A New Direction
I recently rewatched the Live Taping of “The Axe Files” with Jon Stewart, hosted by David Axelrod on YouTube. It was an interesting interview about his life after the "Daily Show". Stewart had a lot of interesting things to say, but the thing that struck me was when they were discussing the metamorphosis the show went through when he came on board. He stated that if he was going to spend 12 hours a day working he wanted to do something that interested him. So in 1999 when he took the helm he steered the Daily Show away from Hollywood celebrities and towards Washington politicians.
I am going to do the same thing with this blog. I have posted pictures of my cards and scrapbook pages hoping readers would be interested in what I had made. This model always felt a bit like an obligation; this is what paper crafters do on their blogs. I started doing Silhouette tutorials because I thought they would be helpful. Life as a single parent can get busy and I spent my time doing other things instead of focusing on tutorials. Plus Melissa over at Silhouette School rocked it so hard that I just sort of gave up on the idea.
So what interests me? What will get me writing again? Creativity and Community.
Where does creativity come from? Where do creators get their ideas? How do they go about creating things? I want to talk to stamp and product designers, talented scrapbookers, card makers and colorists. I want to feature their works/products as much as my own.
Where are creative communities? Who establishes them? How can you and I become a part of them? I want to talk to everyone from founders of online communities to administrators of Facebook groups to people who start local Meet-Ups.
Facebook group - Stamping Enablers
I’ve been searching for a crafty community that felt like home for years. Looking for a group of people who were encouraging and helpful. A place where there was as much conversation as there was gawking at creations.
I have found that place on Facebook in a group called Stamping Enablers. This closed group, yes you need permission to join, is all about card making and finding deals on paper crafting supplies.
Members are encouraged to share projects and great deals and discouraged from using the group for publicity or self-promotion. You may post creations you’ve created for a design team, but links must go to your personal blog, not the company’s website.
Selling supplies and promoting yourself is against the rules but you can join the group's buy/sell group the Scrappy Resale Room. This group is also secret, but a friend request to one of the administrators and a PM asking to join will get you access.
There are documents associated with the group:
- social media contact lists
- recommended online shops
- coupon codes for online shopping
- lists of demonstrators, coaches, consultants, and advisors for different direct sales stamp companies
- templates and cut files
- card showers where members ask for cards for particular causes or ailing loved ones.
Requests for card showers, access to secret areas and addition to certain lists must go through one of the groups three administrators, Logan Claar, LeeAnn McKinney, and Kathleen Driggers. These dedicated ladies keep a watchful eye on the content within the group to maintain the focus on helping one another and sharing knowledge about our shared craft. I interviewed administratorKathleen Driggers to learn more about the group.
There were about 1000 of us that started out in a previous group, and the group owner wanted to move to a message forum online, but we wanted to remain on FB because we had built a close community and liked the features of FB groups, so we started Stamping Enablers a year ago.
How much time, on an average day, do you spend working on administrative stuff for Stamping Enablers?
I plead the fifth! LOL Seriously, though, I’m online quite a bit and always have FB open so I can provide support to my customers, so I’m usually around for the group as well.
What has been the greatest benefit for you of this group?
Meeting some great crafters, both men and women who have a genuine love for crafting and building some great online friendships. In some cases, many of us have developed real life friendships as well because of meeting one another in person.
How do you explain the phenomenal growth of the Stamping Enablers group?
We are a group of crafters who are all gathered together for one purpose, to share our love of crafting. We weed out the negative Nancy’s and people who only join to advertise by having no advertising rules, so the members who are here, are here for genuine reasons. We support one another, answer questions, help find great deals, offer praise and constructive criticism (when asked) and have built a real “online” community where we feel comfortable enough to share with each other.
How long have you been stamping/paper crafting?
Since the early 90’s on and off.
Tell me about your business, Kat Scrappiness.
I started off several years ago as a handmade embellishment shop. I had a design team and we had a blast making and selling felt chipboard and wood embellishments. Things have changed over the years. I now specialize in stamping, scrapbooking and mixed media supplies for crafters at discounted prices. Kat Scrappiness.com gives back through our unique rewards program where you earn 1 point for every dollar you spend. Then you can use your accumulated points for discounts and/or free shipping on future orders. I carry the products that I use and recommend but am happy to special order anything that my customers request. We also offer an affiliate program for bloggers or customers who wish to earn money for referring new customers to us!
How do you choose what you will carry?
Again, I carry the products that I use and recommend. I support manufacturers that make high-quality products and have good business ethics. If a customer requests a product I don’t have, I will special order it just for them.