Card making with friends! There's nothing better!
I'm very excited to get to do some card making with one of very best friends this weekend.
It's fun to stamp with friends, but this weekend is some SERIOUS business!
She is going to help me finish up some projects that HAVE TO BE DONE before this weekend is over!
They are the projects I need to take to my Leadership Conference next week with Stampin' Up!
It is only fitting that she is the one helping me, because my friend Penny is the whole reason I'm a Demonstrator.
Well, maybe not the whole reason, but she SURE helped me along the journey!
I was introduced to Stampin' Up! because of her!
She took me along as her guest to a party she was invited to back in 1997.
We were BOTH blown away by the products!
We KNEW we wanted to do a party together and booked that day!
About a month later, she and I teamed up to host a party at her apartment!
This is the FIRST catalog I ever got!
It all begins!
After that I became a loyal customer to Stampin' Up!
I was the FIRST PERSON to place an order at any party I attended!
I attended lots of parties (There was no such thing as online ordering back then) under lots of Demonstrators.
I was not loyal to just one person. I hadn't met my "person" yet!
I would just order BIG to help my friends who hosted, because I had a HUGE WISH LIST.
It took another 7 years to decide to get a Starter Kit!
You see, I was placing regular monthly orders.
I was constantly browsing the internet for ideas!
My hobby was relaxing and FUN when my full time job would sometimes be stressful and difficult!
You see, I didn't want another JOB, I just wanted the discount from Stampin' Up!
There must be a way!
I looked around more! I attended all the parties.
No one struck me as someone who cared about WHAT I WANTED.
Then I found Noel!
SHE WAS MY PERSON!
She was MY DEMONSTRATOR!
She talked about how I could get a discount on my products!
She talked about something called being a Hobby Demonstrator.
It all made sense to me, WHY NOT buy from myself and get all the things I was getting, but get them at a discount?!
I saved money, but gained SO MUCH MORE!
I gained a group of other Demonstrators that were just as caring and supportive as Noel!
This was the FIRST CATALOG in my Starter Kit!
So, while I jumped at the chance to be a HOBBY DEMO or Happy Shopper.
Meaning I placed orders for myself at a discount (I'm happy) and for a few friends (they're happy).
But really, ACCIDENTAL DEMONSTRATOR describes me better!
I never wanted to be a Demonstrator at all. I didn't want to HOLD PARTIES.
That was going to be WORK!
I just wanted to get what I had on my WISH LIST for a discount.
Then it happened!
I made a Christmas card for our friend Debi.
My sister and I went out to a Holiday dinner with her.
I handed Debi the envelope with the card I made and then I excused myself to the rest room.
I came back out, and Debi said, "This card is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! Your sister told me YOU MADE THIS CARD!"
I blushed at the compliment and then said, "Yes, I did."
She went on to say, "Your sister also told me that you sell Stampin' Up! products and that YOU COULD TEACH ME HOW TO MAKE THIS CARD!"
I thought oh no what just happened?! but weakly stammered, "Yes. I can teach you."
We set a date and planned the projects. She invited several people over to make cards.
You see, I stepped out of the comfort of making cards for fun and was THRUST into the role of Demonstrator accidently.
But, it didn't last long, I still didn't hold parties very often.
Because I never asked anyone to host a party.
They would HOST, but ONLY WHEN they ASKED ME.
Usually it would happen when I gave them a card or a scrapbook page and they wanted to make it and invite friends over to make it too.
I never even asked anyone for an order, but sometimes someone would ask me if they could order from me!
I even had a couple of people ASK ME if they could join my team!
Boy, was I nervous about that!
I didn't feel like I knew what I was doing! I couldn't understand why someone would want to join my team!
Lol! I didn't see that I was their NOEL! They were comfortable with ME.
They saw that I wasn't pressuring them to do anything they didn't want to do!
I just was their biggest cheerleader.
For the next 5 years, I fumbled around, happily content to be an Accidental Demonstrator.
I didn't HAVE TO DO ANYTHING MORE because I had the security of great full time job.
Stampin' Up! was really my hobby.
Even after I had lost my full time job in Feb 2008 and was out of work for nearly 9 months I stayed being a Hobby Demonstrator!
The reality was I had an amazing opportunity in front of me. I could've pursued Stampin' Up! with a business mindset.
But, at that time I didn't. I didn't see it for what it COULD BE!
In October 2008 I was blessed with another great full time job at a great place.
By July 2009, I had whittled down the WISH LIST I started with. I felt like I had enough stuff.
I knew I could still order from my friend Noel if I wanted to.
So, I stepped back from being a Demonstrator to being a customer.
She didn't make me feel bad. She let me do what I needed to do for me.
Longest MONTH of my life!
After a month, I missed it!
I missed the friends I had made along the way!
I missed gathering with my fellow Demonstrators!
I missed the ideas that were shared BEFORE anyone else saw them!
I felt like something was missing from my life!
I started to realize there was an amazing opportunity in front of me!
I had loved being a Happy Shopper, but I knew I wanted MORE!
It was a fun hobby, but I knew it could be a business.
A business that I could love!
My mindset changed and I joined again in August 2009!
I made a vow to myself that I wasn't going to just PLAY AROUND any more.
I wanted to build something that I could do when I retired from my full time job.
I knew THE TIME had arrived!
For the first time I had a clear vision of what MY business needed to be for me to be HAPPY in the long run!
I told my friend Penny that I wanted to RESTART my business and I asked if she would HELP ME!
I asked if she would HOST a party for me.
She said yes, and in September she and her teenage daughter Stacy invited four other people to their house.
I wasn't nervous! I was relaxed! I just wanted everyone to have fun!
I just wanted to share the joy I had when I crafted!
WE HAD SO MUCH FUN that when I asked if anyone wanted to hold their own party I got 4 bookings!
I couldn't BELIEVE it!
Two ladies, Anna and Delores, each booked two Christmas Card Camp parties (they each hosted in October and then again in November).
They had a great time and wanted to share the fun with their family and friends!
It wasn't an ACCIDENTAL Demonstrator anymore!
Penny's party was 14 years ago, and EVERYTHING has changed!
Noel is no longer a Demonstrator, but because I know I was led to her bigger team, I am still among GREAT FRIENDS!
I have incredible support and inherited the most amazing leader in Jessica Taylor! I am where I am supposed to be!
I have built a wonderful business that is personal and geared to be EXACTLY the way I want it to be.
My business includes a team of other Demonstrators who WANT TO BE on my team because I'm THEIR person!
I'm their Demonstrator! We've found each other!
Some of them are business minded and some are Happy Shoppers!
Some come in for awhile and get all the things they want with their discount and then step away.
Knowing that they can order from me when they want, or can come back whenever they want.
I still don't ask people to order from me, or to host parties, or to join my team.
I just share my joy!
I share the information!
I share project inspiration!
I try to help people maximize their rewards!
I try to pay attention to their needs and share ideas that might be helpful.
THEY can see THAT I'm having fun!
They are having fun too!!
Really, who doesn't need a little stress relief?
Who doesn't need a little FUN TIME!
Thank you for reading my story!
I'd love to be your creativity coach!
I'd love to help you let your INNER ARTIST shine again!
Remember that little nugget of joy you would feel when you made something?
Join my email list to get fun ideas sent to your inbox every week!