Scrapper’s Guide 8th Birthday!
by Linda Sattgast
I just had my 58th birthday, so you know what that means. It’s Scrapper’s Guide’s birthday, too!
Yes, I opened the doors of Scrapper’s Guide the year I turned 50, so let me tell you a little bit of the story behind why I started this company.
I scrapbooked traditionally for a couple years before the digital camera revolution came along.
When I bought my first digital camera, I had no idea what resolution was all about, so I didn’t realize that the camera would only take very tiny photos. If I tried to enlarge them, they got quite pixelated, so I continued to use my film camera and only used the digital camera for special situations, like photos for our annual Christmas newsletter.
In the year 2000, right before Christmas, my digital camera stopped functioning. I had to make a decision—should I buy a new one or forget about digital and just use my regular camera?
I decided to get a new digital camera. By that time, the resolution of digital cameras had improved, and I got excited about using the digital camera for all my photography. Only one problem—I didn’t have a decent printer, and I was smart enough to know that one must print photos on archival photo paper using inks that will last.
After some research, I decided that the Epson 1800 printer had the best claim to longevity. Only one problem—it was a large format printer, and I didn’t need such a big printer to print my photos. But in the end, I got it anyway because I wanted my photos to last.
The evening Charlie brought the printer home, I looked at the pack of photo paper that came with it and said to myself, “Too bad I’ll never use paper that large.” With that thought, I went to bed.
A Bright Idea
At 3:00 a.m. I woke with a fully formed idea: The new photo paper was big enough to print a 12×12 page. That meant I could create my page with the computer and print it out on one sheet of paper. Wow! I had just discovered digital scrapbooking!
I never did go back to sleep that night. I got up and started designing digital pages on scraps of paper. Not only had I discovered digital scrapbooking, but I knew that it was going to be big and that I would start a business to teach people how to scrap digitally.
There was only one problem—I had no idea how to use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. (Somehow I knew they were the gold standard for image editing and compositing.) I spent the next 6 months learning how to use those programs, and then I contacted Adobe before we started our business to make sure it was OK to teach PSE 2 commercially. They suggested I get on the Beta team for Photoshop Elements, so I’ve been on it ever since! Then I spent the next year filming the first ever video training for digital scrapbooking using Photoshop Elements 2! Shortly after my DVD came out Adobe invited me to teach a seminar at PMA (the Photo Marketing Association) where they had a booth.
My husband Charlie, who is always so supportive, helped me with the filming. (We used a video camera back then instead of screen capture like we do now.)
Of course, that was only half the battle. I needed a website, so Charlie found someone who could spend two hours teaching him how to use Dreamweaver, and from that point, he went on to create our first website, which I designed. Here’s what it looked like. Pretty pathetic, but we were on the world wide web.
Next I needed to get the word out about my great discovery, so I started the Digital Scrapper newsletter. My first newsletter tutorial was how to make a mini metal frame. I sent it to everyone I knew with the invitation to join my newsletter list, and a few of them must have signed up.
From there, Charlie and I started attending Creating Keepsakes conferences where I taught digital scrapbooking classes, and we both manned a booth. Digital scrapbooking was so new that people would walk by and mouth the words ‘d-i-g-i-t-a-l s-c-r-a-p-b-o-o-k-i-n-g,’ like they couldn’t quite comprehend the concept. But from those conventions, our newsletter list began to grow.
The Digital Scrapbooking Revolution
In the following years, several things happened. For one, I realized that I was not the only one who had ‘discovered’ digital scrapbooking. It was an idea whose time had come, and various individuals began to create online stores centered around digital scrapbooking.
Everything related to scrapbooking was in transition, and we were no exception. I started the Digital Scrapper Premier membership program in 2005, and our website went through two facelifts.
Here’s what our second header looked like:
Visit our website to see the third rendition. We’re currently working on another web facelift that will match the look of this blog, which was the first to change over. I’ve taught now and then for Adobe — sometimes at conferences, sometimes for online webinars, for two seasons of Scrapbook Memories, and most recently, at their first Pop Up store in San Francisco. One year, when I was doing a lot of teaching for them, including segments for the Scrapbook Memories TV show, I was dubbed Adobe’s Scrapbooking Expert.
Our team has grown from just Charlie and me to 10 part-time or full-time team members and around eight volunteers. In addition we have a variety of contractors who provide kits, QuickAlbums, or video instruction. Our team is scattered around the world, from our home in Portland, Oregon to New York to Australia, and many places in between.
From left to right: Linda, Charlie, Caleb, and Allison Sattgast, Susie Roberts, Mary Newman, Sharon Maughan, Jenny Binder (currently on leave with her 4th child) and Andrea Graves.
Core Team Members not pictured: Jan Walker and Jen White (shown above).
And why is Scrapper’s Guide here? Because of YOU! Our goal has never wavered — to provide training and support for digital scrapbooking. That’s why we get really excited when we look in the gallery and see the great pages you’re making.
It makes everything we’ve done and will do worthwhile.
To celebrate our Birthday for the rest of this week, come visit our shop for a 30% off sale with this coupon code: happy8th
Save 30% off our Scrapbooking Kits, Video Tutorials, and Templates! This coupon will be good through Saturday, September 10th at midnight, Pacific Time. (Coupon not valid for Classes or Premier Membership.)