I thought it would be fun to spotlight a Heritage Maker’s team member and share one of her blog posts that really spoke to me. Thanks Jennifer for letting me share this post!
– Candi May, Brand Ambassador for Heritage Makers
I have always been what I call a memory-keeper, but I wasn’t a digital scrapbooker until the perfect storm of 2009. Here’s what happened and why I’ll never go back.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND and WHAT CHANGED
I’ve always been a picture-taker and a picture-preserver. By that I mean that I took pictures and then put them in a book (not a box) and wrote a little memory next to it. I didn’t even really realize that “scrapbooking” had become a thing until long after it had. I was quite late to the scrapbooking party. When I learned about fancy papers and shaped scissors, I joined the bandwagon but was never one to spend hours and hours on one page. I would say my scrapbook pages were fairly cute, but they were also practical.
I’m one of those people who enjoys scrapbooking because it brings back good memories, both while I’m creating pages and when I look back at them later (especially with my kiddos or husband). I always prioritized keeping up on my scrapbooking because it’s more fun to preserve photos when memories are fresh than it is when it feels like a chore. In addition, I had a good friend who was also a scrapbooker. We had kids the same age, so we would get together for scrapbook days. The kids would play together and we would work. It was both fun and productive.
That worked for me for about 12 years. The perfect storm of 2009 was three-fold. First, I moved 2,700 miles away from my scrapbooking friend. Second, I spent a lot of time that year preparing to move, moving out, house hunting, house buying, moving in, unpacking, getting kids registered for school/doctors appointments/play dates/etc. (I took a lot of pictures but didn’t touch them for months, which was highly unusual for me.) Third, Heritage Makers, previously just offering high-quality hardbound books, came out with individual digital scrap pages. It was the perfect storm–a perfect time for a change.
By the way, I’ll talk about individual scrapbook pages here, but all of this holds true for hardbound books as well.
NEVER LOOKING BACK
Because I’d been a traditional (paper) scrapbooker for years, I had a system. I liked the loose-leaf system because I could add in my kids’ schoolwork or class pictures, etc. Although I’d been using Heritage Makers personal publishing for 4 years at that point for precious things like family cookbooks and vacation books to give as gifts to family members, I continued paper scrapbooking because it fit my system.
After the perfect storm I was so excited to have the ease of working digitally and still being able to use my loose-leaf binder system.
Digital scrapbooking with Heritage Makers has been saving my bacon ever since. It is very literally what is 100% responsible for me always being caught up on my scrapbooking. I have 3 kids, so I always made 4 copies of the same page. (Gosh, that sounds so onerous now, thinking back on making each paper page by hand, but I really did it.) With digital scrapbooking, I now just click “copy” and then make adjustments for each kid. That alone cuts my scrapbooking time–digital scrapbooking now takes me 1/4 of the time that paper scrapbooking used to take–not to mention the simplicity of just using the “copy” and “paste” functions instead of physically cutting out multiple borders and picture frames for multiple pages. That makes it tons faster, too!
HOW I KNOW HERITAGE MAKERS DOES DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING BETTER
A year ago now, the print partner Heritage Makers had been using went out of business without any warning! The home office went searching for a new print partner, but since quality is a high priority for Heritage Makers, and because they have such a wide variety of products, it took longer to find a partner than expected. During that time, I became a little impatient. I had a couple of projects I really wanted to do, and I’m the type of person who can’t get something off my mind until I just do it already. So I did something I had NEVER done in 13+ years of being a Heritage Makers consultant. I looked elsewhere. (*gasp*) I just wanted to find something temporary, but I wanted it to be just as good.
I knew of several “digital photo book” companies that I did NOT want to use. I’ve heard enough stories from my Heritage Makers clients about poor quality and photo privacy issues with certain popular digital photo book companies they used to use that I knew where not to look. I wondered, though, if there was anything even similar to Heritage Makers out there. I just wanted to print a few things until Heritage Makers got up and running again. (It was only a matter of weeks, but I’ll say again: I was impatient.) So I went looking.
In all my looking, I could not find anything as good as Heritage Makers. Nothing.
Here’s what I was used to in Heritage Makers that I didn’t want to give up and couldn’t find anywhere else
1. Quality. I know I already mentioned that, but it’s a big deal. If I’m going to spend my precious time and my precious money on something, I want it to last. I don’t want something as important as my photos and my memories to fall apart a few years from now. I couldn’t find a lot of information on other websites about quality, but I knew there are a lot of bargain-bin type companies out there, so I was wary.
2. Flexibility. The templates I saw out there were not change-able. I would be stuck with whatever pre-designed items that company offered. I am so used to being able to create EXACTLY what I want to create in a book or scrap page that I just couldn’t handle the idea of not doing that. There’s a build-pages-from-scratch option with Heritage Makers, but even templates are completely edit-able!
3. Free photo storage. Some companies these days really tout their photo storage (how you’ll have digital photos stored forever), but that’s a paid service! I couldn’t get over that. I’m not going to pay someone to store my digital photos when Heritage Makers stores ALL the photos I publish in a book/scrap page/other project FOR FREE. There’s also no fee to download them from my Heritage Makers account back to my computer! (Not always the case with other companies.)
4. Heirloom Assurance. I couldn’t find another company that offers Heirloom Assurance like Heritage Makers does. In fairness, Heirloom Assurance is not posted on the Heritage Makers website, so maybe it’s not posted on other companies’ websites, either. But I can’t stand the thought of not having all my digital scrapbooks and scrap pages and other projects saved in my account forever with the option of getting a replacement at half price if those precious projects are ever damaged (fire, water, dog, toddler, etc.).
5. Digital art. I didn’t realize how accustomed I was to (okay, spoiled by) the Heritage Makers digital art collection. It is to die for. I couldn’t find anything out there that would hold a candle to it! New collections are being added every month. PLUS, IT’S FREE TO USE!!! There is no way now that I would consider using any company that made me buy digital art. (See? Spoiled.) Let me show you a few collections. (Videos are about 1 minute and represent just the new art added that month. There are over 200,000 pieces of digital art available in Heritage Makers creation program, Studio.)
I always thought Heritage Makers was the best, otherwise I wouldn’t have become a Heritage Makers consultant back in 2005. But after this experience of looking around for something I might actually want to use as a (temporary) substitute, I was convinced. Heritage Makers just does digital scrapbooking better.
Are you ready to start digital scrapbooking? Whether you’re upgrading from your current digital scrapbooking method or you’re looking to transition from paper to digital, Heritage Makers is your answer.
Article by Jennifer Wise