Sunday, June 19, 2016

Paper Crafting Communities - Stamping Enablers FB group

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 administrator 
Kathleen Driggers to learn more about the group.

When & Why did you start the Stamping Enablers 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 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. 

Happy Crafting,


Susie Locicero said...
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Susie Locicero said...

This is a fantastic read. I am a member of this group and love it. The Admins do a really great job of managing the posts and keeping us on the straight and narrow! I've learned so many techniques and, as our name implies, where to buy things! Thank you for highlighting us.

Judy said...

Katie, Thanks for highlighting my favorite group first! You have done a nice job with your interview style article. I will be interested to see where you take this next phase of your blog! Thanks gif sharing!

Kat said...

Great post, I'm so glad that so many love the group :) It a labor of love!

Kim said...

I left Enablers a long time ago. Driggers is a mean spirited control freak. Goodbye good riddance

Kim said...

I'm sure my comment will be deleted like Driggers does if the comment doesn't suit her

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Diane said...

Can't wait to see more articles like this one. I belong to Stampin Enablers and LOVE the community. Lots of Inspiration, encouragement, help, and NO drama. Kathleen and the moderators are very level-headed and impartial. I am so grateful to Kathleen for creating such an uplifting community.

Kim said...

Cuz she only allows certain comments to be posted. Pretty sure Dictatotor Driggers paid for this psa

Barbara Collins said...

I haven't been in this group for too long, but I love it and all the information and techniques I can and have learned. There is so much encouragement and a wealth of ideas. Although I will probably never get to meet any of these quirky, talented, creative people, they have helped advance my craft. I think it is a great group.

LeeAnn McKinney said...

Great article. Good luck with your future blog posts Katie.

Anonymous said...

I belong to Stamping Enablers & it is a great group. I just joined in February & started crafting in 2016 and this group has been SOOOO helpful! Any questions you have are answered quickly, advise is given if needed & encouragement if needed also. I shop at Kat's store & she is SUPER helpful & gets what I want if you doesn't have it quickly. Great article about a group FB group!

Kim said...

Cuz she only allows certain comments to be posted. Pretty sure Dictatotor Driggers paid for this psa

ShaunaPester Shaunaispink said...
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ShaunaPester Shaunaispink said...

This is an awesome article. I love Stamping Enablers, it's my favorite! Kat is an awesome person to deal with and I can't say it enough, customer service is so important, to me anyway. It will be the deciding factor for me in re-ordering from a business. In my eyes, she is top! Thanks Kat for all you do! Katie thanks for bringing this to light :)

Meghan said...

Apparently a negative Nancy decided to be negative here too. Glad he/she is no longer a member of this fantastic group!! Love the article Katie!!

Katie Bolinger said...

I would like Kim and all my readers to know that no one PAID me to write this. I was interested in the subject, did my research, interviewed someone and wrote an article. Some of Kim's comments will be removed but only because they are duplicates. Everyone has a right to their opinion and everyone deserves to be heard but I will not allow the comment section of this or any post be taken over by the hateful speech of one person. You have had your say. We know you are unhappy, we are all going to move on now. I hope you all will read future posts and hopefully you will find something you do like.

Kim said...

I learned my negativity from Herr Driggers

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Katie Moore said...

Kim, no one believes you. You are bitter and spiteful. I seriously doubt Kathleen did that to you.

Debra Vance said...

I love the group. Everyone is so helpful and I love all the wonderful ideas as well as feedback on projects that I post. It's a great drama free group where everyone loves to craft and share their creations. I am so glad I joined this wonderful group of crafters.

Anonymous said...

The group is great. Sometimes the admin behavior is somewhat sketchy. Most of the time people do not know because it gets deleted and hushed up. Kathleen can be nice. She can also be mean. She is human. Everyone has their moments. You forgot to mention that although you are not allowed to sell in the group, Kathleen is since it is "her" group. I do not like how those who buy from her grovel for that they are great deals. Wake up people. Her shop is overpriced and she does so because she knows she can sell it to you at those prices. Gina Marie dies are $5 more than buying from Gina Marie herself, and shipping from Gina Marie is cheaper. KD buys it from Gina at wholesale and jacks up the price on you.

MaMa Bekka said...

Jealous much? Kathleen has always been nice to me! And I messed up a couple times when I first joined the group, she let me know and explained to me why. It's tough to be an admin, no matter what, someone always gets their feathers ruffled. You do a great job Kathleen!

MaMa Bekka said...

I could say a whole lot here, but I'll keep it brief. Kathleen has given us some great group buys! And I have paid a little more at her shop for a couple things, but she is a small business that is trying to make a profit. The personal good service and prompt shipping is worth every nickel! I appreciate her!

gale said...

I love the Stamping Enablers group. Easily my favorite FB group ever and a lot of that is because of how it's run. I also have shopped at Kat's website a few times and the customer service is awesome. I'm perfectly willing to pay a bit more for great service. I'm an admin at a different group and it is HARD and you can't avoid making some people mad (usually ones who refuse to follow the guidelines).

Shannon White said...

So think that Kathleen shouldn't be allowed to sell in HER group....the group she created and runs...for FREE....uhhhh...if you don't like it why don't you devote 5+ hours a day to making your own group and babysitting grown women who frequently can't be bothered to follow the rules because they are somehow special. As for Kat selling GMD products and "jacking" up the price....Kat offers a discount to every member of the group making the dies less than a dollar over what Gina sells them are a fool...who has obviously never run a business...don't shop at Joann's, they sell Gina's stamp sets for twice what you pay when you order from Gina herself!

Michael Trent said...
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Michael Trent said...

What a great post! I am in the Stamping Enabler's group and have to say it is one of the best. Thanks for promoting them and you have a new follower too! I think, as a whole, the group runs smoothly. There is a ton of sharing of projects as well as group members helping others with their questions. Not to mention the enabling that goes on!! As for the admin, there seems to be some animosity towards her but...the group is hers and she should be able to run it as she sees fit. I think she tries to keep the negativity to a minimum and, if deleting a comment helps, so be it. As far as the prices in her store goes...she is not forcing anyone to buy from her. She posts items with prices and you have the option to buy from her or not. If you think her prices are high, go elsewhere!! I have a store too and buy from Gina Marie. There are costs involved with buying wholesale and reselling. Of course the prices from Gina herself are cheaper since you are buying it from the source. But, with every item for sale on the planet, you can buy from who you want to buy from. Some people like the ease of just buying it from her. But this is not a reason to hate the admin. Overall, I love the positive and uplifting support that the members give each other!! Nuf go stamp something. LOL

Katie Bolinger said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. I hope you will follow the blog so you can read about other groups.

What would you ask a stamp designer if you met one?