Monday, July 25, 2011

Creative Journey blog series--Stephanie Howell!

Happy Monday, everyone, and welcome back to the Creative Journey blog series! I'm so excited to introduce today's guest--she's talented, funny, and has some great insights on the industry.

Without further ado, here's Stephanie Howell!


I asked Stephanie some questions about her journey in scrapbooking and here's what she had to say:

I started scrapbooking when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Harper, so about 6 years ago. I attended a Close to My Heart party and decided I wanted to try. Then I picked up a CK magazine and I couldn't believe all of the fun ways that women were scrapbooking. It lit a creative fire in me!

About a year later, I decided to try out for a team. I had been lurking at the Two Peas in a Bucket Pub board, and I thought it sounded fun. The idea of being sent products to use just sounded interesting. What a way to get me out of my comfort zone, to encourage creativity! I tried for several online shops and manufacturers and had no luck. A friend of mine suggested trying for a small online community design team. So I did, and I got the spot. It was the perfect way to break into the industry. I learned about deadlines, a team dynamic, etc.

As the years passed, I started trying for more teams and submitting to magazines. I tried for several big manufacturers, kit clubs, websites.....and man, I experienced a lot of rejection! I remember applying for the Scrapologie kit club and the Scrap in Style site and not getting either and being pretty upset. Then I realized that was silly. I promised myself that the moment that scrapbooking made me feel bad about myself? Well, then I wouldn't do it anymore. The purpose of this hobby for me is that it makes me HAPPY.

So I stopped being so hard on myself and had fun. And in hindsight, I'm glad those gigs didn't work out. They wouldn't have been a good fit for me.

After submitting for about a year, Scrapbook Trends picked me up. They've been wonderful to me and I recommend them to any new submitter. They are fabulous. It took me about four years to get into Creating Keepsakes and Scrapbooks, Etc.

Right now, I'm on three teams, but my main priority is still having fun. If I stop having fun, I will no longer do the team thing. Life's too short:)

Stephanie also shared some tips for industry hopefuls:

It's all about sticking with it. I submitted for years to certain publications. YEARS!!! There's no reason that not being picked up for a few months should be enough to make you quit. That always baffles me. It takes persistence!

Have FUN with it. If you are doing something you love, authentically love...well good things come out of that. I blog because it is my sanity. And i LOVE it. And the fact that good things have come out of that??? That's just icing on the cake that's already pretty sweet.

Another great tip is that when you are looking at magazine calls, be original. If there is a call for "Mother's Day" layouts, submit a layout about "a mother's heart"- how you feel about being a mother - instead of a standard mother's day call. Or if there is a "summer" call, submit a layout about snow cones. Do you see where I'm going here? Do something different! Also, good photography and cropping of your layouts is a MUST!

Here's one of Stephanie's recent favorite layouts:


Growing up with a ridiculously artistic mother, Stephanie tried and abandoned many crafts in frustration before she finally stumbled onto scrapbooking and fell in love. She made a few scrapbooks (in the loosest sense of the term) when she was in college, but truly became obsessed when she was pregnant with her first daughter. Scrapbooking is her therapy and has gotten her through seven of her husband’s overseas deployments.
Stephanie has been published in Creating Keepsakes, Simple Scrapbooks, Scrapbook and Cards Today, Scrapbooks Etc., Memory Makers and Scrapbook Trends magazines. She designs for Studio Calico, Sassafras, and Jenni Bowlin Studio.
Stephanie lives in Savannah and is married to Jimmy, who is a Major in the army. She is also a stay-at-home mom to Harper Elizabeth (5yrs), Sadie Caroline (3yrs), and twin baby girls, Lucy Claire and Catherine (Cate) Bennett (6 months old). In her spare time, she loves blogging, antiquing, taking zumba, and watching reality tv (her dirty little secret). She dreams of learning to sew, embroider, knit, quilt, and cook (well). But most of all, she loves just being together as a family, and she relishes those moments…as they are few and far between.

53 comments:

  1. I'm enjoying this series on your blog...it's the kick in the pants I need to stick with it!! Thanks to the both of you! :)

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  2. I love this series Keshet, and I love Steph. Great tips and great outlook to have too.

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  3. Steph is one of my favourite scrapbookers AND bloggers & struck a chord with me today about the having FUN part. I have fun on some teams for sure but not on others - those are the ones that I stick out for my agreed time then say bye-bye!

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  4. Stunning layout! Love that big bow. And what great tips!!! Thanks so much!

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  5. Great insight Stephanie! This series is a great idea Keshet. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. It has been way too long since I visited yours!

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  6. Stephanie is awesome! Love her blog and her amazing talent! Thanks for a great series.

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  7. Loved learning more about Steph, thanks Keshet!!!

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  8. I am so loving this series! Especially when you are featuring the works of so many ladies that I love!

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  9. This is great Keshet, thanks for sharing!! I was inspired by this series, and I submitted a couple layouts to calls for Scrapbook Trends. I just figure... why not? There's no reason not to submit if I already have the layouts done, right?

    Great inspiration!! Great weekly series!!
    -Gabi from Savannah, TX

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  10. i love these posts keshet! steph was a perfect choice!

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  11. Another fun interview Keshet! Thanks for doing these for all of us!

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  12. Thank you for sharing this wonderful artist with us :)

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  13. Yay - Stephanie is one of my fave scrappers so loved reading this

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  14. Thanks again Keshet and Stephanie. Stick with it, I shall.

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  15. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!

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  16. thank you Keshet and Stephanie for sharing this with us.

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