SYW254 – Close to My Heart

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The announcement that Close to My Heart was closing its doors after decades, especially amidst other recent news, prompted renewed discussion about the state of the industry. In this episode I’m chatting with a (former) Closet to My Heart Maker about these changes, our online creative community, and the future of scrapbooking.

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[00:01:05] Jennifer Wilson: Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way, the show that explores the breadth of ways to be a memory keeper today. I’m your host, Jennifer Wilson, owner of Simple Scrapper and author of The New Rules of Scrapbooking. This is episode 254. In this episode I’m joined by Susan Sutherlin to discuss the end of Close to My Heart, what she’ll miss about being a Maker, and how she views the scrapbooking industry today.

[00:01:35] Jennifer Wilson: Hey, Susan. Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

[00:01:37] Susan Sutherlin: Well, thank you for having me. Appreciate it.

[00:01:39] Jennifer Wilson: I am excited about our conversation today. I think it's going to be really interesting. But can you kick things off by sharing a little bit about yourself?

[00:01:47] Susan Sutherlin: I am married. And I married my husband 14 years ago. And Interestingly enough, between the two of us, we have six children and our children introduced us to each other. So it's a second marriage for both of us. Yeah, it's pretty special. So we do have six children, all grown. And then we have five little, excuse me, six now, little grandchildren. Um, we still have three of our parents, which we're very thankful for. And I moved to the state of Washington, uh, back in September. So we've only been here a couple months. So, we're learning to live in a little bit of snow. We're both Southern California people. So it's been a little bit of adjustment, but we're loving all the green that Washington has to offer.

[00:02:31] Jennifer Wilson: Did Washington bring you closer to your family?

[00:02:35] Susan Sutherlin: Yeah, my husband has had some serious health issues over the last year and a half. So, it was, we're near my son actually here in Washington and his wife and daughter. So, it's a place where I wanted to be, to be near family for support.

[00:02:51] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes, for sure. Yeah, it's, it's certainly hard. And I think that's part of why we're memory keepers is to, uh, find the good and celebrate it. Um, and making sure that we're documenting all those important moments because life is so short. So

[00:03:06] Susan Sutherlin: You're not kidding. It's that's been an eye opener for my husband and I the last year and a half. It's been real touch and go. So yes, it's important to have those memories down for future generations. Yeah. So, um, you were

[00:03:22] Jennifer Wilson: yeah. Not to abruptly transition too much, but what's, what is exciting you right now, um, both in scrapbooking and in your everyday life?

[00:03:32] Susan Sutherlin: Scrapbooking, I would have to say the most interesting thing that's happened to me in the last year, other than our big move, was the fact that I found my birth family. I was adopted and didn't find out I was adopted until I was 16. Um, and I found out by mistake. So, I was thrilled to finally find them a year ago this last December and getting to know them.

[00:03:58] Susan Sutherlin: So I'm wanting, they've been filling me with all kinds of, um, you know, past pictures and stories and it's just, they've been incredible. They're based in a, most of them are in Texas. I have one of them out in California. But, um, to document all of that, I'm just so excited about leaving that heritage and information for my children. And then I love to travel, so I'm hoping we can get my husband feeling better and we can get to traveling. And, um, oh, excuse me. And then going back to scrapbooking, I'm sorry. Um, the other thing besides the adoption would be the fact that my children performed in the 2000 Olympic ceremonies in Australia. And I was fortunate. Yeah, it's pretty special. And I was very fortunate to go with them. And there's so many stories that brought us. From, you know, the states to Australia. So I want to document all those stories, and I have so many beautiful pictures of, you know, the rehearsals we were involved with and all the beautiful costumes backstage for the opening ceremonies. So I'm looking forward to documenting that and getting my thoughts and feelings down in our scrapbooks.

[00:05:17] Jennifer Wilson: How did that experience come about? I have to ask.

[00:05:22] Susan Sutherlin: There were 2, 000 musicians for the year 2000 in the opening ceremonies, and Australia came to us and asked the US, and there were a small percentage from Japan, but most of us from the US, they asked us to provide a thousand of those musicians to go with their 2000. And the school that my children went to was a very high performing musical school. They were involved in a lot of things. Um, top awards, that type of thing. So they were recognized for that and asked to perform. And it was thrilling. And it was the day that my daughter turned 18. She was on performing. And then my son, who was an incoming freshman into high school, he was performing too.

[00:06:11] Susan Sutherlin: They invited the eighth graders when they asked him to perform. So it was the only time my two children would ever perform together was that day at the opening ceremonies. So.

[00:06:23] Jennifer Wilson: Oh my gosh.

[00:06:25] Susan Sutherlin: I sat in the stands and just cried like a baby.

[00:06:28] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. But what an amazing thing to scrapbook and to look back on and have that, um, have that as a treasure.

[00:06:37] Susan Sutherlin: Yeah, special memories that we'll have forever. And, and now I have tons of pictures to go with that. And, and again, there were only a number of chaperones that were allowed to go and I was fortunate enough to be one of those. So again, memories. Memories, I love it. Um, and in regards to, I guess, personal things, being here in Washington, I'm looking forward to spring

[00:07:04] Jennifer Wilson: Yes.

[00:07:05] Susan Sutherlin: Get up. I want to get outside and garden and enjoy the beautiful state and go see everything. It's just been a little cold to get outside right now. We're not used to that.

[00:07:17] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, the cold, wet, and dreary can be really hard, um, even if you, whether you get a lot of it or a little bit of it, I think it's hard for everyone.

[00:07:24] Susan Sutherlin: Yeah, but we're loving it though. I mean, people have been so kind and it's just so beautiful when you walk out your front door and, you know, we'll wake up in the morning and have deer in our backyard, which I mean, come on, we don't have that in California.

[00:07:39] Jennifer Wilson: No.

[00:07:41] Susan Sutherlin: Yeah.

[00:07:42] Jennifer Wilson: So, I also like to ask our guests about their scrapbooking bucket list. So, it's an important story that you really want to tell, but you haven't yet.

[00:07:50] Susan Sutherlin: That would be going back to the adoption and the Olympic performance. Um, I just, um, those are things that are like to me as, you know, I'm 62 years old and wanting to get that down on paper. So it's here for future generations since I searched for so long to find all of that. So that would be my two things that I really want to get done.

[00:08:17] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. Well, and we, one of the things that we do here is talk about, um, a tool I have called the Focus Finder. And so we always, we look at both the importance and the excitement. Uh, the importance of the memory and the excitement you have to document it. And so both of those are, uh, important and exciting to you. So I think you're well poised to jump in.

[00:08:40] Susan Sutherlin: Can't wait. I'm just, I think back, I, I have a YouTube channel, which you're aware of, but, um, it's been fun to go back and start documenting all the black and white photos. And recently I found a, um, a, what would they call it? I think it was a food war ration ticket. Stuff like that my grandmother had. That we found and it was fun to have that put into a scrapbook. So you know this day and age. Um, at least my children, you know, they don't know what that was like to, you know, have to pre present something to get food during a war. So it's things like that, that I think are very, very important in the scrapbooking world and something that's tangible. You know, not necessarily digital, although all of my pages that I create do go into a digital format. I think it's helpful to have something that's tangible and is right in front of you and you can touch it.

[00:09:38] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. That just, uh, it, uh, jogs a memory for me that at my parents house, we have all of my grandma's scrapbooks that she actually kept during the war. Oh my goodness. it, yeah, it's, It's been so incredible to go through them and see all these like some like her high school photos and notes people sent her and love letters from my grandpa and newspaper articles and just yeah just a treasure to have for sure. And the fact that they're even so well so well preserved um

[00:10:12] Jennifer Wilson: you know this this Many Yeah.

[00:10:15] Susan Sutherlin: Did she create those back in the day or has she done that? you know more recently.

[00:10:22] Jennifer Wilson: Um, you know, I don't know if she did them live or she did them like later in like the 50s and 60s, based on the books that they're in, they are definitely very, very old. Like not even, you know, 70s or 80s. But, yeah, I actually, I don't know. I have to ask. Maybe my, my dad would know. So.

[00:10:44] Jennifer Wilson: so you reached out to me, uh, when there was the big announcement of Close to My Heart closing and you'd done a video and it got so much attention and this has just been the topic of conversation over the past couple of weeks. Um,

[00:11:02] Susan Sutherlin: It's been sad.

[00:11:04] Jennifer Wilson: It has evoked a lot of conversation just more broadly about scrapbooking as an industry.

[00:11:10] Jennifer Wilson: Um, and then down to the details of what about all of these people that were very closely involved in this company. Um, Before we go in more, can you just tell us more about your own personal history with scrapbooking? So we have context for your story.

[00:11:25] Susan Sutherlin: Of course. Um, I started scrapbooking back in Junior High. And the reason I know that is because when we moved here is I went through a bunch of old things that I had found and in there were my scrapbooks. So I've been doing it for a while, but you know, not to the extent that we have all the products that we do these days.

[00:11:47] Susan Sutherlin: And the way I was asking about your grandmother is because I went through these scrapbooks and you know, we didn't know then about using acid free products.

[00:11:56] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:11:57] Susan Sutherlin: You know, the keeping of these journals and keeping them in good condition or scrapbook. So, you know, all my pictures are falling off the pages and that kind of thing.

[00:12:07] Susan Sutherlin: So I've been doing it for a long time. And then there's a period of my life when my children were young, that I've just stuck everything in folders and hung on to those. That I haven't scrapbooked because I didn't have time as a young mom. So, and I was also a business owner at that point. Um, been an entrepreneur most of my life. And it was just hard to do when I was a young mom with a business.

[00:12:33] Susan Sutherlin: So I still have all that and that's what I'm scrapbooking now so I can leave that for my children. So that's kind of my background. Um, and, what goes hand in hand with that is I owned an interior design firm for many years and I've always wanted to be creative. I've always loved mixing together fabrics, you know matching many different types of colors and patterns. And all of that goes hand in hand with what I'm doing now. Because now being a retired designer, and having you know closed my business. It now, this is my way of being creative and putting, you know, my love of documenting and journaling together with the art of photography and my background in interior design.

[00:13:20] Jennifer Wilson: I love that.

[00:13:21] Susan Sutherlin: All that together gets me to where I am today.

[00:13:24] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes, I think there's so many of us that we try to express these like interests and desires that we have however we can. Um, to, to satisfy that urge to, you know, mix and match patterns. And, um, yeah, it's like a, it's like a, an urge we have, I think.

[00:13:44] Susan Sutherlin: Once you're creative, you're creative, right?

[00:13:47] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. So how did Close to My Heart become part of this journey for you?

[00:13:53] Susan Sutherlin: We spent, um, we moved here from Arizona in September, and we were in Arizona for about two years from moving from San Diego. And we, it wasn't the place for us, I'll just say that. Just, you know, it wasn't just for us living there. It was just a little too hot. So, in doing so, you're kind of locked up in the house, and you can't go out a lot. So I was yearning to get together with friends, make new friends, because we knew no one moving to Arizona. So I got to thinking I was already scrapbooking, but I had heard of Close to My Heart, ordered some of their products, and fell in love with it. And fell in love with the fact that I could order the product and have everything I need that kind of matched, if you will, in one collection. Instead of having to go throughout my scrap room and find everything that work together. Especially colors, I kind of like the colors to really you know go together in a collection. So with all of that in mind, I thought, okay, I can go out and I can get to group, get to, um, meet new friends, excuse me. You know, be with a group of friends for traveling, um, someone who shares the same insight as I do and wants to do scrapbooking. So all of that together with a great product that Close To My Heart offered was just kind of a shoe in. Um. I did have some concerns when I started, and that was about a year ago now that I've been with Close to My Heart. That they had already started to cut back on some of their product line. So that was, you know, having been in business for myself for years, it was kind of a red flag. But I wanted to hang in there and see what was around the corner, but there were definitely some clues.

[00:15:44] Susan Sutherlin: And then I had heard that the owner of the company had been sick for several years and not doing well. So I did have some red flags going in. But I felt it was worth the gamble and loving the product, I just, I kind of jumped in with all. I went all in.

[00:16:05] Jennifer Wilson: Now, are you also a card maker or are you really coming at this purely from a scrapbooking perspective?

[00:16:11] Susan Sutherlin: I definitely have been a card maker for years also. And I love it. I really do. People, you know, if they don't get a handmade car for me on their birthday, they're always, well, where's your, you know, where are the cards that you make? Um, but I would say because of the emphasis on the things I want to record, um, in this part of my life, I'm really towards scrapbooking right now. That's really my emphasis to get things documented. So one day when I'm not here, they're available for my family.

[00:16:43] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. So for those who may not be super familiar with the company, can you tell us a little bit more about their products and the things that they were known for? You already mentioned like the color coordination and that's always what has stood out to me. Um, but I'd love to hear more about, I guess, even what you're going to miss.

[00:17:02] Susan Sutherlin: Oh my gosh, the quality would be my very first thing. Um, I, the paper, the thickness, you know, the touch to it. It is, they come out with a double sided paper, so you have what they call a true tone on one side, which is a deeper tone, and then the same color, a lighter tone on the flip side. Which is great, especially when you're wanting to make, um, you know, uh, I use it a lot when I'm making flowers. So I can get two different tones on the paper and just stamp or emboss on that same paper.

[00:17:36] Susan Sutherlin: But because of the different tones, I get a lot of dimension in like a flower embellishment area. Um, the core of the paper is white, which works out really well if you want to sand it, you want to rough up the edges. Um, if you want to like emboss it and then sand it. So just the plain color stock, the 12 by 12s, I'm going to miss those a lot. And then they have the coordinating inks that go with the products. So, again, there's no question. So, for instance, one of the colors is Rosy on their ink. So, I could pull out the ink that matches the paper. Then, they come out with, the last year, they've come to a new system where they have a Core Catalog with your basics in it.

[00:18:26] Susan Sutherlin: All your inks, your plain colored stock, your tools. But then, every two months they were coming out with a catalog with two new, um, collections in those along with some new stamps and new thin cuts. So that was great. Again, you could order a collection and to have everything that you need in that one little bag, which was great. Um, so those are the things I'm going to miss the most. And then, I mean, on a personal level, I'm going to miss the people. My heart just absolutely breaks for the people that have been with this company for, you know, 30 years. And, you know, plus. The company's 40 years old and some of the friends that I've made in this company, you know, they're making their mortgage payments. And, you know, I was listening to someone the other day who was paying for her children's college tuition off the money that she was making with the company. So, um, it's very, very difficult for me to think of these great people going through this. And, you know, there's nothing guaranteed in any business you go to or anyone who hires you. But it doesn't take the pain away, you know, from going through the shock of the company closing.

[00:19:43] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes. So can you talk more about the personal business aspect of it? Like what was the role of the Close to My Heart makers?

[00:19:53] Susan Sutherlin: Makers basically are demonstrators, teachers making you aware of new products. Teaching you how to use a new tool, basically teaching and giving you options for putting pages together. I myself had not gotten to the point where I was doing any in person classes. And from what I understand, not a lot of that had been happening right now because of COVID. A lot of it where we did in person scrapbooking, really kind of went by the wayside, no one was getting together. So some people, the people have been with the company for a great length of time, are now back into it. But I personally had not gotten to that point. I was basically, as I used the word like three times, it was online for me. But a maker is teaching, selling products, and showing you how to use the product.

[00:20:49] Jennifer Wilson: Now you mentioned that you'll miss the relationships with your colleagues. How were you guys able to connect? Was that something that the company had put together or informal Facebook groups, just Instagram? I'm curious, kind of what that, I don't know, the behind the scenes community looked like.

[00:21:07] Susan Sutherlin: There are, there is, excuse me, a Facebook group that is available only to makers. And to makers, everyone. You know, from me on up to the person that's been there for 40 years, um, the people in the office, when you call in the people, um, that ship your orders, everyone is so kind. And then, um, because it's a multi level marketing company, there are different levels. For someone who may not be familiar, it's like a Tupperware type of arrangement. Um, and you get higher and higher in the company. So the people that I was connect connected with, mainly my main contact is Jayma Mami, and she's also online and a phenomenal person, a great support. So she had her own individual group online through Facebook. And then I wanted kind of a contact here in Washington. So I reached out with someone who's been with the company, I think she said 32 years, and I'm in her Facebook group also. So, although I had never gotten to the point, uh, of meeting these people in person. I feel like I knew them from the phone calls and the FaceTimes that we had together. I was supposed to have gone next month to Texas to meet with a large group of makers and, um, because of the situation it's been canceled. So, um, I'm sad about that.

[00:22:33] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, for sure.

[00:22:34] Susan Sutherlin: Yes, Now, it's my understanding that this all, uh, kind of the news came out very quickly. Um,

[00:22:42] Jennifer Wilson: the emails were sent to the makers and then VIP customers, and then everyone else all within, you know, uh, a matter of like 30 minutes, it seems. Based on the time of the emails that I've seen. Um. To the internet.

[00:22:56] Jennifer Wilson: Mentioned that you were concerned.

[00:22:58] Jennifer Wilson: What, what was your initial reaction?

[00:23:01] Susan Sutherlin: Sadness. I think at this point in my life, um, you know, how can I say it? It's those personal relationships at the end of your life that are going to mean the most. It's not about product, it's not about things. It's about the people. So I was just terribly saddened for the people that, you know, are losing their livelihood that have counted on this company for so much. Yes, we did receive a email, um, was it a week ago, two weeks ago, I don't know, on a Tuesday morning. And I looked at my email and it was in complete shock and then my phone started ringing. That, you know, have you heard, have you seen. And so it was, it was out there quickly. And I wanted to jump on board and have the rumor mill, if you will, stop. And just address the issue instead of answering all the phone calls that were coming in. So that's why I made the real quick video and had no idea that it would do what it had done. And just went crazy online. But I must say that the people who have all commented online have been incredibly supportive. No negative comments. None. Not one that I've read. Everyone has just really been supportive, said, you know, if there's anything we can do, people praying, so it's been greatly appreciated.

[00:24:27] Jennifer Wilson: It's just a testament to, I think, to our creative community, um, on the whole. Like everyone is just so kind and wonderful. And we're kind of, though we all create and document and do our things sometimes for different reasons. We do share kind of this language and a passion and you know, we all want these products to still be here well into the future so we can keep creating and, um. Yeah, it just, our, our community is so special.

[00:24:58] Susan Sutherlin: Completely agree. A hundred percent. And we were, you know, even being with a YouTube channel, it can be competitive at times. And having been part of a multi level marketing company too, that opens itself up to a lot of competition. And I haven't heard any of that chatter, if you will, with regards to the closing. Or, you know, um, people being supportive, haven't heard anything, which has been wonderful.

[00:25:23] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, that's nice. That's yeah, for sure. hmm. Mm Hmm. Now you mentioned in the video that you didn't think you were going to continue on to join Stampin Up! or other, another company that you were kind of going to do your own thing. Um, kind of what has, what has guided that, that choice? And you know, obviously you're free to make other choices or change your mind. I'm just curious kind of, how you're feeling.

[00:25:48] Susan Sutherlin: In our closed, our Facebook group for the company. When the, I think it was the same day that it was announced, the president of Stampin Up! came on and and said you know basically if there's anything we can do let us know. And I know that Close To My Heart has been in conversations with them. But what that means none of us know. We don't know what, how that's going to be picked up. And the other thing that was in the comments of my video is a lot of Stampin Up demonstrators, I believe is what they call themselves. Have been there in my comments. offering support basically. And if we wanted to come over to their groups, we could. I myself having known, um, I guess I can back up a little as a interior designer when I started, I started with a franchise company. I will leave the name of that out. But I started with them, bought into the franchise and I quickly realized that, how can I say it? Um,

[00:26:58] Jennifer Wilson: There's like a, like a bureaucracy that, that is, you know, that kind of guides and limits you.

[00:27:05] Susan Sutherlin: Yeah, I guess my hands were tied. Um, on things that I really wanted to do. Um, I had invested quite a bit of money and I decided at one point just to walk away from that, unfortunately. And then I went out on my own and I did really well. I've always been a really hard worker. Um, so, and looking back and looking at the time, the short amount of time I had with Close to My Heart, I realized I could probably do just as much out on my own instead of going somewhere where my hands were tied. There weren't as many options available to me. If, for instance, if I went with Stampin' Up, and nothing against the company, I think that they're great. But I just know myself. And I know if I can hook up with some other brands, which I'm looking forward to, there's several brands that I just think the world of, I think the quality is good. Um, you know, like Simple Stories, I'm looking at 49 and Market. Those are companies I would like to build relationships with. And I don't want to be held to one company.

[00:28:13] Susan Sutherlin: I want to be able to work with the product I think is, is great. And it's going to last the years when I leave something behind for my family. That, so it's a personal decision. It has nothing to do with Stampin Up! No.

[00:28:29] Jennifer Wilson: Well. no and it makes sense. Like, you have to kind of figure out where, when you're posed with, uh, one, one door closing, you have to choose which door you're going to go through next. Um, fortunately, there are, there's options. So.

[00:28:44] Susan Sutherlin: And I know many people are giving serious thought, you know, to going to Stampin Up! from Close To My Heart. And they're the ones that have, you know, been with, oh, I'm sure there's a lot more people than just the ones that have been there for years. But the ones that have been with Close to My Heart for 30 ish years. If they can carry that position over in the same level that they're at with Close to My Heart or with Stampin Up, excuse me, that makes complete sense to me for them to transfer over. To keep their financial life intact.

[00:29:17] Jennifer Wilson: Yes.

[00:29:18] Susan Sutherlin: Being so young to the company, I, I felt like there were more options available to me.

[00:29:22] Jennifer Wilson: But, but I think the details of that really haven't been available yet.

[00:29:25] Susan Sutherlin: No, no.

[00:29:27] Jennifer Wilson: If that type of arrangement could be made.

[00:29:30] Susan Sutherlin: No, no, there are no promises. We've heard nothing. Um, so there, I think

[00:29:36] Jennifer Wilson: Cause that makes a difference for, for people who have been around for a long time.

[00:29:40] Susan Sutherlin: Yeah, yeah. So I think they're just out there putting their feelers in. A lot of them have been looking at the policies that Stampin Up! offers. They're wanting to know, you know, if we do this with Close to My Heart, can we do this with Stampin Up! There's a lot of research going on with the people that have, you know, are seriously thinking about, um, joining them. And then, you know, there's other companies out there that, you know, if you want, MLL companies, there's, uh, Creative Memories is another one. Um, But you know, unfortunately we've lost quite a few companies too.

[00:30:16] Jennifer Wilson: So you mentioned on your video that , all of your viewers had just so many questions. Were there other kinds of, uh, top questions that, that rose to the top?

[00:30:26] Susan Sutherlin: I, I think it was mainly just encouragement, support. I didn't see a lot of questions, if you will. There was just a lot of support, which I think is fantastic.

[00:30:40] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, no, it is. It is. It's wonderful.

[00:30:42] Susan Sutherlin: Yeah. So I, you know, and it's just a shock. I think it came out of nowhere, especially since, you know, here, March 1st, we had a brand new catalog that came out, which is still in effect through, at least us makers will get credit for that through April. And then the company, then our websites get cut off, excuse me, on April, whatever 30th, whatever the last day is. And then, and then from May through June, the company will operate on their own and the makers will not get credit for what is sold. And then on June 30th, the company will be closed down.

[00:31:19] Jennifer Wilson: Wow.

[00:31:20] Susan Sutherlin: Mm.

[00:31:21] Jennifer Wilson: That's, I mean, fast, but I, I, I mean, I understand that's what you have to do.

[00:31:26] Susan Sutherlin: The yeah, the owner is, she's, um, she's gone through so much. And she's, I think she's just tired. You know, it's

[00:31:35] Jennifer Wilson: that makes sense. and COVID and she, the way they've put it, if she wants to go out on her own terms. She had no interest, apparently, from what we're told, in selling the company. She just wanted to close it and call it a day and go out on the top, if you will.

[00:31:52] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Well, and that's, I mean, as an owner, that's, that's your choice. And, you know, there's, there's something to celebrate in, in her having the autonomy. It's not quite the right word, but just to, to say, you know what, this is, this is my choice and I'm going to do it however the heck I want. And.

[00:32:09] Susan Sutherlin: Hat's off to her.

[00:32:11] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, yeah. Despite, you know, there, there's of course like sadness and challenge in it. But, going out on your own terms as, as you said, uh, is better than having something suffer. Either because of the economy and what would happen in the future. Or if it were to be sold and then the reputation that you had built, uh, may have been damaged. Because I can see that quality that you loved so much may not have been able to be maintained.

[00:32:40] Susan Sutherlin: My hat's off to her, her name's Jeanette and she's just been a rock. She's done, she's done well for 40 years and she should be proud of herself.

[00:32:48] Jennifer Wilson: So this has also created like just a lot more chatter about scrapbooking in general because of course there's been other companies closing. We've had a lot of consolidation over the years. Um, Pinkfresh Studios just announced that they're going to pause their scrapbooking lines to kind of re imagine how they want to deliver product.

[00:33:09] Jennifer Wilson: Um, how does this make you feel about our industry?

[00:33:13] Susan Sutherlin: Sad. I think that me, me personally, and again, I think a lot of the companies are younger owned. Which is great, but I think the older that people become, you realize how important these memories are. I also have heard from a lot of people in regards to company shedding. People can't afford the product anymore.

[00:33:36] Susan Sutherlin: I've heard a lot of that coming back through various areas. And if I could encourage anyone in the industry or people who are out there who need to make memories and document. That it doesn't matter about the dollar. It matters that you do it. So don't let the scrapbooking go away. A lot of people are worried about storage, you know, if you keep creating. Well with me, it's, you know, my daughter is a phenomenal quilter. It's having an actual product to look back on and having it in your house. And you can record it and have it digitally too. You know, take pictures and make digital books for

[00:34:13] Susan Sutherlin: safety, whatever. But I think it's important to remember. Yes, scrapbooking is going through a phase right now. But I don't think it's ever going away. We've all got products, or pieces of paper that are important to us, or like I was talking about the war rations with my grandmother.

[00:34:30] Jennifer Wilson: Yes.

[00:34:31] Susan Sutherlin: Those things need to be saved forever. And I don't care if you just go down and get a three ring binder and you get some acid free paper and sheet protectors. Just do it. Just do it. Um, it's just so, so important to have that history to pass on. I never met my birth father. I don't know anything about him except from the people that I've met in the last year to tell me stories about my birth father. And what I would give to have the stories, you know, documented by him and what he went through.

[00:35:09] Susan Sutherlin: He was in the air force, um, what it was like for him to be as a teenager in his day. That I have so many questions of my birth father that I'll never, you know. My family now is trying to answer those questions for me. But if I had something to look back on and, and, um, get to know him, that would be priceless to me. Priceless. There would be, you know, And I wouldn't care if it were in a three ring binder that you got down at Walmart. Or if it were in a $50 scrapbook that you got from Close To My Heart. It doesn't matter to me as long as you document. So I think that's what everyone needs to remember in the industry. It's not about how much money you spend but you need to continue to document and there's so many ways to do that.

[00:35:57] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I think that's, that gives me, as you said, people have, we've always done this, so we will continue to do it in whatever way that looks. And that will continue to change. But I also think people have always been creative too. So it's not like these, like art supplies are not going to go away.

[00:36:17] Jennifer Wilson: Um, a lot of us do it too, you know, at night when we're sitting here watching TV or whatever to calm ourselves. To have some creative therapy, if you will. So it's an escape. So there's so many reasons to do scrapbooking. Not just for family reasons and documenting, but for ourselves too.

[00:36:40] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Well, and as I don't know, there, I feel like in the past, especially since the pandemic, there's been so much more of a call for, um, for self care and slowing down and taking time for yourself. And it's my hope that that kind of, that culture will continue to attract, uh, new generations to, to scrapbooking.

[00:37:02] Susan Sutherlin: I will be continuing.

[00:37:04] Jennifer Wilson: Mm hmm.

[00:37:05] Susan Sutherlin: I'm not going away. I will continue to do what's important to me, obviously.

[00:37:10] Jennifer Wilson: Susan, again, thank you so much for this conversation. Can you share where our listeners can find you online? Anything you might be planning for the future in 2024?

[00:37:21] Susan Sutherlin: Certainly you can find me at Papercraft Possibilities on Instagram, on YouTube. And on Facebook. So I'm all over the place and Papercraft Possibilities is the name everywhere, so there's no additions to that name. And I'm there, I'm not going anywhere, and I put out three videos a week, on my YouTube channel. And I would love to hear from everyone. I think it would be great to, uh, get some feedback on what I'm doing. And if there's things that people would like to see on my channel, I would love to know that also.

[00:37:59] Jennifer Wilson: Wonderful, wonderful. I'm definitely wishing you all the best as you transition to the next phase of your creative journey.

[00:38:07] Susan Sutherlin: Thank you. And again, thank you for having me. Appreciate it.

[00:38:10] Jennifer Wilson: And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to scrapbook your way.

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