How it all started
Kiwi Lane was founded by myself (Susan), my mother in law Debbie and my sister in law Shiloh. The idea for the Play-to-Create method came to us while we were scrapbooking in 2008…well, trying to at least. We actually spent most of our time in those days staring at a blank page, and telling ourselves that we weren’t creative enough.
Why? Well, partly because when we looked online, all of the ideas we were finding from the “pros” felt out of our reach to recreate.
Whether that was because of the cost involved in purchasing all of the embellishments they were using for only one picture, or the time involved to get anywhere even close to the same look. It was just all too much!
When we tried coming up with ideas on our own, we would struggle feeling inspired…we just couldn’t visualize what to do with our paper and pictures.
There was also just that voice that lives in so many of our heads telling us we weren’t creative enough or that our efforts would lead to end results that would leave us disappointed or unsatisfied…so why bother?
All of this left us feeling unproductive, uncreative, uninspired, overwhelmed, inadequate and even anxious about creating.
Through analyzing our own personal experiences and having countless conversations with other creators, a list of common obstacles emerged that we all seemed to struggle with at times:
- Not enough Time
- Too much Money
- Inability to generate Ideas
- Lack of Creative Confidence
- Feeling Overwhelmed
We became determined to overcome these issues, and after some thought and work we had a breakthrough, which led to a unique product and a method that has helped thousands of paper crafters overcome these obstacles by harnessing a few, underestimated and underutilized things:
The beauty and design potential of patterned paper.
The simplicity and effectiveness of a few, versatile, low-tech design tools.
The power of visual and tactile ‘Play’ to stimulate creativity and dramatically speed up the design process for the creator.
We called this product Designer Templates. They were born out of a need to overcome the common obstacles that, as paper-crafters, we all faced. Using our templates, a pencil, paper and a pair of scissors, we were able to:
Create scrapbooking layouts, hand-made cards and a variety of DIY projects that were gorgeous, professional, and inexpensive, using (almost exclusively) the colors and patterns found in patterned paper; a relatively inexpensive resource that almost every paper-crafter has a massive stash of, but aren’t sure how to utilize.
Cut down drastically on the expenditure for shiny tools and excessive embellishments needed to facilitate the process of creation, which also dramatically decreased the entry cost, so to speak, for anyone looking to break into our favorite form of freetime creation, thus removing a huge barrier to entry for many potential creators who have a desire to be a papercrafter as well as those who already enjoy scrapbooking, card making and/or DIY crafts, making this beloved hobby more manageable.
Tap into the power of P.L.A.Y to fuel design inspiration and creativity, decrease feelings of anxiety and overwhelm and increase confidence and satisfaction. Our Designer Templates allow creators to visualize what they are designing before they actually cut into anything – inhibiting the fear of making mistakes that paralyzes most people – and use their hands to physically move and manipulate design elements around during the creation process, sparking endless ideas and inspiration, without tipping us down the rabbit hole of comparison with others. These things help paper crafters harness the creative power inherent in the human brain, all in a way that acts and feels like ‘Play’.
Share with others
Our emphasis on Sharing has its roots in many different experiences.
First and foremost, it was the prevailing emotion that we felt after discovering this process for ourselves. When we realized what the Play-to-Create method did for us, we couldn’t help but want to share it with the other creators in our lives.
But it didn’t stop there. Once we had shared it in our small social circles, we just had to reach out to even more creators. Initially we chose a website and trade shows as the vehicle to spread the word. Debbie, Shiloh and I still talk often about the sense of fulfillment that we felt as we watched people’s faces light up at our first trade show in Ogden, UT. They got it. They could see what we had done, and what it would do for them. And their excitement was both gratifying and immensely fulfilling to us.
As we continued to travel and share, we developed a base of customers who were using the products and the process and they shared with us the fact that Kiwi Lane had “made scrapbooking fun again.” That it had reignited or added a sense of creative fulfillment to their lives. Our hearts just kept on filling, and we couldn’t share enough.
As we continued to grow the business, and mingle with customers – learning their individual stories – we began to have a desire to create opportunities for them to earn money sharing something that they loved…just like we had done.
The need to share with others carries over to our social communities, to the programs we develop, and to those that we partner with. All with the purpose to invite and inspire others to create more consistently and more meaningfully in their lives.
Since almost the beginning, we have fostered an atmosphere of openness, providing as many ideas as we can to inspire others in their own creations, and developing a community where others do the same. Because we have come to understand that sharing what we create is just the next step in the creation process, and only deepens the sense of connection that is at the heart of everything we do.
Whether we are sharing our creations with other creators in a post on social media, or with our children or grandchildren in the form of a scrapbook or quilt or recipe that is passed down and enjoyed by generations to come, Sharing is a natural step in the creation process that we believe should always be exemplified and encouraged.
Free Digital Scrapbooking Book & Skecthes
In the spirit of Sharing, we invite you to download this FREE digital idea book that includes 22 scrapbooking ideas and sketches along with a timeline of our first 10 years as a company. We hope the ideas inspire you to use them as a springboard for your own scrapbooking page creations.
This same spirit of openness, connection and commitment to our mission has become the driving force behind our community as well.
We are proud of the community that we have developed by harnessing the power of sharing,
and the fact that the majority of that community has embraced the Kiwi Lane ethos of Sharing, and both Inspiring and being Inspired, which are at the core of our culture.
Kiwi Lane has tried to be different from the beginning. The truth is that our products, services and the corporate apparatus that we have built up to share them, were developed by creators, for creators. We don’t develop or put out into the community anything that we can’t sincerely get behind…and we feel that this sincerity has served us well.
And so, we invite you to allow your journey to take a turn onto a bright and inspirational little street full of ideas, products, events and bustling with other creators just like you. We can’t wait to inspire and be inspired by you, and promise to support you, encourage you and celebrate what you create as we all continue our journey as creators together.
Welcome to Kiwi Lane.