quality to have if considering being a scrapbook instructor.
Q. How would one get started in this business? What are some common sources of contacts or referrals for a beginner?
A. Getting started as a Scrapbook Instructor is very simple. You can sign up at Top Line Creations. The next step is contacting family and friends to host a scrapbook class for you.
Q. How does one make money?
A. There are several different ways to make money with Leaving Prints. You can teach scrapbook classes and charge a class fee. Ask family and friends to host a class for you. You can also teach classes at various stores or at your own home. Hosting crops (where scrapbookers get together and scrapbook for hours) is another way to make some income. You can charge a crop fee.
Selling scrapbooking products is another way to earn income as a scrapbook instructor. Once you have taught someone how to scrapbook they are going to need the scrapbooking products. As a scrapbook consultant you will be showing people how to use the supplies and tools that you sell. Scrapbookers can buy products from many different stores these days but the stores do not offer the personalized help that a scrapbook consultant can offer to each individual customers. That individualized attention really creates a customer loyalty to the consultant.
Many scrapbook instructors also realize that there are a great number of people who simply do not have time or the desire to scrapbook. These instructors provide a scrapping for others service. The customers provide the photos and discuss with the instructor what they would like and the instructor creates the scrapbook. The going rate for this service is 10-$15 per scrapbook page. As an instructor you are able to purchase the products and albums at a discounted rate so you make a higher profit than you would if you were simply buying the products from a retail store.
There is one more way to make money with Leaving Prints Scrapbook Instructor opportunity. You can teach others how to become a scrapbook instructor and earn commission off of their sales as well. Sponsoring other people to become a scrapbook instructor is a very rewarding opportunity financially and personally because you can help them start their own home based business!
Q. How much money can a scrapbooking business make?
A. Scrapbooking was more than a 2 billion dollar industry last year. Most classes average $250 in sales. So you would earn $75.00 profit by doing one class. Most classes usually take about 2 hours, so you would be earning $37.50 an hour.
Now if you do 3 classes a week, we will say they were all $250 classes. You would earn $225 in profit a week on class sales alone. If you do 3 classes every week you would earn $900.00 a month. And remember that is only working
2 hours 3 days a week. So a total of 24 hours a month spent outside of your home working you make $900.00.
If you incorporate some of the other ways of making money (scrapping for others, hosting crops, sponsoring others to start a business) into these class figures as well then you will see that you can truly make a very good living as a scrapbook instructor!
Q. Also, are there pitfalls in the income sector-charging too little, not getting deposits to cover materials costs, paying too much for supplies, etc.
A. Some new instructors expect people to come to them. You have to get out there and tell people about your business and the services that you offer. They will not just come to you begging you to teach them how to scrapbook.
Q. What else does one need to start up a scrapbooking business?
A. I recommend creating a scrapbook of your own to be able to show to people as an example of what scrapbooking is all about. Business cards, catalogs of your products, and flyers are also vital tools.
If you are teaching scrapbooking classes you will also need to decide if you are going to do a make and take at the class. If so you will need to order the supplies to have enough for each guest. If you sign up for Leaving Prints a make and take kit will come in your starter package along with all of the other tools that you will need to get your scrapbook business