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Stampin’ Up Demonstrator Agreement

A statement to Craft Critique from Stampin’ Up! (updated at 10pm CST):

Stampin’ Up! has long been known for its passion of sharing creativity with others. The recent changes to the company’s Independent Demonstrator Agreement, which include updated guidelines for demonstrators concerning online activity and use of electronic media, will not change our encouragement to demonstrators and customers to share creativity using Stampin’ Up! products with others either face-to-face or online. In reality the change is intended to protect our investments and our demonstrators investments over the long term by setting guidelines for our demonstrators concerning the online promoting, marketing or selling of any product or service that is in direct competition with our own. We encourage those who are demonstrators to contact Demonstrator Support to receive further clarification for any questions they may have or read the information provided on the Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator Web site.

We should also note that Stampin’ Up!, while responding with this statement, did not answer our submitted questions.
It was reported to Craft Critique that Stampin’ Up has decided not to make any additional public statements at this time.

During a reportedly tearful webinar to demonstrators this evening, Stampin’ Up! founder Shelli Gardner clarified certain areas of the new IDA with the help of her legal department and other company representatives. They stated in the webinar there was a lot of “misinformation out there” about the changes to the IDA.

They also stated they now felt their initial stance was “too harsh”, and have made the changes you can now read below. Still, many demos are expressing their dismay about the changes, and it doesn’t appear that anyone seems relieved after hearing about these clarifications.

We will continue to accept comments from demos and non-demos from both sides of this apparent fence and share them below.


3 Initial Updates from Stampin’ Up! (earlier this afternoon):

Updated Q&A:

Q: On my personal blog, I have links to my friends’ personal blogs and web sites. Some of them sell competing product. Do I need to remove these links?

A: No and yes. On your web site, blog, or other online space, the policy is that you may not post links to competitive companies’ web sites, or to locations where a customer could purchase competing products. As you evaluate the links that you provide, the only restrictions would be that the link should not a) direct to the company web site of a directly competing company (retail, online retail, or direct sales), or b) direct to the web site or blog of a representative for competitive products where the customer may purchase from directly. For example, if you link to a friend’s site and customers can purchase products directly from your friend on that site, you need to remove the link to that site. If they cannot purchase products directly from your friend’s site, you do not need to remove the link. Updated 9/2/09.

Q: I regularly participate in online forums relating to the craft industry, and maintain a gallery of my artwork on one of these forums. With the new IDA, is this activity still allowed?

A: Yes. Participating in forums and posting your projects for your fellow crafters can be an important method of inspiration and recognition. It’s important to note that the new IDA does not prohibit this kind of activity. You may link to any blog or forum that highlights the crafting industry in general, regardless of the products highlighted or advertised. You may want to consider, however, where you are sending your customers, and the kinds of advertising they’re likely to encounter when you make your decision on what kinds of links you recommend that your customers follow.

We are currently exploring ways to provide more of an open community and sharing environment, as well as opportunities for artistic recognition for our many talented demonstrators. We will keep you updated on any new developments. Updated 9/2/09.

Response to Demonstrators regarding the updates to the Q&A:

As we have listened to you and investigated the reasonability of our original stance on linking, we have decided to slightly revise the specifics on this issue from what was communicated yesterday.

On your web site, blog, or other online space, you may not post links to the web sites of competitive companies or to locations where a customer could purchase competing products. Links you provide should not a) go to the company web site of a directly competing company (retail, online retail, or direct sales), or b) go to the web site or blog of a representative for competitive products where the customer may purchase directly from the site. This does mean that you may link to any blog or forum that highlights the crafting industry in general, regardless of the products highlighted or advertised. The Q&A will be amended to reflect this change.

Response to demos regarding the IDA changes:

NEW IDA: WHAT CONCERNS YOU MOST
September 2, 2009

By now you’ve seen the new IDA and have probably heard some of the buzz surrounding the changes. Now that we’ve had a chance to hear what most concerns you, we’d like to address some of those issues. Also, watch for details on a live webinar with Shelli for this evening, September 2.

Before we address those concerns, we’d like to remind you that the intent of the changes was not to damage your business or hamper your creativity. As a company and as a business, we have the responsibility to protect our investment: you, our demonstrators. When you sign up to become a demonstrator, you sign up to run your own Stampin’ Up! business. We welcome any demonstrator and invest the same amount of resources into supporting you, and promoting the business for you, regardless of what level of activity you choose to engage in.

If you are considering dropping your demonstratorship, please take the time to read and understand the guidelines and their actual application before you make your decision. You have until September 30 to accept the new terms.

Now, on to the most common concerns.

Aren’t you violating my personal rights?
One issue we have heard is that you are concerned that Stampin’ Up! is now telling you what products you can and can’t use, and that Stampin’ Up! is infringing on your rights to do or say whatever you like on your own web sites or communications.

First, the new IDA does not restrict your personal use of any product. You can still create your projects using anything you like-that has not changed! You can post samples that use competitive products on any of your electronic media resources. The new guidelines simply require that you refrain from marketing for competitive companies, or selling competitive products. Using non-Stampin’ Up! paper on your projects, for example, is not in violation. Advertising for the competitive company, or even personally selling that paper, however, is in violation.

Second, the changes in requirements are meant to protect the Stampin’ Up! brand and business as a whole, not restrict your personal freedom of creative expression. For example, consider the famous spokespeople that companies contract to represent their products, like Michael Jordan for Nike. Not only would it have been unethical for Michael Jordan to promote Reebok on the side, but Nike likely had a specific agreement with him not to do so. Your response to this comparison is likely, “But we don’t have million-dollar bonuses from Stampin’ Up!” That may be true, but we do compensate you for the work that you do, and you are definitely our superstars! We consider our demonstrators our partners in business, and an exclusive sales agreement between us is an important aspect of that partnership.

What’s up with the rules on links?
Another concern we’ve heard is that many believe that Stampin’ Up! is trying to control Internet traffic, or that we are not open to competition within the industry.

The issue over what kinds of links are appropriate in all your electronic media resources is an important one, both to you personally and to the online crafting community in general. The new regulations are not meant to segregate our demonstrators from the online crafting community-our industry is definitely unique, and inspiration from all kinds of resources is a significant part of who we are. As we have listened to you and investigated the reasonability of our original stance on linking, we have decided to slightly revise the specifics on this issue from what was communicated yesterday.

On your web site, blog, or other online space, you may not post links to the web sites of competitive companies or to locations where a customer could purchase competing products. Links you provide should not a) go to the company web site of a directly competing company (retail, online retail, or direct sales), or b) go to the web site or blog of a representative for competitive products where the customer may purchase from directly from the site. This does mean that you may link to any blog or forum that highlights the crafting industry in general, regardless of the products highlighted or advertised. The Q&A will be amended to reflect this change.

So, is Stampin’ Up! really just afraid of competition?
Some have expressed the thought that perhaps Stampin’ Up! is not open to competition from within the crafting industry. Truthfully, competition is what makes the industry move and progress. Without competition, no one would innovate or provide newer and greater products-or try to better their best! Open discussion and comparisons about products in the craft industry is vital to your knowledge as a crafter and a demonstrator. What the new IDA guidelines protect, however, is where that competition comes from. Many of you recognize that it is in your best interest not to promote competing products, because you, your hostesses, or your downline do not financially benefit from those products. However, some may wonder, “What’s the harm?” When you send a fragmented message or promote or market competitive products, you damage your credibility as a demonstrator, and you damage the trust and investment the company has in you to promote Stampin’ Up! to the best of your ability. Simply put, we expect (and encourage!) competition from our competitors, but do not expect it from our own demonstrators, into whom we invest our resources.

We know that change is difficult, but we sincerely hope you understand the spirit of the changes and their intent. We appreciate all you do, and will update you on any further clarifications or information you may need as we make this transition.

As of these additions at 3:30 CST Craft Critique has not received a response from Stampin’ Up! directly.
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Yesterday morning, Stampin’ Up! demonstrators from the USA and Canada awoke to surprising news. Change is in the air, and some demos are not liking the direction of the breeze.

Our readers began to sound off immediately. While this isn’t our typical scope of coverage, we feel that the issue warrants addressing and sharing of opinions.

The Stampin’ Up! Independent Demonstrator Agreement, or IDA, has always been a requirement for demonstrators. Typically due for renewal at the start of the year, a new IDA was released today. Demonstrators have been given until the end of the month to re-sign or resign.

What is surprising to many is the restrictive nature of the new agreement. Here is the portion in question. Note: this is just one segment of the new IDA. You can read it in its entirety HERE.

9. Restrictions on Representation of Competing Companies or Products: I understand that as an independent contractor, I am free to conduct such business in such manner as I deem appropriate. I also understand that the value of my demonstratorship and the demonstratorships of others, as well as the Products, is in large part dependent upon my obligation to refrain from promoting or selling the products of other companies, or engaging in recruitment that competes with the Products that I have a right to sell through my demonstratorship. In this regard, I understand that although restrictions may apply to promoting, marketing, or selling products of other companies, such restrictions shall not
extend to the casual or incidental reference or display of such products as long as the reference or display is not reasonably made to drive people to the source or seller of those products, such as providing purchasing information, referrals to catalogs or publications, or links to blogs, web sites, or the like that promote, market, or sell products of other companies. Accordingly, I agree to the following:

(d) Electronic Communications: I understand that the content of my electronic communications such as e-mail, personal blog, web site, Twitter, Facebook, other social media and the like can have a considerable influence on how I am perceived as a Demonstrator for © 2009 STAMPIN’ UP! and also reflect significantly on the Company. Accordingly, I will refrain from using such electronic communications to promote, market, or sell the products of other companies (direct or retail sellers) who offer similar products, which includes: decorative stamps (in any form), stamp art accessories, scrapbooking products, digital art solutions, and vinyl wall art.

So what does this mean for demonstrators on design teams and those who work or volunteer for various papercraft forums or websites? How will this effect demonstrators with personal blogs and those who use social media as many of us do, to promote self and business? A Q&A was released to demonstrators to help answer these questions and more. We are sharing only part of the Q&A here. It is available on our facebook page (see notes) in it’s entirety.

New IDA Q&A

Q: If I have a Stampin’ Up! blog where I promote my Stampin’ Up! business and a personal blog that I keep separate from my Stampin’ Up! business, do the same guidelines apply to both blogs?

A: Yes. As a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, any presence you have in the electronic communications world (blog, web site, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) must meet the guidelines outlined in the new IDA. When you sign the new IDA, you agree to refrain from using any electronic communications to promote, market, or sell the products of any other companies (direct selling or retail) that offer similar products, including decorative stamps in any form, stamp art accessories, scrapbooking products, digital art solutions, and vinyl wall art.

Keep in mind, again, that the restriction does not completely prohibit you from using competitive products and posting images on your personal web site. You could, for example, post a project you made for your child’s birthday party using non-Stampin’ Up! accessories, but you would need to refrain from providing specific sales information (price, retailer, etc.) that would be considered marketing of those products.

When you post projects, whether they are on your Stampin’ Up! blog or a personal blog, you are representing Stampin’ Up! and your postings impact your business and Stampin’ Up! as a whole.

Q: Once I sign the new IDA, what am I allowed to have on my blog?

A: The changes restrict you from providing purchasing information, referrals to catalogs or publications, links to blogs or other web sites, or other similar material meant to promote, market, or sell competitive products.

For instance, if you created a project that used a wooden block, you could show the project on your blog and mention that you used a wooden block. You could even mention that you purchased the wooden block at a craft store or big box retail store, but you should refrain from giving the name and location of the store, or any other purchasing information.

We do not want to list everything you can and cannot do in electronic media-partly because the list would be incredibly long, partly because it would need to be updated every time technology changed (and that would be almost daily!), and partly because we want you to understand and respect the intent behind these changes and use your own judgment in making these decisions. As you consider your activity in electronic media, ask yourself if what you are doing undermines your business, the businesses of other demonstrators, or the company as a whole. If the answer is yes, please refrain from doing it.

Q: On my personal blog, I have links to my friends’ personal blogs and web sites. Some of them sell competing product. Do I need to remove these links?

A: Yes. In evaluating the links on your web site, you will need to remove any links to blogs, web sites, or the like that promote, market, or sell competitive products.

Q: I regularly participate in online forums relating to the craft industry, and maintain a gallery of my artwork on one of these forums. With the new IDA, is this activity still allowed?

A: Yes. Participating in forums and posting your projects for your fellow crafters can be an important method of inspiration and recognition. It’s important to note that the new IDA does not prohibit this kind of activity.

However, there are some guidelines now associated with activity using any electronic media. Consider the web site or online community you choose to participate in. Does it actively promote or market other craft companies? Does it provide information on products or catalogs for other stamping, scrapbooking, or home decorating products or companies? If you directed your customers to the web site, would they have the opportunity to learn about and purchase similar products from other companies, and not from you? If the answer is yes, then under the new IDA guidelines, you should refrain from linking to the site in your other personal electronic communications, regardless of your personal activity on that forum or web site. We understand that this may be difficult for some, but hope you understand the impact on your customers when you direct them to a location where their attention is diverted from you and the products you have to offer. We are currently exploring ways to provide more of an open community and sharing environment to our demonstrators, and will keep you updated on any new developments.

Q: If I am under contract to promote other company’s products on my blog, or to design for another company and promote it on my blog or other social media, how do I handle the new guidelines?

A: If you are under contract to promote competing products through your web site, blog, or other electronic media, please contact Demonstrator Support, who will refer you to the Compliance department. We understand that you need to honor commitments you’ve made under contract; therefore we will work with demonstrators (on a case-by-case basis) who are in this situation. This does mean that there may be some demonstrators who appear out of compliance with the new guidelines for a short time, as they work through the terms of any contracts they may have.

We will work with demonstrators on these exceptions within reason. If a demonstrator is under a contract, for example, that has no end date, that demonstrator would need to work with Compliance and determine how best to terminate the contract.

Q: I get a lot of traffic on my web site, and I receive requests to advertise other craft products. Are you saying I can’t have any advertisements like this on my web site, even if I have the opportunity to gain some income from them?

A: Yes. Although you may gain potential income from providing links and/or purchasing information about certain products, at the same time you are losing potential income by driving customers to competing companies. Although it’s difficult to measure in hard numbers, we believe that by keeping your visitors interested and informed about Stampin’ Up! products, they are more likely to purchase those products-from you!

Keep in mind that these restrictions only apply to competing non-Stampin’ Up! products. We are not restricting advertising for noncompetitive products.

Q: I use my Facebook page or Twitter account to highlight products I like from any company, not just Stampin’ Up! Is this now prohibited?

A: Yes. Again, we believe that these changes may increase your sales and will protect your demonstratorship and Stampin’ Up! as a whole. As we’ve indicated, this doesn’t prohibit incidental references or visuals of products offered by other companies, and it doesn’t apply to noncompetitive products.

Q: If a customer leaves a comment on my blog that promotes a competing product, am I now obligated to delete that comment?

A: No. However, given the intent of this policy, you may choose to do so, as any information regarding competitive products or retailers is harmful to your business.

Q: Do I have to go through my archive information on any electronic communication and delete any references that don’t comply with these new guidelines?

A: No. The policy changes will be effective going forward, and it is not our intent that you would need to go through and “clean out” any information you have posted in the past. If you use or actively refer to an old post or article, however, you will want to make sure that article is compliant as it would constitute current use.

Q: At an event, can I market or promote a product or service that is directly related to my Stampin’ Up! business?

A: No. As the new IDA notes, whether the event is organized by Stampin’ Up! or a demonstrator, an exclusive selling environment is an important part of the process. When you sign the new IDA, you agree to refrain from promoting, marketing, or selling any product or service that is not directly offered by Stampin’ Up! at any Stampin’ Up! event, even if that product or service is directly related to your or other demonstrators’ Stampin’ Up! business.

Q: What prompted Stampin’ Up! to make these changes?

A: Before the wide-spread use of the Internet as a marketing, selling, and communications tool, guidelines concerning competitive products were fairly straightforward. Our main means of sharing Stampin’ Up! was in workshops or similar face-to-face events. In a workshop or other event, it doesn’t make sense to promote products available from local retailers or even direct-sellers, as it would negatively impact the workshop total, the hostess benefits, your commission, etc.

As time has gone on, and more demonstrators are using the convenience of online tools to market and promote their businesses, it has become necessary to bring our policies regarding the online promotion of competitive products in harmony with our face-to-face events policies.

In addition, as we developed My Digital Studio, the need for more defined guidelines became even more evident as we realized the many ways this new product could be used to build your business.

These are a few of the things that led us to examine the Independent Demonstrator Agreement and the restrictions we provide on representation of competing companies and marketing, promoting, and selling competing products.

Q: How do these changes benefit me or protect my business?

A: When you sign up to become a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, regardless of your purpose in doing so, you sign up to begin your own business. Stampin’ Up!’s goal is to provide you with tools, services, and products to help you be successful at whatever level of business you choose to engage in. But whether you consider your business a hobby or a full-time occupation, the same basic business principles apply.

Imagine for a moment that you own a fast-food restaurant that specializes in a specific kind of burger. You plaster your walls with photos of happy customers and provide specials on your food to encourage more customers to come by. You wouldn’t suddenly put an ad for McDonald’s on your wall, right? Nor would you freely tell your customers that they could get a cheaper burger just down the road.

Promoting products that compete with Stampin’ Up!’s products is not only fundamentally a bad business practice, it also costs you sales, commissions, or other opportunities. Whether in person or in your electronic media resources, the concept is the same. It is in your best interest, as well as the company’s, to not allow competitive businesses to utilize the drawing power of Stampin’ Up! to build revenue or find customers. We put our resources into promoting the business for you, and we’re sure you’ll agree that it doesn’t make sense for Stampin’ Up! to allow other companies to benefit from our efforts.

That said, we don’t want you to stop creating. We need you! We need you to keep creating, coming up with new ideas and suggestions, and sharing your enthusiasm. We need to work together to protect what Stampin’ Up! stands for and what we offer.

Q: These new policies seem harsh; why would Stampin’ Up! make changes of this kind?

A: We have invested substantial resources-financial, creative, personnel, etc.-in providing products, services, and tools to help you build your demonstratorship. While these changes may seem restrictive, we feel strongly that they will protect our investments and your business over the long term.

However, please note that the guidelines are designed to restrict marketing, promoting, and selling of competitive products only. The incidental mention of non-Stampin’ Up! products is allowed.

Strong opinions are already being shared on websites such as Splitcoaststampers, Facebook and Twitter. One Facebook user shared, “It’s way too oppressive. It’s sad that they are so afraid of competition and free market that they need to control their demos PERSONAL blogs and who they can list in their blog roll. Ridiculous.”

Also shared from our readers, “I think they are shooting themselves in the foot! There’s plenty of love to go around isn’t there? Are we a free society or what?” And, “My SU! business has changed so much over the last 4 years, ups and downs, I have been wondering if quitting was the best thing for me. This little bit of news just made the decision for me. I don’t want to give up the other things that I am doing. Basically what I feel that they are doing is weeding out the hobbyists.”

But not all of the comments being shared are negative. One demo stated, “I am glad to see it finally come to fruition, when we signed the contract it stated we could not be a demo AND sell or promote other products. They are only clarifying it so there are no more gray areas. I am all for it.”

We also heard the following from a Craft Critique Facebook fan, “I think of my blog as an extension of my SU business and therefore I wouldn’t think of touting competitive products there anyway, so signing the agreement made sense to me. It’s not like they are asking us NOT to use other products!”

Of course some demonstrators are already stating their intention to quit. Others plan to sign the agreement and interpret the agreement as they deem “incidental and reasonable” as the contract implies, leaving their fate to chance.

We compiled and sent a list of your questions to SU! on Tuesday afternoon. As they arrived late in the day, we have not yet heard back. But we were told by a PR representative they would respond today with at the very least a corporate statement. As soon as we receive that statement we will update this article.

Here are the questions we submitted:

Q. Stampin’ Up! has allowed demonstrators to be on design teams for stamping companies until this recent change. Why is the change coming now? Is this a reactionary change related to sales or new demonstrator numbers dropping?

Q. Some demonstrators are expressing that these changes seem very far reaching and possibly infringing on their rights of free speech. What is your response to that concern?

Q. Section 9 of the new agreement states: “I understand that although restrictions may apply to promoting, marketing, or selling products of other companies, such restrictions shall not extend to the casual or incidental reference or display of such products as long as the reference or display is not reasonably made to drive people to the source or seller of those products, such as providing purchasing information, referrals to catalogs or publications, or links to blogs, web sites, or the like that promote, market, or sell products of other companies.”

So then how do you define “casual or incidental”, or “reasonable”. Is linking to a friend’s blog on your personal blog reasonable, even if she sells a competitors stamps? Where do you draw the line, and how do you plan to oversee all of these media actions and enforce these policies?

Q. Do these sorts of restrictions create conflict between demonstrators and increase an attitude of demonstrators policing each other’s actions? For example, how will you know if a SU! demo posts competitive information on their Facebook page if you are not already “friending” them? Are you counting on other demos to make you aware of infractions?

Q. With most new marketing strategies based on sharing and collaborating between crafting markets and social media, isn’t this equivalent to shooting yourself in the foot? Won’t this change prevent Stampin’ Up! and it’s demonstrators from participating in social media to it’s fullest extent?

Q. What about altered items? Can an SU! demo not state to her blog readers that an item decorated with SU! products was purchased from AC Moore? What if we are talking about a product that SU! does not sell… like an alterable box or jar?

Q. Your demonstrators are independent contractors, not employees. How then are you able to restrict the way they use social media on a personal level, as in on their personal blogs or facebook pages? Why not just restrict how they manage their business focused blogs?

Q. How do you respond to demonstrators who say this change is an infringement on their personal/private lives?

Q. Do you anticipate there will be legal challenges to this new agreement, especially from demonstrators who have to now make a decision between two companies they have invested significant resources in?

Q. Is this change a result of a new business model moving away from the hobby demo and recreating a focus on the serious business demo?

So… what are your thoughts? Feel free to share.

Edited to add: The information contained within this article was obtained through Craft Critique’s various contacts withing the Stampin’ Up! community, and Stampin’ Up themselves.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

88 Responses to Stampin’ Up Demonstrator Agreement

  1. Amanda September 2, 2009 at 8:42 am #

    Not being a Stampin’ Up person I had heard all the talk but didn’t know what it meant. Thanks for helping to clear it up for those of us who were curious.

  2. Anonymous September 2, 2009 at 8:50 am #

    It makes me glad I am no longer a demo. I was only a hobby demo, selling to myself, family and close friends. I never considered it a business for myself, though I know some do. I find it suprising they would be so limiting for people who aren’t standard employees. And most demos who consider it a business don’t promote other products on their blogs anyway, so they really aren’t changing much.

  3. Karen September 2, 2009 at 9:21 am #

    I, too, am glad that I no longer a SU! demo. As much as I like the majority of their products, they are not the only company out there. I feel they are shooting themselves in the foot. There are many talented demos that showcase other stamp companies in addition to SU! stamps but will use SU! products. I draw ideas from those folks and try to apply the ideas to SU! stamps, inks and papers that I have – take that away and I will just go elsewhere to purchase those items. Put this in place and the person may just drop their SU! products and go somewhere else. Who loses here: SU! When SU! got all in a twitter about demos also going with Uppercase Living I personally know 6 demos that dropped SU! in favor of UL. I can see several more demos thumbing their nose at SU! on this issue. I can’t say I know one demo that uses STRICTLY SU! products for every project.

  4. Colleen Laux September 2, 2009 at 9:26 am #

    guess I am in the minority here (at least as far as though commenting here) I too am a hobby demonstrator with a small customer base. I have no real issues with their new “restrictions.” I do not feel that the new policy infringes on my “freedom of speech” any more than other restrictions that already exist from prior SU policies, policies from my day job, and restrictions imposed by polite society. There is nothing that says I can only craft with SU products and there is nothing that says I can’t show projects on my blog that use no SU products. As a SU demonstrator, however, SU rightfully does not want me actively promoting the competetion through my online communications. Seems perfectly reasonable and very workable IMHO.

    On the other hand, I do respect others rights to disagree and beleive that ulimately each current SU demonstrator must sit back, review the new agreement, and decide what is right for them.

  5. mudmaven September 2, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    As a (soon to be former) demo who has invested significantly, both financially and emotionally in this company, I am so sad at this turn of events. I feel it is divisive (I think there will be much demo turning on/in demo activity to come) and I also feel it is a sad statement that the company has no faith in the superiority of it’s products. I always felt that SU products could stand on their own in competition with others on a level playing field. Very sad that the company doesn’t feel the same. My whole crafting life at the moment has been centered on activities related to SU and now I have to re-evaluate where to go from here. I too feel that SU is shooting itself in the foot by creating such and “exclusive” environment. The world is full of creative, dynamic and SHARING people. The empty spot that this oppressive move by SU creates in many demos lives will quickly be filled by these folks I’m sure. ~chris

  6. Lindy Stamper September 2, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    As I read on Splitcoast yester, someone stated: it’s like you work for Rubbermaid you can’t sell for Tupperware. I echo that sentiment. Now, do I think that’s fair? No, I don’t. Personally, I work in compliance of a financial clearing house. If I were to even speak about something, it will be construe as me and the company I work for agreeing to that point of view because after all, I am a rep of my firm. So, as far as competition goes, I understand that. It is a clear cut conflict of interests.

    However, what I post on my blog, FB or Tweet (so long it’s not work related) it’s ok. I don’t use them to represent anything that I do for a living, and the line is clearly defined.

    Unfortunately for all the talented ladies out there, being able to do what they love and be great at it will be exploited with this new policy. I do agree w/ someone saying that ‘SU shot themselves in the foot’ in this sense, because their higher talents who are working with some fabulous companies will see that they don’t have to stick w/ SU to be good in this industry. SU was a springboard, but no longer needed especially with new restrictions. These talented ladies are great on their own and there are other companies out there that recognize it. Not only that, the discount % offer at SU is not as much as alot of the companies out there are offering, thus makes being a SU demo less attractive.

    I think SU has good products, but they are also over-saturated all the markets across the country. I am greatful between SU and the Scrapbooking boom that encourages alot of new talent, new products, and new companies to emerge. I think with all the styles and tastes, there’s room for everyone.

    Will I stop buying SU stuff? No. My philosophy has always been that I’ll buy what suits me and my needs, much like clothes. So, I’m not as extreme as some folks that are determined to boycott SU. But I do think the policy regarding personal use of blogs and links to their friends who are not SU is a tad extreme and unnecessary. Plus, you know people will find a way to get around that, as people always do.

    Sorry for rambling.

  7. broni (waterchild12) September 2, 2009 at 10:07 am #

    I’m a hobby demo currently and will probably drop as a result of the new restrictive requirements. I am anxious to hear how SU responds to your questions. If they want exclusivity of certain high profile stampers, why not just ask them (as opposed to everyone) to sign that type of contract??

  8. cynthia September 2, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    I’m one of the folks who are affected by this situation right at the bottom line. Because my day job is Web publisher of the Organized Home network, the new policy affects advertising on my sites–even sites unrelated to papercrafting.

    I support a REASONABLE set of restrictions on SU! demos’ online presence, but only insofar as they pertain to SU!.

    But the new policy goes well beyond this defensible distinction between “SU matters” and “personal/employment matters”. To claim that EVERY use of online communication by a SU! demo must now meet the requirements of the IDA is over-broad–and has a lot of negative implications for what will happen to the surviving SU! demos and their blogs.

    My hope is that the new IDA is rewritten to recognize this distinction. Regulate SU!-related aspects, but leave our personal, social and work communications out of it.

    However, I have little hope. Looks like the anti-tech contingent has won. One of them is over on SCS gloating away …. and it’s now clear that this is the viewpoint that got the ear of management.

    Will it work? My SU! blog has the full analysis–but in a nutshell, AOL tried this approach, and it didn’t work. To attempt to be part of today’s social-networking-centered marketplace with tied hands and stone walls is a real stretch.

    Not to mention that they’ll be losing any demo with any kind of online presence to protect.

    Like me.

    Cynthia Ewer
    CynthiaEwer.com

  9. Anonymous September 2, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    Previously, I was a demo for Stampin’ Up! Finally, I ‘discovered’ the many other wonderful and equally high quality offerings in the stamping & scrapbooking world that are readily available. When a member of my own “downline” threatened to turn me in over my non-SU products revealed here in my own home, I knew that it was time to “leave”. My only sadness is that many of my stampin’ friends are faced with this dramatic choice. You can count on my efforts to encourage each of them to “free” themselves of this ridiculous bondage. SU has made a radical business error, IMO. Time will tell. Thanks for the forum for our opinions.

    ~no longer a demo

  10. elaine September 2, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    I have been a hobby demo for about 3 years and I have no problem with the new agreement. I started a blog to try to get some online business and used it as such, only posting projects made with SU products. I personally feel I would be shooting MYSELF in the foot to post other products, especially including links so people could go elsewhere to buy instead of buying from me.
    I don’t know that SU is shooting themselves in the foot with this new policy. They are trying to protect them demonstrators from theselves, encouraging them to practice better business sense. At least that is the way I look at it.
    I know some demos will have trouble deciding between design teams, challenges and things they have been posting on their blogs. It will be a hard decision. I can’t say what decision I would make because I’m not on another design team right now. I feel bad for those demonstrators.
    The demonstrators who are jumping ship now just because it sounds like a bad move for SU, sit tight and see what the next month brings. Maybe once you look at all angles you will decide to stay. If not, good luck in other endevors. After all, it is a personal decision and yours only to make.
    Didn’t mean to write a book, these are just some of my thoughts. Thanks for reading if you are still reading!

  11. Scrapycandy September 2, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    WoW! I see lawsuits…..definite infringement on free speech. I bet their company is hurting financially…it’s the only explanation.

  12. elaine September 2, 2009 at 10:35 am #

    Stampin’ Up always operates in the black. I don’t think it has anything to do with financial problems.
    As for lawsuits, I have no idea what could come up because of this change. I feel a definite infringement of my freedom of speech whenever I leave my house because if various government craziness going on but I don’t feel that coming from SU because of this change.
    I guess it will be interesting to sit back and see what the future holds for the company. I would like to see it stick around because I love their products. I also love TAC and CTMH. I really hate to see any scrapbook company close down and there have been quite a few lately. I’m especially disappointed to see http://www.scrapsupply.com close, she had such a good business and is such a nice person. I’m sad about that.

  13. Jennifer Priest September 2, 2009 at 11:11 am #

    Thanks for sharing this. I went to an event with some Demo’s last night and they were talking about this.

    I agree that it is good business to not promote competing products but at the same time, it seems as though SU is forcing demo’s to isolate themselves. I know alot of demo’s on scrapbook.com and other forum sites who would have to leave those forums completely under these new rules since sb.com sells products. Also, demo’s would not be able to have a personal presence on the web at all from what I understood –at all times they are representing Stampin Up. So any Stampin Up demos who have linked to my blog would have to take my link off because I sell competing products in my classes and class kits. That is just crazy–then it will be Stampin Up people talking to each other one one side of the web and the rest of us on the other. Why bother marketing on the internet at all–where are they going to get new customers if they are so isolated?

  14. Jennifer Priest September 2, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    I don’t think this will lead to lawsuits. People volunteer to be an SU demo — they can choose to go with another company or none at all. I think it might hurt their business, being so restrictive. Lots of people on forums are brand new to papercrafting, have never heard of SU, CM, whatever. This just opens the door for other companies’ consultants to snag those customers since SU won’t be represented in those areas.

  15. Kim September 2, 2009 at 11:21 am #

    It is great to see this post! I applaud the questions asked on behalf of all demos. They are great questions.
    I feel this is a way to “weed out” the hobby demo. I am very disappointed as I enjoyed being a hobby demo for just over a year now, but enjoy the friendships and connections I have made along the way – not all are strictly SU (none of them), and I will not sever those ties to abide by an IDA such as this. SU will be hurt by this move – in just one day I can name way too many demos quitting by the end of the month and not only quitting, but dumping their product as well.
    If I was worried about my sales numbers, I would not put on my blog what I do, but that is my business. I make my minimums. I feel SU will regret this in the end because those who quit will most likely go elsewhere for their product, not to someone who remains under SU Nazi rule.

  16. Kim September 2, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    SU may operate in the black, but they laid off about 50 people earlier this year. They are feeling the “pinch”.

  17. Nancy Freeman September 2, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    I am a HUGE consumer of stamping and stamping related products, some of which are SU. I am not and never have been a demo for SU or any other company.

    I assume from this action that SU is suffering from decreasing sales and/or market share and that this is a knee-jerk reaction.

    I frequent many stamping blogs and get inspiration from them. I also buy many of the products that they promote that I see. Which blogs do I prefer? The ones who represent more than one company. Have I ever called my SU rep about a stamp set I saw on a blog? You bet I have. Do I subscribe to SU only blogs? Nope.

    I just received my Winter catalog and I wasn’t interested in ANYTHING I saw. Wasn’t that long ago that I would get a pen out the minute it arrived and start circling everything I couldn’t do with out.

    I sense that SU is starting on a downward slope. I’m sorry to see this happen to what had been a gret company.

  18. Julie Campbell September 2, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    Oooh! What a HOT topic! I’m so glad you made the point to post this for us all to read. I am no longer a SU demo, so this doesn’t directly affect me. I feel like companies that do things like this are smoldering people’s creativity. I would feel claustrophobic working for a company who didn’t allow me to acknowledge that there MANY companies who’s products inspire me. For me, this art form is a way to share with others — to teach and learn new ways of expressing yourself. If SU is afraid that they’ll lose business if some of their demos post links to other products on the market… that’s just ridiculous! Maybe they should concentrate their efforts into creating better products.

  19. Anonymous September 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    If they’re worried about their sales, maybe they should stop trying to branch into so many other areas of crafts and concentrate more on what they do well. I have seen decline in the quality and originality of their products the past couple of catalogs. I think if they focused more on being a driving force in the industry they wouldn’t need to take these agressive steps.

  20. Michelle September 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    Sarah, I hope you get some answers!

  21. Michelle September 2, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    I’ve been a demo for 4 yrs and I understand not actively promoting SU products AND the competition (say, Papertrey). However, what I don’t like about these new rules is that 1) I can’t link to ANYone who might sell, design for, or have ANY links to other competitors. This basically takes all of the links off my blog. 2) If I make a decorative jar/box/etc, I cannot say “I bought it at Hobby Lobby” because that’s a competitor. Do they really think that by saying that customers are going to go there instead of buying from me? Wouldn’t they want to recreate what I made which includes buying the SU supplies to make it? 3) I can’t link my projects on any galleries or online forums who sell other products. Hello…splitocoaststampers?? Do they really want all of their products off of every website, blog and gallery?? What galleries ONLY promote SU??

    They’re going to lose half of their demonstrators along with lots of customers and sales. Maybe they want to get rid of the hobbyist demos?? I don’t know. I’m deeply disappointed in this. I’ve always thought of SU as a great company.

  22. Vera Matson September 2, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    I’m surprised that it took this long for Stampin’ Up! to add this clause to their IDA. My husband sells medical devices. He does not have a blog that promotes a different company’s devices each day. That would be a conflict of interest and just odd.

    I’m also tired of the constant negativity about various stamp/craft supply companies. It seems that in this society, people want it all and they want it for free. Free stamps, free product, more discounts, etc. It’s time to tone it down. It’s getting ridiculous!

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  23. Rebecca Ednie September 2, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    I agree with those who think this is ridiculous. I was strongly considering signing up by August 31st. I am soooo glad I didn’t. I know that I an going to be on a DT starting as soon as there is a spot with that company and I am looking forward to it. Thank heavens I didn’t sign up. I’ve always wondered about demos who actively promote other companies, I thought it wasn’t a good idea. But isn’t it their decision to make? After all, SU! Prides itself on not really training you and therefore making the business your own; now it isn’t really your own business to run is it?
    But seriously, Twitter, facebook and links to other’s blogs? Ridiculous!!! A SU! Website should be all SU! But how can they regulate a personal website!?!?

    I think the market is oversaturated with demos and this is a way to get rid of all but the most dedicated demos. Basically SU! quasi-worshipers. I love the company but I love other stuff too!

  24. Michelle September 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    I don’t think anyone is saying they want more discounts, more for free. I don’t. But I also don’t think getting a 20% discount and actively promoting and selling SU products is too much to ask. Bottom line ~ they make money off of me. The rules are just a bit ridiculous and the medical devices analogy doesn’t really fit here.

  25. Stampin_melissa September 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm #

    I was a demo for 7 years but left over a year ago. As I read this information the constriction in my chest left the impression of *yes, I’m going to say this* “cult”. Yes, I realize that may seem extreme to some but taking something to an extreme without adding balance deserves that pronouncement.

    I feel sorry for the demos that will be hurt by this change (and trust me, there will be many; not just the multi-design team section.) SU has always acknowledged the importance of balance in our personal lives, but they appear to have missed the boat on this. To not allow personal blogs to link to other personal blogs that are not strict SU will hurt so many. To not be able to link to non-strict SU websites (there are none that I know of, not even SCS anymore) will hurt tremendously.

    As for me and my Reader, most of the personal blogs that are strictly SU will disappear from my reader. I am not interested in such restricted artwork. Such a shame really.

  26. LeAnne September 2, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    I am glad to see the questions you posted to SU; they are many of the same ones that I had. I hope they will perhaps lead to a re-thinking on SU’s part.
    I do not want to bash the company that I have held dear for the last 7 years; I think they have a right to expect the demonstrators to remain true to their product, although I do use other products on my personal blog and I will comply when the time comes. I use them mostly because I like a certain style and SU does not carry products that reflect that style. But I do resent that I cannot link a friend’s blog, or link a sketch that I got from SCS.
    I do not know the relationship that SCS has with SU; it seems to me that SU got a lot of free publicity over the years from SCS, AND I know that SU themselves has advertised on SCS when they have run specials. So I don’t understand that restriction. Finally, with search engines, people can find website and blogs in seconds without a link from me…..so why restrict that either? I am still pondering all these things, and forgive me if they’ve been expressed previously.
    I am just wondering what took them so long–this should have been done a long time ago, when “electronic communication” first began.

  27. Monika/Buzsy September 2, 2009 at 3:33 pm #

    Thank you for addressing this on your web-site. It is very interesting… I am a hobby SU! demonstrator and I will have to decide what I am going to do… I do think that is unfair when it comes to telling what you can or can not do on your personal blog, Face book page… or any other Internet site you have… I am looking forward to reading more about this. Thanks again!

  28. Samantha Maddin September 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    I don’t have any issue with SU placing restrictions and rules on what you do with your SU Blog, my issue with their whole approach is that these restrictions extend to all the internet, including facebook and twitter. And not just yours, but your friends and families too. If your friends post crafting links to competitors on their blogs, it’s explicit in the rules that you cannot link to their blog from even your own non SU business, personal blog. That’s just wrong, as well as being virtually unworkable.

  29. QC September 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    They have shot themselves not only in the foot…..but pretty much severed their bottom half…..the true “hobby” demos who do it because they love it, or want the discount.

    As a Canadian, I’ve seen prices stay TOO high, go to what they should be for a year, and they’ve gone up again. We pay higher prices, have higher minimums, and have inferior shipping options….

    They are saying I can’t email a friend about something non-SU? Next they will tell me how I think….and how I feel.

    I think not. My demo-ship will be dropped …. I will not “work” for a company who tells me what I can and cannot do….

  30. Ang & Ryan September 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Nicole Seitler September 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

    Your demonstrators are independent contractors, not employees. How then are you able to restrict the way they use social media on a personal level, as in on their personal blogs or facebook pages? Why not just restrict how they manage their business focused blogs?

    Great question! Yes, they go to great lengths to stress that you are not an employee of the company, don’t they? How are they are justifying this? Craziness. I would totally understand agreeing to not promote other companies on a “SU! blog” or demonstrator website. But to limit your personal freedoms as to the other things you say or do on the web? You’re signing your life away if you agree to that.

    As you know Sarah, we have The Hybrid Chick blog at the Digichick. Several girls on our design team are also SU! demos. We allow them to use SU!’s products on our blog. In fact, we were planning on having a special “Stamp Week” feature in October. But now SU! is tearing my design team apart. They can’t be contributing authors anymore because our blog is affiliated with our shop. I am very upset about this. We are going to lose some extremely talented girls.

    You know, you and I have watched this stamping/blogging community blossom and shine. All the wonderful blogs out there, full of inspiration and enabling! Now SU! is out to singlehandedly destroy all that creativity that was being shared amongst all the rubber stampers and papercrafters out there. SU! is not the end all and be all of the crafting world. Yes, they make great stamps. But look at the IB&C! Using just SU! stuff when you create a project… it’s a bit blah; It’s not as beautiful as it could be. I think SU! is going to learn their lesson from this as they begin to loose large numbers of demonstrators. They don’t seem to really understand the basics of how sales work in this new era. They aren’t gaining anything by trying to force everyone to pretend that there are no other crafting companies in existence. They are only going to hurt themselves…

  32. Ang & Ryan September 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    One monumental hurdle for me is still submitting for publications; you cannot use other products on items you submit for publication and if you do under section 20-b [I will be responsible
    for any and all legal fees or costs incurred by the Company to collect such debt, regardless of whether suit has been filed, including
    fees in any mediation, arbitration, trial court, or any appeal.]
    they can in turn make you pay for legal fees if you advertise for other companies. How bad will this hurt other company’s design teams and designers?

  33. Melissa Laverty September 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm #

    I feel so bad for SU demos! This is just so limiting. Makes me appreciate CTMH’s social media policies even more!

  34. Anonymous September 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    Oh gosh. . .I have to wonder if SU is in trouble financially. It’s like they are looking for a life jacket to help keep them afloat.

    I think their premature announcement yesterday was a bad, bad business decision. They should have REALLY taken a look at the impact before they announced it rather than changing their policies the next day. They should believe in their decisions and stick with them. I’m sure they’ve already assessed the possible impact before they made their initial announcement. I wonder if their arrogance or belief that their demos will support their decision back fired on them. Instead, demos are dropping out left and right.

    I love SU products and I want them to exist for as long as stamping remains as a popular art. I don’t have to be a demo . . . I can still buy their stuff and still will but I think they need to fire their policy director or whoever made the stupid decision to announce the changes in the manner that they did and now, take it back.

  35. In the words of Kim: September 2, 2009 at 5:58 pm #

    Yes, this is a shame for all of the SU demonstrators! I’ve truly LOVED being associated with CTMH and now this makes me love CTMH even more!

  36. ScrapMomOf2 September 2, 2009 at 6:14 pm #

    I am not a demonstrator, but this strikes me as over the top. On a Stampin’ Up blog, it should be only Stampin’ Up. However, on a personal blog, they should NOT tell someone what they can or cannot have or link to! Ridiculous! Plus, the burger restaurant thing is silly. I might have a successful burger business, and I could own a second burger business too! WHO would prevent me from doing that? No one!

  37. DDA September 2, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    I have enjoyed the useful information about various crafting products that have been presented on this site. With that in mind, I am somewhat surprised at the mean spirted article now posted.

    Stampin’ Up! has every right to protect their image, product branding and the way they want to do business.

    I’ve been a demonstrator for over 12yrs….just a plain ole, regular demo with a few in my downline …and have seen lots of changes. Each time I have been given the oportunity to make my own choices. Each time I could have either abided by what they saw was important to put into place …for the good of the whole or I could have choosen to drop.

    They are not telling me that I can never use any other product in my personal projects or gift making. But they are telling everyone to do what all demos (with any company) should have already figured was good business sense….don’t send your customers somewhere else to shop! Do you think Tupperward ladies go to their parties and tell customers to go to Winn Dixie and buy the cheap Glad brand throw away containers?…not likely!

  38. Anonymous September 2, 2009 at 7:47 pm #

    You just know that the original decision was made by a group of old, white guys who have no idea what these Innernetz are. (tongue only slightly in cheek)

  39. Anonymous September 2, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    good grief SU!!.. these are “rubber stamps”…not nuclear secrets…..and certainly not worth getting one single grey hair over people….and shame on SU for being too aggressive…..they just lost my business…..on to the 100′s of other wood mounted beautiful stamps that are made by many many other companies!!!! :)

  40. Krissi September 2, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    From a contract negotiator’s perspective, this seems like an unusually prohibitive non-compete clause. I wouldn’t sign this in ANY contract unless they were willing to support me with a high six figures/year (and then I still might consider telling them to pound sand…).

  41. Anonymous September 2, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    I am not a Demonstrator but I do have some business knowledge and I predict this is seriously going to bite Stampin’ Up! in the rear… Does Stampin Up! not realize that their restrictions are going to work BOTH ways??? Seriously???? They will no longer have all the FREE advertising they were getting from the soon-to-be-former Demonstrator blogs and the many competing company sites/blogs where their Demonstrator’s have posted artwork in the past… Me thinks that somebody didn’t think things through all the way…

  42. Melina September 2, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

    OMG, SU! is not suffering financially for one thing. Tho, while they may be behind the curve in figuring out what folks are doing online…they are addressing it with this new IDA…good for them for finally realizing the online impact that exists todays

  43. Meg September 2, 2009 at 10:55 pm #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. Anonymous September 2, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    Meg. . .I think your analogy with Burger King and McDonalds don’t apply in this situation.

    It’s more like this. . .

    You work for . .say an automobile company. . . maybe as a sales person. Your company requires that the car that you drive to work has to be one of their automobiles. But, in addition to that, when you are not working, you MUST drive only their car and at your home you cannot have any car made by their competitor sitting near or on your property. Furthermore, your family cannot be seen driving around with another brand, especially if you’re in it. You are prohibited from mentioning any brand name car on your days off in any conversation.

    A personal blog is just that. . .a “personal” blog. If a demonstrator wants to create a Stampin Up only blog site and not link any other sites other than SU related blogs or websites, well, that is expected. I believe it’s a good idea to do so. It’s good business sense.

    To prohibit someone from creating ANOTHER blog site for their own personal business whether they want to create, discuss, promote or even link another company on their site is their choice to do so. SU demonstrators are supposed to be “Independent” Demonstrators. . .they’re not even employees. In reality, demonstrators are “customers” that help SU sell their products. . .and for doing so. . you’ll receive little perks such as a 20% discount. You still need to “buy” the products that you use to “promote” SU products. They are not given to the demonstrator for free. . .

    I believe Stampin Up was arrogant in believing that their demonstrators will follow along like a religious cult. Yes, there are many demonstrators who are like religious fanatics but there are many that have not been brain-washed into believing that Stampin Up is a religion.

  45. Erica September 2, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    WHOW…this is certainly generating lots of feedback. I was a hobby demo for 2 yrs., up to June ’09, and I enjoyed it. Finances and the abundance of other great products entered into my decision to call it quits. SU introduced me to stamping. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for them. HOWEVER, the business world does change. The tide has changed for SU and many many busnesses. They aren’t in good shape, or they wouldn’t have down-sized by 50 people, unless they were just Shelli’s relatives (sorry…had to say that, ‘cuz I’ve seen it happen elsewhere). In the long run, as a business owner, you have to figure out how best to “profit”. That’s the operative word. Obviously, they are trying other venues as in jewelry and home decor and digital stamping. All of these speak to an attempt at growing…and/or maintaining profit. Obviously, the decision was difficult. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when management met in the SU conference rooms…Starbucks in hand. I hope they don’t regret their decision, but just as they reverted back to one catty per year, so too can they make changes to the IDA. I’m sure they plan on taking demo/customer feedback into consideration, as in surveys, etc. I think most long-standing demos will make the necessary adjustments and take a wait & see approach as to whether or not their sales increase/decrease and then make an informed final decision.
    I wish them all the best. Not unlike businesses throughout America, they will adjust or Heaven forbid…go under.

  46. Meg September 3, 2009 at 12:23 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Heather Leech September 3, 2009 at 2:37 am #

    Ok…I’m a bit confused here. I am a SU! demo and I’ll say up front that I’ve already agreed online to the new IDA. I decided to leave the insanity of the firestorm on SCS and peruse my long list of favorite blogs on my google reader. Everything is lovely until I arrive here. Maybe I’m naive, but I’ve been reading this blog almost since its inception. I’ve enjoyed many of the informative critiques on products. What in the heck does this blog have to do with a debate about the new SU! IDA??? Right on your blog it says:
    We are a collective of experienced crafters (some professional, most not) with strong opinions to share on the craft supplies you want to learn more about.
    Is this a craft product to be reviewed, compared or critiqued? No! It’s ok to have strong opinions, but on this topic in this forum??
    Ok…I can understand wanting some clarity about your reporters and their involvement if they are SU! demos, but to copy and paste directly off the DEMO side of the SU! website and publicly debate the issue??? I am totally shocked.
    I know this makes absolutely no difference to anyone here as I am only one lowly voice, but I will not be returning to this blog. I disagree strongly with what is going on here.
    You are totally entitled to your opinions, just as I am to mine.

  48. Joan B September 3, 2009 at 3:31 am #

    I would like to clarify that I have not provided any information about this issue to anyone except my own blog readers. I did not listen to the webinar as I am no longer a demo, or provide any information to Craft Critique on any revisions to the policies. Sorry if this sounds like a weird comment, but I needed to say this. Joan B (Paperlicious)

  49. Anonymous September 3, 2009 at 4:57 am #

    I totally agree with Heather Leech!

  50. Anonymous September 3, 2009 at 5:32 am #

    I agree with Heather. I very much enjoy seeing product reviews but this just seems like it should be on Perez Hilton’s blog.

  51. Michelle September 3, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    I get very tired of the “tupperware/rubbermaid” analogies. Bottom line ~ it’s NOT the same thing. None of us demos are saying we want to right to send customers to the competition. But if I alter an item I bought on 2peas or scrapbook.com, it should NOT be against the rules to give my customer the link on where to buy that item so they can recreate what I made. My customers want to make what I made…which includes using the SU supplies IN ADDITION TO competitors products.

    It also goes both ways. How many customers has SU GAINED by having our work published on competitors websites and galleries??? Think about it. I’ve gained customers by showing my non-SU on competitors websites. So, the idea that they’re losing customers by having links to the competition is a farce. Because they also gain customers that way.

    And the thing is, when all of us demos quit come October 1st, they’re not only losing us but all of our customers. SU I hope you are reading this and thank you for responding to my email. Oh wait a minute, you didn’t.

    I am deeply disappointed in a company that I have been so proud to represent for the last 4 yrs.

  52. Anonymous September 3, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    I too WAS (as of yesterday) an SU Demo – a proud one for over 5 years. I have a pretty decent size downline – over 50 people. I do this part time, though some of my downline do it full time. Last year I started with the blog – the design team, the full online community. It has done wonders for me personally (to be recognized internationally among my crafting peers) and professionally (my sales have gone up by 60%!!!). I am somebody. (though at the moment I am anonymous, i know.
    After building my SU business and career – thanks to this IDA – and yes I did listen to the webinar and called DS and emailed and called.
    I did NOT wait until October 1st.
    I FAXED in my letter of resignation. I emailed my letter of resignation and I Snail mailed my letter of resignation.

    Why wait?? My decision is final. I am NOT waiting for THEM to drop ME.

    I took a stand and I QUIT. And they know why.

    I already know that 1/2 of my downline is doing the same and many of my other half is still deciding.

    Don’t let them fire you . Quit now !!

    PROUDLY,
    Stampin’ Up! does not control me anymore!!!

  53. Michelle September 3, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    Their back-tracking just goes to show they do NO research when it comes to their business plans. Is this the type of company I want to be involved with?

  54. Kim September 3, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    My husband had this thought on the “Michael Jordon” comparison. While MJ may only promote Nike on TV/ads because of his contractual obligations, he wouldn’t not go to dinner with a friend who wore Reebok. He may wear Reebok in private, all his friends may wear Reebok…should he cut off all communication with friends because they don’t wear Nike? I mean aren’t his friends promoting Reebok if they wear Reebok? Where do you draw the line?

    In the same manner, how is it possible to delete all links to any blogs that might promote other products. One blog goes to another and another…There is no way to faithfully track all those links. To stick to the new SU! rules, one could really only link to another demo’s site.

    I think these new rules are far reaching and painfully restrictive in nature. I don’t think SU! will be as successful with these new policies. They are longer the only gig in town…

    Thanks for this great coverage!

  55. Cathy September 3, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    This is sad news to hear for all of the demonstrators out there. It’s a shame SU is not taking advantage of social networking sites (blogs, FB, etc.) to help promote their company, especially during these economic times.

    I will not be boycotting either as I also buy what I like and suits my needs regardless of who makes it. Just hate to see them take something that was fun and turn it into a corporate mess.

  56. Anonymous September 3, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    Here’s the bottom line – this is a business. Every company I have ever worked for, as part of the new employee paperwork, has me sign a non-compete statement. It’s standard practice. Personally, I’m surprised that it’s taken this long to change the IDA.

    The problem here is that too many people have their emotions tied up in the decision. It’s business, that’s that.

    If I were an insurance agent with my own website – would I put a link to a competitor’s site on mine? Absolutely not! Promoting other companies would just take money out of my pocket. Customers are not stupid. They know where to look for other products – why should I encourage it and hurt my business in the process?

    There you have it…

    BTW – to the comment about SU! being in financial trouble…that’s absolutely not true. Stampin’ Up! operates COMPLETELY in the Black. No debt. I can’t think of another company that’s more stable because of that fact alone.

    And…to the person who said they know of no SU! who never use other products…I am one of those demos – exclusively SU! This has been my philosophy from the beginning of my business – and I’ve been very successful because of it.

  57. kscstamper September 3, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    I never understood why we were allowed to do something online that we were never allowed to do in real life or a workshop. And that’s market competing projects. At a workshop we are not to use any non SU product (that would hurt the hostess anyway as people can’t order it). Blogs have become a virtual workshop — and at least online you can use SU and non-SU products together — just not market the non-SU products. I see the logic in that and never understood why there was one standard for the real world and a different one for the virtual world. I hope the discussion stays civil. I love this saying — we can disagree without being disagreeable.

  58. Diane September 3, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    I think it is shameful that Craft Critique posted this article. I also am amazed that Craft Critique thinks they have the right to question Stampin’ Up!’s policies in a public forum and expect SU to answer their questions. It is obvious to me that Craft Critique and it owners have their own agenda against Stampin’ Up!

    I join the thousands of demos that have quickly accepted the new IDA and say “Its about time that change was made!”

  59. Anonymous September 3, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    This matter is not a public matter and shouldn’t be handled in such a manner. If you have a problem call DS.

  60. No Longer an SU Demo September 3, 2009 at 11:38 am #

    Bull, 10:26 Anonymous. Saying that this isn’t a public issue and shouldn’t be discussed publicly is exactly the kind of back-room, good-old-boy bull that many of us are just plain tired of. You, and others, imply that we shouldn’t allow our emotions to dictate our business decisions. But that’s crap and you know it. Ethics is largely fueled by how well we gather information and FEEL about an issue, after gathering the information. And, I’m sorry, but stamping and scrapbooking tend to be, on some level, emotionally tied hobbies. You do it because you love it, not because it’s the best business decision in the world or the best way to generate income for your family. SU! has paraded itself around as the “Family company” (and as an LDS company, the FAMILY FIRST mantra should have some bearing). So now you have this “family first”, “we’re all one big family of demos” company depending on sisters to rat out sisters and moms to stop linking to their daughters because their daughter’s might sell CTMH. It may be a strategic business move, but it’s against what they’ve claimed to stand for and it’s, stay with me, none of their GD business!! If their products are superior, then they need not worry about someone who links to CTMH or TAC. If your business is so tenuous that another blogger linking to a competing company sends you into a frothing, DS calling rage, then perhaps you ought to consider calling DS to ask why they don’t have that particular product or style for you to sell to your customers. The bottom line is that NO BUSINESS will satisfy 100% of the population. EVER! Period. You will always have someone who prefers a competitor. Pepsi understands that people like Coke products. Pepsi doesn’t tell it’s employees that they can’t wear a Coke t-shirt at a picnic or link their blog to a relative who has a mini-mart that carries Coke. Heck! They don’t even tell supermarkets to stock only their product even though the Coke and Pepsi is right next to each other in the same aisle. Why? Because both companies are confident in their products. They’ve developed followings and market appeal based on the product!

    This is a public issue. Your customers have a right to know what sort of company they’re giving their hard-earned money to. ESPECIALLY when that companies presents itself one way and acts another (see above).

    Until yesterday, I was a demo for seven years. Through the ups and downs of SU!, I stuck by them. I even cheerleaded for them a few times. But, I’m done! I’m done defending the actions of a company that couldn’t tell us, “the heroes”, that this was coming down the pipe at convention! I’m done dealing with a company (who I’ve sold a total of $86,000 for in three years) that won’t return my calls or e-mails or have the guts to tell me face-to-face.

  61. Cheryl September 3, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    I’m not a SU demonstrator and I haven’t read all their agreement. What I have read here sounds like SU is cutting their own throats. I read a lot of blogs and see a lot of products that are combined with SU products to enhance them, not hurt their sales. I’m sorry to say that I strongly disagree with their new stance. They don’t carry a lot of products so other products in combination to SU is very welcomed. I hope they revise their stance even more than was presented yesterday. This could really hurt them!

  62. Anonymous September 3, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    This IS a public matter because everyone out there is a potential recruit and should know what the IDA says and the Q&A about the IDA. Everyone knows that you can find the IDA online publicly.

    What do demos or SU have to hide that this shouldn’t be a public matter??

  63. Anonymous September 3, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    No matter how you look at SU, they are a MLM company that is sneaking up into being a Pyramid Scheme if they are not already!!!

    Lie #10: MLM is not a pyramid scheme because products are sold.

    Truth: The sale of products does not protect against anti-pyramid-scheme laws or unfair trade practices set forth in federal and state law. MLM is a legal form of business only under rigid conditions set forth by the FTC and state attorneys general. Many MLMs are violate these guidelines and operate only because they have not been prosecuted. Recent court rulings are using a 70% rule to determine an MLM’s legality: At least 70% of all goods sold by the MLM company must be purchased by nondistributors. This standard would place most MLM companies outside the law. The largest MLM acknowledges that only 18% of its sales are made to nondistributors.

    I think this move by SU has ALOT to do with legalities, they REALLY don’t give a fig about thier distribuors….because most of them don’t sell enough to help KEEP them out of Pyramid Scheme…..they do however want to keep the VERY VERY few who do keep them there!!!!

  64. Anonymous September 3, 2009 at 2:46 pm #

    They did not tell their demos at the most recent convention. Imagine the up-roar?

    I’m sure they planned for a lose in revenues for the next few quarters. Possibly a lose of about 2000+ demos and customers, I’m sure. And, prefer to solely focus on the so called loyal demos. Now, I ask, a sale is a sale, right? su has been very successful and they will rebound -unless our country has a major shift in with our current economic woes, which every american, should really pay close attention to what is going on nowadays… don’t take anything for granted.

    MOreover, I don’t think half of the demo’s will leave b/c of these changes. Plus su has a HUGE market. However, if more than half leave, of course they are in HUGE financial troubles.

    Do you honestly believe they did not know about the backlash? I think they did. Unless they make major changes to their current policy, will see.

    Imagine, all the su demo’s who design for other companies, all the free perks they will have to give up! Its truly hard for many. Best of luck! i.e. Beate Johns, who i truly admire as well as many other su demos.

    SU will be around for a while…. unless they are truly in financial troubles.

    As others mentioned here, what is truly frigtening is the amunt of americans unemployed right now, take a look… http://www.propublica.org/special/is-your-states-unemployment-system-in-danger-603
    geesh, what happen to hope and change – huh?

    amazing points of view by many…. thanks craft critique for the topic and info!

  65. No longer September 3, 2009 at 3:06 pm #

    Not to get all political, but…”hope and change” first has to overcome the mistakes of previous rulers. You don’t really think we got here in eight months, do you?

  66. Anonymous September 3, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    re: hope & change

    i did voted for hope & change

    and not happy with what is happening… only time will tell…

    btw, the updated amendment by su -is still not enough… let’s give it a few more days…

  67. Anonymous September 3, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

    I too WAS (as of yesterday) an SU Demo – a proud one for over 5 years. I have a pretty decent size downline – over 50 people. I do this part time, though some of my downline do it full time. Last year I started with the blog – the design team, the full online community. It has done wonders for me personally (to be recognized internationally among my crafting peers) and professionally (my sales have gone up by 60%!!!). I am somebody. (though at the moment I am anonymous, i know.
    After building my SU business and career – thanks to this IDA – and yes I did listen to the webinar and called DS and emailed and called.
    I did NOT wait until October 1st.
    I FAXED in my letter of resignation. I emailed my letter of resignation and I Snail mailed my letter of resignation.

    Why wait?? My decision is final. I am NOT waiting for THEM to drop ME.

    I took a stand and I QUIT. And they know why.

    I already know that 1/2 of my downline is doing the same and many of my other half is still deciding.

    Don’t let them fire you . Quit now !!

    PROUDLY,
    Stampin’ Up! does not control me anymore!!!

  68. Renée September 3, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    On the update you’ve posted recently, you’ve stated:

    “Still, many demos are expressing their dismay about the changes, and it doesn’t appear that anyone seems relieved after hearing about these clarifications.”

    This is not entirely true. I, for one, am relieved with these changes. I am so very thankful that SU does listen to their demonstrators.

    I am happy to remain a demonstrator but I am not in the same position as others so I truly feel for all those having to make a choice. (((hugs)))

  69. Suzanne September 3, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    I have been agonizing for a few months whether I could afford to continue my demoship with SU. I am a hobby demo with only a few customers. SU has made the decision for me. I can not in good conscience sign the new IDA. 90% of what I do uses SU product, and I have no problem letting everyone know that SU products are my first choice. BUT they do not carry everything that I desire to use for example Nestabilities or Copic markers. Neither can they possibly carry every style stamp image that I enjoy creating with. AND I can not ignore the designers or companies that provide these items which SU does not carry. If feel it only fair for me to give them credit for their product. So as I said SU made my decision for me As of OCT 1 I will no longer be part of the SU family…..

  70. tinamarie September 3, 2009 at 8:58 pm #

    I myself will be no longer be demo. I will be selling my SU stamps so I buy new stamps from all the other awesome companies out there!
    IT is such a relieve not to be confined to only SU they way they want us to be.
    It is truly WRONG of SU to try to dictate our online activities and watch every little move.
    The thing that bothers me is the most is this: If I alster a box I bought at Michaels – SU states we are to say we got it from a Big Box Store as they do NOT want us to say the store or company name.
    Shellie herself used TARGET as an example. Like there is big competition there!

    If we post a card in out Gallery on SCS and we use another comapny product – we are not to list that company name. Demos are suppose to be a vague as possible. They only want SU to be named on everything.
    I feel if I use another product – that company deserves to be names just as much as Stampin Up does. SU is no more special that any other company.

  71. Inky Whiskers September 3, 2009 at 9:55 pm #

    If 1000 minimum sales ($1200 per year) ‘hobby’ demos quit rather than sign the new IDA…SU! will lose $1,200,000.00 in sales for the next year. I don’t know of many companies that can take that kind of hit & smile about it. I’m going to sign because I enjoy the time I spend with my customers & demo group and I’m not ready to walk away from those friendships, but I am NOT happy with SU! for trying to turn loyal demos into Hitler Youth or dictate what we can say & do in our private lives.

  72. Anonymous September 4, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    As an SU demo, the new IDA is simply ridiculous. I work for a coffee company (“X Coffee”). Am I to refrain from drinking anything that is not “X Coffee” in public? Can I never hold a cup that says Starbucks? Am I never to mention on Facebook or Twitter that I had a good cup of Dunkin’ Donuts?

    No company would dream of choke their full time employees with those kind of restrictions. Stampin’ Up is doing just that with this ridiculous IDA. This may be the last straw that leads me to resign my demonstratorship.

  73. Anonymous September 5, 2009 at 6:44 am #

    Though I am not a demo for SU, I feel the policies are much to restrictive and I’m not certain that want to deal with a company like SU. I have a $200.00 just placed at Papertrey – and purchased over $100.00 with PaperTrey last month.

    I prefer to deal with what I consider ethical companies.

    As a Canadian, the prices that SU now charges us are just ridiculour.

    PaperTrey and many other companies offer us many other stamping options.

  74. Kathy Lindstrom September 5, 2009 at 7:30 am #

    Its absolutely stupid. Seriously, does SU think consumers are that dumb? That we know we can’t get similar, if not the same products at big box stores (with coupons!!)? And the whole I did this project, but can’t tell you what I used, since its another company’s brand? I feel sorry for demonstrators, this really will tie their hands and, ultimately, in my book anyway hurt their business.

  75. Anonymous September 5, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    I’m amazed that Stampin’ Up thinks that they have any right to restrict what a person posts on their personal blog. If it was a blog that was through Stampin’ Up then they would have the right to restrict what was shown, linked or said but the last time I checked if it’s your personal blog you have the right to do with it what you want. What are they afraid of? Competition? In my opinion this is a very bad business decision. It makes the company look petty. Instead of trying to restrict what their demos are doing perhaps they should get their heads out of the sand and embrace all that the Internet has to offer. I definitely won’t be purchasing any more products from this company. I just don’t like their style – it’s VERY heavy handed.

  76. Anonymous September 5, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    Public company=public issue.

    This issue doesn’t have a direct affect on me personally, but I am saddened for those I know whom it has gutted emotionally & business-wise.

    As a full-time blogger & former hobby demonstrator for SU (but one who has moved on to other design teams) I currently mention Stampin’ Up products as a favour to SU & to my blog readers who may wish to purchase those items.

    How will SU feel to know that I have now decided that representing them in any fashion is a conflict of interest? (Moreover, I am thoroughly ashamed at the prospect of having their name or product mentioned on my blog?)

    I will not make another SU purchase again, but I do have to use up the product I have already purchased from them. As a matter of principal, from now on, I will only refer to SU products generically (as in “turquoise paper” or “brown ink”) or I will link directly to the manufacturer of the product instead of SU.

    I am disgusted, but sadly not surprised in the least. The trend of SU’s business model consistently appears to be increasingly self-serving & extremely unresponsive to customer needs.

    It is the rare person who can scrape together a living in this industry–even with many sources of income or working for many companies. The hardship involved is a sacrifice many make for love of the art. This policy is nothing short of a slap in the face to crafters in general.

    To say that your SU blog must only mention SU is reasonable, but to limit your entire identity as a person online is totalitarian.(Facebook!?!)To say that you may not give the source of an item you alter? Ridiculous!

    Consider the creative commons copyright implications of this policy (which SU has clearly not given any thought to)…
    What will happen to the time honoured tradition of giving due credit to artists whose work/techniques/templates/ideas that SU demos borrow? (Which is inevitable!) If the source of inspiration is non-SU at all, a demo must not link to them (but may still be tempted to use the creative idea that the non-SU artist shared.) That artist’s creative work then goes uncredited and hence essentially “stolen.”

    This type of controlling separatism obviously creates a business mantra of capitalistic fear rather than one of inclusive creativity–even if that was never the original intention of the policy.

    I know that I am far from being alone in these views. SU, I genuinely feel sorry for you & the black mark you have given yourself.

  77. Anonymous September 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more! Stampin’ Up gets lots of business and advertising from people (not only Demos) mentioning their products on their Blogs, Facebook & Twitter. I’ll bet they don’t mind that too much.

    And…I totally agree with you about the creative copyright. It’s standard protocol to give credit where it is due. I guess Stampin’ Up thinks they are the only ones that should get credit even if they or their demos use other artists ideas and techniques.

    I feel sorry for anyone that is associated with this company. They do not have the right to restrict personal and creative freedoms and in my opinion are going way to far in trying to do so.

  78. QBScrapper September 5, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    For me this validates my decision (and reasons) for leaving the company years ago. I wasn’t comfortable with some of the policies even then. I don’t think it’s the fact that they say they are doing this to protect their business, but when it starts leaking into a demo’s personal life, they’ve gone too far. Telling you what you can link to on your personal blog, posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc is none of their business.

    Personally, I got into the stamping world for the creative side. I’m assuming most do. I completely understand using on SU products when representing the company at workshops (and whatever else you do that is company related) and on your professional SU website if you have one. However, I do not understand anyone tolerating a company dictating what products you may choose to use in your personal creations that you may share outside of your business. There are lots and lots of products out there. I have been a demo for SU and TAC. I have also been on numerous design teams for other companies. I have experienced the stifled creativity and struggled to create my works of art using only certain products when I have so many more in my personal arsenal. Being creative is such a freeing experience, but when you are forced to be creative within one specific framework, using only one company’s products … well I can only say that it completely burned me out. I have been on about a three year hiatus because I was so burned out. I recently started getting back into stamping and scrapping and it really saddens my heart to hear about SU’s incredible restrictions. It won’t affect everyone, but I can assure you they will lose a lot of extremely creative demos and customers because of this. This decision is not about protecting their (and the demo’s) business. It’s about control. And it’s ridiculous.

  79. Anonymous September 6, 2009 at 11:44 am #

    I have been a SU! Hobby Demo for 5 years.
    For most of that time I have had an online source for my personal creative expression. I tried a SU! website but decided that it didn’t work for me (it was all templates and strictly controlled by SU!) I decided to go with a blog that I pay for myself and that I can personalize.
    I enjoy papercrafting and have posted many projects on my blog using other companies’ products in conjunction with SU!
    When the new IDA came out I knew that I would have to quit SU! on principle – I just didn’t like being told what I can and cannot do on a blog that I created and paid for myself.
    Over the years I have questioned some of the changes that SU! has made but I just hate how this move from SU! has had a trickle down effect on some of the other demos.
    My upline totally agrees with the IDA and has posted to our Yahoo group reminders to sign it (initially) and now has asked everyone to stop discussing at all (gag order). The SU! lieutenants are enforcing the party line!
    I don’t make enough money at this to continue with these restrictions!

  80. Kathy September 12, 2009 at 11:37 pm #

    Everything happens for a reason – this did not just fall out of the sky at a SU meeting. My guess, for what it’s worth, is that they can’t see what’s right in front of them…they’re getting stale. I know the “Shelli-sheep” will disagree but I’m not the only person who feels that way. For everyone who swears SU is always in the black/have no debt – companies don’t lay-off or let go 50 employees unless there’s trouble or risk of.

  81. tinamarie October 1, 2009 at 6:33 am #

    I have dropped my demoship because of the new IDA. I cannot deal with a company that is so disrespectful.
    They only want themselves to be acknowledged and any other store or company you have to be very vague about. This disrespect to the other products. There are so many other stores for me to shop at. I even found stamps that I like better than SU’s.
    Thank you SU for showing that there are other great products out there for me to buy.
    I also started selling all my SU stuff to buy other companies stamps.
    I personally will no longer shop with SU. That will leave me about $1500 a year to spend at other stores.

  82. Anonymous October 2, 2009 at 8:43 am #

    I am a mainly hobbyist demo in Australia with a small but regular customer base in Australia. Like many others I joined SU! to help fund my crafting pursuits & as much as I have enjoyed the last 2.5yrs hosting workshops & conducting craft club days etc I feel that I can’t justify setting a limit on my other interests & obligations within the crafting industry to conform to this new IDA. I will be resigning from my demonstratorship on our Nov 1st deadline. There is no way that I will accept being regulated by a contract to such an extent that the freedom to create, share & give credit where it is due is not possible for fear of a totalitarian repercussion. Shame on you Stampin’ Up!

  83. Anonymous October 2, 2009 at 9:16 am #

    As a demo myself I do understand that there are some rules & regulations that need to be in place to operate under the banner of SU!, but as INDEPENDENT demonstrators & not employees there really should be a certain level of freedom as to how demonstrators conduct their business. I mean seriously, who is going to go out of their way to sabotage their own business or the company name under which they operate & does SU! honestly believe that the general population isn’t resourceful enough to find whatever information they are seeking. No one I know in the crafting industry uses only the products from one company, I doubt anyone actually does anywhere. Apparently the days of giving credit where it is due are also over, replaced by the idea that vagueness is OK. For me personally is not worth the restrictions to continue to operate with SU! Although in a way sad to be pushed out by the new IDA,I know that I will move forward in crafting in a different direction as I am quite sure many others have done & will continue to do.

  84. Anonymous October 3, 2009 at 6:31 pm #

    I guess my question to all the naysayers out there is this. If you were a Southwest Airline employee how would the company react if you were sending customers to other airlines. If you were a Walmart employee how do think Walmart would react if they knew you were sending customers to Target. If you were a Kodak employee how do you think the company would react if you sent customers to Canon. It is called a non compete clause (or contract) I guess I am just part of the herd of sheep but private or not if you are a demo under contract with SU you do not send customers to competing companies. I still do not understand why people believe this is wrong. If you had your own say a flower shop and you made beautiful bridal bouquets how would you react if one of your artists said to a bride that the shop next door would give her a better deal on her bouquet? Walk in the shoes of Stampin’ Up! and see what it is like to have people that have signed a non compete contract with them advertising for another company. By the way the non compete has been there all along they just now gave a full explanation of it.

  85. glowery October 6, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    I am not a Stampin Up demo, nor do intend to be one anytime in the near future. I have many online friends who are demos, and I have my own demo I purchase from. But I have been following this debacle that Stampin Up created almost from the beginning.

    While I most certainly agree with most of what Stampin Up says in regards to what they expect from their demos about not selling for competing companies, or using competing company products in work shops and such, I think they have definitely overstepped their bounds.

    First in the subject of linking to a friends blog or website. If the link went to my friends business website, no I would not link to that site. But if my friend had a personal website or blog where they showcased their work, and they then had a link to their own business site, then yes I would link to her site. In that case I am not promoting a competing company, I am supporting my friend and her talents. If my intention was to market her products over mine, I would have linked directly to her business site.

    In what constitutes a competing company, Stampin Up and it’s owner certainly is unduly paranoid with visions of grandeur.

    I have been making some bookmarks for friends using my Stampin Up cardstock and the mega paperclips from Staples. According to all the analogies I read I could not mention Staples or the price of the mega clips because Staples also sells brads, and brads can be used in card projects and scrap book pages and Stampin Up Sells brads.

    If I alter a clip board using Stampin Up paper and ribbon, I can’t mention I got the clip board at Wal-Mart because in the vast square footage of that store they have a minuscule selection of card stock and other supplies to do card making and scrap booking?

    Get Real Stampin Up!!

  86. Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 9:12 am #

    Ya know… there was a movie, a Christmas classic, where a department store found out their customer loyalty actually went UP when they sent customers to the competition when they could not meet their needs directly. It’s a proven fact that this strategy works. I find it very sad that Stampin Up could not move forward with this kind of wisdom.

    Trying to limit a customer’s exposure to another company is ludicrous and just plain wrong. Do they think that if demos don’t show other products or link to people who use and sell other products then the customers won’t find them on their own? Can we get our heads out of the proverbial sand?

    Putting such restrictions on your own demonstrators may be within their rights, (remember you can restrict anyone to anything if you can get them to sign a contract) but it’s ethically unsound. Especially when SU is selling products that directly compete with their own demonstrators.

    This hobby demo will happily spend her dollars at other venues both online and locally — oh and use my 40% off coupons to boot.

  87. Anonymous November 18, 2009 at 6:03 am #

    WOW … I am not a demo nor have been nor will be. I have been asked and asked. But I do not feel that any company or person has a right to squelch and stop on my constitutional rights just to hock their products. Stampin Up has some nice products, and I will continue to use them. I have had a unique chance to observe several demonstrators over the past year, and it has only reaffirmed my position. Stampin Up seems very threatened by competition of other products and lines, unless they sell it in their catalog with their name on it, or their mark up. Competition is the crux of a successful business.
    It is like your boss telling you who you can be friends with, or talk to outside of work. Someone needs to let Shelli Gardner know that this is not a communist society. No one controls the internet….not even her! She cannot ask demonstrators that they cannot be friend, link, do business with people who pose a slight competitive threat to her and her bottom line — the 2nd house and multiple trips to Hawaii ea year. If I sold SU products and blogged how I like to shop at Joann’s, or liked my friend’s web page (say a friend who works for Bo Bunny or Provo Craft or whatever) that is my right to do so, and has NOTHING to do with SU sales. If I liked the COPIC markers, along with SU markers, and emailed IM’d or emailed, or posted this in a blog, tweeted or on facebook. Its my opinion, and is not hurting SU or anyone else.
    I find it really stupid, and indicative sophomoric behavior of someone (company) feeling just a wee bit threatened by others. When promoting or mentioning SU products along side any other products only HELPS sales. EVEN if it is innocently mentioned. The more you can integrate a product into other things people have or like or see, then the more there is a use for it, and a demand created.
    I agree — pretty BALLSY of some company to ask of people — who aren’t STANDARD employees, asking of people whom they aren’t providing medical, dental and a investing options for! People who MAKE THEM MONEY! People whom they charge LARGE fee’s for seminars (not to mention charge for products and tools to help them be more successful as a demonstrator during these seminars, and only give them a 20% discount on product.
    You demonstrators are putting a LOT of cash in the pockets of the exec’s at SU. I have seen their homes! You should REVOLT against this idiotic “agreement”.

  88. Kraftikaz June 30, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    I came upon this site while looking for something else. I cannot believe that SU Demos would want to promote other craft companies it would be stupid. they could lose money. It is in a demos own interest to only promote SU.
    It is now 2013 and SU are going from strength to strength.