Scrapbooking - Making Memories Last a Lifetime
Scrapbooking is an amazing way to document cherished memories and precious moments of our lives. Wondering what a scrapbook is? Well, a scrapbook creatively puts together a collection of photos, embellishments and personal notes that as a whole tell a story.
A popular crafting activity internationally, it has seen increased interest in India too in the past few years. With old-fashioned photo albums no longer favoured, scrapbooks help keep memories alive with a personalised twist instead of all those lovely photos remaining in our phones or cameras.
Whether its an anniversary gift tracing out your love story, or a pregnancy album capturing every momentous milestone or a travel scrapbook that captures the highlights of your trip, scrapbooks are a highly versatile medium to preserve memories.
Scrapbooks Made Easy
Making scrapbooks from scratch is an absorbing, fun activity but perhaps not for everybody. That's where Scrapbookist comes in.
Scrapbookist is an online service that offers handcrafted scrapbooks its clients. You can either buy premade scrapbooks with defined themes or create a custom version, personalised to your wishes. The site offers a wide range of formats, themes and styles, each of them unique, so you can create something that is just right for your needs.
Enamoured by the beautiful scrapbooks listed on her website Scrapbookist, BP Guide decided to catch up with its founder and chief designer Sarika Goel to know more.
All our scrapbooks are custom made, focusing on the client's requirements, the message they want to convey and the emotions attached with the memories.
Sarika Goel, Founder, Scrapbookist
Scrapbookist - Bring Memories to Life with Handcrafted and Customised Scrapbooks
An established player among photo scrapbooking services in India, Scrapbookist has been around for several years now.
A former IT professional, Sarika Goel worked in the digital marketing field for ten years. Then she had a baby and began making a scrapbook for her baby girl, but that was seven years ago and the Indian market was very different from what it is today. A simple labour of love turned into a challenge due to the lack of availability of raw materials such as paper. She had to source the material for her scrapbook from the US, and even now she gets many of her materials, especially paper shipped from the US.
Scrapbooking itself was a very new idea in India at that point in time, and so she decided to turn this personal interest into a professional one. We talk to her about the process of starting her own venture, the process of creating a scrapbook, the challenges she's faced and some of the interesting concepts she has worked on.
Q & A with Sarika Goel, Founder: Getting to Know the Story Behind the Site
- Q. What led you to start Scrapbookist?
- I so enjoyed making a scrapbook for my daughter and while doing so realised it is a very new concept in India and the potential it has. It was also around the time I wanted more time with my family and with my daughter and so I started making them professionally. It was part time at first and then I quit my job and took it up full time.
- Q. What is special about your books?
- My scrapbooks are some of the best in the industry. None of them are based on templates, something that is not available elsewhere.
- Q. How long does it take to make an average scrapbook?
- It takes about a week for a digital one, although it depends entirely on the kind of details the customer wants. For instance, a complex handmade scrapbook can take 20 to 25 days to make.
- Q. What is your process?
- It is a one man job, although I am planning an expansion. However, to be frank, the idea of customised books is not feasible for mass production, especially not for handmade books. I used to do all the designing and crafting but now I have two designers who do the design according to my specifications. I also have a lot of specialised equipment to make handmade books quickly on my own. Then I have tie ups for the printing and binding. Now my job is to get new ideas for the market.
- Q. How do you ensure quality?
- The initial idea to get materials from the US was due to the quality of paper. The high GSM paper that I wanted wasn’t available here in India when I started out and it is what I needed to ensure that the books last forever. Now we do get better quality paper because the industry has picked up here. We also use some of the best adhesives available - earlier the only option was Fevicol so I would source adhesives too from outside but now there are better ones available here.
- Q. So do the books indeed last forever?
- We use very good quality of materials for precisely this reason, but since it is a handmade book, it should be handled with care. If it is dumped somewhere carelessly, covered by a pile of things, or kept pressed open with unnecessary force, even the best quality book will start loosening its pages at the spine.
- Q. Aren’t photo books similar to your digital print scrapbooks?
- Photo books are made entirely on templates. We don’t do that. Our digital books are fully customised according to the kind of message the client wants to convey and the material they supply us, such as pictures.
- Q. Tell us about some interesting concepts you’ve worked with.
- Every client has unique requirements and each book tells a unique story. We once had a team of naval officers as clients; they wanted a special book for their commander who was retiring and they wanted it in the shape of a ship. That posed a lot of challenges for the binding. Another time a client wanted a book to capture the WhatsApp chat history with her fiance!
- Q. Was it difficult to get customers for a new concept such as this?
- My scrapbooks are very unique and with my background in digital marketing I was able to reach out to and get customers. I also did some collaborations through blog posts and added more products to the portfolio. People have a lot more disposable income now and when it comes to gifts they are looking for things that the recipient doesn’t already have. What we are offering is a memory book. Each book is customised and no two scrapbooks will be alike because we do not work from a template.
- Q. What is important to you in your work?
- Uniqueness. I want each piece to be different, something not seen before. It’s all about the satisfaction of the client, and the person who receives it should feel special emotions. Because this is all about emotions.
- Q. Handmade or digital print, what would you recommend?
- The two are quite different and the choice would depend on what the client wants. Handmade takes more time and can accommodate about 50 pictures. I introduced digital when a client wanted 200 pictures.
Not just scrapbooks, Scrapbookist's range of products includes calendars, desk decor, wall decor, quiet/busy books, which are all available on the ste. Here we profile the top three products that showcase the range.
Handmade Anniversary Scrapbooks
One of Scrapbookist's most popular products the handmade anniversary scrapbooks is a thoughtful and romatic gift for partners. The photobook typically contains A4 size sheets that display selected photographs (up to 12) along with personal messages.
Each order is custom made. The colour scheme of the scrapbook and the design are customised based on the photos provided, the messages and the emotions to be conveyed. The starting price for such scrapbooks is Rs. 5,000. Find more details on the site
I want each piece to be different, something not seen before. It’s all about the satisfaction of the client, and the person who receives it should feel special emotions. Because this is all about emotions.
Custom Made Scrapbooks
Here Scrapbookist creates one-of-a-kind scrapbooks for clients who have out of the box requirements. These no limitations here either in terms of the shapes or styling. The creators at Scrapbookists are happy to explore ideas with their clients to develop a special memento that captures their feelings. The pricing here entirely depends on the level of creativity involved in the process. You can find more about this option here.
Handmade Photobook (Freehand)
These handmade photobooks are a treasure trove of memories and messages. Created with a great deal of effort and freehand creativity, the team primarily uses a combination of greyscale pictures and numerous personal messages to capture the client's sentiments. The starting price such photobooks is Rs 8,000 and can go up to Rs. 25,000.
Where Can You Find Them?http://scrapbookist.com/
What we are offering is a memory book. Each book is customised and no two scrapbooks will be alike because we do not work from a template.
Know More About Sarika and Her Journey
- Q. What are some of your own interests?
- I have been a creative person all my life, I like to paint a lot. Even when I was working I would paint - I had my own cabin and would paint canvases there. My work is on display at my former workspace.
- Q. How did you spend your time when cooped up at home during the Covid lockdown?
- My daughter and I did a lot of crafts together. She shares a lot of my interests and has many of my capabilities; we love doing DIYs and spent a lot of time making things together.
- Q. What is your personal challenge?
- I started my career as a salesperson, not something I had planned. I enjoyed talking to the clients, finding out what they wanted and then creating that. I love challenges. At the time I started doing digital marketing it was also a very new concept in India, and now again I want to do something new. I used to work with clients based in the UK and US, hence had erratic work hours. After my daughter was born I wanted more time with her and had to figure out how to turn a hobby into something professionally viable.
Future Plans for Scrapbookist
- Q. What are you looking to achieve in coming days?
- I am looking for corporate customers next. My line of products has also grown to incorporate office supplies. I have done 2 exhibitions, one of which was for a maternity hospital whose clients were all expecting and new mothers. Then I’ve done a digital photobook for an office farewell. Yearbooks, planners, farewell books, these are some of the things we can do in the corporate arena and so there is potential for tie ups.
Any Recommendations for Us?
- Q. Which gifting occasion is best suited for a scrapbook?
- Anniversaries, births and baby milestones are some of the most popular themes we work on, but a scrapbook works for any occasion where you want to capture time and memories, and when you want to give something very unique or evoke special emotions.