Twenty years ago, Mary Ellen’s mom saw an ad in their local newspaper and scheduled a workshop. After that moment, they were hooked! Mary Ellen was just 16 years old. On Mary Ellen’s eighteenth birthday, her mom told her to join because she thought it would be a good opportunity for her. She borrowed the money from her dad for her Starter Kit. At the time, he thought it would be a waste of money. Now of course his opinion has changed. She is Stampin’ Up!’s 17 Million Sales Achiever!
Mary Ellen is not your typical demonstrator. As a devoted member of the Amish community, she doesn’t use electronics. This is one of the many things that makes Mary Ellen unique and amazing in her quest to reaching this milestone.
Workshops didn’t come naturally to Mary Ellen. “It was terrifying and so awesome!” She had her mom drive her with the horse and buggy since it was her mom’s idea to hold a workshop. She was so nervous but watching everyone’s reaction inspired her. “I can be shy but putting that stamp in my hand and talking about what I love boosted my confidence.” Now she explains, “I can’t shut up about Stampin’ Up!”
After she attended her first convention in 2008, she realized she could turn Stampin’ Up! into a significant business. At that moment she decided she wanted to earn the incentive trip and made a goal to sell $3,333 a month. This was the year the Big Shot was released. All her customers wanted one but didn’t want to buy one. Mary Ellen’s solution was to invite her customers to host a party so they could use host benefits. Soon everyone was booking a party to get a Big Shot. As she looked at her calendar, she was booked out three months! She earned the trip the first year she strived for it.
Goals are an important part of Mary Ellen’s business, and she has a goal to earn the incentive trip each year. She wanted in the Founder’s Circle, wrote down the top 10 in sales, and figured that was her way in. She kept that list as a guide and tracked her progress.
Her family couldn’t be more supportive. A week after her dad loaned her the money for her Starter Kit, she paid him back with her Stampin’ Up! earnings. Today her dad is there to help with classes and siblings travel with her to OnStage.
Friendship has become a major role in the journey for Mary Ellen. “The friendships I’ve made with both demonstrators and customers made my dreams come true.” For her, it’s a humbling feeling to hit this sales milestone. “To think that my customers have chosen to spend their time and money with me, to help me achieve this milestone! It’s amazing!”
Mary Ellen has become such a great example in her community that the little girls in her area play Stampin’ Up! and fight over who will be Mary Ellen and have their own classes. These little recruits-in-training “warms my heart!” They get their mom’s stamp stuff (that they are allowed to use) and have their own classes. Basically, recruits in training— “It warms my heart!”
As Mary Ellen looks back over the past 15 years, she knows she has been so very blessed. “My 18-year-old self could never have imagined what I was signing up for when I filled out the paperwork to join.”
Stampin’ Up! has changed her life and helped her become who she is today. The friendships she’s made and travelling she’s done have been priceless. Congratulations, Mary Ellen! You continue to amaze us!