The Washington Post once called scrapbooking “the hottest hobby going into the new millennium,” and with nearly 1.8 million Web sites addressing the topic, it’s clear the pastime still sizzles.
For Eric C. (BS ’85) and Bonnie V. Smith (BS ’85) of Lindon, Utah, scrapbooking is their life. Through their company, Paper Wizard, they create scrapbook page kits that are designed, cut, and assembled on site.
The business was born after Bonnie purchased a die cut machine in 2000 and began producing scrapbooking goods. The products, produced initially at home, quickly found an audience, and as demand increased, a larger crew became necessary. They eventually employed 18 women and moved the business into a warehouse in Chino, Calif., where they then lived.
The purchase of their first laser-cutting machine in 2002, combined with Eric’s artistic ability, generated an explosion of products. “We want to make sure everything we do is unique and uses the highest-quality material,” Bonnie says.
One of their laser-made kits has so many details that 42 specialty papers are used to create it. The Smiths also provide personalized items. “Be True to Your School,” for example, allows customers to order varsity letters, jackets, and mascots in textured paper of their own school colors.
To keep pace with the clientele, Eric continues to create new designs. For some designs he focuses on life events, such as LDS missions, and for others he emphasizes aspects of history and culture, such as pioneer heritage.
In 2006 the Smiths moved to Utah, which Eric calls the “hotbed and the heartbeat of scrapbooking.”
With more than 1,200 domestic and international wholesale accounts, the Smiths’ five laser machines run an average of 16 hours a day, six days a week. Approximately 95 percent of their business is wholesale, but they also maintain a Web site and a retail store.