Tamra Merrill – Country Craft Creations
BY HAILEY MINTON
Tamra Merrill started her company, Country Craft Creations in 2013. It grew from a desire to spend more time working on her scrapbooking skills and to help others cultivate their own creativity.
“I had so many pictures, memories, and boxes of cards from over the years and knew that working full time outside the home was not getting me closer to my goal of finishing all the books I had started. I knew work was, of course, going to have to come first.”
Scrapbooking has changed so much through the years but a person’s desire to create something with their hands has stayed the same. “When we create an actual book from the basic materials, chipboard, paper, glue, and tape, there is a sense of accomplishment like no other. Then to fill that finished book with pictures, ticket stubs, or cards, the book comes alive with a story that becomes a beautiful keepsake for generations to look back on.”
Tamra started out by teaching tutorials online, then began selling supplies on her website when people asked where to find what she used in the tutorials. This is how Country Craft Creations was born. “Many wanted to know how to scrapbook their memories in this newer way of mini albums. Mini albums are premade and stick to a theme and usually, it covers one event like a wedding or family vacation. You make the book, then add the pictures in later. Usually, they are 8X8 and made with chipboard. The books are works of art.”
She explained how during the pandemic a lot of people experienced loneliness and her online community brought people together. “People come back to life through their memories.” It has been like therapy for people stuck in the house. People really followed along when Tamra’s dog Wilbur was born and she has seen more and more people scrapbooking their pets nowadays.
In November 2020, Tamra started making her own scrapbooking paper. During the pandemic, a lot of wholesale companies went out of business. Stores were closing and she was having a hard time meeting the demand for the paper on her website. They went a few months without a lot of new designs of scrapbooking paper being made. Her daughter told her she should follow her dreams and make her own. “I found a local printer and graphic designer to fine-tune what I can’t do.” She was happy to give business to another local company here in Ogden. “Scrapbook papers are the foundation to telling the story. Once you have the theme of the scrapbook paper, it is easy to put your pictures to that theme.”
Her family and the company are based out of Hooper Utah, but a lot of her customers come from out of state, particularly along the east coast. She has hosted card classes at the Library Southwest Branch and anticipates hosting similar events in the future.