Yesterday, I shared a little bit about the first two days of Founder’s Circle with you. It’s difficult for me to not share brand new projects, but I’m so happy that I’m able to share this very special experience with you. Today, I’m going to wrap it all up with a pretty bow by sharing highlights from the rest of the trip. Woo hoo! There are lots of pictures today, so there’s nothing brief about this post. You might want to pull up your chair.
Kanab Tour. Stampin’ Up!’s manufacturing facility is located in Kanab, Utah. For years I have heard that the Kanab tour an incredible part of the Founder’s Circle experience. I now understand why. It was so awesome to meet the people and see the products we sell being manufactured and packaged – the experience gives me a much stronger appreciation for the process of preparing these items for shipment to me (as if all of those items were being shipped to me). Below is a picture of me at the rock outside of the facility.
Cool, huh? To make things even cooler, I had my picture taken with Becky Roberts at the same rock.
Part of our tour included visiting Shelli Gardner’s on-site apartment home – a beautifully decorated apartment. I had my picture with her in front of her fireplace and then another with Mary Fish and Ann Schach.
The facility tour included a walk through of the production of photopolymer sets. How cool! Here’s a sheet of Project Life Holiday Cheer photopolymers running through one of the (and this is not the technical term) happiness-making-machines:
Here’s a finished sheet of Endless Wishes, ready to be cut:
And a stack of Visions of Santa that’s ready to be boxed and shipped out – such a wonderful set that you need. 🙂
While on our tour, we came across this sheet of White Christmas, hanging to dry. Tami White name this stamp set when she earned $1 million in sales, so it was only appropriate that she have her picture with the sheet of stamps:
What’s cooler than Stampin’ Mist? Stampin’ Up!’s cardstock. We saw where cardstock was cut from large sheets and then sorted to be packaged. Here’s Cherry Cobbler being sorted for your buying pleasure:
We also got to see where rubber stamps were pressed and cut. Here’s a bunch of Making Spirits Bright, cooling on a drying screen. I suppose they expected higher sales of this set after everyone saw my swap card last week (that’s a joke – kinda):
And here is a picture of stacks and stacks of the Hardwood background set, ready to be cut one or two more times. Why? I just thought it was fun to see:
After the red rubber production, we had a delicious lunch at Kanab (best creme brulee I’ve ever had) and then headed to a nearby city park that’s filled with bits of leftover red rubber. I felt like I had struck oil – the bits of rubber I’m tossing here are lost in the trees above:Mary, Ann and I laid on our backs for a photo opp in the red rubber and couldn’t stop laughing long enough to get a great picture. I love a picture of people laughing, though.
After we returned to St. George, we got all dressed up to see The Wizard of Oz at the amazing Tuacahn amphitheater. Mary, Ann and I donned appropriate costumes – aren’t they cute? Final Night Event. I think this picture is from our bus ride to the final event, but I can’t guarantee that’s true. I CAN guarantee that Linda Heller and Angie Juda were up to no good, which is precisely why I stayed near them. 🙂
Each year, the Founder’s Circle event ends with a wonderful surprise – an outing that includes dinner. Everything from dune buggy rides to dinner on a goat farm (as legend has it) – but this year’s event (still a surprise) stayed in our Holiday Lodge theme and was filled with crafty fun! We decorated three Christmas trees to be donated to Festival of Trees, an auction that benefits Primary Children’s Hospital. My team designed ornaments for the All is Calm Tree – we made 30 of these:
And I helped Jodi Reinert straighten the bow that I crookedly affixed to the top of the tree. One quick left turn, and I’d lose an eye.
After making a bunch of ornaments at my table, I stepped away for a bit to get to know Brandy Cox and Linda Heller. What a highlight of this trip – getting to know such awesomely fun and genuinely kind people.
I am so happy that we could contribute three trees to this charity. All three trees were beautiful – although I’d have to say our tree was most beautiful. What an amazing event to cap off a wonderful week.
Gifts. Aside from meeting and hanging out with awesome people (achieving demonstrators and Stampin’ Up! staff alike), Stampin’ Up! really goes overboard to pamper us and shower us with amazing gifts. Each day we received beautifully wrapped gifts in the Gathering Place, and each night we received a beautifully wrapped pillow gift on our beds. I didn’t have the patience to gather them all up before unwrapping them – I tore into them immediately, but Sharon Armstrong was good about it and took this photo with all her goodies (I got the same stuff) – gifts include new stamps sets and framelits and current products and food and home decor for the Holidays (While Sharon is certainly a gift to the world – and I say that with no ounce of sarcasm – she was not part of the handouts at the event).At the closing night dinner, Stampin’ Up! conducted a “white elephant” gift exchange. Here’s my big gift – Super Genie Microfiber Cleaning Slippers. Who wouldn’t want to strap their feet into these stylish slippers to clean their hardwoods?
The last pillow gift. Stampin’ Up! traditionally gives a charm bracelet to the Founder’s Circle first-time achievers and a charm for the bracelet each year. A lot of people were curious about whether I would receive a charm bracelet or what I might receive in its place. While I would have appreciated anything they gave me, I was super-happy to see a beautiful pair of cuff links on my bed the last night. Keeping with the theme of the week, they were adorned with peppermint swirls. Here’s the gift I received:
My flight home. My trip to the airport started super-early on Sunday, so I didn’t get see many people that last day. We grabbed a shuttle to the airport at 5am and caught a small plane from St. George to Salt Lake City. About half-way through the short plane ride, a loud “POW” startled us – at the same time, the entire cabin lit up and the plane tossed around and dropped a bit. I screamed some not-nice words and feared that something was very wrong. As it turns out, our little plane was struck my lightning. Quite scary. No emergency landing or loss of plane performance – just a shock. Later I took this picture to reinact the experience:
I made it home safely and couldn’t be happier with my experience at my first Founder’s Circle. I made lots of great friends, and that will change my experiences at all future Stampin’ Up! events going forward. I learned a lot, I shared a lot and I loved a lot.
Thanks for stopping by today!