Me and kits- full disclosure-
I started scrapbooking in the middle of 2011. At the end of that year I discovered Studio Calico and decided to subscribe. In May of 2013 I stopped subscribing. It was not working for me for a few reasons, mostly because after a year and a half I didn't want that financial obligation anymore (we just bought a house and moved in), I didn't like the ordering process at SC, and also noticed I had accumulated more leftovers than I would have liked to.
And then I went on, kitless and happy:) I enjoyed the freedom of getting what I wanted when I wanted it. But... Since I don't live in the US and have no craft stores that cater to scrapbookers anywhere near me, I tried not to indulge in monthly shopping, and when I did shop, I ordered a lot of stuff, cause if I'm already paying shipping... And that was fun, but sometimes overwhelming, to get so much new stuff at the same time (heartbreaking, I know...).
But I admit that I missed kits, for three main reasons-
1. Costs. Shipping tends to be much more reasonable in kit clubs than in regular US based stores. I can of course shop in European online stores, but that's also not cheap, and I also pay shipping.
2. The monthly fix. It's so much fun to get a package full of the newest and greatest products from my favorite companies every month. And it's not just that it's every month, it's also that it's the right amount of products and ratio of papers to embellishments to stamps/inks for a month. And also, more time scrapbooking, less time shopping.
3. The community and inspiration. I love chatting with other people about the kits, and I love seeing what the design teams and the members create with those products. I really missed that when I was not a subscriber.
So... In January 2014 I subscribed to Scraptastic, and I still do (though because I also subscribe now to Hip Kit Club, I buy just one kit or add on at Scraptastic at the moment).
In June of 2014 I decided to subscribe also to Hip Kit Club, and as they say, never looked back:)
*** Update- after a few months subscribing to Hip Kit Club, I joined the Design Team, but I wouldn't have joined if I didn't genuinely love the kits. Just wanted to add that, full disclosure and all:) I also stopped subscribing to Scraptastic, but always got great service from them.***
If you think you'd like to join a kit club, but you're not sure what kit club is right for you, here are some general things to consider and keep in mind, that can help you find the best fit for you.
I am a traditional 12*12 scrapbooker, so I will talk about what is important for me as a kit club subscriber. There are also card kits and Project Life kits, which are different.
So, when in the market for a new kit club, check the previous kits from the last year, at least, and see if you like them. That will give you a good indication of the style and type of products that kit club offers.
Most kit clubs offer a monthly membership that includes a monthly main kit+shipping as your basic subscription. Usually there is some commitment (like 3 months minimum), and a member's discount on the main kit and sometimes the add ons. Add ons are additional kits or products that usually coordinate with that months' kit and can be shipped with the main kit (usually for no extra shipping costs).
General things to consider before signing up for a kit club-
What is the minimum commitment time and what is the cancellation fee?
What discounts and additional benefits do subscribers receive?
How does the ordering process work?
Do the kits and add ons tend to sell out really fast?
How much does it cost and is the value for money right for you? A kit can be amazingly beautiful but cost way too much for what you're getting. This is, of course, a very personal consideration.
Questions about the main kit and add on-
How many patterned papers come in the main kit? How many cardstock pieces? (Do you use one or the other more?)
Take a look at the last 10 layouts you created. What type of papers did you use and how many?
What type and how many embellishments come in a kit? Some clubs have different embellishments every month, and some have some staples that are repeated in each kit. I like a combinations of different sizes (so for example, die cuts and enamel dots) and different materials (paper, stickers, wood, etc.).
Are there exclusives items? Things that can only be found in those kits, that is.
Are the products the newest and from manufacturers you like?
Are there stamps included in the main kit? Stamps can be expensive, and if you're not a stamper, you might be more inclined to choose a kit club that sells stamps separately.
And a whole other set of considerations are the add ons!
Are there add on kits?
Some clubs have paper add ons, some embellishments, some stamps, some a mixture of all of those.
Are there themed kits? (seasonal, holidays etc.)
Another aspect that is relevant to some people is the inspiration that kit club provides. Most or almost all kit clubs have a design team. Go check it out, see the style and see if those are the kind of projects you would be inspired by.
When are the inspiration projects published? I like my inspiration in small doses and throughout the month.
Are there process videos? Tutorials? If you know me, you know I love process videos, and that's one of my biggest sources of inspiration and learning.
Now for me, after scrapbooking for over 3 years, here are the things that matter-
I want my kit club of choice to have-
Excellent attentive customer service
Stress free ordering process
To be able to get all the products I want for that month
Lots of patterned paper
Lots of embellishments
Optional cardstock, in light or basic colors (I've found that's what I use the most)
Newest products from my favorite manufacturers (American Crafts, Crate Paper, Studio Calico)
Themed products optional
Stamps sold separately
Consistent style of kits, so I can also mix and match kits from different months
Inspiration from the DT (design team) throughout the month with process videos
So, yeah, in my case, Hip Kit Club really fits my style and what I like a kit club to have.
Thx for visiting and have a great week!