April 2012 marks the 10 year anniversary for Stampin’ Up! in Canada and today is MY 10 year anniversary as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator! If you told me 10 years ago that I’d still be doing Stampin’ Up! – as a FULL TIME demonstrator – and all the blessings that have come out of it, I wouldn’t have believed it. Let me tell you my story.
From the time I was little I was always crafting something. My hands just had to be playing with crayons, glue, glitter (surprise, surprise) and paper. My step-mom always made sure my brother and I made cards for special occasions ~ birthdays, Father’s Day, thank you cards, etc. I still have some of these old cards – thank goodness for stamps – I can’t draw worth a lick! Fast forward to 1985. I was visiting my mother, who lived in the States, and she was selling stamps at craft shows and fairs – I had never seen stamps. Well, let me tell ya, it’s been 27 years and I STILL remember standing in my Mom’s kitchen as she showed me how to stamp and EMBOSS! My mouth dropped to the floor when I saw what happened when embossing powder meets embossing gun. Oh my. I was a gonner. From that day on I’ve been stamping. It became my passion – and (next to my husband…hee hee) it STILL is! Fast forward to 2001. I was again visiting my Mother and she took me next door to meet her neighbor, who also stamped. She had shoeboxes FULL of the most beautiful cards I had ever seen. Then she opened a cupboard and what to my wondrous eyes did I see? Rows and rows of of stamp sets, in clear boxes, stacked on top of one another. It was my first introduction – love at first sight – with STAMPIN’ UP!. Immediately upon my return home to Vancouver Island, I called Stampin’ Up! only to find out they were not yet in Canada. I asked that they please notify me as soon as they would start up, here in the Land of the North. And that they did. The Stampin’ Up! opportunity night was going to be in Vancouver, April 10th, 2002. Fortunately, I was working for an airline so I was able to board the last flight from Comox to Vancouver and make sure I didn’t miss going to the Stampin’ Up! event – I was practically vibrating with excitement! Next thing I knew, I was sitting in a boardroom at the Pan Pacific Hotel, meeting Shelli Gardner (I think Pam Morgan was there too) and signing up to be a demonstrator (#37!). I even won the door prize! And it was a douzy! I received a fabric Stampin’ Up! bag with a Stampin’ Up! apron, markers, ink pads, stamps – I. Was. In. Heaven.
Now, I must tell you, I had no intentions of becoming a full time demonstrator – or even having tons of workshops. As I mentioned, I was working for a family run airline and I LOVED IT! So Stampin’ Up! was very much a hobby for me. But I couldn’t keep my excitement about Stampin’ Up! to myself so I was talking about it to everyone. Well, the gals at Air Canada and WestJet, along with the gals I worked with, were all scrapbookers and they just HAD to come over see what Stampin’ Up! was all about. I didn’t realize it then, but my fun girls night was really first workshop, because they all left my house completely addicted and they ALL placed orders!
Over the year, as my life has changed directions and I moved to Vancouver and then to my current home in New Brunswick, I’ve been able to remain an active demonstrator – working my business a little or a lot, depending on my schedule. Not being able to find a position in the tourism sector here in NB and not willing to just ‘settle’ for a job I didn’t enjoy (not to mention the time and cost of a commute) I decided to take the big leap to work my Stampin’ Up! business full time just over a year ago. I’ve loved every minute of it. And in that first year I even earned my first incentive trip with Stampin’ Up! and they’re sending my husband and I on an all expenses paid trip to Disney World for a week (at the end of this month). Just ask me how excited I am?????!!! I have never had a job where I am rewarded for my hard work with a vacation – for TWO!
I’ve also been to Utah (twice) for the Stampin’ Up! convention (and plan on going again this July) and this past January I went to the Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas (paid for with my $1000 cash bonus and free registration). And let’s not forget the blessings of all the many friendships I’ve made through my Stampin’ Up! business – from customers, to my team of demonstrators (aka THE SERENE STAMPERS). The friendships I have made are without a doubt the most rewarding.
So that’s my story. As far as growing my business, while I have worked it hard, it also just kind of ‘naturally’ happened. When I give someone a hand made card or when I share with people what it is I do, they just want to get involved. Just like I did. And have fun being creative. And in this day of age, I think that’s more important than ever. Stamping truly does make the heart happy.
I want to celebrate my 10 years of being a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator with YOU! Everyone that clicks the LIKE button on my facebook page: THE SERENE STAMPER will receive a free class planner featuring the new Summer Smooch line and the Diagonal Plate for the Simply Scored Tool! (If you’ve already clicked the LIKE button, then just leave a little comment on my Serene Stamper facebook page. I am offering this planner for free until April 14th!)
This planner will feature the fun of summer with three cheerful cards and envelope-style card box. The projects showcase the Bright Blossoms stamp set and the Summer Smooches Designer Series Paper, along with the Diagonal Plate for the Simply Scored Tool. There is even a Diagonal Plate tutorial that will show you some neat techniques!