Easily Amused

Thursday, April 06, 2006

This Is Only a Test

So I'm flipping through the new issue of Simple Scrapbooks, and I spot this article about hard-to-find theme products. "That's us!" I think, since we work pretty hard to bring in products that are just really dang difficult to find elsewhere. Honestly, if you've seen our doorknob collection, you know exactly what I mean. So, let'e see how we compare to these particular "themes" in terms of products we found in our store, in stock, and ready to sell. We're going to focus on the categories that the article considered "harder to find" in each category.

First Category: Times of Change
Harder to Find: maternity, single life, retirement
In Stock: Maternity paper (Carolee's Creations), adoption (Reminisce), single life (Kelly Panacci collection, Creative Imaginations papers and embellishments, rob and bob studio collection, various metal charms, printed ribbon, albums), retirement (Does golfing stuff count? We have cute little metal charms that are golf carts! And golf paper! OK, we do have papers by NRN and Creative Imaginations with timepieces that would work for retirement.)

Second Category: Where We Belong
Harder to Find: Boy or Girl Scouts, clubs and sororities, military
In Stock:
We carry a few papers for scouting activities ( Stamping Station, Carolee's Creations) for both boys and girls. Girl Scout paper is very hard to find because the Girl Scout organization infrequently allows the licensing of its images and trademarks . Generally, you can find the more generic "scout" papers and embellishments showing activities that involve girls (as opposed to "Girl Scout" activities.) They are pretty rigorous about defending trademark infringements, too. (Safety first, girls!) Council stores are the best place to find licensed Girl Scout papers, if you like paper that is just kinda unattractive... Anyhoo, we also carry a lot of Karen Foster camping papers, metal signage, and adhesive-backed embellishments (not sure I can use the word sticker anymore, people) for all those camping/scouting pages. For the Greek in you, we have college paper by Creative Imaginations and epoxy Greek alphabets that are also limited. We are in the category of trying to find more fraternity/sorority papers and embellishments for our customers. We just received our Stamping Station order of military papers, including papers for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Of course we have some metal charms and lots of red, white, and blue-themed patriotic papers in current and WWII military styles (Rusty Pickle). We carry license plates with HONOR, which I suppose can be used for those who sit and judge as well as for those who fight for our country. I'm just saying.

Third Category: Things We Do
Harder to Find: cheerleading, running, home remodeling
In Stock:
We rock this category in oh so many ways. We carry custom cheerleading diecuts for Mountain Pointe, Desert Vista, and Horizon, and custom kits for all those schools plus Corona del Sol and Marcos de Niza. We also have a custom cut for Track and Field for Horizon (why? cuz they asked!) and varsity letters for the same schools. We also carry multiple papers and accessories for cheerleading and running (Karen Foster, NRN, Rusty Pickle; marathon and track & field), plus a die cut in our lab of a runner coming out of the block. Heck, we have volleyball, swimming, biking, skateboarding, surfing, bowling, and even lacrosse stuff! As soon as I find some rugby paper, you'll be seeing that here too. New subject: we also have home remodeling paper by Karen Foster, Flair Designs, Sticker Studio, and Design Originals, plus enamel charms by Making Memories, and random metal charm tools like hammers, saws, and ladders. (No chutes though. Yet.)

Fourth Category: Who We Are
Harder to Find: individual states and countries, foreign languages, occupations
In Stock
: We carry a lot of foreign country paper, even though our supplier, Paper Love Designs, is no more. When we find the right replacement, we will bring them in. As far as states go, we carry all 50 states on one paper (Reminisce) as well as a variety of epoxy stickers for a few chosen states. Like anything we do, when we receive multiple requests for a state, region, or country, we look for a way to bring it in. We are most proud of our selection of Spanish Memories papers and adhesive-backed accents, as well as our bold and bright stickers from Creative Imaginations. We also offer (upon request and periodically on our calendar) classes taught in Spanish. Although only one of our staff is fluent in Spanish, the rest of us will nod and smile as best we can and look for alternative communication methods. Muy malo, lo siento. In other language offerings, we carry ASL embellishments and clear mounted foam stamps. I don't think any of us sign, except for various animal signs (yes, I can say snake, cat, bird, and dog in ASL, thanks to the ABCs of Sign Language, and I can applaud, thanks to Extreme Home Makeover), but most of us can wield a pen and paper with some expertise. We are also anticipating that some new papers and twill in Spanish and French from DDDesigns7 will arrive any moment now. Really.

Fifth Category: What We Believe
Harder to Find: specific religions, religious holidays, astrology
In Stock:
If we could find some Jewish-themed paper other than the stock blue/purple/silver Hanukkah papers, we would bring them in. (And yes, we do carry the Creative Imaginations papers for Hanukkah.) We have found some great Go West! embellishments in acrylic bottle caps and engraved wood mini-frames, and we also have a variety of metal charms (including the Star of David) available in our open stock and we have the dreidel QuicKutz die. In the Judeo-Christian category, we have a baptism/communion paper, and metal charms in both the more traditional cross as well as the fisherman's prayer. We also carry some Kwanzaa paper, Easter paper, Christian-themed ribbon, and all kinds of offerings in the universal religion of love.

Considering the Simple Scrapbooks article covered online sources and local sources within a 50-mile radius, we are pretty pleased with how we compare. We know that it takes a lot of work and a lot of vocal customers to find the right stuff for these special categories. Therefore, our hats are off (and yes, we have papers with shoes and papers with hats, plus...ummm, metal charms?!) to all our customers who help us define, refine, and fulfill those challenges. You are each unique and special, and we want your pages to reflect all those areas of your life that make you exactly who you are. In English, en Espanol, au Francais, you are our "raison d'etre!"

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