Have you ever thought--"what's it like to be a Stampin' Up! demonstrator?" Let me share my experience and see if I can answer a few of your questions at the same time.
To become a demonstrator, you purchase a Starter Kit. Stampin' Up! includes some business supplies to help you get started, like catalogs and order forms. They also include a retired Paper Pumpkin kit for you to try. After that the only obligation to remain an active demo(nstrator) is to sell (or purchase) $300 retail each quarter. With your discount that starts at 20% off every product, you'd pay $240 for that $300 worth of products. And you don't have to purchase that all yourself--I actually encourage my teammates to NOT purchase products they don't need. That 'discount' is what you earn on every order you place- yours or for a friend or customer.
What do you include in your Starter Kit? Anything you want! If you are new to stamping, I can give you a few ideas about where to start. Stampin' Up! often offers joining encentives. Contact me if you want to know what the current offer is or what's coming up.
However, mine is quite a different story, since I was given my Starter Kit for free. My upline, Kristen, was given a kit during a Stampin' Up! leadership conference in January 2011 to give to someone to help her build her business. I only paid the cost to over-night in my documentation. (This was before you could sign up online.) I had honestly wondered what being a demo was all about, but was hesitant to even ask about it. I was afraid that the fun of stamping would be taken over by the work of scheduling, planning and holding workshops. Stampin' Up! was based on the party plan, like many direct sales companies at the time.
I will say I have been successful for the last 11+ years of never losing the joy of stamping, and I still only purchase products I like and will use. Getting a box of Stampin' Up! products (especially stamps!) still gets me excited to try new things, new techniques, and new projects. It was only a few years ago when leaving my last job at a non-profit organization that I was reminded that I owned a business. I had never thought of being a Stampin' Up! demo that way, and I had been a demo for about 8 years at the time! I just did what I loved and shared that with as many people as were interested. That is when I decided that I could be a demo who runs a business. Some demos don't make that choice, but I was ready.
That's the best part of being a demo--you can and Should do it YOUR way!
When I started, my kids were 8, 13, and 15 and my husband traveled for work. I could only plan my events a week or so in advance, once I knew my kids' schedules for all their activities. I did what worked for me.
Most people do join the Stampin' Up! family primarily for the discount. For instance, during a recent stamp sale, with the sale and my current discount (25%), I purchased $18 stamp sets for $11.48. I added a few stamp sets to my collection during the sale!
If you choose to find help meeting your quarterly minimum, there are many easy, fun ways to do that. Stampin' Up! offers us training and support as a demo and of course, you'd be part of a team to help you.
Early on, I would hear other demos say, "You can't use retired products", and I would think "what do you do with all the products you have once they retire"? I have not found that to be true at all. Since I only purchase what I like, I've chosen to keep much of what I've purchased over the years. I do still use a lot of retired products in my personal stamping. If you watch my videos, I do use some retired products in my business if we offer current products that someone could use instead. That is just one example of how I 'do it my way'.
You (hopefully) know that I go by North Star Stamper online. There was another Sue Kremer (Susan K Kremer to be exact!) and she had taken all versions of our name for her Stampin' Up! website, so I had to be creative. Living in Minnesota, the North Star State, I chose that to identify myself. When coming up with my team name a few years ago, there were several other teams with names using 'north' and 'star', so a friend came up with the idea to use Polaris instead. So, my team is the Polaris Stamping Team.
For my team, I offer a few different events. The first Wednesday of the month, we just stamp, and I've invited a few other demos to join the team for that. The second, on the 3rd Wednesday, is a typical team meeting where we discuss what's going on with Stampin' Up!, but we always stamp after our business portion, and people stay if that can. We chat throughout the month, too, and have a team Facebook group where we support each other.
We have team members across the country (currently, Minnesota, Maryland and Colorado), so meeting in person will not be an option. I've had team members who never attended any team gatherings and that's perfecly ok. They weren't for her; life was too busy and she just wanted the discount. I'm here to support you and the rest of my team in any way you choose. I am (almost) a certified life coach and I use that in my business with teammates if they'd like. My favorite goal to help someone meet is 'remaining active'.
To me, the best part of being a demo are the Stampin' Up! events!
I have attended events in Minneapolis (3 so far, I think), Milwaukee (twice), Salt Lake City and Orlando. When Tony, my husband, retired in April 2021, he wanted to travel. COVID has kept us in the US so far. We will be going to Vienna, Austria so I can attend a 2-1/2 day Stampin' Up! event there in November! (There are 5 1-day events in the US that I could have attended that same weekend, but when Tony agreed to make a vacation of it, I jumped at the opportunity!)
This photo was taken in Orlando in 2018, when Stampin' Up! celebrated 30 years!
At our events we always see stamping presentations with new products. Depending on the event, we may stamp, too, talk about business ideas, and almost always receive an upcomping catalog. Being the first to see and order from a new catalog is definitely a perk of being a demo!
While I still just try to share my love of creating with stamps with as many people as I can, I've been doing that in different ways, mostly throught social media. Hopefully you follow me in one or more of my accounts. I'm on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Finally, the real reason I am still a demo after all these years, are the relationships I've formed because of Stampin' Up! We truly are a family, in the best sense of the word. I can't imagine my life without these people, not only my direct team, but my leader's team and beyond. With the internet, it's quite easy to meet and keep in touch with people all over the world!
Well, thank you for reading all of this! I never know when or how to bring these things up in my videos and I'm not doing in-person events right now, so I thought this might be a good way to share my experience with you.