September 1, 2006

So Why Am I Leaving SU?

Note: This is the last in the series of "The Tales of a Soon to Be Former SU Demo" If you missed the beginning, scroll on down! I saved money and improved my stamping skills -- at least a bit. I get a nice discount, extra items for free once in a while, and still love my SU stuff. So, why walk away from a good thing? It is a bit complicated. The short answer is that there isn't a short answer! Here's a few reasons -- First and foremost, last April a personal tsunami of sorts rolled over our lives as my mom got sick and basically has stayed sick. Since she lives with us and is, financially, and in every other way, dependent upon us, my time, finances, good humor and energy were all adversely affected. I never know when a crisis will hit. (We were back in the emergency yesterday morning). Her illness meant that I had to cancel going to the SU convention -- going away for 3 or 4 days isn't possible anymore without making lots of complicated and expensive arrangements. So, I know that I won't be attending any SU events in the near future, and that was one of the reasons I loved being a demo. I had to increase my work hours from 20 to 32 so I have less time for everything. It takes time to place orders, collect the money, go to the bank and cash checks, handle the occasional return, etc. Time is just a bit too precious right now. I could stay a demo and meet the minimums myself, but money is also a bit too precious right now (no complaints here, just a question of priorities). My house is brimming with stamping supplies -- if I stopped buying anything I could last at least a year (with the possible exception of adhesive and maybe paper!!). Enough already. Finally, I said at the beginning of this "series" that I would be honest and share the good and the not so good. SU did a few things that, in my hightened sense of neediness, just rubbed me the wrong way. The owners of the company bought another stamping company -- Clearsnap. There was quite a debate among demos at the time as to whether this "mattered." Many felt that home based sales and store based sales are totally different animals and not in competition. However, I disagree. There are only so many dollars that most stampers can and will spend and every dollar spent on Clearsnap is one less dollar for the SU demo. The owners of SU -- the Gardners -- win either way, but I felt the demos lost out. In addition, SU doesn't permit its demos to own or demonstrate for competing stamp companies. It rankled me a bit that it was ok for the owners to spread their wings, but not the demos. Then SU changed its compensation plan for demonstrators. The new plan greatly benefits the very hard working successful demos, who have large personal sales and large downlines. I actually think that is the way it should be -- you work harder, you get more money. However, it hurt me. It is much harder for me to earn a little stamping spending money now. So, time to move on. Will I continue to buy from SU? You bet, although not nearly as much as before!! (I already have my eye on some dynamite looking classes from some local demonstrators.) Would I become a demo in the future? Possibly. The things that I love about Stampin Up! are outweighed by the things that bother me. So, in a month or two I will no longer be a demonstrator. Was it worth it? 100% YES.


  1. Joan,

    I loved reading your story and thanks for sharing it. As a fellow demo, I'm sorry to see you leave but understand as my MIL was with us for 9 months after surgery. That is a great undertaking and I applaud your commitment and dedication to the things that matter most!

    I hope you find someone to spark your creativity locally. If you ever want to get together for some stamping fun - let me know!



  2. Boy, will I ever miss you on the Demo side! I've always enjoyed your thoughts and insites on there. At least, I can still visit with you on the general side. :-) And, of course, this blog of your is awesome. I stop by just about everyday!
    I wish you all the best in all you do, Joan. Hugs to you...
    aka: happystamper05

  3. Joan, I too dropped with SU not long was a well thought out yet still difficult decision, but it was for the best for me and my too will see that when you make the right decision for you that you as a person all of a sudden realize just how right you were!!! Best of luck...

  4. Joan,
    Thanks for sharing your story. It's really interesting to see SU through another demos vision. The final comments about clearsnap and such ring quite true to me. Never really thought about it that hard but it makes sense.

  5. Joan,
    I have really enjoyed reading your series on your time with SU. I too will miss your comments and insight on the demo side, but will visit on general side as I am not adverse to going there. You are doing what is right for you. As long as you stay true to yourself and your family is your top consideration you will come out on top. And just my opinion, I think you have grown tremendously in your talent as a stamp artist. See ya on the other side.

  6. Joan,

    I am sorry to hear the news about your Mom. I have been dealing with my parents for the last 2 years. My Mom has Alzheimer's and has had a series of strokes, my Dad is her caregiver of sorts (we also have 24hr live in for them)however, they live 2.5hrs from me and so I travel a lot to see them. For a while I was there more than home and that was so hard. My DH is a great support and so is my Sis. I had to quit my job for health reasons 3 years ago and stamping has and is my get-a-way from all of the above. Things go really bad for a while and then seem to calm down. Right now they are calm and so I am able to concentrate on getting some business together with SU. I will never be one of the top $ makers and so the new plan has hurt me too. I know things need to change but I feel like the hobby demo.s and small $ makers have been hurt. Will I stay with the co. Yes, unless things really go bad personally or with the company. So with that, I wish you good luck in whatever you do and prayers for your Mom. Try to find some time for yourself (even if you have to schedule it) because without your sanity things go crazy!

  7. This is a great "series". This is my first time to your blog and I really enjoyed reading about your journey. It's similar to my short journey as an unsuccesful Creative Memories consultant. Maybe I should do a series as well. Thanks for sharing.