January 2011 Q&A

Time for a Question & Answer post—I mentioned in my last post that I was working on one. Here it is! As always, any suggestions for new products or stamp images were forwarded to the appropriate department. I’ve also forwarded your comments about consistent communication and messaging (something we do work hard on) and your questions about our bulk buying program.

In addition, I noticed that my last post prompted quite a discussion from and about our hobby demonstrators, or our demonstrators whose primary focus is on creating and stamping. I appreciate all your suggestions; most of them are ones we’ve already considered at great length. I’ve read every single one, plus I’ve asked our career plan team members to read them as well.

I won’t respond to each suggestion, but I do thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. Without going into detail, I just want to say that there are numerous things to consider, including legal issues and requirements (different for every country, by the way!), when talking about changing upline structure and minimum requirements and any other elements of our career plan. And every element is intertwined with others; when you change one thing, it always impacts many others. Like most things in life, it’s not nearly as simple as it might seem at first glance.

We recognize the vital role that each of our demonstrators plays at Stampin’ Up!, and we work very hard to help each demonstrator feel valued. We will continue to make that a top priority moving into the future, working to balance that with our need to grow and thrive as well.

And now for your questions:

Any way you could show a pronunciation for Sage’s last name (Hoopiiaina)?

When Jason and Sage got engaged, we asked Jason the same question. We knew that in Hawaii they pronounce every vowel, so we told him we needed lessons. He informed us that in Utah, his family has been going by Hoopiiaina (Hoop ee awna) for years. That simplified it for us, but I always hope I’m not offending anyone when I say it that way instead of the true Hawaiian way!

What’s your dad’s car insurance rate?

I don’t even want to know! (smile)                                                                          

What kind of music do you listen to?

This question was asked when I mentioned listening to (and singing along with!) music when I rode out to see my dad race on the Salt Flats. I can’t remember specifically what I was listening to that day, but I listen to music a lot—it’s on almost all the time when I’m home alone.

I don’t listen to radio stations; I play CDs. I like Christmas music (I play it at least once a month or so, all year long), and I also like Christian music. I’ve heard music that had a great beat and made me want to get up and dance, but then the lyrics aren’t that great. Since I’ve always liked  listening to music that is uplifting and inspires me to be a better person, Christian music seems to do that best.

I would be interested in knowing the number of CAN demonstrators that signed up during the half-off promotion?

By the end of last year, we added nearly 15,000 US demonstrators and approximately 4,500 Canadian demonstrators to our Stampin’ Up! family! Awesome! I congratulate each and every one of you who participated in our “10,000 in 2010” campaign. We’ll be focusing on recruiting this year as well, so stay tuned to hear more about this year’s goals. . .

How did your giving of cash for Christmas last year turn out?

Fabulous! In fact, I’m pretty sure it will be a tradition we’ll continue. We gave cash again this year, but because we spent the Christmas holidays together, I did want everyone to have at least one present to open from Grandma and Grandpa on Christmas day. So we mixed it up a bit. . .

Was Makai’s birth announcement a card that you open or a front and back?

Wasn’t it beautiful? I loved it; I thought Sara did a wonderful job creating it in My Digital Studio. It was a traditional card that you opened.

I really enjoyed the pictures of your stamp room in Creating Keepsakes. Where did you get the cabinet with the lift-up glass doors that is on top of a table?

I’m so glad you like that piece—it’s one of my favorites! It’s actually an old apothecary, and the glass doors are glass drawers that you can pull out. I found it at a antique show here in Salt Lake City and fell in love with it! I knew it was going to be a main point of interest in my dream stamp room, and it is!

Will US (or CAN) demonstrators ever be allowed to attend conventions outside the US?

That’s not in the plans right now. Our venues are small and intimate, and we want the demonstrators in each of those markets to be able to attend the conventions in their own countries. I’m sure you understand. . . We’ll certainly let you know if that changes!

I’d love to hear about the essential oils you chose to give. Some of the oils we use most often in our home are lavender, peppermint, and tea tree oil.

Those are some of my favorites as well, especially lavender and peppermint! We gave a variety of oils, but the most common was lavender, peppermint, and lemon.

Can we continue the Christmas spirit and extend our hearts out to the thousands of families in Australia who have been or over the next few days will be hit by the worst flooding ever experience in Australia. Your generosity in the past has been amazing!

My heart always goes out to those who are faced with disasters such as this—you never know when Mother Nature, or any other unforeseen thing, will turn our worlds upside down!

We’ve been in discussions about this during the past several days and are working with our Australia office to determine the best way to help our demonstrators in Australia. In trying to be consistent with our fundraising efforts in the past, we’ve decided not to pursue a fundraising campaign at this point.

However, we will be waiving the quarterly minimum requirements for affected demonstrators as needed and will also allow reorders of the Starter Kit in instances where large amounts of products have been lost. We’re working closely with our demonstrators to help them in any way we can, and we have heard of fellow demonstrators who are also reaching out to help. It’s during challenges like these that I feel an incredible sense of gratitude for being part of a family of people who care so deeply and do so much to serve others! Our prayers join the many others being offered in behalf of those who are affected by the flooding.

UPDATE: I'm adding this after I originally posted it. The flooding in Australia is worsening and impacting more people than we originally realized. We are revisiting this issue. . . I'll let you know where we land. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the people who are struggling with this terrible tragedy!

Thanks for sharing the photos of Grandma Pat’s Christmas party. Is Grandma Pat in any of the photos?

Of course! I actually tried to get pictures of as many people who were there as possible (which was no easy task!). Grandma Pat is in several photos, but the easiest one to spot her in is the first one, a large group photo. Mom Pat is in the middle, wearing a white shirt and green sweater, and holding the child in pink.

It looks like your dad attends Grandma Pat's party. How wonderful to be able to celebrate with everyone!

That is something I really appreciate about Mom Pat—she invites everyone! And they come! My dad (and his wife Justine) comes, even though Dad and Mom Pat were divorced years ago. And Mom Heather’s husband Paul comes, even though Mom Heather passed away three years ago.

This party is something we look forward to all year long because we know all the members of our family will be together. We know that we’ll all have fun and everyone will get along wonderfully! It’s a highlight of the year for me!

I want to get the caroling book that you sing from at your Riverton holiday festivities, but I can’t read the name of it. Would you please share the name?

The name of the book is The  Christmas Caroling Songbook (published by Hal Leonard, copyright 2002). I’m not sure if it is still available; we bought it several years ago, and it’s just a collection of Christmas carols. If this specific book isn’t available, I know there are many similar books available with great collections of carols.

I'd love to know what Italian restaurant you and Shanna ate in when you were in New York City?

We actually ate Italian twice—the first night was just a little corner Italian restaurant that we stumbled on to called Ciro; it was delicious! The second night we ate at Trattoria Dell'Arte; we made reservations because we’d eaten there before and enjoyed it so much!

As in love with the cards and box as I am, where on earth can I get those caramels? They look divine, and good quality caramels are a weakness of mine! Can you please share the info on where you got them and if they can be ordered?

Don’t they look delicious? And you should taste them—they are divine! They are made in Utah (which is why we included them in our TODAY Show gifts) by a company called J Morgan’s; here’s the link. We included the HC (Heavenly Caramels) Butter and HC Pecan caramels (my favorites!) in our gift boxes.

I’ve noticed that, even though you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Stampin’ Up! offers very few stamps sets that appeal to members of the LDS Church. I know my LDS customers would really appreciate stamps that related to their specific beliefs and religion, just as my Jewish customers would really appreciate Jewish-themed sets. For myself, as an Episcopalian Christian, I'm glad Stampin’ Up! has offered several sets over the years with Bible verses, and I can't wait for my next order, which will include the beautiful Crosses of Hope set! If you can offer symbols of my faith, why not symbols of yours?

That’s a great question! We have actually offered sets in the past that contained LDS-specific and Jewish-specific images and wording. Interestingly enough, these sets simply don’t sell; I’m not really sure why. (Since Latter-day Saints are Christian, many LDS customers may be buying the more general Christian sets because of their versatility.) We do have to stay in business by selling stamps, so our low-selling sets simply don’t stick around very long.

We do currently have a Jewish set (Shalom Sayings) that is available for sale but is not shown in the Idea Book & Catalog. And we are looking at including some religion-specific stamps in our A La Carte offerings in the future.