Supplies from The Digi Files #9
Up until a couple of years ago, I (Steph) had about three designers whose product I always used. I was on their creative teams, LOVED using their designs, and was quite inspired by them. I couldn’t imagine creating a layout without their work on it! Then, one day, I decided to branch out a bit and I started going to different digi stores and buying goodies that looked good in the previews. There were many times, that I would unzip a kit and look at the elements up close and be so disheartened by the money I just spent. I did find a few new designers that I fell in love with and still love today (Amanda Heimann comes to mind).
Fast forward to now and I can’t tell you how many new-to-me designers I have found in the last year through The Digi Files! Almost every month I find a designer whose designs I am not familiar with, but blow me away! There have been so many times I have thought, “How did I not know about this designer!?” (that thought is usually followed by, “I must be living under a rock!”). Pamela Donnis and Kitty Chen are two designers that rocked my socks off in The Digi File.
When Janet first came up with the idea of The Digi Files, one of the many benefits that she saw coming from them, was that the readers would be able to try new-to-them designers at a low risk. This brings us to a question that many of you asked in our survey, how do we decide who will contribute to the files? When The Daily Digi was first launched, sponsors were on an invitation only basis. However, we have recently started accepting applications from designers and stores. We love it when designers let us know that they would like to be a part of The Digi Files and we do give them priority. We still do invite sponsors without getting an application from them, because there are just too many designers that we love that have not been able to be sponsors yet (but just you wait…teehee)!!
When we get applications, we keep them on file for…well…forever. As I get ready to do invites (about quarterly), I will go through them and first look at designs. I look at everything up close, far away, stroke it for stragglies, and sometimes even scrap with it. If a designers’ product needs improvement, I add them to my ‘watch’ list and each time I do invites, I will run through their store and check them out again. I have even been known to buy something while I am there, to get a better idea of what their current product is like. No application goes unread, no designs unlooked at, and nothing will be deleted. Sometimes, I love a designer’s designs the minute I look at them, but because of our scheduling cycle, it takes me a while to get back to them (although I am thinking I will set up an automated email to at least confirm receipt for everyone). The next thing we look at after quality designs is how this person interacts in the forums and their reputation. We also look at their blog and make sure their conduct is professional. After all of that is done, we have to look at who we have scheduled already and make sure that we don’t have too many designers from the same store or too many designers with similar styles or product (For example, I figure you don’t want more than one template designer each month). Then, I email out invites, hope it doesn’t go into their spam folder, and start plugging designers in.
All of that (and so much more) is what goes into bringing you The Digi Files each month. A grab bag filled with quality product from AT LEAST 7 (SEVEN!) different designers equaling at a MINIMUM, $30, FOR ONLY $5!!! The Digi Files are designed to stretch you as a scrapper by giving you the opportunity to work with designer’s products you don’t normally. Our team has LOVED this challenge each month and some of them have expressed that they fell in love with designers they had no idea about! Karen said, “I became a huge fan of TaylorMade Designs after using her stuff in the Digi Files a couple of months ago. I find that I now want everything in her store!” Katie said, “Yin! I had never tried any of her templates but after using them in TDF – I love them so much!”
So, what about you? Have you been stuck using the same two or three designers, like I was? Are you ready for a challenge? I would love to hear about who you have discovered from playing with your Digi Files!