May 12, 2009
I asked Scarlet the same questions that Jenn posed to April yesterday. Here are some her answers.... :)
What was your initial impression of April the first time you met in person?
Is this a trick question? For those of you who don't know, April has an identical twin. I met them both at the same time, and they were almost always together when I saw them. The first time I saw one of them alone, I had to be very careful to hide the fact that I had no idea which one of them I was talking to. It was a very awkward moment for me. It didn't take too long to figure out that their personalities and even their physical appearances are very different.
What’s been your favorite CHA?
This is a difficult question, because I am still trying really hard to have the perfect CHA experience. The first one was fun, because it was the first. I guess that was Chicago in 2007? Wow! Hard to believe. What I loved most about Winter CHA 2008 was that it was our first chance to meet some of our design team members in person. It was also the first time I had been on an airplane in over a decade and my first time in California. I loved the couple of extra days we spent sight-seeing, and I wish we could do something like that again instead of rushing back home. What I loved most about Winter CHA 2009 was that we had a little more time to relax than we had at past shows because we completed a lot of our work before we went. That has always been my biggest frustration with CHA... finding a balance between the work that needs to be done and the time I want to spend with friends that I only get to see once or twice a year. And I never seem to get enough sleep.
If you weren’t doing Studio Calico, what would you be doing?
Relaxing on a beach somewhere? No, seriously... I'm not sure. Before Studio Calico, I was working as an administrative assistant at a restaurant. Just before SC grew to the point where it demanded my full-time attention, I was exploring the possibility of moving into a position as a marketing assistant at the corporate office for that restaurant, so maybe that is what I would be doing. Maybe not?
What's your favorite part about running a kit club?
I think the best part is seeing the excitement of our customers. Month-after-month our customers anticipate the next kit with as much enthusiasm as they had the month before. From our standpoint, it's very difficult to keep that momentum going, but it is so very gratifying to be able to do it again and again.
What's the most difficult part?
I probably shouldn't have read April's answers before I wrote my own, but I totally have to agree with her on this question. We work like clockwork around here, and if a manufacturer doesn't follow through on the commitments they make to us, it can be a huge disruption and frustration. On the flip side, there are some manufacturers out there who have been a dream to work with, and that makes our job a lot easier. When you find a business that has the same level of commitment to its customers as we have to ours, that is a perfect partnership.
Why do you think SC is so successful?
I love April's answer, but I will add one more thing that she didn't mention. One thing that seemed to be missing in the market when we started was a kit club that operated on a strict, dependable schedule. It seemed that almost everywhere we looked, photos were posted and kits were shipped whenever it was convenient for the owner... sometimes hours late and sometimes even days or weeks late. We made a commitment to our customers that sneak peeks and new kits would be posted on the same date and time each month, and for nearly two years we haven't faltered on that commitment, not even once. If our customers don't know what to expect from us, how can we expect to keep them?
How do you go about planning a kit? What's the first step?
Sometimes we start with an inspiration piece, and other times we start with a product that we love. It seems like the last several kits we have planned (some of them that you haven't seen yet) have been product-driven. I'm not really sure which way is easier, but the process is totally different. Some of our inspiration-driven kits have been Sherwood Forest, Bibliography, and Fortune Cookie. Some of our product-driven kits have been Via Airmail, Iconic, Looking Glass, Garment District, and Playground. But since we began adding Studio Calico patterned paper to our kits, the line between inspiration-driven and product-driven has become much more fuzzy. Garment District is the perfect example. We wanted to use the American Crafts fabric accents, which clearly led us in the direction of a sewing-inspired kit. We enhanced the idea by adding fabRips and incorporating vintage sewing patterns into our patterned paper.
Where do you look for inspiration for your own scrapbooking?
Can I be perfectly honest here? I feel like my inspiration comes and goes and that a lot of the time, how inspired I feel depends on how things are going in my personal life. Sometimes I find it difficult to wade through my personal clutter to find the roots of my creativity. Please tell me that I'm not the only one who feels this way! I think that a lot of my work recently has been reflective and moody, but that is my way of coping with my current circumstances. I think that people create for different reasons, and right now I find myself using creativity as therapy. I think that, aside from outside sources, inspiration also comes from within, especially where scrapbooking is concerned. When my life feels uninspired like it has recently, it can be difficult to summon up the inspiration to scrapbook. The good news is that my life has been inspired by new things lately, so I think my creativity is on an upswing :)
To summarize (since I'm not exactly sure that I answered the question)... I look to life for inspiration. Having meaningful photos is inspiring. Having stories to tell is inspiring. Finding the beauty in life is inspiring.