Founder’s Circle Recap: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

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.

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingCool, huh?  To make things even cooler, I had my picture taken with Becky Roberts at the same rock.

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingPart 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.

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian King My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian King 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:

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Here’s a finished sheet of Endless Wishes, ready to be cut:

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

And a stack of Visions of Santa that’s ready to be boxed and shipped out – such a wonderful set that you need.  🙂

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

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:

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingI came across the packaging labels for Stampin’ Mist during the tour and thought it made for a cool photo.  Why?  Because Stampin’ Mist is cool.

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingWhat’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:

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingWe 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):

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian King 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:

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingAfter 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:My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingMary, 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.

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian King 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?My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian King 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.  🙂

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

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:

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingBecause I was the tallest achiever at the event, I got to put the bows on top of the tree.  It looks like I posed here with mechanical arms – I am a robot tree decorator.

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

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.

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingI 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?

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingThe 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 Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingMy 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:

My Trip to Founder's Circle, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

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!


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  1. Brian thank you for sharing this motivating post! I love seeing all the pix, learning more about the Kanab production facility, and hearing all about Stampin’ Up!s never ending generosity. Congratulations again for earning Founders Circle! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    PS. I am so glad y’all were safe after your plane was struck by lightening.

  2. Brian, you are a riot!! You really should write a book! It would be a BESTSELLER!! Thanks for sharing your experiences!! And LOVED all your photos too!!

  3. Thanks Brian for sharing your photos and experience. You are such a fun guy! I bet you just lit up the event. I really liked the photos of the stamps being made. Fascinating. I was looking real close though to see if the Holiday Home set was being made, lol. All the girls in my stamp class ordered it but the sets are all on backorder. No wonder because the set is awesome. You have a wonderful day and keep those posts coming!

  4. Thanks for sharing, looks like you had a truly wonderful time.

  5. Brian – Thank you for such a informative and FUN post. I absolutely loved seeing the pics of the manufacturing facility – learning what goes on behind the scenes always helps you appreciate the end product more – and it is such a quality product. Thanks for always brightening my morning with your creativity and humor.

  6. Thank you for this parade of awesome pictures Brian, your smiling face says it all!! I specially like the pictures of how the make the Card Stock and stamps, how very interesting and awesome to actually see this process in person.
    Now, I can’t even imagine how scary it was for all of you when your plane was hit by lightning, thank goodness you landed safely.

  7. Wow, what an thrilling end to your trip! I loved reading all your post and I love how much fun you had and obviously are as a person! You brought smiles to my face everyday with your selfies and pics!

  8. Congratulations once again on Founder’s Circle! Reading your post was like being there. Thanks for sharing all of the pictures. As someone else posted, you should write a book or a diary!

  9. Brian, you never cease to make me laugh. I just love your photos, and you exhibit the great fun The Stampin’ Up family is all about. Thank you for sharing with us. Glad you’re home safe!!

  10. The slippers made me laugh right out loud. Too funny!
    So glad you had such an amazing trip. 🙂

  11. Thank you for sharing this big experience and fun trip with us. You are a great storyteller and I feel I have been with you at your trip . More, more, more … Anita

  12. Priceless!

  13. ROFLMBO, Brian!!! I almost spit my coffee out, reading about your antics!! Loved the tour in the facility, so very interesting, indeed. I have really had my morning blessed with a great belly-laugh because of you…you are such a fun person to be around. Glad you had so much fun and entertainment {not including the strike during flight}. So glad to know you’re back safe and sound.

  14. So glad you are back at home again SAFELY! Enjoyed all your pictures and loved attending the awesome trip vicariously through your walk down memory lane of the events! Thanks so much for sharing! HUGS!

  15. Thanks for sharing details about Founder’s Circle. I can live it vicariously through you since likelihood of my getting there is slim to none! Glad you had a good time and returned safely!

  16. Love it Brian , love your pink slippers ,
    And love all pics ,
    You look nice in your shorts , lol
    Hugs Frenchie

  17. Brian – I just started following your blog. Just want to say this was a lot of fun to read and did enjoy the pics!

  18. HI Brian:
    Like everyone else, I also enjoyed your descriptive recalling of all the events at Founder’s Circle. Isn’t it funny how complete strangers names can become household words after hearing so much about these folks? Even the Hubs knows “Brian”, “Justin”, “Mary”, “Ann” and “Brandy”! LOL So glad you had the chance to enjoy this gathering. I’m certain that you will make Founder’s Circle every year and continue to enjoy spending time with folks from all over the country! And, most of all, thank you for not only sharing the photos but also the experience with us.

  19. enjoyed it all, but the last picture just cracked me up!

  20. I feel like I was a silent observer, thanks for letting me experience Founder’s Circle vicariously through your posts yesterday and today. I LOVE those cuff links BTW, my father was a huge fan of cuff links and I think they add a little something extra to a gentleman’s attire. I have to say your facial expressions speak volumes, and I’m really glad you had so much fun.

  21. Loved the picture tour. Thanks for sharing your well-deserved experience with us. I look forward to seeing your adventures at next years Founder’s Circle! Well done Mr. Brian!

  22. Really torn between your Pam photo bomb and lightening reaction photo as your best Plane Photos of All Time. It could be a tie…

  23. Thanks for sharing your Founders Circle experience with us. Love the photos and the commentary.

  24. Awesome post Brian! You have me in stitches with your creative story telling. It always makes my day to read your posts. 🙂 So glad you had a fabulous time at Founders Circle. Thanks for sharing!

  25. This was the very BEST presentation of the Stampin Up tour and your time at Founder’s Circle! I absolutely LOVED reading your story!!!! And, Stampin Up could use some of your pictures for a promotional.

  26. Oh what a good time you had ! So glad you won this trip ! Thank you for sharing all these fun pictures . Love seeing all these activities and all of the demos !
    What a way to round out your trip with a crack of lightning …. !

  27. Thanks for sharing your experience with the great pictures. They were very enjoyable.
    That lightning scare must have been awful…but now you have something to share the rest of your life! I’m a Hobby SU Demonstrator and am anxious to get to the next convention! It’s nice my daughter just moved to SLC! It will be a great time to visit her! Diane

  28. Oh my goodness….I’m still laughing at your photos and narrative…..the robot tree decorating, the wallowing in rubber and then the lightening re-enactment….hilarious!! What a wonderful time you had, and I love your positive energy. Congratulations on making it to the Founders Circle!

  29. Brian,

    First Congratulations on earning Founder’s Circle. I read your recap of the week and I must say you have a great sense of humor. Thanks for such a wonderful post as I read your about your events I felt as though I was right there with you.

    I wish you continued success.


  30. Wow! Sounds like you had a blast, and I enjoyed reading about it. Congratulations!

  31. Truly enjoyed reading about this wonderful journey in your Stampin’ Up path. Thanks for sharing~ =)

  32. Thanks so much Brian for sharing so much with us, and I love how you can inject humor into everything. It was great learning so much of what goes on but I’m particularly envious of all the goodies you received!

    I love the star decoration your group made and would like to case it. I’m guessing the largest star, scored then given the 3d look – is that correct please? Thank you!

    Congratulations on your wonderful achievement attending Founders Circle!

  33. Brian,
    I always enjoy your stories, and especially enjoyed this one. Love the ending with the plane excitement (nothing like leaving with a bang!). Just your blogging about Founders Circle is incentive enough for any one to want to earn that trip, including me! I am sure to see you there someday, sooon I hope 🙂

  34. SO happy you had such a wonderful time on your first Founder’s Circle trip!!! So well deserved Brian! LOVE your stories…makes me feel (wish!) I was there!

  35. I so enjoy your writing! Though we’ve never met, I can just “hear” your asides mad murmured comments. Great blog!

  36. Brian, Your such a hoot! I so enjoyed reading about your trip. Thanks for sharing.

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