If you frequent any of the Stamping sites, you may have heard about the changes that Stampin" Up is making to their Independent Distributor agreement. The gist of the changes state that if you choose to be a demonstrator for Stampin Up that you can no longer specifically name any non SU! products you use on your blog and you are not able to link to sites which sell competing products. This change directly affects those of us who are SU! demos and on design teams for other companies.
I really think this entire situation is terribly unfortunate. Like so may others I was first introduced to stamping at an SU! workshop. This was 18 months ago and I consider myself to be blessed by this wonderful hobby and the fabulous people I've met as a result. For a year I attended a stamp club and dutifully purchased well over the $15 minimum. I love my hostess and look forward to the events every month. During this time I started to peruse the internet for stamping ideas and was introduce to SCS. I was introduced to another world of products beyond SU! and continuously found inspiration and ways to merge my SU! supplies with various other products. I love the creative outlet stamping provides and nothing makes me happier than bringing together different items from my stash and discovering how well they work together. I was also thrilled to be asked to join 2 design teams and I started a blog. My blog was a a place to talk about the things I like and what amuses me. I proudly display all of my creations, the ones using items from SU! as well as from my design teams. After much consideration I decided to become a demo for SU! 3 months ago. Due to the upheaval in my full time job and subsequent displacement of my employees and self, I wasn't quite ready to become a business demo but had plans to begin promoting my business in September.
Prior to this post, I've never mentioned anything on my blog about being a demo. As a matter of fact, only 4 people knew that I had signed up. When I first read the changes to the IDA the first thing I felt was sadness. I'm sure that much planning and debate occurred before and while the IDA was being written but the bottom line is that SU! knew that some demos would find themselves having to make a very difficult decision. They were either so confident to assume that everyone would choose SU! over promoting other companies that the wouldn't lose any demos (which I can't believe) or that they ran the numbers and based on past announcements they were able to project out the number of demos who would drop as a result and they deemed that number to be an acceptable risk.
I don't like feeling that I'm disposable and that's what saddens me. As many of you know I spent the last 6 months displacing my department as a result of a bank merger. Never once, even up to my very last day did I feel that I was disposable. The banks have gone out of their way to provide resources and options to those employees who were being placed in severance. Up until the very end, I felt that my opinions and actions were valued. Within a matter of one announcement I feel that an organization that I have voluntarily chosen to join and spend countless dollars on no longer values a segment of their population. I've become expendable and it's not something I like feeling.
I'm saddened that I'll no longer attend the monthly card swaps with my up-line. I'm sad that I won't have the experience of hosting my first party or my first stamp club. What make me happy is the freedom to create with any product that inspires me. I choose to share it on my blog and in doing so hope that I can inspire someone else as well. I love the freedom of not having to censor my blog not constantly wondering if someone is going to see my blog and report me to SU! for linking to a sales site. I choose to use my blog as a place to express my personal opinion without fear of retribution. As a result, I also choose to not sign the new IDA.
From a business perspective a understand why the decision was made. It's just sad that it's a decision that they felt had to be made.