Friday, May 15, 2009

Make $ Stamping Your Creativity

In January, one of the resolutions the suggested was to send your sentiments in a real greeting card versus an email, text or facebook message.  It's just more personal.  For this reason, I was excited to learn more about the business opportunity Stampin' Up.  You can be creative AND make money doing it your way.  I interviewed Gina Shaw to learn more about the business opportunity.

30daysof: What is the name of your business?
GS: Cards by Gina. I'm an Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.

30daysof: Why did you get started in this business?
GS: I recently took a voluntary retirement package from Scholastic Inc. after working there for 18 years. In my most recent position, I was the Editorial Director of Original Publishing for the Scholastic Book Clubs. 
For more than five years now, I have been passionate about creating scrapbooks and greeting cards. My career counselor at The Five O'Clock Club helped me to realize that I wanted to follow my passion into my next job. She actually found a Stampin' Up! blog and told me to look at it. I did and I got in touch with the blog owner, Mary Fish, who told me all about the Stampin' Up! company and what it meant to become a demonstrator. I was hooked immediately! 

30daysof: Is there a start up cost? Describe the start up cost and what you need to do to qualify for promotion or revenues, trips, cars?
GS: Yes, there is a start-up cost since you do need to purchase the Demonstrator's Starter Kit for $199 and you can add on the Stampin' Memories kit for $50. Please note: This is the price in the SU! Spring-Summer 2009 Idea Book and Catalog. A new catalog will be released on July 1, 2009 and I'm not sure if there will be a change in price at that time. With these two kits, you have all the items you need to run workshops, host parties; etc. and you really get to see and use the quality products that Stampin' Up! has to offer. 
Stampin' Up! has been in business for 20 years and they have an excellent business model for helping you to run your own business (or, if you are a hobbyist and want to buy materials for your own pleasure). When you become a demonstrator, there are discounts on the products you purchase and what you need to earn is minimal in order to stay active. Again, this may change so I can't give a figure here. 

30daysof: How do you stay motivated? Books, quotes, people who inspire, etc...
GS: My upline Mary Fish and her group, the Stampin' Pretty Pals, as well as the Stampin' Up! Demonstrator Web Services site keep me very motivated. There are always new techniques being shared; ideas for workshops being posted; stamping challenges you can take part in; great specials for my customers and my party hosts; etc. All of this and my love for the end result of cardmaking and scrapbooking keep me extremely motivated and inspired. 

30daysof: What is your favorite product or the best selling product (service) you offer?
GS: Wow! That's really hard to say. I love the stamp sets because they are high-quality and affordable--the best I've ever used--and SU! offers so many choices that you're sure to find more than one that you'll love; their paper is beautiful, with the color soaked through and through, and very easy to work with; SU! coordinates all of their colors--papers, ink pads, markers, designer papers; etc. so it's extremely easy to make beautiful projects. Their prices are great, too! 

30daysof: What is your biggest challenge in marketing your business?
GS: Getting the word out so that people can find me. My greatest joy as a demonstrator is to share what I know and what I learn by having access to SU's demonstrator's web services site and my Pals group. I love running hands-on workshops; showing techniques and products; and making people feel very creative! 

30daysof: How do you get paid? 
GS: I get a percentage of the products I sell as well as free merchandise, depending on the amount purchased by my customers.

30daysof:  Is there room for advancement (growth)?
GS: Yes, that's the beauty of Stampin' Up!. You can run your business any way you're comfortable with--as a hobby to a full-time business. Each demonstrator runs his/her business to suit his/her needs, time, etc.

30daysof: Who is your competition? Other companies that sell the same products or services? Why did you choose yours?
GS: My competition is all of the retail stores that sell rubber stamps and cardmaking and scrapbooking supplies. I chose Stampin' Up! because of the high-quality and affordablity of its products and because they don't sell into retail stores. They only sell through demonstrators. and with that comes so much information! 

30daysof: What is the best way for someone to contact you?
GS: My website address is: and my
e-mail address is It's helpful to put Stampin' Up! in the subject line of an e-mail. You can leave messages for me at both places.


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Thanks for sharing!