I have just returned home from Phoenix where I attended Creativation, our industry’s yearly convention where the latest products are shown, classes are taught, and shop owners are connected with brands from all over.
If you have been on social media this past week, more than likely you have seen photos of all the exciting new products releasing in 2020! It truly is exciting! I thought I would give you a bit of a different view of this event, my view at least… and it’s not one that will tell you about any new product…but keep reading, trust me.
If you are reading this then you probably know that Trinity Stamps is still a fairly new company. We didn’t have a booth at the show but attended the event to connect with friends and each other, #TeamTrinity. As much as all the new and amazing products stood out to me, something even bigger made a huge impact on my business and in my heart. Because I think this is so important, I really wanted to share it with you.
You see, as card makers and paper crafters, we are all about spreading happiness and having fun with our hobby. Yet this event wasn’t for the public, it was about doing business, right? Bringing your best and going against the best. But, friends….wow, it’s so much more. I was, and still am, in awe of what I saw. Here are a few things I witnessed.
My (persuasive) design team manager brought me along to a lunch date on day one with some of her friends. Four people that I have never met before. One of these people was Kim from the stamp company, Paper Smooches. The crafter in me was having a fan-girl moment because I LOVE her work. As we chit-chatted around the table, Kim was generous in sharing her business experience. I asked questions, she answered without hesitation. I left that lunch with four new friends and as we parted with hugs Kim said to me that if I ever had questions or if she could help at all that I could call on her. This woman was pure kindness to another stamp company owner when she had only known me for an hour. She never treated me as a competitor but as a new friend. Wow, right?
Before this, I had met with the lovely husband and wife duo of Pear Blossom Press. Another company that is fairly new. They sell lights for card makers. They showed me their product and told me a little about themselves and somehow the conversation got on the topic of a competitor, Chibitronics. They spoke in admiration of this company in a way that would make you want to buy their competitors’ products as well as their own. They had smiles and we had an amazing chat. Seriously talented people. I encourage you to take a look at their company if you haven’t already.
A friend and talented blogger joined Trinity stamps at Creativation for her first time to socialize and take in the event. But rather than see this friend walking around the show floor socializing and hugging friends as I expected she would, I saw her selflessly volunteering to help with make-and-takes at different companies. She spent most of her time at Creativation doing this and with the biggest smile on her face. I don’t know if many realize how much work this can be at an event like this but she only talked about how happy she was to help and be there. Seeka, you are amazing and I am SO blessed to know you!
As I made my way around the show floor the next day walking in and out of these busy booths, I overheard so many stamp company owners and employees singing the praises of other stamp companies. A few things I heard … “Did you see the amazing stamps that Hero Arts is releasing?” … ”Did you know there is a brand new company that launched here at Creativation? i-Crafter! Go check them out. Their stuff is so cute and the owner is SO nice!” … “Lawn Fawn has done it again with their new interactive die, so cute!!” Not once did I hear anyone telling someone their products were better or anything about competition.
I ended up chatting with the amazing Florette from Ink on 3 who excitedly showed me a way to use her pixie dust on a gel plate (which was genius!). She was so incredibly nice and felt like someone I have known for a long time, not someone I just met. That is how genuine she was. By the way, her ink is amazing and I will be carrying them In our shop because I love them so much.
Leslie from Heffy Doodle joined us with huge hugs and her infectious happy personality. We talked about our companies and exchanged new products from each other’s companies to play with (we are crafters too and love to use everything like you). Last year at Creativation (2019) I spoke to Leslie about something I was struggling with, so she offered and promised to connect me with a supplier she works with to help me out. Leslie returned home from Creativation 2019 and did what she promised right away. She didn’t just send me a name or website. She wrote a letter introducing me to her supplier. Since when do you know “competing” companies giving that kind of information to help another company? She’s just that kind of girl. I hope she knows what a difference she made in my business.
On the last day, I stopped by the “Make it by Marko” booth and met Rebecca, her husband Carl, and the kind folks working in their booth. Truly amazing people with amazing innovative 3-D products. I had wanted to chat with them about a project and instead of staying in their always busy booth, Carl actually sat with me away from the booth to chat and got to know me. I was surprised as I only expected to steal a few moments of their time. You can tell this couple really cares about the people they meet as much as their awesome products. I was very impressed.
Lastly, I have to tell you that nine of my design team members graciously flew in for the show (on their own dime mind you), and took time away from their busy lives just to meet each other and spend time representing Trinity Stamps. It’s so different when you actually meet your online friends face-to-face. They all came packed with ideas to share and a huge desire to help Trinity Stamps grow. We shared lots of late-night giggles and closer friendships than ever. I am honestly blessed with such an amazing and talented team!
I am in awe of the crafty “community-over-competition” spirit I experienced this past week. It filled my heart and made me so incredibly proud to be a part of an industry of amazingly supportive people. I had expected to be inspired by all the fun products and projects that the show had to offer (and I was) but I left the show inspired so MUCH more by the people I had the opportunity to meet.
Have you experienced this in our industry? If so please drop me a note or post below, I would love to hear your experiences too! And keep spreading the kindness friends, because that is what it is all about!
Links to everyone mentioned are embedded in my post so you can easily visit all these amazing people!
Lots of Crafty Hugs,