Stampin’ Up! Rising Star Retreat

I just enjoyed two amazing days at Stampin’ Up!’s headquarters in Sandy, Utah.  Each year Stampin’ Up! awards Rising Star to demonstrators in their first full year with Stampin’ Up! who achieve certain sales and recruiting goals.  Five North American demonstrators reached this milestone this past year (four from the U.S. and one from Canada) – I am one of the four from the U.S. We were invited to Stampin’ Up!’s headquarters for intense training and extreme fun. Four of us made it to the event, and 100% of the attendees loved every minute of the experience.


Anyone can expect that Stampin’ Up! would have the best invitations to a party and the best event decorations, but they really pulled out all the stops when they rolled out the red carpet for us. We spent the first day in meetings with Training, Marketing, Development, Technology, Social Media and Stampin’ Up!’s top leadership. They genuinely wanted to hear our stories, so we shared openly with them. What a blast! Here’s what’s really cool – the entire day was tailored to what WE defined as important to our business – the things we wanted to know more about. As they gathered information from us, they really delivered on everything we wanted.

It all started with an incredible breakfast. Our tables were festooned with snowflakes stacked on snowflakes – with LOTS of glitter.  You know I loved that, right?  πŸ™‚  Rising Star Retreat, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingWe soon learned that these deocrations were assembled from a kit that would soon be released (and, in fact, was released Tuesday).  I received an awesome leather satchel, also decorated with a piling of snowflakes.  Rising Star Retreat, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Immediately following breakfast, we toured the packaging facility. I was able to step just inside the area during my tour at Convention, but today they put us to work! I worked Area 1 for about 20 minutes. As your boxes dropped into my area from the central conveyor belt, I packed catalogs, card stock, candy dots and Stampin’ Caddies. I then sent the boxes down the belt to gather the other goodies at the other stations. Rising Star Retreat, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingRising Star Retreat, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingIf you placed an order this week, I might have dropped in some of your goodies. You’re welcome!

At the end of the night, the four of us were whisked away to dinner WITH SHELLI GARDNER!  Shelli was in a very bad horseback riding accident this summer, so we weren’t sure we’d even see her – we were thrilled when we learned we’d join her for dinner!  She was still very cautious in her movement, but her spirits were high. She really wanted to get to know us, and we were happy to share.  We enjoyed a delicious meal and fun conversation with Shelli, Sara, Donna and Shannon.  Pictured below are Janet Holmes, Heather Cooper, Shelli Gardner, Julie Skotzke and me:Rising Star Retreat, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

During dinner, we were presented with our very own Photopolymer Stamp set.  How cool is that!?!?Rising Star Retreat, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

After a long day of meetings, professional development and a wonderful dinner, we returned to the hotel for MDS (My Digital Studio) training with Shannon West and Donna Griffith. What fun! I was blown away by the printed sample items. I’ve dabbled in MDS, but the finished products were divine! I didn’t know it could be this easy.  I’ll be soon sharing one of the projects we completed, so be on the lookout!

And all of that was Day One.


The second day started with some amazing Make and Take projects with papers and stamp sets and accessories from the Occasions Catalog.  You will not believe how gorgeous this stuff is – I cannot wait to dive into this catalog. Unfortunately, I can’t share pictures from this experience because it’s from the yet-to-be-released catalog. 

We experienced a wonderful behind-the-scenes tour of Stampin’ Up!’s video room with some great tips for filming and editing our own videos. After a surprise fire alarm forced us to gather in the parking lot, we returned for downline training with Brian Pilling and Brandi Barnard.  Since all four of the Rising Stars have very different businesses, this was a great discussion – we were able to really learn from each other.  Later in the afternoon, we met with Business Development and received some expert advice on Time Management from [the amazing] Bonnie Thurber.  Pam Morgan gave us a very warm send-off with words of encouragement and praise.  Here’s my parting gift:Rising Star Retreat, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Oh!  Were weren’t done yet.  After we were carried away from Stampin’ Up!’s headquarters, we were surprised with a night out at the movies. The group had rented out an executive suite at the theater for a private viewing of “Thor.” With dinner, snacks, desert and a reclining leather seat – we were in the lap of luxury!  Rising Star Retreat, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

I cannot begin so express how much I enjoyed this trip, and I cannot possibly express how grateful I am to Stampin’ Up! for hosting us.  I have covered some of the things we accomplished, but I couldn’t fit it all in.  I know there are folks who are not thanked here (it wasn’t my intention to include everyone’s names in this post) but who contributed greatly to my experience.  It was my connection, though, with these three women that will forever bond me to this experience.  I am so happy to know them and to continue my amazing journey with Stampin’ Up! with a friendship and a professional connection that can never be duplicated.  It was the amazing retreat that Stampin’ Up! hosted that allowed us to connect in such a wonderful way.  Rising Star Retreat, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!



  1. So so proud of you ! Stampin Up is fortunate to have you ! Well done ,my friend !
    Thank you for letting all of us share in your journey and activities ….it is a treat . Big hug !

  2. What an exciting trip! Such nice hosts at Stampin’ Up! Love your leather satchel, your Name tags and business cards! How cool to be on the packaging assembly line!

  3. Brian….I am smiling from ear to ear with joy for you! I am sure it was an over the top….amazing….2 days of a lifetime experience! a HUGE woot-woot and hugs to you!

  4. Brian, congratulations once again! It was really motivating to learn of your experience at the rising star retreat. I can’t wait to hear what you learned with respect to downline training… hint hint, as well as other tips that you want to pass along to your InKING Royalty team.

  5. It sounds like a fun filled, exciting, meaningful, exhausting trip! I will shout it from the rooftops how proud I am of you!

  6. OH SO VERY HAPPY FOR YOU, BRIAN! You are so deserving of the Rising Star title and all that has gone with it so far and more to come!!!


  7. Congratulations Brian! What an amazing company we work with! So happy for you.

  8. Laurie Burns Gachewicz

    Mega-amazing awesomeness Brian!!!!! Sounds and looks like a fantastic trip!!! Your Rising Star stamp and business cards are fabulous!!!!! Thank you for sharing your experience with us and a huge congratulations to you again!!! πŸ™‚

  9. Congrats Brian! You deserve it. I knew you were inspirational when you had your first card swap and let us push our limits. That was truly a confidence boost for me. Thanks a bunch. πŸ™‚

  10. You are most deserving of your award! Always going above and beyond for your customers and team members, that’s what makes you sooooooo special. I’m proud to say I am part of your InKing Royalty. Thank you for sharing your exciting trip with us. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us.

  11. Great blog! You are something really special.

  12. Congratulations Brad. What a great reward for all of your hard work.

  13. Congratulations!! You deserved every bit of it! I hope all that glitter wasn’t too traumatizing! Can’t wait to see what you create with your personalized stamp:-)

  14. Amazing two days! Congrats again on such a wonderful accomplishment! You deserved to be treated like a King…….. πŸ™‚

  15. You have really demonstrated with excellence, the opportunity that is available to all demonstrators! It can be done and you did it! So proud of you Brian. My order arrives today, I just know you must have packed my new paper! Wishing you continued success with your SU biz!

  16. Wow! So very happy for you! And, so deserving! Huge congratulations to you! Thank you very much for sharing photos and your experience in Utah with us! You certainly are a STAR…well done!:-)

  17. Sassymonkey from WA

    Your wonderful story made me light up inside, congratulations on your success,
    And most importantly that you have been validated in all your efforts to stand out
    And do what you love, nothing can be more rewarding. Keep it up!

  18. Stampin’ Up really is a first class company. They reward their “employees” in ways no other company does. Your personalized photo polymer stamp is proof of that. All of your followers know that if any demonstrator gives 200% to SU it is you Brian. So thrilled to be one of your followers.

  19. OMG!!!!! Brian, I love, love the way you look with that paper mustache!!!!!
    CONGRATULATIONS are in order here, my dear, what an accomplishment and you deserve it, you work so hard and this is your awesome reward. Thank you for sharing this awesome photos, as always, it’s a total treat to be here every morning.

  20. WOW….How incredible!! So proud of you! You are such an inspiration……thanks for sharing this recap of your tirp…….appreciate ALL you do. I look forward to reading your blog EVERYDAY!!!

  21. Congrats and I want to say you deserved every moment there! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Thanks for sharing the pictures and the story of your trip. What wonderful people we meet when sharing our love of stamping!
    Congrats again, Brian!

  23. Way to go Brian! Congrats on achieving rising star! Can’t wait for your emails everyday!

  24. Many many congratulations Brian! As I’m old enough to be your mother, I think I can safely say I am SO proud of you!!! A truly deserved treat x

  25. Brian, you deserve every bit of this trip and more. I don’t know how you manage so well, you are truly an inspiration. I have to say, I am so happy you shared so much about this trip, loved reading about it all. SU is an amazing company.

  26. This looked amazing! Let’s get lunch soon so I can hear ALL about it!

  27. Congrats again, Brian! Stampin’ Up! sure knows how to pamper top achievers.

  28. Congrats! Sounds like a great time!

  29. Well deserved! Thanks for giving us a peak into your amazing experience!

  30. Congrats, Brian on a job well done!

  31. So proud of you, Brian! And also so proud to be able to say I know you! We need another Atlanta area meeting so you can tell us all about it! Happy to be “your Stampin’Up sister”!

  32. so very awesome Brian! you deserve it and many hopes for continued success!

  33. How awesome, Brian (that wants to come up Brain…I guess that would work)! πŸ™‚ I’m so happy for you and glad the trip was amazing!! I have no doubt you’ll be having more of these experiences. Congratulations!!

  34. I am so proud of you. A very impressive experience for you. Shouting as loud as anyone can hear WAY to go Brian King!

  35. Dear Mr. King. Sounds like all they missed was the crown. Great job Brian and I enjoy your cards and posts so very much. Glad that Stampin-Up recognized such a nice, funny and crreative individual. Keep those wonderful cards and posts coming.

  36. I already knew you were a star in your own right . . . but what an accomplishment of achieving the Rising Star Award!!! Congrats Brian! Thanks for sharing your achievement and keep up the good work! πŸ™‚

  37. So glad you had a wonderful time in Utah and thank you so much for sharing it all with us! But at this point, I feel I must change the focus for a moment from you to ME and how very knowledgeable, analytical, smart and insightful I am! When I rejoined Stampin’ Up! I had the choice of 50,000 plus demonstrators for an upline. WOW! That is a lot of choice! I did a lot of research (I love research!) before I made my decision. Then after I gathered all my information I made my decision ……. and I chose you!! Really, how wonderful was that decision? I am constantly impressed with myself. What a good job I did! You are a fantastic upline! Thanks for all you do for all of us!!!

  38. Congratulations Brian! Your trip sounds amazing! I love Stampin’ Up! Although I am a hobbyist Demo, I feel that I am treated no different than an other demo. I met you very briefly at convention and watched your demo’s, excellent job by the way, and I got the feeling that you treat people very special and that shows in your business! Keep up the great work and I know we will be seeing you on other trips!
    Congratulations again,

  39. Congratulation on your accomplishment.

  40. You have something very special about you – I am so pleased – and not surprised that you are a Rising Star!! – Congratulations

  41. OH Brian, good for you! So deserved. BTW, I got order of Christmas paper yesterday. Thanks for packaging that up for me in Utah. Good job!

  42. Congratulations Brian! Thanks for sharing!

  43. You are truly a rockstar! It speaks volumes of a company that values great talent and effort. Wow, every element of this special trip was amazing, and your own stamp! Congratulations!

  44. congrats! excited for you! I pray for blessings on you. So thankful for you!

  45. Congratulations Brian. Well done and well deserved. I too had the opportunity and great privilege to meet you briefly at Convention (on the bus… and at your great demos, etc.) and you really seem to be an amazing person, very caring and focused. I sure hope you packed my box(es) this week! LOL Thank you for sharing this experience. Have a super weekend.

  46. Congrats again on getting Rising Star! I’m so glad you had such a great time! I’m one of Heather Cooper’s direct downlines, and I gotta say, she’s just amazing! The best upline anyone could ask for! I’m so blessed that I’ve gotten to know her, and I’m so thankful that I’ve been part of her (Stampin’ Up!) family for almost 8 months now! πŸ˜€

  47. Congrats on your acheivement, Brian! I know you worked super hard for it so you deserve the recognition. Looks like you had a fun trip, too. Enjoy the moment. Wait, don’t we have a stamp that says that?!

  48. Congratulations, Brian! What a memorable experience!!! Thanks so much for sharing . . . not only this exciting adventure, but also all of your wonderful designs. Your blog brings me so much enjoyment. I’m really glad to hear that your creativity and engaging personality are bringing you much professional success!

  49. Congratulations Brian! I’m in awe!

  50. Way to go, Brian!!

Leave a Reply