Today we have the pleasure of doing a Q&A with Wendy Smedley from Simple Scrapbooks Magazine. Wendy is a great friend of ours at MM. Not only is she super talented and bright, but she’s also very funny and down-to-earth.
1. How did you get started in scrapbooking?
Funny thing- I got my first job working as a weekend cashier at Memories and More Bridgette Server’s first store in Bountiful in the summer of 1996. A few months later I applied to be a teacher and got that job. I will always be grateful to Bridgette for giving me a chance.
2. How did you land such a great job with Simple Scrapbooks magazine?
I then took an opportunity to teach and do some ‘design’ work for Brenda Birrell of Pebbles in my Pocket and Paper Hearts. As a teacher at Pebbles I attended a yearly teacher training meeting in August of 1998 where I met with the other teachers at the time, one of which was Stacy Julian. Upon meeting her she asked me if I did indeed have twin boys (at the time Jacob and Nathan were 3) and I said yes- and she said- Lucky you- Most people felt sorry for me or thought I was just plain crazy— So that stuck out in my mind. I then did a couple of scrapbooking things with Stacy- and worked with her on a special issue she did for Creating Keepsakes. We stayed in touch and when I found out about Simple Scrapbooks becoming a magazine I called Tracy White and requested an interview. She informed me that she didn’t have any official positions open, but that they would keep me in mind. I got a call later on inviting me to an editorial meeting- it was held on September 10, 2001. That is how it all began.
3. Can you explain to everyone what you do for Simple Scrapbooks?
My main job at the magazine entails—concepting, planning, and assigning each issue of the magazine and special issue. It is like completing a big puzzle six times a year- we figure out our topics, then concept in more detail our features, then the columns, then which scrapbookers we are going to assign visuals and writing to, and then we assign. I am the one responsible for anything product related for the magazine. I keep in touch with manufacturers, attend all three trade shows each year, attend product previews, and make the majority of product requests. I currently work with the Creating Keepsakes events team to develop classes that are taught at Creating Keepsakes Conventions all over the country.
When you visit the Simple Scrapbooks website you will see that we have added video to our site- I manage and oversee all of the content for that. Check out the video with Stacy Julian called Personal Style Statement- it was filmed in my brand new studio that is featured in my book that is out in August called The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker One of the newest components of my job is concepting and facilitating industry partnerships.
I hold on to my editorial integrity very fiercely and strongly believe in working together with other companies and industry people—I hope my reputation will help open doors to some exciting things for 2008.
4. What is your favorite part about your job?
One of my favorite aspects of my job is looking for new talent for the magazine. We try so hard to use designers that you won’t find everywhere else— we pride ourselves on the uniqueness of our magazine and the designers are a big part of this. So every month or so I peruse message boards, online resumes, blogs, and design teams looking for talent and I have ‘discovered’ quite a few of our current Simple gals, such as Tina Cockburn and Teresa Olier. I select pages from our readers for various needs, sometimes for the magazine, and sometimes for special issues. The best part of my job is the people I get to work with, both on my team and within the industry. Since I choose to lead a busy life (five kids and a job) I have limited interaction with friends- so the people I work with are also my dear friends. For example, Angie Lucas is the managing editor and my friend. She and I have quite a few things in common such as a love of reading, shopping at consignment stores, home decorating projects, to name a few. Another part of my job that I enjoy is meeting Scrapbookers from all over the country—I am so touched by all of their stories and their willingness to share with others.
5. What is it about scrapbooking that is so inspiring to you?
People and their stories—I am an avid reader and have been my entire life. I love people—and love to find out about them. I am the person in the group that is always starting up conversations with strangers or asking people about themselves. I am fascinated by people and the ordinary lives they lead.
6. If you had two free hours to yourself what would you most like do?
READ go to a bookstore or to the library get a pedicure and indulge in some chocolate
7. What five words best describe you?
Visionary, Talkative, Curious, Compassionate, Nurturer
8. Where do go to find inspiration when it just doesn't seem to come?
Great question for me I am always looking for inspiration… for tangible things I find inspiration online- A few of my favorites are listed (and linked) below
-Flickr.com: some of the groups I look at are catchy colors, pretty organized, and ga ga for garlands
-Posie Gets Cozy: a crafty blog with all sorts of inspiration
-Wee Wonderfuls: another crafty blog
-Purl Soho: I love fabric and this site is exquisite Big Picture
9. What is a "typical" day like for you and how do you keep everything together?
Truthfully I don’t keep everything all together- Life is one big balancing act and I am constantly trying to keep my most important priorities first- like my family and I always have tons of laundry to do I don’t have hired help- I do however teach my kids how to work and they contribute to the upkeep of our home. My husband gets home in the early afternoon thus allowing me to work—he also cooks dinner most nights! I don’t have any secrets to making everything work I just try and say no to what I can’t do.
10. What is one thing about you that most don't know?
Oh boy- I would like to know what people think of me period- and then I could share something that they don’t know, hmmm. Well something sad and life changing is when my older brother unexpectedly passed away 11 years ago-this has completely changed me and the way I view the world.