Just off Highway 3 on a quiet street in Hosmer is the Elk Valley’s best kept crafting secret. Happy Valley Scrapbooking is a one stop shop for all things paper.
Owner Wanda McDonald began scrapbooking years ago as a way to organize old and new family photos. “I started really simple scrapbooking, and then I started to discover the whole creative, artsy side of it, and I just loved it,” said McDonald. “Right from then it’s always been what I wanted to do.”
McDonald started selling scrapbooking supplies through a catalogue company in 2001, and after a few years decided it was time to start her own business. “I always wanted to open a store,” she commented. “We came up with this idea because it’s half way between everything. When I did direct sales I had some in Fernie, some in Sparwood, some in Jaffray, and some in Elkford.”
With everything from different types of paper and cardstock, to embellishments like buttons and stickers, if it’s scrapbooking related, Happy Valley has it. The store also carries albums and unique cards for those that aren’t as creatively inclined. McDonald remarked, “Lots of people aren’t into scrapbooking, but they come for the cards.”
The store runs baby, calendar, and stamp clubs, and offers classes geared for not only the experienced scrapbooker, but anyone looking to try out a new hobby. “When someone comes in for a class they get a complete kit ready to go, explained McDonald. “All the pieces are in it. Every little piece is cut for them, because it’s about learning, everyone knows how to cut paper.”
With technology ever evolving, McDonald admits the demand for handmade scrapbooks and photo albums has lessened. “The digital world has made it a little tougher,” she said. “That’s probably the biggest impact, and a lot of people don’t print their photos anymore. They just store them on a computer, no one sees them, its kind of a shame.”
McDonald went on to say, “Lots of people are doing those [digital] photo books, which I think are good if you’re in a hurry, or for a quick project, but there’s nothing like actually flipping through photos, and it’s your own personal touches that make the difference.”
Despite the ease of modern technology, McDonald still has regular customers who prefer the old-fashioned approach. And as the only shop of its kind in the Elk Valley, she’s not planning on giving up anytime soon.
“I love it, it’s my passion. I can’t ever imagine not scrapbooking.”
Happy Valley Scrapbooking is located at 9839 Elk Street in Hosmer. For more information or to sign up for a class, email firstname.lastname@example.org.