A couple of weeks ago when I was answering various questions that you’ve asked on my blog, I mentioned I was working on a multi-part blog on the history of Stampin’ Up!
I’ve been struggling with those posts for quite awhile now, and have finally concluded that I have way too much to say about how we started and everything I learned from it all, and it’s much longer than any of you would want to read on a blog entry.
So I scaled back, and I’m just going to answer the simple questions that prompted me to consider writing about the whole thing in the first place. I'll answer the first question tonight, and I'll post the other two answers in the coming days.
Why did you decide to start Stampin’ Up!
I’ve talked about this in a few places before. Sterling and I lived in Las Vegas; Vonna and her husband, Sean, lived a couple doors down. I stayed at home with our four little girls (Megan lived with her mom), and Vonna was at home with her two young children.
Anyone who has been a stay-at-home mom for very long probably understands the desire we had to get out of the house every once in awhile. Sure, I talked to Vonna every day, but our conversations tended to focus on potty training and dirty laundry and the latest antics of our darling husbands. (smile)
Both Vonna and I dabbled in various direct-sales businesses, from toys and Tupperware to makeup and home decor. We really liked the idea of the home workshop because we enjoyed the opportunities to meet people face-to-face, get to know them, and establish genuine friendships.
Vonna was the first to stumble on a company that offered rubber stamps, and we both immediately loved the creative aspect of that particular product because we both loved crafting. As I’ve mentioned before, I can’t even draw a stick figure, so rubber stamps allowed me to incorporate beautiful artwork into my projects.
Unfortunately, we were disappointed with the product offering, the customer service, and the business model. However, that brief experience had sold us on the product—we loved rubber stamps! We contacted several rubber stamp manufacturers and offered to sell their products in a home workshop environment, but no one was very interested. So then we told them we’d buy their products and act like a store, printing the images in a catalog and filling orders from our own “warehouse” (my living room!). They were OK with that approach, and Stampin’ Up! was born.