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GO Getter: Elsie Flannigan

GO Getter: Elsie Flannigan
Photo courtesy Elsie Flannigan
Meet Elsie Flannigan. She’s a scrapbooker—but don’t worry, she’s not the kind of scrapbooker your mom complains about after getting trapped for two hours looking at photos from her girlfriend’s eighth cruise. Elsie, 25, could actually be considered a scrapbooking magnate: The Springfield native has her own line of scrapbooking materials, called “Love, Elsie”, which are sold in stores—most notably the Hobby Lobby chain—around the world. She has also authored two books, most recently Scrapbooking Recipes. Elsie has also conducted workshops in England, France and Australia, in addition to the United States.
While scrapbooking is her business, Elsie’s current passion is painting. She’s also a downtown music scene regular (she’s dating indie fave Jeremy Larson) and free-time photographer. We recently sat down at The Coffee Ethic, her favorite downtown coffee shop, to talk (photo)shop with Elsie.


How did you become a scrapbooking magnate?
Three or for years ago, I started working for Creating Keepsakes magazine as a contributing writer. Then they asked me to write a book. I wrote my first book when I was 23, 52 Scrapbooking Challenges. That was a really good experience. After that I was designing fonts and stamps, and decided I wanted to do a product line. So I found a company that I fit with their style [KI Memories, out of Dallas] and started working for them about a year and a half ago.

How does a girl from Missouri become a contributor for a scrapbooking magazine?
I just submitted stuff.

What caught their eye?
I was just kind of fun, and for them I was a younger demographic, and didn’t have a kid and stuff. I think they saw it as maybe attracting a new crowd of scrapbookers, and they made that my thing.

You are in that golden demo. What kind of stuff would you scrapbook?
Just my family and puppy and just my life. Music, movies, stuff like that. Just fun stuff, not so many big events.

What’s your “style”?
I encourage scrapbooking about everyday life. More like your favorite things and stories and stuff. I think of it like “What do I wish I could know about my grandmothers, and how they really were when they were young?” When you get older you tell stories differently than you would have at the time.

So, without delving into your W2s, how successful is your line? Is it a living?
Yes.

What else are you into?
I’m doing a lot of painting now. It’s kind of fun. I sell through the online Etsy shop (elsiecake.etsy.com). I live downtown, and my favorite local band, besides Jeremy, is Jesse James Wax Museum. I also love thrift-store shopping. [Editor: You can also read Elsie's scrapbooking blog at abeautifulmess.typepad.com. The url was incorrect in the print magazine :–(

What are you painting right now?
Right now I’m working on a series about Peter Pan, and I also make a lot of paintings about people in outer space.

Far out.

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