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Notes that jump off the page

Longtime friends Susan Bibicoff and Lori Gardner create product that’s rocking the scrapbooking indu

Posted: July 23, 2009 10:08 p.m.
Updated: July 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Lori Gardner places a "happy birthday" sticker on a Scrap Tunes for her scrapbook. The device, which retails for $6, is carried at local scrapbooking stores, as well as a national catalog.

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Santa Clarita Valley residents Susan Bibicoff and Lori Gardner are adding even more value to the family album.

Bibicoff and Gardner, two friends who enjoy making scrapbooks from favorite photographs, have created Scrap Tunes, the first pre-recorded musical embellishment designed specifically for the Scrapbooking industry.

The innovation has become music to fellow scrapbookers’ ears.

“You can now add music to each page of your scrapbook and it’s an extra way to capture the memories,” said Lori Gardner, an avid scrapbooker for the past three years. “It helps people to remember and relive a special moment.”

From classic melodies such as “Happy Birthday” and “Rock-A-Bye Baby” to seasonal favorites such as “Jingle Bells” and the “Dreidel Song,” Scrap Tunes are proving to be popular page-turners in the multi-billion dollar scrapbook industry.

“Scrapbookers love to find new, fun accessories to add to their pages,” said Saugus resident Susan Bibicoff, who has enjoyed scrapbooking for over ten years. “It’s nice to know that we can add more to an experience through the dimension of sound.”

Bibicoff and Gardner have been friends for the past 22 years and created the idea for Scrap Tunes in 2007, out of their shared appreciation for scrapbooking.

In 2008, the company became an official trademark, existing as the only one of its kind in the scrapbooking world.

Scrap Tunes come in the form of a sound module, a thin device that is designed to stick to a single page within a scrapbook and play a themed melody.

With six individual pre-recorded themes, the lightweight module has a peel-and-stick feature that allows easy application to any page.

“We wanted this accessory to be easy and quick to use,” said Bibicoff.

The light-activated design turns the device on as the page is turned and light hits the sensor. The sound module will play through the individual theme once and then turn off on its own until the next time the page is opened.

“People may get more inspired to create themed pages now that music is involved,” said Gardner.

Various themes include “The Wedding March” and “The Alphabet Song.”

“These are all themes that we have in our lives,” said Bibicoff. “From photos of your children at school, to anniversaries and weddings, or a favorite family vacation, we tried to pick themes that can go with all of these memories.”

In addition to serenading viewers with a chosen theme, the device comes packaged with four stickers, which can be used to add extra character to the page.

When it comes to scrapbook creativity, Gardner and Bibicoff know that the sky is the limit.

“I love finding new things to add to my scrapbook pages,” said Gardner. “Once I got into it, I couldn’t stop! Your creative side comes to life and it just becomes irresistible to do.”

Gardner and Bibicoff scrapbook in the spare time they have between tending to their own households and also maintaining careers.

Gardner, a part-time Human Resources Consultant and full-time mother of two, knows how important finding time to scrapbook can be.

“This is one craft you really can do as a family,” said Gardner. “It’s fun for your children to look through family photos and pick the ones they want to put on a page. Also, it encourages the whole family to share their memories, which can bring everyone closer together.”

Birthday parties, academic ceremonies and holidays are common themes displayed within scrapbooks.

But Bibicoff and Gardner know that opportunities to document a memory can come when you least expect it.

“There are precious moments in life that happen all of the time,” said Bibicoff. “Fun memories to look back on could include the day that your child gets their braces on or off. Maybe you took pictures from a lazy summer afternoon. It’s the moments that you wouldn’t think of taking pictures that are some of the most special of all.”

Bibicoff, a part-time project manager for an Internet consulting company, added, “If something is really important, somehow you make time for it. Building new memories with my family by preserving old ones is very important to me.”

In addition to meeting with fellow scrapbooking friends at a retreat four times a year, where talking, reconnecting and of course, scrapbooking commences, Gardner and Bibicoff continue to scrapbook every chance they get.

Business is taking off for the pair, whose musical creation is being sold in independent scrapbooking stores such as Remember When ... Scrapbooking and Crafter’s Connection in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Reaching a larger spectrum of scrapbookers, the product can also be found in Paper Wishes, the national magazine based in Oregon, which sells an array of scrapbooking accessories to crafters around the globe.

“We were so thrilled to get Scrap Tunes out there,” said Bibicoff. “We consider them our first national customer and we hope to keep expanding even more.”

Gardner and Bibicoff hope that their invention will give way to further developments in scrapbook sound modules.

“We want to eventually advance to adding more themes and having the modules play a wider range of songs,” said Gardner.

For now, the business partners are sending their creation out to various corporations throughout the United States and conducting live business searches with companies such as Wal-Mart, As Seen on TV and Bed, Bath and Beyond in an effort to have their product distributed on a broader level.

“We keep each other motivated everyday because we believe in what we are doing,” said Gardner. “If you can take your passion and turn it into a career, then you are very fortunate. I feel that we are.”

“This kind of project is so much fun to do and it’s even better to do it with family,” said Gardner of scrapbooking. “The memories you get to enjoy together end up being totally priceless.”

With Scrap Tunes, priceless moments can come at a small price — $6 a kit.

For more information about Scrap Tunes and how to order, visit www.scrap-tunes.com or call (661) 632-2525.

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