It's official. I am no longer a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. I got the email yesterday but didn't get a chance (or was it take the time) to blog about it. Now I can change the disclaimer text on my blog, dump my business materials, find some extra space in my office, and start talking about other companies products.
Now I can talk as freely as I like about Stampin' Up! without fear of losing my demonstratorship. Not that I ever feared such a loss before but I thought it would be better to keep my observations to myself because they weren't going to be all that helpful to my business. But now…
I have been looking at blogs and a lot of other companies websites for a long time and often SU seems to be playing catch-up or "follow the trend" (swirls, scallops, chandeliers, lollipop style trees, deer, owls, robots). It seems SU wants to be all things to all people so they offer a set that is similar to another company's hot item and often their version is a poor imitation. The problem is that trends come and go so quickly that a company that can't get a new image idea to market but once or twice a year will always be late to the trend party.
Once upon a time I heard the analogy that big companies are like dinosaurs - large lumbering beasts, slow to change. Small companies are like mosquitoes - quick, agile, abundant and annoying to dinosaurs. A dinosaur may be able to crush several mosquitoes but the rest will drive him mad and/or infect him with West Nile Virus which will kill him.
I know SU wants their customers to buy ALL their stamping supplies from a demo but this is unrealistic. People do not live in a vacuum, especially in the age of Facebook and Twitter, they are probably going to see and buy other company's goods. If an image is really compelling or a set is versatile I will get it no matter who makes it. I have several non-SU stamps that I purchased just because I like the image. Had no great plans for what do make with it I just really like the image. They sit up on the top of my office peg board, looking down on my creative endeavors, being beautiful for me.
Price is a factor too - big box stores offer a lot of the same tools for less, + offer a 40%-50% coupon, + you don't have to wait a week to get it. Tombow adhesive is Tombow adhesive, the only difference between the SU version and the stuff you get at the store is……drum roll please……the SU logo on the side.
So what does SU do right? Well, when SU blazes their own trails image-wise they can be brilliant. I like a lot of their patterned papers (though some are a bit too SU for my tastes, too cutesy and flowery. I want more grunge. Even their graffiti stuff looks like the kind of lettering girls did in junior high along side rainbows and unicorns on their notebooks.)
The fact that their papers, inks, ribbons and buttons all match is awesome. I know Papertrey followed SU's lead, I've seen their stuff online, but I've never purchased any of their products. I really like the quality of SU cardstock and don't want to get more paper until I put a dent in the uber-stash I have going on here.
I just got a new computer and have not received the programs to make it run the way I'd like - they are on order. As soon as they are in and the business stuff is out I will begin posting pics of projects again. And now that the computer works in real time instead of "wait a bit" time I should be able to post more often.
Not only is the business stuff going but some of my stamps are going to be sold too. Soon I will have the Katemade Designs Scratch and Dent Sale (or should that been Scratch and Stain Sale) of used stamps. I'll let you know when and where you can see and buy sets you haven't seen for sale in a while.