After graduating from Purdue University in the mid-90s, Lesley Seyer moved to Bloomington and worked as an engineer for 15 years. A scrapbooker since her teens, she began taking the hobby seriously six years ago when a friend convinced her to attend a “crop,” which is what enthusiasts call a gathering of people working on scrapbooking projects. “It is a way to make new friends, share ideas, and make pictures look even better than they did before,” says Seyer.

Before long, Seyer saw the need for a specialty scrapbooking shop in Bloomington, and in July 2011 she opened Happy Paper Pusher at the Renwick Village Center on South Piazza Drive.

“We offer items, including high quality papers and embellishments, which are not available anywhere else in Bloomington,” says Seyer. Happy Paper Pusher also provides materials for completing holiday craft projects and one-on-one services showing customers how to make the most out of their purchases. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Seyer hosts crops at which eight to ten people usually attend. She provides page-design materials, personal assistance, and even dinner—all for $15.

Happy Paper Pusher has attracted a wide range of customers from ages 6 to 90. “Scrapbooking is often used as a creative outlet for professional women with high-stress jobs and for ‘empty nesters’ wishing to document the lives of their children or grandchildren,” says Seyer. “‘Tweens’ around the age of 10 can enjoy participating in scrapbooking projects with friends.” To accommodate kids who love being creative, the store offers scrapbooking parties.

According to Seyer, scrapbooking is a fun hobby, it relieves stress, and it helps people record their personal lives, along with the lives of their family and friends. “I still enjoy looking back at scrapbooks I did in high school,” she says. Happy Paper Pusher plans to offer more classes, such as card making and paper crafting. The store is open seven days a week; check the website or call 822-1938 for store hours and a schedule of upcoming classes.