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What about Creative Memories?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I just read the other thread where two moms were saying that selling Discovery Toys had not worked out for them. What about becoming a Creative Memories "consultant"? (They sell scrapbook supplies). I just went to an all-day Creative Memories scrapbook "crop" and I had so much fun! Then I started thinking...hmmm....that seems like it would be a fun job for me. The last thing I need is a new project though (already too busy) so I would have to quit my part-time job to do this new part-time job. We really need my income just to pay the bills, there is not much "extra" so I would only pursue this if it really was a viable way to make some reliable income. Does anyone have some advice/experience to share?
post #2 of 21
I have been doing this for about 1 year now. Because I work a regular job and have 2 small kids I find it difficult to make money at it. If you were able to put a lot of energy and time into it, it could pay off. I did not make a profit this year and may have to quit. Although I will say that I am not working it at all, I just don't have time. I am working it at the hobbyist level, basically getting my own supplies at a discount.
One thing to keep in mind, with CM you must place a minimum order of $500.00 each quarter to remain active. Discovery toys has no minimum order.
post #3 of 21
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
AMum, why do you say so? Do you have experience with Creative Memories?
post #5 of 21
I have to say, that cracked me up.


Thanks for that!
post #6 of 21
I know someone who made money selling Pampered Chef, but it did require a fair amount of her time going away to shows.

CM, I'm not so sure about. I briefly considered it just because I would get a discount on supplies if nothing else, but there is an initial outlay of cash that I didn't want to get into, plus you had to charge for the "shows" unlike Pampered Chef where you attend for free and decide whether or not to buy anything. It's hard to get people to come to your house for a Creative Memories class when they have to pay $10. I figured what was the liklihood of me actually making money when the people who bought CM supplies and went to crops already had a distributor. Several moms in LLL were involved, and on my local lists, so it just seemed like the market in my area was saturated. Plus it seems like it would be fun to host a crop, but you can get together with friends and do that. When you do it through a CM consultant, you have to pay a fee to get a spot at the table, and while I might be willing to do it every once in awhile, I'm not going to do this on a regular basis just because there is a cost involved. I'd rather invite people to my house and tell them to bring snacks if they want and they don't have to pay me. Of course, at a CM hosted crop, I believe you get to use their supplies like cutting systems as such, so you have access to stuff you may not want to buy. It might be worth it for that. But you pay for any stickers and useable supplies, I believe. I don't quite know, I've never actually been to a workshop like that, although I did host a class in my house once, and I paid the fee for my guests.

I have a friend who sells Avon, and she was sending me e-mail, telling me to get my weekly order in, and it was getting annoying. How often am I going to order stuff from Avon? I was willing to do it once or twice, but the expectation that it would be a weekly thing just irriated me. I guess I worry about that sort of thing with friends, like I'm expected to help them out by buying stuff.
post #7 of 21
I went to a crop to be polite. I ended up having a great time and bought some supplies and was having fun with it. Then the cm lady wanted me to sell it. I listened to what she had to say and took the paper work and read the fine print. They don't let you advetise unless it is within their guidelines. My cm lady quit because she got board useing only their product. You can not put any other stickers or anything in your scrapbook if you are a cm supplier. Anyway, I have fun scrapbooking but do not want cm to dictate what I can do in my own albums. My cm wasn't making any real money, and she invested a lot of time to it.
post #8 of 21
I was being a bit tongue in cheek & didn't have time to post more

I regularly attend a CM crop. A close friend started selling, so I started going. My house is very tiny, so paying the $5 is worth it for me. You have access to the tools & you pay for consumable goods as you use them.

I call it a cult b/c my friend is totally horrified by non-CM consumables/supplies. She allows me to bring them, but then harps on me about it. I am totally sick of being treated like a paria. For some reason CM thinks they are the only company to have figured out how to make safe scrapbooking materials: I would be bored to death of my scrapbooks if all my supplies came from one company!!!

We'll be moving into a bigger house soon & I plan on hosting my onw crops. Bring what you like!!
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, thanks for the replies and information! I am still thinking of moving forward with this, but I have plenty of time to think about it because right now I live in a small apt where it would be impossible to throw classes or crops.

Anyway, some of things stated above wouldn't bother me, because they won't apply to me; I certainly wouldn't care if any of my customers used non-CM products and I fully intend on doing so myself! Even if CM consultants aren't "allowed" to do so, I would anyway- I doubt if the CM police would come check my albums.

As far as paying to go to someone;s house to scrapbook- I have no problem with that! In fact, I plan to start doing that myself with another CM consulatant I contacted. The price seems reasonable- $10 for an evening. Would I pay $10 for 5 hours to work on my scrapbook, uninterrupted, in a place where my family WASN'T in a nice clean area that someone else cleaned? YES! So, if I feel this way, hopefully I could find others who did also.

So- there is only one unknown that WOULD be an impediment- is this economically viable? If I put 15 hours a week into it, could I reasonably expect to make $120 to $150 a week? Or is this just a pipe dream??
post #10 of 21
You have to be pretty good at selling. I am not doing so well because I don't have a very "salesy" personality. In order to make money at CM you have to have classes at least once a week. Once you burn through your close friends and family you really have to be able get new classes from classes, meaning you have to be able to get someone at your class to commit to hosting a class and so on... The premise is that these folks will also attend your crops and become customers, but you are supposed to focus most of your energy on getting more classes and recruiting new consultants (usually also at classes). If you have an outgoing personality and are good at selling people - go for it. I find it difficult.
post #11 of 21
Originally posted by AMum
My house is very tiny, so paying the $5 is worth it for me. You have access to the tools & you pay for consumable goods as you use them.
Wow, yours only charges $5? That's good. The crops I've been invited to were anywhere from $10 to $25, depending on the quality of the food provided, I guess. How much do you end up paying for things like adhesive materials?
post #12 of 21
Moving this the the "working mamas" forum now!
post #13 of 21
I went to a class recently. I only went because I wanted to support this friend and I didn't know what I was getting into (I was invited by a mutual friend who didn't describe it very well). This friend went to art school with me and is a very talented creative person although she has been a SAHM for about 6 years so hasn't been making art. I am totally shocked that she got into this. I have nothing against scrapbooking but she has more creativity in her little finger than it takes to put together a scrapbook with CM materials. She can make her own paper, fer gawds sakes! Anyway, I know allot of people need a more formulaic system to work within so CM is good for them.

OK, I got a little off topic there, sorry. I would guess that most CM consultants just do it to get discounts and maybe make a little money to support their own scrapbooking. I wouldn't quit your day job.
post #14 of 21
Amy ~ I thought it was low too, but that seems to be the going rate here. I think I pay normal prices for consumables. She goes by the prices in the CM catalogue. I bring a lot of my own supplies & I get ridiculed. We will be moving into a larger house soon & I will start scrapping at home. I feel like my friend/CM consultant is less enthusiastic about my pages b/c they aren't totally CM. :

I understand she is in it to make money, but I think I have spent plenty with her. I feel like I should let her know how I feel, but I don't want to offend her. Hmmm.
post #15 of 21
I met a woman many years ago when I checked out her CM booth at a craft show. We got to talking and discovered that we both were readers of Mothering and became friends. Over the years I have watched her build a very successful CM business. She and her husband recently went on an all expense paid cruise to Mexico as a reward for her sales level.

Here's what I think made it a successful endeavor for her:

1. She LOVES doing CM. She is truly inspired by the fact that she is helping people create meaningful heirlooms. This really is the key.

2. She takes seriously the fact that this is a business. She is organized, takes full advantage of support, dresses professionally, and has learned how to network well. Her dayplanner is a vital part of life.

She is not the stereotypical high pressure annoying sales type at all. I think her sales ability comes from her personal enthusiasm. Imagine if you were selling motherhood. Think you could get people fired up?

She has raised two children, homeschooled them when they were young, and managed to work the business around family. She held crops at churches and community centers. I'm sure it's stressful and tricky at times, but she stuck with it and it paid off.

I guess the downsides would be upfront money for inventory (although apparently this is not a must), and the fact that it may take time to build the business up to a decent level of profit. I thought about doing it but I prefer work that I can just get done and be done with. A business like CM is a little time here, some there, meetings, yada, yada. It has worked for my friend, but is not for me.

Also, I would encourage all you ladies to buy as much of your supplies from a CM mommy as you can, just to support her and her WAH business.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you Gentlegreen! That was a very helpful post in terms of how to make the business be successful. I am really excited about the possibilities!
post #17 of 21
I was a CM consultant for a year or two - never did make any money but it was nice to get my stuff at cost. My comments - you need a LOT of room to store the boxes of inventory you will have. This cannot be someplace damp or with high or low temps - it must be in your house somewhere (not attic, garage, etc.) There is money you put out up front, then sell from your inventory (normally). Some people just order as they get orders but people have to wait a while that way and it generally doesn't work out as well when they know they can go to the scrapbook store and walk out with it right then.

I believe wholeheartedly in the quality of CM and I like the clean, basic style they teach so I use CM almost exclusively even though there are many scrapbook stores in my area. But getting others to buy into this philosophy is hard to do IMO.

The cost for the class is a hard point too. I understand why (covering materials and hostess gifts) but it is hard to get good numbers at a class when Tupperware, Partylite, Discovery Toys, etc. do not charge (I know they don't have the same outlays of materials but still). When someone hasn't scrapbooked before, they are not sure they want to toss out $10 on something they are not sure they will even like.

I am very outgoing and was/am very into CM so it was easy to be super positive about it. But I think to be "money-making" at it, you have to really push buying the products and I just couldn't do that. One the the CM consultants I know will take post-dated checks - I felt badly if someone couldn't afford it and couldn't bring myself to nudge them into something that was iffy for them financially.

I also was not comfortable calling people to confirm they were coming to classes and to try to get orders out of people. I kind of work under the assumption that if they want it, they will call me. That is sometimes true and sometimes not.

I do LOVE CM and think it is the greatest (was actually just working on dd2's album earlier today) but I didn't make money at it and that was your question. Of the three CM consultants that I know well, only one makes money at it. She has a huge list of clients - has been growing her business for seven years, goes to every meeting and convention (flying cross country for conventions), keeps dozens of boxes of inventory, has a home office dedicated to it, sends mailers each month, has four or five crops a month plus multiple classes each week. The other two get their stuff at cost, teach a class now and then, have one crop a month and make no money from it - just their stuff at cost.
Just my two cents....
post #18 of 21
This is ancient history bumped by a spammer, but I'll still yap.

$500 sales quota a quarter? JIMINY CHRISTMAS! That's a HIGH quota for paper & stickers!

I'm not a scrapbooking person at all, so what do I know? But - yikes! I can't imagine finding people to spend that much money on that stuff.
post #19 of 21
I sneak off to a CM consultant's house about every 6 months to buy stickers (she stocks EVERY ITEM in her home). But I prefer Stampin' Up! because they're not nearly so strict, and the quarterly minimum is only $300. And they don't just do scrapbooking, but card-making, and lots of other creative projects. And their Idea Book & Catalog is just plain awesome to look at.
I too went to a workshop just to check it out, and 6 months later became a demonstrator just to support my own hobby. I don't really do "parties", but I'll place orders for friends, and do little project workshops.
The women I know who do it for a part-time job really seem to enjoy it though.

- Krista
post #20 of 21
I know scrapbooking is very popular but I so do not get it. I have a hard enough time just putting the photos in an album let alone spending hours embellishing. I would go to a party if a friend was hosting one but I would not be a regular customer.

Pampered Chef, on the other hand, I totally get and I am total junkie. :
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