So a stunning announcement was published today--Basic Grey, a pillar paper company of legendary proportion in the Scrapbooking community is moving away from paper and reinventing itself for other markets.

I distinctly remember the very first time I picked up a piece of paper from a "new company" named Basic Grey. It was a special piece of paper and quite honestly, it represented something monumental in the scrapbooking industry at the time.

Three things actually.

Basic Grey was the first major patterned paper producer to print patterned papers on cardstock-weight paper. I remember my personal discovery of this and the feeling of potential it represented. It was amazing to watch how quickly this became the industry standard.

Basic Grey was the first major paper producer to print double-sided paper. Options are always a good thing and printing a different but complementary pattern on each side definitely improves one's paper-crafting options!

Basic Grey was also the first major paper player hit that $1 per piece price point and didn't get slammed back into reality by consumers. It was that beautiful!

Sidenote: I was visiting a small scrapbook store in Jackson, Mississippi many years ago when the funniest thing happened to me. I collected up a few papers to purchase. The cashier sorted my selections into two stacks. She rang up the first stack at one price and then I noticed she was ringing up the second stack by charging me twice for each sheet. I inquired what the difference was and she said "We charge double for double-sided paper since its like you are getting two sheets."

Umm, no, sweetie. It's still just one sheet of paper.

That store didn't last long.

Anyway, over the years Basic Grey has become a staple in the industry. Their paper designs were considered more adult and their collections adaptable to many styles of scrapbooking and paper-crafting.

I've heard people say "scrapbooking is dying" quite often lately. And while that stabs at the very core of who I am, I can see it.

Ok. Well not really but I can see some major shifts.

I can not concede that scrapbooking is dying. Even if I thought it was, I wouldn't say it out loud. Having first started scrapbooking in 1996, when papers were limited to 8.5x11 in size and mail-order catalogs and one lone direct marketing company were our only resource options, that's just not a thought I'm willing to entertain.

I do see that many people are changing the way they scrapbook. Pocket scrapbooking has found it's stride with many who were previously into the 12x12 way of life and perhaps more importantly, many who resisted the 12x12 big heavy album way.

Many people are embracing the ease with which digital scrapbooks (ok, photo books) can be created and published. Last year I made a digital photo book on my phone while sitting on the plane coming home from our cruise. Two days after I got home, it arrived in my mailbox. How's that for one and done?

In the same vein, scrapbook stores seem to have run their course and are fast becoming a thing of the past. I can't tell you how much I hate this. There is truly nothing like walking into an independent scrapbook store, inhaling the smell of paper and knowing immediately that you are among your people by the size of the Bazzill display, the wall of ribbons and the loads of inspiration hanging on the walls!

The scrapbook store in our town closed up at the end of December and it broke my heart. Currently, the nearest stores are both at least a hundred miles away, and not in the same direction. This makes me so sad, mostly because I have seen it repeated in so many different areas.

The magazines are gone.
Two Peas is gone.
Many stores have closed.
Photos live in phones now.
Manufacturers are closing.

Yesterday I picked up some pretty tags I am going to use in my paper crafting at World Market, of all places. Is that what my beloved hobby is coming to?

It's a dismal day on many fronts. However, the stories remain. However creative people choose to tell their stories is fine with me. There will always be pen and paper. And maybe Facebook. :)

My very first cruise scrapbook was done using Basic Grey's Color Me Happy line of beautiful tropically-perfect papers. Here are a few pages from it, just to say a fond farewell to my good friend.


1 comment:

TracieClaiborne said...

Your album is beautiful! I love that you remember that BG was the first to do double-sided! I didn't remember that! I hope you put that paper back when they tried to charge you twice. That is one of the craziest things I've ever heard. I don't think scrapbooking is dead and I don't think it ever will be but it is changing and that's okay. Life is about change. As long as there is SOMEONE making paper I like, I can live without a lot of the other stuff. Paper and stickers and die cuts and I'll be fine. Now if AC goes under....I'll start to worry.