I have learned through my years of watching my siblings (both of whom own their own successful businesses) that if you are going to survive in business for yourself, you have to find a niche, something you can offer that sets you apart from others in your field.  I’ve also learned that you have to offer excellent customer service – the kind your potential customers cannot find anywhere else.

So, here’s how I’m going to do that.  In addition to hosting parties to sell the CM products (the traditional approach), I am also going to sell myself.

Maybe I should rephrase that.

What I mean is that I’m going to sell my services – my scrapbooking services!

A common phrase I hear among my friends is that they would love to scrapbook if they had the time.  But no one has the time!  So, if you or someone you know has an album you would dearly love to see completed but just don’t have the time to do it, I will hire myself out to take your photos – digital or printed – and place them in the album of your choosing.  I will even journal for you, if you can put all the information together for me.  However, you will be responsible for purchasing the album and supplies, as well as paying my fee.  I normally charge $20/hour for freelance work but am offering my scrapbooking services for $10/hour for a limited time only, with a minimum of 1 hour and maximum of 5 hours.  Depending on the size of your project and the amount of work you are willing to put into it before handing it off to me, you could have a completed album for as little as $40 ($20 for the book, $20 for me to put it together for you).  If you are interested in obtaining a proposal, please email me at [email protected] with the details of your project and we can go from there.

Okay, now on to the fun part.  For those of you who are either thinking of purchasing the Storybook Creator Plus software or already have it, I have learned that you can do way more than create scrapbooks with this software!!!  In fact, I have been playing around with it, and I have to admit – I’ve been holding out on you.  Because so many of our family and friends read my blog, I have hesitated to show you what I’m working on because, well, I wanted it to be surprise when your birthdays/Christmas got here.  But I just can’t keep it a secret!  Just LOOK at these cute gift tags!!!

I used some of my special scissors to cut them out, but oh my goodness!  Look what I just found on the CM site:

Tag Maker

I’m not sure these tags are the right size to work with the cutter, but I’m going to find out!!!

When I first saw these tags, they were not gift tags – they were coupons for Mother’s Day:

I read how to make them, then altered them for the Christmas gift tags.  I printed them on an 8 1/2 X 11 inch sheet of photo paper and then cut them out.  But the page that explained how to make the coupons said something about a cutter that I had to investigate…

Perforating Rotary Blade

Perforating Rotary Blade

…and found this cutter, which is part of this cutting system…

12-inch Rotary Trimmer

…that can cut those tags so they actually tear off like a real coupon!  Oh goodness me!  So many cool products – so little time…And I haven’t even started to tell you about the gift card holders I made last night or the Christmas Cards I designed from scratch!!!  But those will have to wait because I really do have to get back to, um, work.  Yeah, right.  I’m going back to work on my scrapbooks!

I’m almost done with Matthew’s Kindergarten album (which is a very good thing, since we are already getting stacks of 1st grade work sent home).  I’ll leave you with a preview of some of my favorite pages.  I created a few of the pictures by scanning in his artwork here at home.  That way, I was able to throw away pretty much everything but his report cards from the entire school year!  All we will have in the end is a small folder in the filing cabinet and a very cute book.  I may even print two copies of the book – one for him and one for me.

Pajama Night

Some of Matthew's work

Matthew's birthday at school