This week I am celebrating seventeen years as a Stampin'Up Independent Demonstrator. When I look back, it is hard to imagine that when I first started our catalog was only half the size that it is now. There was no such thing as a mini catalog. For embellishments we had ribbon, glitter, brads and eyelets. There was no Big Shot, paper cutters, dies, and all those other goodies. We wanted a shape, we had to "fancy cut" it. While cleaning out a drawer, I found a box of tin-plates for shapes and boxes. Then you traced around the pattern and then cut it out with scissors.
At this time of the year, when we are waiting to see the retirement list of the sets and items to be retired, there was no such thing at that time. You had no idea what was retiring until the new catalog came out. Customers and demonstrators received the catalog at the same time. We could not order catalogs for customers until right before the new one came out. So, as a demonstrator and a customer, that set we wanted but had not ordered yet, was gone for good. The only way to find it was at a used stamp sale. There was no Ebay.
As demonstrators we had to call our party orders in to the company. Often I had to wait up to forty-five minutes to place an order over the phone. We could only post one party at a time. It was several years later before we could place an order on line. Orders often took three weeks to receive. There was no ten day turn around.
As a demonstrator, we received our commission checks once a month. The commissions were, I believe, fifteen percent. Now we get 20% of each order up front and any thing over, by the end of the week in our bank accounts.
Baby, we have come a long way!
Here it is, two weeks into April and as a demonstrator, I will get to see the new catalog on line this week; also, have the discontinued list in my hands to send out to my customers. This way, we have a chance to order anything we want before it retires.
Stampin'Up has On Stage events for training twice a year throughout the country as well as yearly conventions around the world. We are in seven different countries. Demonstrators are treated like royalty by the company.
I have to omit, several of the years were rough in the beginning. The company started making changes every few years and some demonstrators panicked and quit. As time passed, I realized that each of these changes were for the best. I never once thought that I would end up being a Stampin'Up Independent demonstrator for seventeen years. What was a hobby is now a great part time business that provides me with extras that I would never have on just my teaching retirement and social security.
I am looking forward to the years to come and to see the exciting new things that happen each year.