In the press
August 1st 2019
We were delighted to be featured in Metro National newspaper. The interview with Oliver Stallwood gave us an opportunity to highlight how important it is, in the digital age, to celebrate your family history and tell your stories.
Andrea Daniels, 53 years old and originally from Solihull but now live in the Black Country. Married, 2 children, 2 grandsons.
I have always been creative (at school, I created a picture using nothing but pencil shavings - that raised a few eyebrows, I can tell you.) I took up scrapbooking after the birth of my 2nd daughter - a career in IT had been lucrative but I was never home and I knew I was missing my kids growing up. I also knew I would go stir crazy doing nothing. Scrapbooking was a hobby and, after considering other options, I saw a gap in the market for professional scrapbooking. I registered the website in 2007 and haven’t looked back since.
2. I thought scrapbooking died out with the analogue age – not so?
I’m accustomed to the blank expressions on people’s faces when I explain what I do. At a wedding recently, a guest commented that she didn’t realise that people did this for a living. Scrapbooking has always been there, it just has different forms in the 21st century. Coffee table books, art journals and even blogs.
3. Why do you make scrapbooks? Why are they so important now do you think?
To help clients capture their memories, stories and emotions so they can share them with their family and friends for years to come. In this digital age, we don’t always put aside enough time to remember – our phones are full of photos but the stories are being lost.
4. How do you go about making a scrapbook for someone?
Once I have the materials, I spend time talking to my client. It’s important to me that scrapbooks are more than photo albums with captions – they need to tell a story. I will then spend time going through materials to support the stories and then set about designing each page. Only then do I cut paper or start to physically create anything.
5. Most memorable moment
A client wanted to propose to his girlfriend using one of my Marry Me albums but he also wanted to embed a very large (and expensive) engagment ring into the album. No pressure then and of course, she said yes!
6. What do you put in scrapbooks?
The range of material placed into albums varies greatly dependent on the recipient. I have been asked to include 50-year-old football programs, locks of hair, sand from beaches, jewellery, very old photos (the oldest being 1890s), pressed flowers, fabric and trinkets from weddings and artwork and handwritten letters from long lost relatives.
7. What people do you meet through your job?
Although I have produced albums for famous people, it is the everyday people that have led extraordinary lives that have blown me away. My first big commission was for a gentleman celebating his 70th birthday. Whilst creating the album, it became aparent that his father had been significant in helping thousands of Jews escape Germany and Austria during the WW2. I mean, that’s a real WOW moment.
8. Can it be quite emotional?
Clients come to me (sometimes) weeks after losing a loved one. I have produced memorial albums for babies and children, sisters, wives, husbands, mothers and fathers. It is a very difficult time for the families, and you can easily get caught up in their loss. I try and stay as focused as I can and remember I’m here to do an incredibly important job for them.
9. Do we lose something in the digital age do you think?
Years ago, scrapbooking was the only way to commemorate everyday memories. The digital age means we keep our lives on our phones. If we lose our phones, we lose everything. We need to get our photos off our phones and get back to recording our memories or how will our children and our grand children know how we have lived.
10. What do you love about the job?
From the initial consultation through to the completed design, I love the entire process but you can’t beat receiving the glowing email or phone call when the client receives their album.
11. What not so much?
A lot of clients leave a commission to the last minute – I’m getting married next week, it’s my Mum’s birthday tomorrow. Last minute commissions can add unnecessary stress to the job.
12. What makes you happy?
There isn’t any aspect of it that I don’t enjoy – even the tough stuff. Ultimately, I get to do what I love. I get to help people document their lives or the lives of their loved ones. I mean, how cool is that?
Outside of scrapbooking – family, my garden and my allotment tick all the happy boxes!
13. Does this feel like a job to you?
I work from home which is a huge blessing and, although some days can be stressful, I can’t wait to get in the studio in the mornings.
14. Why do you do this job?
Because it allows to me to feed my creative being, spend more time with my children and grand children and bring an enormous amount of joy to people.
If you would love to celebrate or commemorate the life of someone close to you, the history of a company, association or building or are a looking for a unique personalised gift, get in touch. We would love to help you realise your project.