Last August, in what turned out to be a misguided decision, I launched the unKit Club. The intent was to demonstrate how to curate products from online shops and your own stash, on your own timeline and budget. It was a great idea on paper, but it quickly felt misaligned with my personal and business values.
In this long-overdue post I’m sharing the layouts I created with the first (and only) kit. I loved the products I chose, but before I share those examples, I want to briefly explain why the unKit project didn’t work out. I’ve received a lot of emails sharing disappointment that I didn’t follow through on my original timeline.
Why unKit Didn’t Work (for Me)
1. I got bored quickly. There’s this strange thing that happens when you work in the industry. By the time you brainstorm, select, purchase, photograph, talk about, and write about products, the newness has worn off and there’s often little creative energy left for creating with them. I’m sure this varies from person to person, but when it came time to make pages with my kit I was mentally “over it” and ready for the next excitement.
2. It didn’t fit how I create pages. I love kits because the coordination work is done ahead of time, or even for me. However, it is rare that I create multiple layouts from the same kit in sequence. My approach is generally to use a kit as a starting point for a single page. Then the next layout’s inspiration will come from somewhere completely different. There’s nothing wrong with a “kit-killing” approach, but that’s not how my particular brain works.
3. Products are not my focus. Perhaps most significantly, I didn’t feel comfortable encouraging you to shop. To me, buying scrapbook supplies is little different than buying mayonnaise. It’s something you always want to have on hand, but you really don’t need to worry about it. While I do recognize products are what make this an “industry”, I believe our efforts are best spent on making memories, managing photos, and celebrating the two with words and creativity.
I don’t intend to be dramatic about this, particularly because it’s really not that important. I’ve made many mistakes in my business and will continue to do so in the future. However in this case I wanted to be clear that I am sorry for letting anyone down. This is definitely a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.”
That said, I also think you can learn from my mistakes. As creatives we can get caught up in what others are doing and let the fear of missing out guide decisions. It’s important to think through your investments, of time and money, to get the best fit possible. That sense of purposeful choice is what I hope you take away from Simple Scrapper more than anything else.
Four Layouts with unKit #1
Just to catch everyone up here, I shared two posts previously on selecting the products and planning my layouts. In the planning video I explained how I created micro kits, selecting key products to start with each layout.
I created five layouts inspired by that planning video, but only four ended up using the kit. For the fifth (which I’ll also share below) the photos were scrapbooked using a different kit that I had purchased, in part because I had grown tired of the products by then.
Some of these layouts have been shared before on the blog and in the membership, but in other contexts.
Layout #1 – Us
One aspect of using the kit that I enjoyed was a feeling of permission to really have fun using product. I added more layers here than usual.
Layout #2 – Wife + Mom = She
I love how grids can highlight and elevate patterned paper. This is one of my favorite pages of the recent past because it feels clean yet bright and fresh.
Layout #3 – Lucky Play
I’ve discovered over the past year that I really enjoy doing title work on my pages that combine different styles and fonts. I find it to be a fun challenge with word art especially, to create a clever combination. The small details on this one are also some of my favorites.
Layout #4 – PS2 Life
Overstamping is a perfectionist’s best ally. My first impression is rarely perfect, so I will stamp off multiple times for an artistic effect that takes the edge off mistakes.
Layout #5 – Fast Butterfly Party
While I didn’t end up using the kit for this page, the planning process helped me identify that this was a story I wanted to tell. The photos were printed shortly after the original video was recorded.
Do you often scrapbook multiple layouts from a kit? What is the most you’ve made from a single purchase? Leave a comment below to share your experience.