What is the Deal with Creative Memories (1)?

So what is the big deal about Creative Memories and why does everyone always seem to be asking about it all over the Internet and on Scrapbooking Message Boards? I will try to explain in a totally general way.

First, Creative Memories is a home-business selling scrapbooking supplies. They are, I believe, the first company to actually offer a home based scrapbooking business. This is important to realize because it comes into play later when we discuss what the big deal is.

As a leader in the scrapbooking home-based business, one of the draws to creative memories is the fact that they have all original, exclusive products. That isn’t necessarily to say that you could not find a similar product elsewhere, only that they stand behind their products with one of the strongest guarantees I have seen.

In addition, in the past year, they have taken huge strides in offering some very unique and really cool new products to their already bulging line of items.

So with all that said, what is the big deal and why does everyone seem so bent on disliking Creative Memories products, as well as consultants?

Here are the complaints I have seen the most often.

The first complaint I have heard a lot and seems to be the biggest one out there, is that Creative Memories calls themselves “The company that invented scrapbooking.”

Really? Where were they when I was a child twenty five or more years ago gluing and pasting magazine titles and words and pictures into my scrapbook? They did not exist yet, and the company began in July 1987. By July 1987 I had probably already made about a half dozen complete scrapbooks. One is still totally put together, and I really need to get it out of those unsafe pages. Mark Twain had a scrapbook he offered long before any of the Creative Memories team were even born. That is hard for many scrapbookers to stomach, simply because they know better. As one scrapbooker asked: “Do you suppose Thomas Jefferson attended a CM Home Party way back when?”. While the absurdity hit me and I laughed out loud, it is true. There is enough proof that scrapbooks have been around for a VERY long time.

Simply put, Creative Memories did not “invent” scrapbooking, regardless if they took it in new directions. Back then, there was a company that published a book called Keeping Memories Alive in 1981. My first mainstream scrapbook class I ever attended sometime in 1995 or 1996 was at a scrapbook store in Arizona and included KMA products. Prior to that I had found stickers, shapes and such at stores that catered to teachers, and education.

I think we would all have a very hard time figuring out when it was actually invented, and I believe that if CM just took that off their site, or creatively altered it in some way, that wouldn’t be such a problem for most.

There is much more on this topic. Please stick around for the next installment in What is the Deal with Creative Memories (2). There will also be a What is the Deal with Creative Memories (3).

Nicole Humphrey writes articles for the Scrapbooking Blog and for the Frugal Blog. She also guest blogs on a variety of topics. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.

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