Meet the Maker: Project Life Creator Becky Higgins
If you’re an avid scrapbooker or papercrafter you may well be familiar with Project Life by Becky Higgins – an innovative and creative system that allows you to create stunning layouts that can be cherished for years to come in three simple and easy steps.
Here we catch up with Becky and discover how the idea for Project Life came about, her top tips for turning your craft passion into a full time venture and what’s next for 2018/19.
Has craft always been a big part of your life? How did you get started?
It has! It’s nature + nurture, you know? I believe that you and I were born to be creators, which is such a personal and individual thing for all of us. Regardless of what that “craft” or trade or skillset is for each of us … we all have the innate talent to CREATE, and so I feel that I’m naturally creative. I have also nurtured creative and crafty skills throughout my life by cultivating whichever niche crafts have interested me at the time. I’ve dabbled in so many things, from needlepoint crafting to jewellery making to painting. Memory keeping, specifically, has been the longest-held “craft” in my life. It really started in a “traditional / creative scrapbooking” sort of way when I was 17 years of age.
Describe your style in three words.
Evolving. Strong. Well-intentioned.
Do you have any other passions/interests?
Right now, my biggest creative passion is designing / building / creating our family’s next home. I’m not the one driving nails into wood, but my husband and I both put a lot of time and intentional thought into how this next home will look, feel, and function. We each have our different “areas” that we have more interest in, and it takes both of us (and a whole team of skilled workers, of course) to pull off the vision. It’s so much fun!
How did the idea for Project Life come about?
As a lifelong memory keeper and professional in the scrapbooking industry, I was actually hitting a wall around the time that our 3rd child was born. I was feeling really behind. I was feeling overwhelmed by the idea that pages had to be creatively constructed. I wondered WHY that was the case. I was feeling un-interested in all of the products and tools and gadgets and techniques. I needed something simpler. I searched and it just didn’t exist. So I experimented with a different approach that might make sense for me in that phase of my life and ultimately created Project Life — a solution that, since it was working for me, would surely work for so many scrapbookers who related to my scrapbooking struggles.
What was the very first thing you designed for Project Life?
It didn’t have a name at the time, but it has since been referred to as the “Cherry Edition” of Project Life — an all-in-one kit that included the 12×12 binder, all the photo pocket pages (60 to fill an album), hundreds of pre-designed cards, some stickers, and even designer dividers to include in the album.
What would be your top three tips for those thinking about taking the next step and turning their passion into a business?
1) When you establish a name for your business and/or product, get all of that secured before announcing yourself to the world. Secure the URL, social media accounts, trademarks … all of it.
2) As uncomfortable as it is to market yourSELF or your ideas … it’s important to embrace that confidence in knowing your talent and expressing your passion because you DO have something to offer.
3) If your business is going to involve social media (and I think it should) … be sure to personalise your business by sharing about YOU (the passion behind the product) and behind the scenes stuff. This type of social media content will help customers and potential customers to feel more connected to your brand as they feel your authenticity, which will encourage greater loyalty and ultimately even purchases.
There are so many great kits and ephemera to choose from in the Project Life range, how do you stay inspired when coming up with new ideas?
We really try to be in touch with our customers. We regularly hear from them about what they want and we’re pretty good listeners. Our customers are our main source of inspiration, for sure. We also try to stay in tune with our own gut feelings. As a team we ask ourselves, would we want this? What are OUR needs? What kind of solutions (or fun stuff) would we buy into?
For those just getting started in scrapbooking, what essential crafty kit would you recommend?
There are 3 items that would be excellent for getting started — a 12 x 12″ album, a Big Pack of Photo Pocket Pages (it comes with 60, which is the right amount to fill the 12 x 12 album), and a Project Life Core Kit. That’s all you need! Stickers, embellishments, scissors, adhesive … none of these are a requirement for the Project Life way of scrapbooking, but certainly you can add your own twist, however you see fit. Sometimes keeping things more SIMPLE = greater chances of success, in terms of actually finishing the project. Just sayin’. Also — before you even pick up those items, choose your content. What’s the scrapbook about? What photos / memories will be included? Who is it for? Asking yourself these questions will help you decide which style to buy.
What kind of layouts do you love to create for your personal scrapbooking projects? Are there any themes/colour schemes you find yourself drawn to time and again?
In general, I tend to lean toward black & white artwork because I find it to be the neutral and classic touch that allows for the focus to stay where I want it to be — on my photos.
Are there any memory making trends that are going to be big in 2018/19?
I couldn’t tell you, honestly, because I really don’t know! I’ve never been good at predicting trends because I’m always so focused on solutions more than trends. I focus on what makes SENSE more than what I think will make the most money.
What’s next for Project life?
The system makes so much sense as it is, that we’re not looking to “innovate” or do anything particularly “out there” with what already exists. We want people’s scrapbooks to stand the test of time. It’s already solid and sensible and practical. That said, we have some things in the works that we feel will be particularly educating / enlightening / empowering for those who want to have great success with their memory keeping. Boy, that’s vague, right? You’ll see soon enough. ; )