Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Question for You...

Hi all!

I don't know how many of you out there still check my blog, but at least two of you have asked me lately if I'm still a Stampin' Up! demo. I haven't known quite what to answer, so I'll share some thoughts and then maybe you can give me some input. I'd appreciate it!

First off, let me say that I love Stampin' Up!. I've been with the company for 8 years, or so. Sometimes I've done really well, but I've also spent a number of months in pending. The Stampin' Up! style has changed over the past number of years. Remember Button Bear? How about Sunflower Serenade? Or even the Halloween Hedgehogs? That's my style. I miss those kinds of sets. For a couple of years now, I haven't been able to buy new sets because I haven't had extra money which was OK because I really haven't fallen in love with any of them. Now that the sets have gone up in price, I *really* will have a hard time buying them. OK - that was really negative. What do I love about SU??? I love the background stamps, and the coordinating cardstock and inkpads and markers. I love the new designer paper and the ribbons. I love the brads and the adhesives. I love (and want) the watercolor crayons. Is that enough to keep me in it? We will be moving by September 1st to a duplex where I will have a limited area to stamp in. What will I do with all of my wonderful wood mounted stamps? I'm afraid, for the most part, they will stay in a box in storage and I will keep out option two... 40 or 50 sets of unmounted stamps from the Angel Company (TAC) that are stored in CD cases and kept in a plastic sweater box. TAC stamps range in price from $5.95 to $19.95 per set... with an occasional alphabet breaking the $20 mark. They give a gift with purchase stamp for a $30 order, a $100 order receives hostess benefits, and they offer hostess 1/2 price items. Stampin' Up offers free merchandise, I know, so what's the big deal with a 1/2 price items?? I guess it's the worth of the product. For a $150 show with Stampin Up a hostess receives $15 in free merchandise. For a $100 show with TAC the hostess receives one 1/2 price item -- even if it's a $100 item for $50. That's a $50 savings!
So what would keep me from choosing TAC? TAC is only just *starting* to put together collections of cardstocks, papers, ribbons and ink. They use textured cardstock, which SU! is just coming out with, but which I am unfamiliar with, so I have to "think differently". Oh - one last comparison... SU requires $400 in orders every 3 months, TAC requires $100 in orders every 4 months.

So.... here's my dilemma. I'm moving. The area is crawling with SU demos. People don't have a lot of money in the town I will be going to... or at least I don't *know* those people. :) Do I switch to TAC? Do I stay with SU since I love the cardstock, ink and accessories? Do I do nothing and let my SU demonstratorship slide into retirement, and then just buy occasionally from whichever company I want? I often lean toward the last one, but I've been a demo for so long that I don't know if I can give it up entirely. I would love to put some things on my blog like a "Card Kit of the Month", or "Make N Takes in a Bag". Would those be things anyone would be interested in??

I'd love to hear your ideas, comments, suggestions - even criticisms... (Like... "How could you *think* of leaving Stampin' Up! Traitor!!) I really am struggling to make the wisest decision.

Sorry no picture today... just ramblings. Thanks for reading!



Jennie Harper said...

I know I considered switching to another stamp company when I moved last September...I knew I couldn't make SU minimums on my own and wasn't sure people would be interested in SU (price wise) where I was moving to. So I gave it a little time and in Febraury of this year my SU business took off. I was fully prepared to switch to TAC for the reasons you listed. TAC is very similar to SU's style years ago and that does appeal to some customers. I personally prefer SU's style now, but can understand those that preferred the earlier years. For me, the matching CS and ink is a big thing and that keeps me with SU (and the fact that my current customers are making my minimum for me, so I won't be switching any time soon.) The area I moved from was saturated with demos and I had my handful of I am in an area where I am the only demo that I know of and that is going very well ;o)))

I would just say do whatever is best for you. SU isn't the only company out there. I knew I wanted to teach card making/ scrapbooking in some form (it is my thing and I enjoy it immensely) so I knew would figure out how to make it work for me and was very close to switching to TAC.

I will stick with SU as long as it is working for me, but also realize there are some other wonderful companies out there and that is exciting!

Just do what is best for you and best of luck!

Carrie said...

I have never heard of TAC - I really like Stampin' UP but I agree about the prices (plus tax and shipping) I feel the same way about Pampered Chef. I feel like I've got just about all I need at this point (except maybe some boy card stamps) but my style has changed and I haven't bought anything except from Michaels since we moved a year ago. If I had a demonstrator really close (I looked) I may still buy but have gotten away from spending money there. Needless to say - I won't be offended if you leave, even though you were the one that got me into stamping in the first place. I love it and I say get your moneys worth and buy the products that work best for you. I know I rambled, but you did first ;)
Both here and in NY me and several church ladies get together once a month and fellowship while making cards or scrapbooking!

Trish D said...

I have been a demo with SU for 7 years now, and will be dropped as of October. My style has evolved, and frankly I just don't care for much of what SU is now offering. Their prices have increased substantially, and it looks as though that trend will be continuing as the sets in the new mini are die cut. Yes, I love the matchy-matchy inks, paper, etc. but I have enough to last me a loooooong time. I do think that TAC has some lovely images, and have just started purchasing some things from them. I like the direction that they're going with the new catalog, too, and feel that they'll be growing even more in the years ahead.

Jeans inky hugs said...

When I first started looking to join a Stamp company I looked into joining SU, A good friend share with me all the information about joining. She told me go home and think about it.

Well during that time someone I knew mailed me some TAC stamp sets. and shared with me about TAC.

So I started looking into both companies.

I liked SU images and I like TAC too.

But I like the fact that TAC had a much better quota.
And I knew that I could keep up with that. alot more than I could keep up with SU's.

So I joined TAC in 2004. I haven't looked back since.

However I do still purchase from my friend SU Demo, And she purchases from me. TAC.

I like the idea of using unmounted Rubber stamps. The storage is great. and the cost is much lower than other companies.

We are now starting to get supplies that match our inks.

We are starting to grow more each year with New Demo's and New stamps, Supplies.

Ask yourself these few questions?

1. what do I reach for when stamping?

2. Can I meet the quota SU or TAC.

3. What do I like in these companies?

4.Do I like using Wood or unmounted Rubber Stamps?

Find out as much as you can about the company (TAC) before joining.

If you want more information I would be happy to help you.

A New starter Kit is $150.00 plus tax and shipping.

Join in Oct and get to pick an extra $50.00 in T-coded stamps.

That's a AWESOME deal!!