In a town far, far, away (ok, 150 miles) from where I live today I was invited to cross my street and attend a ‘creative workshop’. I don’t know if Stampin’ Up! was mentioned and I wouldn’t have known what Stampin’ Up! was if it had been. I’d never heard of it. I’d been to many craft fairs and purchased lots (as in L-O-T-S) of stamps, most of which I had no idea what to do with. They were cute. In fact I still have a very select collection of some of those very random stamps.
My problem was coordination. How does one create a card with these gems shown above??? I didn’t have a clue how to use those stamps together to make something I’d share with or send to someone. I asked Stacey, our leader (who was working at Michaels which is where my neighbor met her), if she could help me use my stamps. “Of course” said she. And then she proceeded to show Stampin’ Up! products — in sets — and how they worked together. I. Was. Hooked. I signed up the next day. And I’ve never looked back.
Most of my boatload of random stamps have gone bye bye over the years. I signed up in April 1996 and in July ’96 I attended my first Stampin’ Up! convention — in Las Vegas. Conventions were themed in those days and our group (uplines and sidelines) all dressed in some sort of costume. And that included Stampin’ Up!’s ‘head honchos’ who at that time were Shelli Gardner and her sister LaVonne Crosby. I can’t find the photo I have with them from 1996 but when I do, I’ll definitely share it!
Since that first convention I haven’t missed one and have built great friendships with fellow stampers as well as Stampin’ Up! employees. Now some of my best stamping friends are from all across the US and Canada as well as Europe and the South Pacific. And I look forward to seeing them at Stampin’ Up! events.
As a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator there are some wonderful perks, such as earning THE annual cruise. I’ll admit it. I’ve never earned THE cruise. But…..never say never. I’m still a demo and am still working toward that goal.
I did, however, earn the opportunity to attend what was called Leadership (for business oriented demonstrators who have achieved a certain total in sales as well as a certain number of downline members). Now, under a new convention format, since Stampin’ Up! has gone international in a big way, our Conventions are called On Stage and are held semi-annually, on a rotating basis in either North America, Europe or the South Pacific. Leadership is called Centre Stage and is held one of the evenings during the 3-day On Stage event. You might remember that I went to Brussels, Belgium in November 2015, to attend the very first On Stage Live event! Wow! I roomed with an American gal I’d never met (hi Terri) who lives in the Netherlands. I could go on and on about seeing the friends from UK (hi Bekka and Nicki and Lynne and Michelle, and more) and Germany (hi Jeanette and Nadine) whom I’d met in Salt Lake City the year before at the final annual traditional yearly Convention. Old home party is what it was. Plus I met new friends (hi Diana from the Netherlands!)
I love stamping with my local friends and ‘students’ monthly at our Little Library in the Woods here in Mi Wuk Village as well as conducting classes in my stampin’ studio over our garage. To see each person unleash their own creativity and achieve success with their project is heartwarming. I also host an annual private stamp-your-Christmas-card-brains-out event the first weekend in December. The attendees come up to the mountains from the San Francisco Bay Area without children or husbands and enjoy stamping space, a warm bed and food/snack/adult beverage service.
Bottom line: after 20+ years I love Stampin’ Up! just as I did when I first signed up as a demonstrator in 1996. I’ve met new friends, have a wonderful small business locally and online; through Stampin’ Up! events I learn new ways to use rubber stamps and accessories; I get to travel when I choose to and get to see new catalogs and purchase from them a month before non-demonstrators. That allows me to be prepared for when the catalog does go ‘live’.
Finally, I was able to pay for half of the new carpeting installed in all but one room of our home a few months ago — much needed in our 35+ year old house.
So now you know why I joined Stampin’ Up!. In 1996. It’s great therapy and great fun and oh-so-rewarding.