In the spirit of Stampaganza, we’ve asked Executive Director Denise Anderson-Turley to share why she’s so passionate about stamping. Here is her beautiful story.
It started with an invitation. It was a “party” called D.O.T.S.
My husband, children, and I had recently moved to Southern California. We were new to the state and new to the neighborhood. I wanted to make new friends. I was hoping to meet the movers and shakers at Luiseno Elementary School. I reluctantly attended the D.O.T.S. party because I knew the PTA president was the hostess, and I desperately wanted to be friends with her. I was a little late because I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t want to be labeled as one of those “party going” or “party giving” types! I was a happy stay-at-home mom to three great kids.
Once I arrived, I stood in the back with my arms folded over my chest, feeling a mix of social anxiety and suspicion of the “home party” culture. I was not interested in selling anything to anyone. Ever. I watched and listed as Cindy Baker shared the story of Jeanette, and then the magic happened. She showed us how to stamp two images without having the inked lines show through! I’ll never forget that adorable card. She stamped a cloud behind it. She added glitter and sponged the sky blue. When she held up the card, I gasped. I had never seen anything like it! I was hooked. That card changed the course of my adult life.
At the end of her presentation, she asked if anyone wanted to learn more about becoming a D.O.T.S Demonstrator, and I blurted out “I’ll sign up!”—I was her easiest recruit, ever. 🙂
I rushed home and told my husband about my decision. I told him I needed $250, which was not a small amount of money in 1992. I was going to sell stamps! I’m pretty sure he thought I was kidding. He had no idea what I was talking about! I ordered my “kit” and waited with great anticipation. The kit came in about 3 weeks in a small cardboard box. When I opened the box, I saw ink pads, a box of markers, stamps, glossy paper, and glitter! My heart knew those products were something special.
I begged a few friends to have a D.O.T.S. “party.” They did not go well. I had so much to learn. My confidence and skill level needed help. I felt like a failure. I was sure that I had made a $250 mistake. But I did not give up. In December that year, I made flyers and put them all over my new neighborhood and held an Open House. I think five people came. And all five booked a party for January. I was over the moon!
Then it got real. It got real fun. I had become a stamp addict! I earned $50 on my first commission override check! I couldn’t believe it! I got paid to make pretty things and have fun! I invested that check plus a little more right back into the business.
I was lucky to live near my Upline, Cindy Baker, and she started teaching me the “art” of stamping. She was my mentor, my friend, and my teacher. She still is. One of my fondest memories is when I would take my two-year-old daughter, Jenna, with me to stamp at Cindy’s house. Cindy would give my sweet little Jenna a Ziploc bag filled with mini marshmallows while we sat at her table and stamped our way through many afternoons!
D.O.T.S. grew, my Team grew, and the company’s name changed to Close To My Heart. Through all these changes, the creative life I loved never wavered. I had parties almost every night of the week. I continued to share my addiction with other women. I invited them into my stamping world. I loved the joy it brought into people’s lives. Stamps, markers, paper, and glitter were my world. My happy-stampy-crafty world!
Because I am a stamp addict, I was able to teach my children about loyalty, perseverance, discipline, and finances, about following your dream and knowing your heart. I was clueless when I signed up. I had no idea about the benefits of a direct sales business. I knew I could sell eye shadow or bowls or necklaces, but none of those products were as magical or addicting. Close To My Heart is so much more than a direct sales company. It’s not something I sell. It’s who I am.Being a stamp addict has provided me with income and travel, lifelong friends and amazing moments that I would never have experienced in any other job. I am lucky that this addiction has so many great side effects!
Today I am a happily-ever-after stamp addict. I am thrilled when I get my hands on the new idea book at Convention. I love the excitement of the Seasonal Expressions. I share my art and my passion with anyone who’ll listen. I still want to stamp every single day. Cindy Baker is still my Upline, and Jenna is still sweet!
My stamp addiction became my strength. My stamp addiction changed me into a leader, a mentor, and the woman I am today.
I am a stamp addict.