A Sad Time

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted for several days, and there’s a reason. The past couple of days (and even weeks) have been exhausting—both physically and mentally—as we have faced a situation at Stampin’ Up! I never thought I’d face. If you’re one of our demonstrators, you’ve probably heard by now (or read on the Demonstrator Web Site) that we are laying off some employees.

Making this decision has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done (and I haven’t made it alone—the entire Corporate Team has labored over this with me). Layoffs is a negative word to me, one of those words you know but that you never expect—or want—to use. It’s a word that you know affects people in a very real way.

Our employees, like our demonstrators, are very important people to me, people I love and appreciate. I know that however difficult this is for me, it is much more devastating for those who will be losing their jobs.

Stampin’ Up! has always been a solid company; in fact, our past success prompted us to build an organization that could support continued growth. Unfortunately, like everyone else, our sales and recruiting have been steadily declining for months, and the number of employees we have simply isn’t justified in our current position. We’re still selling and sharing (thank goodness!), and we’ve made significant cuts in our budget over the last year (our Corporate Team members even took pay cuts), but we’ve reached a point where this was really our only alternative.

So, this is a very sad time.

There’s a difference between a company taking desperate steps to stay open for a few more months and a company making difficult decisions in order to remain solid for the long term. We are the latter! I have always tried to be very straightforward and honest, and I am being so now. Our demonstrators and customers need to know that, as I’ve stated before, Stampin’ Up! is a viable company. However, if we were to continue as we are, with declining sales and our current infrastructure, we simply wouldn’t stay that way.

I believe in what we do and what we offer, and I think people need it—more now than ever before! These incredibly difficult decisions put us in a situation to remain solid—and I do want to reassure both our demonstrators and our customers that, as we’ve made these decisions, our top priority has been to preserve and protect our demonstrators’ businesses.

I also want to express my heartfelt appreciation for all our employees. I work with such wonderful people—good, compassionate, skilled, enthusiastic. . . the list could go on and on. Our employees, along with our demonstrators, are what make Stampin’ Up! what it is, and I am so grateful for each of them.