My story- Sherrill Graff
I became a demo in 1991. I just wanted to buy stamps for our 5 year old daughter at a discount. (Shelli was her room mother and did astampin up project for the Christmas Party, but that's another story) I soon realized once I saw the catalog that stamping wasn'tjust for kids.
When I started doing it as a business I borrowed stamp sets from Shelli and her sister (yes Shelli Gardner the co-founder of StampinUp.)
I'd make samples and then return the stamps and she would give me more to use. I was in Heaven!
My business began to grow and I became an upline myself. In the first year I added 14 new members to my team.
My first recruit is Loni Spendlove. She is still active and has a good sizeddownline of her own. My second recruit is my Twin sister Michele Hillam.
Michele was the very first demonstrator in the Denver Colorado area she also has a wonderful downline. Sadly she has dropped from Up. I try my best to take care of her team members as my own.
The real challenges started right after our youngest son was born. His middle name is Sterling after Sterling Gardner Shelli's husband. He was 3 months old when my Dear Husband Mark (only 34 years old) had his first heart attack.
I promised God if he would save my husbands life I would be a good person and raise a righteous family. After 5 bypass surgery and 6 months of recovery he was back to himself again.
Thank God for HUGE blessings. I sold all my stamps and my husband sold a gun or two to help pay the bills. (He is a hunter) The stamps sold for 80% of retail so it was like having an extra savings account I didn 't know about. It's nice to know they hold their value. Our parents helped too. We both have wonderful giving parents. We had help from the church and the community programs to provide Christmas for ourlittle Children.
3 years later my husband had another heart attack with Angioplasty. I thank God for modern medicine! We sold everything again to help pay the bills. Our parents helped us out again. We also had some help for Christmas this year as well.
3 years after that Mark had developed an aneurysm on one of his bypasses. It was like living with a time bomb wondering if this was they day he wouldn't return home from work. Soon after, he had yet, another heart attack!
This time we were waiting in the surgery waiting room when the doctor came out and said "there is nothing I can do" My mother in law and I looked at each other and started to cry thinking he was gone. The doctor said "oh, let me rephrase that, there is nothing I NEED to do! You have been given a miracle!"
He then explained thatMarks aneurysm was no longer a threat, that bypasshad clotted itself off and the artery they had bypassed in the first place had opened itself back up. The doctor said, things like this just don't happen.Mark's heart has grown 2 little veins that were feeding the back part of his heart. (Something that doesn't usually happen to heart patients until they are in their 50's)
We have truly been blessed!
God has stood by us, our families have stood by us, our friends have stood by us, Stampin Up has been there when I could do it and on the back burner when I could not. We are all healthy and happy. I thank Stampin Up for the wonderful Heart Set that raised such a nice donation for the Heart Association. It makes me feel good to know that we can help good organizations just by selling these special sets.
(right now they are helping Breast Cancer research with the HOPE set.
I am so glad I joined so many years ago. And just think, I signed up just for the discount!
In 2009 Mark went in and had 2 stents put in. The vessel that was giving him problems was 95% blocked, that vessel fed 2/3rds of his heart. No wonder he was having so much pain all the time.
Mark and I went to Hawaii compliments of Stampin Up in March of 2009. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary that August.
in 2010 he had another stent put in. The doctor said next time he will need bypass surgery again.
When Mark became unemployed, I started to run stampin up like a real business. I set up office hours and made sure I was doing productive activities while I worked 4 hours each day. I started holding a few more workshops each month.
I soon ran out of my close circle of family and friends to have workshops for me so I started doing community outreach events. You can learn more about these by searching Boot Camp on stampin connection.
I have found out what a real blessing Stampin Up has been in my life. It's always brought me joy and helped me make new friends but the best part is my little hobby has become my "real job"
It pays the half of thehouse payment, the car payment, the insurance, and the power bill.
How blessed we are to have this income.As Mark continues to look for work we know that our bills will be paid because of the blessings of God, a little hobby that I love and his income from unemployment. May each of you who are looking to turn your little hobby into a business be blessed to continue on the path and never give up.
2011 and Mark and I went to Alaska with stampin up. I enjoyed a week vacation in Utah for Founders Circle and met so many wonderful group of demonstrators, women with integrity and a good business sense.
As long as I put God and Family first my stampin up business will continue to prosper. I still need to be consistent with activities to keep growing my circle of friends.
I'm looking forward to working towards earning the Fiji trip.
Hope to see you on Boot Camp for business builders, it's FREE to all stampin up demonstrators.
Remember Plan your work and work your plan.
Pray like everything is up to God and work like everything is up to you.
YOU CAN do it!
May God bless you and your family,
Sherrill Graff firstname.lastname@example.org
Sherrill Graff email@example.com