By Stefanie Hubbs
A small but growing minority attended this weekend”s Scrapbook USA expo in Sandy – men. Males are becoming significant contributers to the $28-billion industry.
“I encourage more men to scrapbook,” said John Hutchison, a West Jordan resident who came to the expo with his wife. “Scrapbooking is for everyone. It”s the best way to preserve your memories.”
Hutchison said the first time his wife showed him how to make a scrapbook page he was hooked.
“I used a camping theme for this page,” he said, pointing to pictures of log fires and marshmallows resting on the table in front of him. “I get to tell the man”s side of the story.”
One engaged man said he hopes to bring a male perspective to the scrapbooks he creates with his future wife.
“My fiancee and I scrapbook and it brings us closer together,” said Jake Bensley, 22, a salesperson for a Riverton-based scrapbooking company called Paper Coops.
Bensley said he uses sports and camping decorations to make his scrapbook pages look masculine.
“You can find lots of ways to make a page look more manly,” he said.
Elizabeth Bensley, Jake”s mother and the owner of Paper Coops, said it is not just women who are jumping on the scrapbooking bandwagon in Utah.
“Men aren”t fools,” she said. “They can see that this is a big business.”
Indeed, the owners of several businesses featured at the Sandy expo said men are getting involved with scrapbooking because there is a profit to be made.
“Many men are starting to catch the nature of the business opportunity,” said Mike Casperson, vice president of instructor development for Leaving Prints in Orem. “We even found a male instructor to teach one of our classes.”
Casperson said the majority of the men who frequent Leaving Prints do so because scrapbooking is trendy and the classes are a good way to meet girls to date.
“Some men have been hesitant,” he said. “But they are realizing it”s okay to scrapbook.”
Not all of the men came to the Scrapbook USA expo because they love the craft.
“I”m here because of my wife,” said Jeff Lena, looking up from the novel he was reading. “We come down to Utah from Sacramento at least once a year to get her scrapbooking supplies.”
Lena said he chooses not to scrapbook because he is not artistic enough to make the pages look as nice as his wife can.
“I”m here to be with my girls,” said Mark Linge, 50, from Riverton. “Four of my seven daughters are here today and I want to spend time with them.”
Linge said he loves the scrapbooks his daughters give him for Christmas presents because they preserve important family memories.
“You can”t put a price tag on that,” he said.