Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kallio Kalleidoscapes: Four Years in the Making

I started out wanting to be an Art Director. THAT sounded like a nice job! I imagined it would be in a large design firm…

Imagine a beautiful spacious window office with a gorgeous cityscape view, a personal assistant who would take my phone calls and fetch my coffee, and legions of interns and graphic designers to whom I could bark orders and to whom I could impart all of my great wisdom! Yeah! Sounds great, doesn’t it? I thought so, too!

However, one sunny summer day, some jackass driver crossed the median on the freeway, changing my life forever! Now, thanks to my multiple levels of pain and several physical complications, performing the duties demanded by a regular desk job in an office with regular and obscene hours is no longer in the cards for me.

Instead of pursuing the career I had always dreamed about, I began to pour my energy into things that I both enjoyed and that my physical condition would still allow me to do… my hobbies!

One day, I was out scrapbooking with my dearest Mother-in-law (who just happens to be the woman who turned me onto scrapbooking in the first place, thanks Mom!) and a friend of hers. We were all discussing the amazing designs of the scrapbook paper that each of us were using and we were wondering, “How do the creators make them so gorgeous?” My Mother-in-law’s friend then asked me, “Why don’t you design your own scrapbook papers?”

So I thought… and I thought… and I thought…

(Here you can imagine Winnie the Pooh tapping his forehead.)

…and I could not come up with a single reason as to why I didn’t design my own papers.

Why hadn’t I thought of this before?

Her question sparked my creative energies and I began drawing out potential designs. I played with design after design after design. I created everything myself, either by hand or in Illustrator (a favorite program), and I produced few designs that were promising, but not quite perfect yet. Three weeks before having my son, I started designing the first line that had really set my heart afire. Through days and nights (let’s change that to weeks) of very little sleep, cause the babies really prevented any kind of rest for mommy (all you Mommies know just what I mean), I worked painstakingly on my new paper line. When I was done, I ended up with two matching lines that I was very, very happy with, Dreaming Draven and Kaidalicious, named after my little monkeys.

With complete lines designed, I began brainstorming ways that I could get my designs into scrapbook stores all over the country. The amount of money required to have them manufactured was outrageous, of course, and I just didn’t have it. It was going to be expensive as hell!! To print them at home on my awesome printer would have demanded a ridiculous amount of ink, making it another non cost-effective means of production. Alternatively, I thought maybe someone would be willing to purchase my designs.

I approached one of many large companies asking them if they would be interested in ordering a large quantity of packets to sell in their enormous online store. After months and months of impatiently waiting for a reply, I finally got a big “NO!” Their company was “moving in a different direction.” That was the only explanation that I was entitled to.


So I proposed the same idea to a few other big name companies with hopes that someone would be interested buying my designs. To my surprise, and to my utter dismay, each one of them said “No!” For various reasons, none of these companies were interested in buying my designs!

What a freaking bummer!!! And another freaking grrrrrrrrr!!!

At this point, I was feeling quite depressed and discouraged. All of my hopes were beginning to diminish. I was simply crushed.

There were so many consecutive let-downs weighing on my spirit. I was on the verge of giving up, thinking it was just an absurd dream. Fortunately, a few of my dear loved ones wouldn’t let me throw in the towel so easily. These blessed souls reminded me that I possess a great talent and that my designs are gorgeous. My husband wouldn’t let me forget how original anything that I created was. He said that he had seen his mother’s papers, (let me remind you that she IS quite the scrapbooker and emphasize her ENORMOUS scrapbook supply collection) and he pointed out that my designs were so incredibly different than anything he had seen that someone was bound to notice them.

I moved forward.

I didn’t have the means to have anything manufactured yet, so until I could come up with the money, I was inspired to start on new designs.

I was at my best friend’s house visiting with her and she was showing me these gorgeous photos she had taken of some flowers. She was experimenting with various unorthodox photography techniques and most of her images were intentionally blurry. My only thought was, “Awesome!” She didn’t have any plans for these images, but I did! Instantaneously, I was struck with an idea for some new paper designs. I asked for her permission to use the images and even though she thought I was a little crazy (finger twirling around her ear kind of crazy) she said yes. My Flower Commotion line is a product of her floral images combined with my Illustrator and Photoshop expertise. I am oh-so pleased with it, and so is she!

About the time I finished her Flower Commotion line, my Halloween line, my Christmas line, and Shiver, I got a random magazine in the mail. This particular magazine did a lot of scrapbook paper sales. How exciting!! Optimistic, I approached them with my six different scrapbook paper lines. I was sure there would be at least one scrapbook line in my conglomeration that they would be interested in.

I was so sure!

But guess what?? That’s right, it was just another stinking “Thank you, but no, we are not interested in any of your designs at this time.” At least this company was more open to communicate and quicker with their response!

Another freaking bummer!!

Nonetheless, I was not about to allow that little “no” deter me from becoming a successful scrapbook paper designer!

Even though Anyone with the means refused to help me! Anyone who could have, declined to support me! Anyone who was anyone seemed to disapprove of my designs! Anyone I turned to at all for assistance was not going to help make my dream come true!

So freaking what?!?!?

That is just going to have to be their loss! It is MY dream, and I won’t wait on “Anyone” to come through. And I am not about to change my style so that these big corporations will approve of them! Everyone else I’ve showed my designs to loves them! I worked hard on them and I am quite proud of them.

Finally, with my husband’s financial contribution, I was able to get one of my paper lines manufactured. I was ecstatic but a little bummed that I had to pick just one!

So, without Anyone’s help (my husband’s financial help being the exception), I have opened up two shops online. Some of my kits are available as digital disks. Currently, one is available for order as a paper kit in my Etsy shop and in my own scrapbook shop:

In pursuit of my dream, I got an awful lot of NOs and naturally my feelings were hurt in the process. Even so, I persevered and am now making my own dream come true on my own terms!

Blending in with everyone else has never been an ambition of mine. Not ever! I wanted to design something unique with my own artistic style. My goal was to make paper lines that I myself would want to buy, and that I felt were missing from the existing scrapbook market. I have put countless hours of devoted thought and hard work into making something special that would stand out and hopefully turn people’s heads.

My designs are amazing. I hope that you will agree. This paper is something that I have imbued with my own scrapbooking spirit! I have poured all that is inside of me into creating this paper. My desire is that the scrapbooking world will benefit from these designs!

I will not settle for anything less than success!

Thank you for your interest in Kallio Kalleidoscapes!
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Jessica LaRue
Kallio Kalleidoscapes

A little something out of the ordinary!

Follow KKscapes on Facebook and Twitter!

Visit either of these sites to purchase my amazing and unique products!


  1. Hang on to this dream!!! You will make it!! I got you posted at my blog today!!! Love ya!

    Mother in law

  2. I love your papers! =)

    And you are finger twirling crazy, but I still love ya!

  3. Hey thanks for stopping by....did you see the post "The Dress?". Meant to say yesterday that I bet my ds just loves that I got you started on scrapbooking!!!

  4. Don't limit yourself to selling paper products only. There are lots of us who create electronic scrapbooks (and believe me, the designs sold with electronic scrapbook programs suck) and/or use designs as backgrounds for books and Photoshop projects.

    Put your designs together in packages and sell them digitally.

    The possibilities are endless.

  5. I am a new follower - thank you for visiting my site! I have taken your button and put you in my sidebar, not in the scrolly thing, but right below my sister. Why? Because I think your story is amazing and I want everyone to check out your designs! Seriously, I'm a college student (old college student) with no money - but when I have some? Yeah, I'll be back to get me some scrapbooking supplies for both the real world and my blog land! Very well done!!



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