Q & A

The cruise is nearly over, but I thought I'd quickly post this Q&A. It's about time I did a Q&A, don't you think? I'll post a blog about cruise when I get back home!

Thanks so much for your interest and questions. As always, I received several product ideas and suggestions, which I have forwarded to the appropriate departments so that your insight, feelings, and feedback can be evaluated when decisions are being made. I won’t address any of those questions specifically.

When is Sage’s baby due?

The baby is due sometime in October, but we’re not sure exactly when. At Sage’s next doctor’s appointment, hopefully we’ll be able to narrow the date down a little.

What is your favorite brand of jeans?

I love Big Star jeans, and I usually get them at Buckle.

I am curious about the name tag pins that the guests were wearing at Cherie’s Workshop of a Lifetime. Did you make those?

Cherie made those herself, for all of her workshop guests. Isn’t she thoughtful? They were similar to fabric brooches, only they were name tags. I’m sure her guests will treasure those as wonderful mementoes of their Workshop of a Lifetime experience.

I’d love to read more about you homeschooling your girls sometime (hint, hint).

That’s a whole blog by itself—or ten blogs! It’s nice to know there’s some interest in that. I’ll keep that in mind for a future blog topic.

I’m a Canadian demonstrator and am very concerned that CAN prices are so high, when the value of the CAN dollar and US dollar are so close.

I understand your concern. As you mentioned in your comment, our prices are established far in advance and based on current values, and we all know the value of the dollar in both countries fluctuates. There are other considerations besides the exchange rate, of course, including the costs of doing business in CAN. We evaluate all these things when we set the price. Having said that, we are also doing what we can to make things as equitable as possible.

Did you and April coordinate your outfits for her Workshop of a Lifetime?

I didn’t even think about that until I read your question! We didn’t, but it looks like it, doesn’t it? It’s just a happy coincidence.

Some people have asked if Sara and I have coordinated our outfits for the workshops, and the answer is the same for that—nope. When we match, it’s coincidental. (Although I must admit if we both pulled out an outfit and they clashed, we might rethink our clothes for that day!)

Why did Jared and Shanna get married so quickly? Is a short engagement an LDS tradition?

Not necessarily, although members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not believe in premarital sex. Because of that, we have encouraged all our girls, once they knew who they were going to marry, not to have a long engagement. Long engagements can make things very difficult—although there are plenty of LDS couples who do have months-long engagements.

Another very practical fact was that, when Jared and Shanna decided in early February to get married, the Workshops of a Lifetime had already begun. There was only one weekend between then and the summer (June/July) that wasn’t already scheduled with Stampin’ Up! travel—and that was April 10. And there was actually a regional training on the calendar for that weekend, which I was planning to attend. I was more than happy, however, to have Pam Morgan take my place so we could celebrate this happy occasion.

Are wedding typically this early (Jared and Shanna were married at 7:30 a.m.) in the temple?

Temples schedule weddings throughout the day, beginning quite early in the morning and stretching into the evening. Depending on the number of sealing rooms in the temple and number of weddings scheduled, a couple can sometimes choose just about any time they want, or if it’s a busy day, they might just have to take whatever time is still open.

And what about a brunch with no reception—is that an LDS tradition as well?

That decision wasn’t related to religion at all. Our Gardner tradition is to give each of our girls a wedding budget. We tell them that they’re responsible for anything that goes over the budget; by the same token, if they go under budget, they can tuck whatever is left over into savings. Both Jared and Shanna wanted a small, intimate wedding with family and close friends. They chose the brunch as the perfect way to do that, and it was a wonderful choice.

Was the wedding invitation created with My Digital Studio?

No. Sean created the invitation, and he used a professional design software.

A couple of other wedding notes: In addition to the questions you asked on the blog, people at every Workshop of a Lifetime have also asked questions about what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in; if you’re interested, you can click here to find out more about LDS beliefs. I’ve also included the link under the "Links" section on the left-hand side of my blog.

Many of you also asked for photos of the wedding. When I return from cruise, we’ll be posting a link to the wedding photographer’s website so you can see some of the photos. They’re gorgeous, and I can’t wait to share them with you.

What is a pen tag?

It’s a super simple Make & take—I’d post a picture, but I’m on the cruise and don’t have one here. It’s just a quick little punch-out tag, decorated a quick accent, and tied to a pen. We give a pen to every workshop guest (they write their name on the tag); after all, they need something to write up their orders with!

Did Stampin’ Up! take any surveys when they made the  Color Renovation choices?

Absolutely! We actually surveyed hundreds of people—demonstrators, customers, even people who weren’t connect to Stampin’ Up! in any way. In the history of Stampin’ Up!, we have never done the extensive research that we did on this. It was a long, time-consuming project.

Is it perfect? No. (Is anything ever perfect?) There are things we will do in the coming years to tweak the collection and keep it vibrant and fresh. But I feel like those who handled this project really did do an amazing job, given the fact that we all knew we were dealing with something as personal and essential as colors.

As I look at some of the decisions Stampin’ Up! has made recently, I wonder if you are trying to gradually get rid of the “hobby demonstrators, or those who aren’t focusing on building the business. . . .

This question made me sad. We have made some difficult decisions in the past couple of years, but let me reassure you that our motivating factor has never been—and never will be—to force out the hobbyist demonstrator (or those who are primarily interested in creating and sharing with others). Those who are dedicated to and enthusiastic about the hobby make up a huge part of our demonstrator base. We couldn’t exist without them, and I would never want to try!

With the Color Renovation, we are losing Creamy Caramel, which I always use for skin tone. What color can I use now? And where did the primary colors go?

Although we are discontinuing Blush Blossom, we will still be offering a Blush Blossom Stampin’ Marker for this very reason. Crumb Cake also works great, depending on the specific skin tone you are looking for.

As for primary colors, they are still there—there are several different shades of red and blue, and one yellow (Daffodil Delight). They aren’t the bold primary colors, but they are still primary colors. The majority of colors in the Bold Brights simply didn’t sell well, and when we did our survey and research, over and over they were left out. 

I’m a new demonstrator and just ordered a ton of new product. Can I return it or exchange it for the new colors if it isn’t opened?

Yes. We have a 90-day exchange policy on unopened product. You can call Demonstrator Support (1-800-STAMP UP) for further information.

Is there a chart available with the new colors that I can send my customers?

Yes. Click here to find a downloadable color chart with the new color collections.

Is there going to be a three-payment plan available for new recruits to sign up to be a demonstrator?

To be honest, I don’t know. And if I did know, I couldn’t tell!

Would you every consider doing Workshops of a Lifetime in any of the other countries where Stampin’ Up! operates?

Absolutely, although not on the scale we’ve done this round—I wouldn’t repeat this again even in the United States and Canada! It’s definitely been grueling. That said, I’ve also loved just about every minute! And I would love to meet demonstrators all over the world! We don’t have any plans for any additional Workshops of a Lifetime right now, but we do believe there is value in this idea and approach. . . .so who knows!

I love the necklace you’re wearing in your blog photo. Is that a sneak peek at a future product?

No, it is not something we’ll be offering. . . .It is darling, though, isn’t it? I fell in love with it and ordered it from a little boutique store.

Would Sterling ever put into writing what Stampin’ Up! has meant to him?

The day I can get Sterling to write anything will be a day worth remembering! He isn’t really a writer; there are some days he’s not even much of a talker! (Aren’t we all like that sometimes?) However, now that the request has been made, I’ve got it on a list, and we’ll have to wait and see. . .

How do you pick the clothing in the family photo? It matches so well. . . .

Shalae and I work together on this. We choose a few basic colors that coordinate, and purchase shirts and blouses in that color palette for everyone. (I think this year she ordered most of the clothing online.)  Everyone is responsible for their own pants or skirt—we have them wear a neutral color as well (jean, khakis, etc.).

How long does it take to shoot the family photo from start to finish?

Well, we do make-up beforehand, and that takes a couple of hours; we trickle in, a few at a time. Once we’re all made up and ready to shoot, it takes 20-30 minutes to position us (we let the youngsters run around a little so they don’t get too bored sitting still) and then another 20 minutes or so to actually shoot the photos. We take a bunch, of course. With that big of a group, the more choices we have, the better!

Have you prepared Jared for convention?

Can you ever be prepared for convention? (smile) Being on cruise with us is a great first step, and he’s loved it. But as those of you who have attended know, nothing compares to convention! We’ve talked about it, and I think he knows it will be an amazing experience!

Has Jared learned to stamp yet?

He’s doing his first stamping this week on cruise, and I’m sure he’ll do great.

I love all the projects you’re showing for the Workshops of a Lifetime, but I especially love the black gratitude card. What is in the center of the flower?

It is hard to tell in the photo, isn’t it? It’s actually a Basic Small Grommet, with a Clear Rhinestone brad in the middle. . . quick and easy!

How did you make the fleur-de-lis cut-out that you used on the card from Kim’s workshop? And how did you get the text inside the image?

It’s not a cut-out. It’s one of my favorite products—a stencil! This particular one is one of the images from the Elegant Trio product. To get that text inside, I just stamped right over the stencil. The key is to apply firm pressure, so that the text images stamp inside the stencil.