Is Creative Memories a Scam or a Legit MLM? Our Complete Review

Creative Memories is one of a few multi-level marketing companies that sell scrapbooking supplies. If you’re not familiar with Creative Memories, or if you’re considering joining the company, then you’ll want to read our complete Creative Memories MLM review. In this review, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Creative Memories, including whether we think it’s a legitimate MLM or a pyramid scheme, who founded Creative Memories and when, what products Creative Memories sells, how to join Creative Memories and the company’s compensation plan, whether the company has faced any complaints or lawsuits, what we like about Creative Memories and what we don’t like, and alternatives to Creative Memories.

Who launched Creative Memories and when?

Creative Memories, based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, was first founded in 1987 by co-founders Rhonda Anderson and Cheryl Lightle. Creative Memories was initially intended to be a direct sales company, but the founders soon realized that multi-level marketing (MLM) was an even better business model. Creative Memories has been an MLM since 1991.

In 2002, Anderson and Lightle wrote a book about the company’s rise. “The Creative Memories Way” detailed their efforts to grow the company until it had more than 400 employees and upward of 20,000 independent consultants around the world.

Anderson and Lightle both left Creative Memories in 2004. At about that time, company sales were estimated at $400 million worldwide and St. Cloud employment peaked at about 600 — with worldwide employment topping out at about 1,200.

In 2005, sales began to fall, leading to layoffs and the first of two bankruptcy filings. In 2006, Creative Memories was purchased out of bankruptcy by Apollo Management LP and Creative Memories’ creditors. By 2013, the company had fewer than 100 employees.

Today’s Creative Memories re-launched in 2014 under new ownership with the same exceptional quality, modern design and a reinvented earnings opportunity perfectly suited for today’s micro-entrepreneurs. Caleb Hayhoe, chairman of Flowerdale Group Ltd., stepped in to save the former $400 million company. Creative Memories’ current owners are working hard to re-establish Creative Memories as a household name in scrapbooking and beyond.

The Creative Memories name comes from the idea of capturing creative memories and preserving them for years to come. Creative Memories provides its customers with innovative products that allow them to turn their photos into beautiful, personalized albums or scrapbooks. It’s all about helping people share their special moments in life and creating lasting memories.

What products does Creative Memories sell?

Creative Memories offers a wide range of products, all centered around scrapbooking:

  • Albums: Creative Memories offers a range of albums, from Creative D-ring Photo Albums to Creative Memory Mates and Creative Memory Keepers.
  • Scrapbooking supplies: Creative Memories has everything you need to get started scrapbooking — tools, adhesives, embellishments, paper packs, stickers and more.
  • Photo books: Creative Memories also has a range of photo books, which allow you to create and design your own personalized books.
  • Digital scrapbooking supplies: Creative Memories now offers digital scrapbooking supplies, such as digital backdrops, overlays, frames and more.
  • Page protectors: Creative Memories carries a selection of page protectors for scrapbooking, such as Creative Refill Pages and Creative D-ring Page Protectors.
  • Custom photo gifts: Creative Memories also sells custom photo gifts, such as mugs, phone cases and more.
  • Embellishments: Creative Memories carries a selection of embellishments, including Creative Banners, Creative Embellish-It! collection and Creative Stencil Chic.
  • Tools: Creative Memories also has a selection of tools, including Creative Paper Trimmers and Creative Rub-Ons.
  • Adhesives: Creative Memories also carries Creative Adhesive Dot Rollers, Creative ATG Tape and Creative Glue Dots.
  • Journals: Creative Memories has Creative Journals and Creative Memory Mates, which can be used for writing your thoughts or jotting down memorable moments.
  • Crafting tools: Creative Memories also offers crafting tools, such as Creative Carving Tools and Creative Scissor Sets.
  • Accessories: Creative Memories has Creative Pen Sets, Creative Stamps and Creative Markers.

Creative Memories also offers digital design services and software that can be used to create custom scrapbook pages.

In addition to the products Creative Memories sells, it also provides customers with tips and ideas for scrapbooking projects. The company also offers Creative Memories Creative University, which is an online resource that provides scrapbooking tips and techniques. Creative Memories also has a Scrapbook Community page where customers can share their projects, get inspired by others and make new friends.

How does Creative Memories work?

Creative Memories is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company that sells its products through consultants. Creative Memories consultants are independent business owners who earn money by selling Creative Memories products and recruiting other people to join the Creative Memories team.

The Creative Memories compensation plan has three levels of distributors:

  • Creative Consultants: Creative Consultants are Creative Memories distributors who have a Creative Memories website and have made their first sale. Creative Consultants earn up to 25% commission on Creative Memories products they sell.
  • Leaders: Leaders are Creative Memories consultants who have recruited other Creative Consultants and have reached certain sales goals. Leaders earn up to 35% commission on Creative Memories products they sell.
  • Advanced Leaders: Advanced Leaders are Creative Memories consultants who have recruited other Creative Consultants and have reached certain sales goals. Advanced Leaders earn up to 40% commission on Creative Memories products they sell.

In addition to commissions, Creative Memories also has bonuses and incentives for its consultants. Creative Consultants can earn rewards such as Creative Memories gift cards and Creative Memories merchandise. Creative Consultants can also earn bonuses such as annual trips to Creative Memories conferences, where they can learn about new products, share ideas and network with other Creative Consultants.

Creative Memories has ranks within its compensation plan. Creative Consultants can move up the Creative Memories ladder by recruiting new Consultants and reaching certain sales goals. The ranks are:

  • Creative Consultant: Creative Consultants have made their first sale and have a Creative Memories website.
  • Lead Creative: Lead Creative consultants have made five sales in 30 days or achieved $500 in sales volume in 30 days.
  • Senior Creative: Senior Creative Consultants have made 10 sales in 60 days or achieved $1,000 in sales volume in 60 days.
  • Executive Creative: Executive Creative Consultants have made 16 sales in 90 days or achieved $2,000 in sales volume in 90 days.
  • Premier Creative: Premier Creative Consultants have made 20 sales in 120 days or achieved $3,000 in sales volume in 120 days.

Creative Memories also offers a Creative Memories Rewards Program for Creative Consultants who reach certain sales goals. Creative Consultants can earn rewards such as Creative Memories gift cards and Creative Memories merchandise.

How to join Creative Memories ?

To become a Creative Memories consultant, you need to purchase a Creative Memories Business Starter Kit for $99. This starter kit comes with all the tools you need to get started as a Creative Memories consultant, including business cards, photo album kits and more. You’ll also receive a Creative Memories website where customers can shop for Creative Memories products.

Once you’ve purchased the Creative Memories Business Starter Kit, you’ll need to complete the Creative Memories online training and pass the Creative Memories Consultant Certification Test. You’ll also need to sign up for Creative University, which is an online resource that provides scrapbooking tips, Creative Memories product information and Creative Memories business advice.

Is Creative Memories a pyramid scheme?

Creative Memories is not a pyramid scheme, as Creative Consultants are compensated based on product sales and not on recruitment. Creative Consultants can earn commissions, bonuses and rewards by selling Creative Memories products and recruiting other Creative Consultants to join the Creative Memories team. As long as Creative Consultants focus on selling Creative Memories products and providing excellent customer service, Creative Memories can be a great way to make money.

Has the company faced any complaints or lawsuits?

Creative Memories has faced several complaints and lawsuits in the past.

  • Creative Memories was accused of operating a pyramid scheme in 1998, but Creative Memories settled out of court and denied any wrongdoing.
  • Creative Memories faced an unrelated lawsuit in 2014 regarding allegations that it had misled Creative Consultants about their earning potentials. Creative Memories settled this case as well and agreed to pay $2 million in restitution.

What we like about Creative Memories ?

There are a few things that we like about Creative Memories.

  • Creative Memories products are high-quality.
  • Creative Consultants have access to Creative University which provides lots of resources and business advice.
  • Creative Memories offers Creative Consultants a generous rewards program.
  • Creative Memories has a “no-hassle” return policy and provides Creative Consultants with full refunds on products that are returned within 30 days.
  • Creative Memories has also been heavily involved in philanthropic efforts, donating Creative Memories products to schools and charities around the world.

What we don’t like about Creative Memories ?

  • Creative Memory’s compensation plan is complex and difficult to understand.
  • Creative Consultants are required to purchase a Creative Memories Business Starter Kit for $99 in order to become a Creative Consultant.
  • Creative Consultants must maintain certain sales levels in order to remain active and continue earning commissions and bonuses.
  • Creative Consultants who fail to meet sales requirements may be charged termination fees or additional start-up costs.

Are there alternatives to Creative Memories?

If Creative Memories is not the right fit for you, here are a few alternatives:

  • My Creative Time: My Creative Time sells high-quality scrapbooking products, including albums, paper, stamps and embellishments. Creative Consultants can earn commissions on sales of their own products as well as referrals to My Creative Time’s store.
  • Close To My Heart: Close To My Heart offers a wide variety of scrapbooking supplies and Creative Consultants can make money by selling products and recruiting new Creative Consultants.
  • Creative Keepsakes: Creative Keepsakes offers a variety of scrapbooking products, including albums, digital kits and paper packs. Creative Consultants can earn commissions on sales and referrals to Creative Keepsakes’ store.

Our verdict on Creative Memories

In conclusion, Creative Memories is not a pyramid scheme. Creative Consultants are compensated based on product sales and not on recruitment. Creative Memories products are of high-quality and the company has a “no-hassle” return policy. Creative Consultants also have access to Creative University which can provide helpful resources for their business. However, Creative Memory’s compensation plan is complex and Creative Consultants must maintain certain sales levels to remain active. In addition, Creative Consultants are required to purchase a Creative Memories Business Starter Kit for $99 in order to become a Creative Consultant.

If you’re looking for an MLM opportunity in the scrapbooking niche and Creative Memories is not the right fit, there are several alternatives you can explore.

One thing to remember is that thorough research is essential if you’re thinking about joining a multi-level marketing company. Make sure to educate yourself about any MLM opportunity for that matter, so you can make an informed decision.

Here’s what to look for in a legitimate MLM company:

  • A transparent compensation plan.
  • Quality products and services.
  • A strong customer base.
  • Positive reviews from current and past consultants.
  • Low barriers to entry for becoming a consultant.

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