Digital Scrapbooking and Business Values

Today on the blog we’re going to take a bit of a different approach, and talk about the values that businesses are built on. But wait! Don’t skip out yet. I’m going to talk about it via looking at a business in the arts and crafts world, specifically the folks over at https://www.pixelscrapper.com/. So it’s still very much applicable to this blog and what we’re all about.

The thing is, the values that businesses are built on and how they do business matters. And we need to actually care about it.

Corruption surrounding money has been a thing for pretty much as long as humans have been around. It’s old news, and it likely will run on indefinitely. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t make a difference by caring, by holding businesses accountable that are doing things immorally (or, at least not taking our business to them), and by supporting businesses that are doing things ethically.

And it’s not even always simply about doing things “ethically” or “the better way,” sometimes it’s just about businesses being built on values that are really fucking cool.

Pixel Scrapper is one of those. Started by a wife and husband duo, it started out as just a little hobby site that the husband, Jordan, threw up for his wife Marisa while they lived in Korea to help with her love for crafting and the limitations that had been placed on her ability to paper scrapbook. (By the by – this couple seems like one of those crazy, cool, internationally-roaming type couples. It seems tough to know where they’ll be at any given moment).

A couple years later they relaunched the site as Pixel Scrapper, the site that you’ll find today. Though of course it’s come a long way (the site is around eight years old at this point. Aesthetically it could definitely use some upgrades, and unfortunately that’s probably the first thing that hits you, but when you take a step back and think about it, this site is pretty dang impressive.

It was basically built by one dude, Jordan. And it’s not a simple wordpress site. This is a site with an incredible amount of custom functionality, if you really think about all the kits and bundles and working with subscriptions and all the rest. A few years ago they brought on another (I think part time?) tech guy (Jordan’s brother) to help out, and we’ve seen some nifty features roll out since then. But basically, you’re talking about a very customized website built mostly by one man.

But I get derailed. Pixel Scrapper gives every registered user 5 free downloads. A day. We’re talking about premium, professional level graphics. And that’s not even talking about a couple of free kits that they gift you in a variety of ways when you first sign-up.

And if you want more, they have incredible subscriptions that give you unlimited downloads of not only their great collection of individual graphics, but also of packaged kits and bundles as well. All for a price that is a little crazy (especially considering that they have a commercial use license that is very flexible and easy to work with).

Why am I saying all this? I’m not trying to sell Pixel Scrapper to you. I want to illustrate – one of the biggest values that Pixel Scrapper was built on was generosity. You can read all about it in their manifesto, which is really the guiding document I want to point all my readers towards.

They actually believe in creativity and its power. They didn’t create a business in the digital scrapbooking world because that’s where the money was (for those of you who don’t know, it’s pretty niche). It’s because they want to foster creativity and the richness and value that creativity adds to the lives of others (and you can tell that the founder, Marisa, loves it of course).

The generosity and creativity foster each other — by giving away so many graphics for free (or for such a reasonable subscription price), they make creativity more accessible for others. Creativity, by its very nature, fosters generosity — you’re giving time and energy towards something that will go out in the world and be its own new thing.

These are just two of the values that Pixel Scrapper was built on. Again, I recommend that you go and read through the whole manifesto, it’s seriously one of the best manifestos I think I’ve ever read, much less belonging to a business. It will inspire you what these guys are trying to do. And admittedly I haven’t spent a ton of time on the site, but even hanging out and taking a look at the forums for just a little while, you can tell that at least with a number of their members, what they’re trying to do in fostering creativity, generosity, and an atmosphere of care seems to be working.

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