The changes continue to surprise and delight! As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not sure if the changes I’m seeing at our Stampin’ Up! events were already in the works before I mentioned at convention that it was time to change, but Sara, Shalae, and I just returned from our Founder’s Circle event, and I really think it was the most fabulous (the theme was Fabulous Founder’s) ever!
From the first minute, things were a little different. We were divided up into teams at the welcome dinner (a '50's theme, complete with period eyeglasses!) on Wednesday night, and we sat with our teams—a great way to mix up the first-time attendees and those who were coming back. I could see people chatting and getting to know each other, and I just felt a warm, welcoming vibe in the room.
On Thursday, we took two buses to Kanab, and were greeted with another heartwarming change there—all the Kanab employees were outside, waving signs and cheering, as we drove up. What a great way to start off the day! They had made their own name tags, so we got to see their creativity at work. The newbies took a guided tour of the facility, while those who had been there before walked around and revisited their favorite parts. Demonstrators took photos the entire time there. We went to a nearby park for lunch, and I snapped this one of our Rising Stars.
The Kanab trip is a highlight of Founder’s Circle for me, partly because we have a wonderful discussion on the way to and from, and partly because I have a soft spot in my heart for Kanab and I love sharing this part of Utah with our demonstrators.
Thursday night was our Sock Hop Swap and Share—a high point for just about everyone, I think. We come dressed in cozy, warm jammies, and spend the evening swapping and sharing great business tips.
I’ve posted our swap—fabric pouches filled with chocolate and featuring our new fabrics!
They changed the order of things up a bit, and the energy stayed high the entire time. Sometimes in the past, things have gone a little late, and things slow down a little, but not this year! Although we did go quite late, things moved along quickly and I never felt the energy ebb.
Friday morning we had a special Founder’s Circle regional, which was a completely new thing. We had scheduled regular half-day regionals on Friday and Saturday afternoons, so staff members just treated the Founder’s Circle crowd to their own special regional. Several demonstrators mentioned how much they loved that, and that it would probably be the only opportunity they’d have to attend a regional this year.
Saturday afternoon we wrapped up the whole event with a very interesting Wii Bowling activity and cheer competition. It was as entertaining as it sounds!
We rejoined our teams from the first night, had lunch, bowled, and performed cheers that we’d created during the event. I have never held a Wii controller in my hand, so I was a little hesitant, but I’m proud to say I got a few strikes!
And while my team was certain that if the judges had given a prize for the worst cheer (they didn’t), we would have won, we actually did have the most strikes. Go, Paper Daisies!
And in between the planned activities, demonstrators found plenty of things to do on their own—shopping, spa, hiking, exploring the area. And can I just tell you how lively the Gathering Place was? It’s always a fun place to go—cozy and welcoming, and always chock full of lots of goodies (edible as well as stamping)—but this year it was definitely the place to be!
It was a Sweet Shoppe theme (similar in look and feel to the Sweet Shoppe at convention), but in addition to card stock treats , the shelves were loaded with the real thing! There was plenty of candy, and then every day there was a different treat—hand-dipped chocolates (made by our own Michael Vanderlinden!), cookies, cinnamon rolls, and doughnuts. I rolled out of the Gathering Place every day!
And the treats weren’t the only thing that was happening at the Gathering Place. What I enjoyed seeing even more were the groups of demonstrators chatting, helping each other finish swaps, teaching each other new stamping or MDS tricks, and just creating a camaraderie that I loved! That’s what Founder’s Circle is all about! It truly was a fabulous three days in southern Utah!