I hope you had a good week! It’s Friday again! I can’t believe how fast this week has gone by. I’m so sorry I’ve been absent for most of the week; I was vacationing in San Diego visiting my cousins. I’m currently on a flight from San Diego to Dallas/Ft. Worth and then on my way back home to D.C.
While I will be happy to be home, I have to say that the last nine days have been amazing. From starting my trip in Salt Lake City at Inspire. Create. Share 2014, to then visiting San Diego, Legoland and Disneyland, it’s been quite a packed few days.
I promised last week that I would provide a recap of my first Stampin’ Up! Convention, and I do not want to disappoint. However, before I move on to my Thursday recap, I wanted to share this picture with you. It’s a picture of Pluto and me at Disney’s California Adventure.
Pluto is my favorite Disney character since my first trip to Walt Disney World in 1998. I’m not sure why he’s my favorite but I guess it’s because he’s the most “normal,” meaning he doesn’t stand on two legs and talk all goofy (lol); rather, he’s like a regular dog and Mickey’s best friend. I hope you enjoy!
Moving on to Convention!
Thursday was a most wonderful day! Wendy, Pauline and I woke up extra early and enjoyed a good breakfast at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center – to make sure we were good and nourished for our long day ahead. We headed over to the Salt Palace Convention Center at about 8:00 a.m. While we were waiting for the Main Stage doors to open at 8:30 a.m., we were swapping cards. I made about 50 general swap cards and was happy to be able to distribute them. In general, the cards I received during the general swap were beautiful and I was happy to swap with everyone. I received a lot of great feedback about my card too and many people were happy to see a male demonstrator.
Thursday’s General Session started at 9:00 a.m. and it was amazing! To start the General Session, company employees from various departments appeared on stage. Departments such as information technology, human resources, sales, demonstrator support, etc. were announced overhead and then ran down the main aisle to great audience applause. I know from running a small business that the success of the business depends on everyone, and it was nice to get to see the people that help support Stampin’ Up! everyday and make my creativity with great products possible!
After the introductions, Shelli Gardner came on stage and welcomed us to Inspire. Create. Share 2014. Now, if you’ve never heard Shelli speak, all I can say is wow. I’ve heard her a few times on YouTube videos, at the Catalog Premier and on the Grand Vacations trip, but not otherwise live in close audience. Shelli is not only an amazing speaker, but she’s also very motivating. Her enthusiasm not only impresses me as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator but also as a business owner myself.
One of the big things that was announced and unveiled at the first General Session was the 2014 Holiday Catalog. This is the first time Stampin’ Up! has unveiled the holiday catalog at Convention and it was amazing!
While I cannot show you individual pages of the new holiday catalog yet, I can tell you that it’s amazing. The products being offered for the holidays are awesome and (IMHO) much better than last year. The kits are awesome (more about those later) and gift wrap is back for this year.
The holiday catalog will be available to order from on August 28th. In the meantime, I’ll be doing a holiday preview in August where I’ll have some of the holiday items on preview.
In the meantime, and as a little sneak peek, here is a picture of the cover of the 2014 Holiday Catalog. I hope you enjoy:
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the upcoming holiday catalog, dates you can order, or if you’d like to be put on my mailing list to receive a new holiday catalog in August!
After the General Session concluded, our group, including Pauline and Wendy, and Cathy, Jane, Kim and others moved to Hall C where we had our first of two Inspire. Create. Share 2014 Workshops. At this workshop we made cards using the new Kinda Eclectic Stamp Set. This stamp set is a wonderful addition to anyone’s stamp collection and includes beautiful stamps that can be used in any design.
Here is a preview of the stamps available in the set:
Unfortunately, the cards I made at the first workshop got buried in my luggage before I could take a picture, but I’ll be posting a picture later of the cards that we made at this great workshop.
After the Workshop, our group split up for a bit. Some went to some breakout sessions that were being held. I attended my second Convention Swap. It was the All Occasions swap. We were asked to make cards that celebrated all occasions, such as birthday, holiday, thanks, etc. I made 25+2 cards for four groups and swapped with some truly amazing and creative demonstrators. In a later post, I’m excited to showcase some of my favorite swaps from this event.
After finishing at the swap, I accidentally (lol) ventured into the Gathering Place where the Convention Store was located. Now, for this year Stampin’ Up! did something a little different. In conjunction with unveiling the holiday catalog, Stampin’ Up! allowed demonstrators attending Convention to purchase select merchandise from the catalog. If you carried it with you, you were not charged shipping and you even received modified host benefits.
Well, as I wrote in text message to a few of my friends, the Convention Store got me into a little trouble (i.e. they gave me a BOX to carry out my goodies instead of a bag or two!)
Needless to say, I needed a quick stop back at the hotel to drop off my new toys. I met Wendy at the lobby and we ventured back to the hotel for a quick pit stop!
After unloading my Convention box, we ventured back over to the Convention Center. Upon looking at our schedule we realized that the time we had scheduled to visit the home office in Riverton would not be sufficient in order to make it back for our 7:00 p.m. class (that we had paid for). To remedy this, we stood standby for an earlier bus and were soon on our way to Riverton.
It took about 25 minutes with traffic to arrive in Riverton but was well worth the time and the trip! The home office is beautiful. The 2-story water effect on the lower level is amazing and Wendy and I were both wow’ed by the distribution center! If you’re familiar with Amazon’s distribution center model, Stampin’ Up! uses the same model. The distribution center is divided into various zones. Your order being fulfilled is transported by conveyor and if an item you’ve ordered is in that zone, your box drops to a lower belt and lights light up letting the zone fulfillment person know which items to pick. They’re then placed in the box and reset to the upper conveyor. We were told at the distribution center that as many as 18 pickers could pick your order if it’s a large order! The center was truly amazing.
Upon returning from the Home Office, Wendy and I grabbed a bite to eat and then made our way back to the Convention Center for our 7:00 p.m. class. At the class we worked on a Simply Created Kit to be released in the 2014 Holiday catalog called Watercolor Wonder. In a previous post, I previewed a card made at this class and I’ll be excited to further work with this kit when I return home. As an aside, I must tell you that this was Cathy’s favorite kit of all at Convention. And Cathy, if you’re reading this, I’m so excited to see all the fun projects you’ll be making with watercolors! 🙂
Finally, our busy first “official” day of Convention ended with drinks at Spencer’s in the Hilton. For our drinks we were joined by others we had traveled with for a larger group and had such a great time in each other’s company. We all agreed that one of the best parts of Convention is the company, catching up with existing friends and making new friends!
The first day of Convention was so great. I’m so happy to share it with you. I’ll be back later on in the flight or this evening to post about Friday! Also, I plan to clean up my Stampin’ Studio (new name I learned in Convention) tomorrow and I should have some new projects for you by the end of the weekend!
Please enjoy your weekend. Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to share more with you soon!
Let’s stamp the day (and night) away!