New store helps piece together memories and photos

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

By Jill Bock

Special to Business Today

SIKESTON - You know they are there. Tucked in shoe boxes or sitting on the shelf and yes, admit it, still unprocessed rolls of film. Those family pictures just waiting to be organized.

Vicki Burdin understands. There was a time when photos of her family had accumulated. In 2001, she decided to put them together in a scrapbook, add a few embellishments, some journaling - and ever since, she has been hooked.

"The passion was born," said Burdin. "I am very passionate about this particular hobby. Once you have done one page, you can't wait to do the next."

Now she is spreading her love for scrapbooking. Through her new store, Scrapbookin', she hopes to introduce the hobby of organizing and creating scrapbooks to the beginner. For those who already know about scrapbooking, the business features an array of supplies, tools and more.

Located in the Sikeston Factory Outlet Stores, Scrapbookin' is described by Burdin as resource for shoppers.

"Scrapbooking has grown to one of the most popular hobbies in the nation. One in four households has a scrapbooker, one in five households has a golfer, so we are more popular than golf!" said Burdin. "And there wasn't a place in our community where you could find supplies for scrapbooking. This was something our community needed."

Part of the popularity, she attributes to the end result of the scrapbooker's work, the completed book. "You are creating an heirloom for future generations. You are telling the story of what was going on then in your life. It really is much more enjoyable than just a photo album," Burdin said.

A scrapbook is limited only by the maker's creativity. For those who need ideas or embellishments, Burdin has these easily accessible in her new store. Along the walls are categories of accessories for holidays, birthdays, sports, schools, etc. Scrapbookin' offers some 800 different paper designs, stickers, 3-D embellishments and metals to help create unique pages along with a variety of albums, adhesives, cutting tools and even tote bags to carry all the album items while under construction.

The products available are all acid-free and lignon-free which ensures the photos are preserved, she emphasized.

For those who are interested in learning more, Scrapbookin' offers classes. Working with Burdin as instructors are Linda Renfroe of Sikeston and Becky Foster of Ellington. Together they provide instruction, ideas and suggestions through classes offered from 6 to 8 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday and in a session from 10 a.m. to noon every Friday.

Burdin welcomes those needing to crop photos in preparation for putting them into a scrapbook in a session she describes as "an open crop." This session is conducted from 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays.

She explained the cropping area includes specialized tools such as the Coluzzle System, which enables the user to make different shaped and sized cuts of photos and mats. Also available are the Zip'emate Die Cutting System, various punches and eyelet setting tools.

"To invest in all these tools on your own can be very expensive," she acknowledged. "But you can come here and it is all available and it is fun."

While there is a charge for the cropping sessions, Burdin pointed out that for the $10, a customer receives a $5 merchandise credit, door prizes are awarded and refreshments served. For those who can't make a scheduled session, Burdin opens up the cropping area at other times for a small fee.

"It is a good way to get out of the house and away from the distractions so you can concentrate on doing some power scrapbooking," said Burdin about the sessions. And for those who want to bring their distractions along, she has even set up a room with toys for youngsters.

While the sessions are a learning time for those attending, Burdin said she also continues to learn. Recently she and Foster attended the Creating Keepsakes University for Teachers, earning their bachelor of scrapbooking arts. The university, conducted by Creating Keepsakes, which Burdin said is the No. 1 scrapbooking magazine in the U.S., was an opportunity for them to see some of the newest ideas, techniques and products.

Scrapbookin' also keeps a library of idea books and magazines on site. Here customers can relax in one of the big wicker chairs and look for ways to create their pages. Since opening, Burdin said the variety of customers finding their way to her store has surprised her. Traditionally those interested in scrapbooking were women, she said, "but the diversity of ages is from 6- and 7-year-old kids to 70- and 80-year-old women and everyone in between."

Also she noted that many of the women are accompanied by men, who are showing interest and offering opinions.

Burdin said the store will eventually offer special programs for groups and even birthday parties where youngsters can make their own scrapbook pages.

And she is looking for other ways to spread the word about scrapbooking. "I think that scrapbooking is a hobby that serves a very useful purpose," Burdin said. "I am very excited about being part of that and more excited about helping other people become as passionate about it as I am."

Jill Bock is managing editor of the Sikeston Democrat.

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