Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Exploring New Paths

Life is funny. It likes to sucker punch you just when you are least expecting it.

A little over three years ago I was introduced to Stampin' Up. Now I had "dabbled" in some stamping but nothing serious. By this time I had kinda set my scrapbooking aside as I just found it too overwhelming with two little ones who wanted to "help" whenever I pulled out my pictures. I need to do something creative. It is just in my genes. Then a friend invites me to a Stampin' Up workshop. GLORY BE!! How much fun was this? In a short matter of time, I could quench my creative thirst and have a completed project to show for it. PERFECT. So I justified spending lots of $$$ for my mommy sanity. My friend kept pushing me to become a demo for the discount (gotta luv friends who look out for your wallet!!). But I fought it. I had no desire to "sell". I just wanted to create for the joy of creating. FINALLY I signed my name on the dotted line and became a demo three years ago (tomorrow will be my anniversary date!). Now, let me clarify: I DID NOT sign up to be a BUSINESS demo. I was making my minimums all by myself very nicely, thank you very much.

THEN~this same friend (now my upline) introduced me to Splitcoaststampers. Let's just say I found HEAVEN!! OHHHHH!!! The creativity!! The resources!! The challenges to push myself!! All the enabling to buy more fun stuff!!! I was in my dream heaven!! I found myself so excited about all the different techniques I was learning that I wanted to share. So I held some workshops and invited some friends. And I had fun sharing all my toys and the cool things that I was learning. And as an added benefit, my friends liked what I was sharing and ended up making some purchases from me. Bonus. Not expected, but nice!

But as time went on, I found that Stampin' Up was not able to meet all my "creative" needs. I like snarky cards. I like the grunge look. I like trying new things, hehe!! Stampin' Up started me on a new creative path, but I was finding that while my tastes (and that of my emerging tween boys) were changing~~Stampin' Up was still in their "cutesy, flower and "nice" mold. (Now before you die hard SU fans/demos start to flame me~~this style fits a lot of people. But it no longer fits ME). I needed to explore other things that fit MY CREATIVITY.

So I struggled in trying to show Stampin Up products in workshops because I was excited by "the dark" side and wanted to share THOSE products and ideas! Ahhhhhh!!! Enter the land of blogging!!

This blog was to share creativity. It was never about selling SU. I deliberately omitted all indications that I was a SU demo off of it. I found joy in sharing links to products or different challenges that inspired me. I hoped that maybe someone would find inspiration from it too.

Last week, SU announced a change in the demonstrators agreement. While overall, I can understand where they are coming from as a BUSINESS, I cannot sign the agreement. WHY? Because on section of the "contract" states that I cannot promote/acknowledge other companies, even ON MY PERSONAL BLOG. Now, I'm not PROHIBITED from using "the dark side's" products. But I can no longer provide links. I am suppose to use generic terms like "die cuts, designer paper, large retail store", instead of listing names like "Quikcuts airplane die, Basic Grey "Granola" designer paper and MICHAELS (just in case none of you realize that you can get stamping supplies there!). But I feel that if I use the products, if I find creativity on a blog site that sells "the dark side", I should give credit to those companies/owners/designers that are providing me with the inspiration, the tools, etc., to create my projects.

This blog is NOT a BUSINESS blog (as I have stated and will continue to state, I am NOT a business minded demo). This blog is a CREATIVITY BLOG.

Now, in all honesty, I would have quit being a demo very shortly. But I was struggling with the decision. Not because I was hesitant to cut my ties with SU, but rather, because I was hesitant to cut my ties sharing in person, what I love to do~~~create. This new contract pushed me to make a definite decision that would fit ME. But it also opened up a new window of possibility.

I realize, that I DON'T have to sell a product to share what I love. I share my ideas/creative thoughts (with the occasional family pratter.....) on this blog. I CAN continue to do the same in "person". The details are not all in place, but the idea is gathering momentum in my head. I'm kind of nervous, but in a good way. I hope that I can make it work.

Whew!! What a struggle to try and put into words my reasoning (hmmmm....maybe that is an indication that my reasoning doesn't follow straight paths!! LOL).

I hope that all of you will continue to join me as I take this different path and EXPLORE.


Sherry Cheever said...

Good luck on your new creative journey my friend! Who knows what's in store for you just around the corner!

Melody (lacyquilter) said...

Well said. Go for it, girl.

Kristi said...

Sounds exciting! Can't wait to see what you do from here. I appreciate you sharing your ideas online and am happy you are still choosing to do that:-)

Stef H (Glitterbabe) said...

i became a SU demo a little over a year ago and i, too, was the only one meeting my minimums myself - and i'm on a pension! after reading that new agreement.... i resigned as a SU demo. yep. quit! and ya know what? it doesn't bother me at all. i rather have my blogging buddies, my personal friends and ALL my dt sisters than have to stop to think about i address all the companies i design for by something other than their name!

good for you!


Carolyn King said...

Good luck....I am sorry that you are affected by these rules...I am sure all will work out for you and that you continue to share! hugs!