Nineteen years is a long time to be a demonstrator. It's a long time to do anything, really, when you think about it. In those nineteen years, I've seen a lot of change, and I think I've touched on that in a past blog post. Back when I was building the business and raising a family as a stay-at-home mom, I pulled some super late nights. It wouldn't be unheard of for me to be up until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. I'd then get up with the kids and spend as much time with my family as I could during the day, and when I'd tuck them all in bed at night - that's when the magic happened in my stamping studio. I created projects, cut card stock for class, worked on the business side of things, and never really contemplated where it would all take me. I just loved what I was doing and knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was meant to be a Stampin' Up!® demonstrator.
As the kids grew up, I was able to spend a little more time in my studio during the day. Still, though, with sports activities in the evening, homework, and family time with my husband and kids, those late nights didn't seem to go away. FINALLY a few years ago, I found a good routine. To bed early, up early to exercise, and decent use of time during the day was the normal. I was feeling really good, and those who knew me well literally did not believe that I had turned over a new leaf. To bed early? Impossible!
Then Covid hit, and everything once again got turned upside down. Routines suddenly weren't so routine anymore, and that included the business. This stamping thing has become an incredibly important part of my life. It's therapeutic, and in tough times, it's something that makes me happy. So I got to thinking - there are others out there that feel the same. And just like that, Stamp Together Saturday and Online Zoom classes were born. When I look back on it all, I'm amazed that I didn't even flinch. I just did it and made the changes. So here I am, building the business again. It seems in some ways that I'm building it from scratch. In other ways, all the warm smiles on Zoom, happy emails and texts from people thanking me for giving them a purpose during Covid, and a rejuvenated class attendee list, remind me that I have built many many beautiful friendships through stamping over these 19 years.
Here's the truth: It is not unheard of that I spend 8-10 hour work days in my studio the last couple of months. Back pain that surfaced in 2018 has returned, sometimes with a vengeance. Late nights stamping and preparing classes and posts are back, and early mornings to my "day job" five days a week make sleeping in impossible.
The question I feel is on your minds is "Why?" Why would I put this much time and energy into making changes 19 years in? Why do late nights, early mornings and back pain due to hours in a chair stamping and cutting card stock appeal to me? I can sum it up in a couple of words: YOU. ME. I love to stamp. I love to teach. I love to be in charge of my own business. But when I can help make a difference in your life and help you find your happiness, it makes it all worth my while. Stampin' Up!'s Statement of the Heart says it all:
To all of my customers, and to my amazing team of 33 demonstrators: I love you. You help make me happy, and I pray that even in some small way, I do the same for you.