Saturday, July 20, 2013


I think it's fair to say that last night was the most incredible night of my life. I don't quite know what to say or where to begin.
To avoid this post from being a novel, I will just talk about last night although the whole day was filled with fun inspiration and visiting with friends. (I saw some amazing project ideas and there were some very very cool new products that will soon be released)

Last night was the awards night. It is an evening where stampin up takes the time to recognize and award significant achievements. The majority are tied to business achievements but of course creativity and design talent is also recognized through the artisan award. The award that I was really hoping for was to be a Founders Circle achiever. It is awarded to the top 20 demonstrators in Canada and the top 100 demonstrators in the US. It is also awarded to the top 3 demonstrators in certain performance categories. Unlike the incentive trip, Founders Circle is not an award where progress can be tracked. A weighted formula is used by stampin up to determine the top demos each year. However, like the incentive trip, it involves an all expense paid trip with fabulous food and pillow gifts!!!!
I had butterflies in my stomach as the MC announced the top three achieves in a particular category. Number 3 was my new friend Karina Chin whom I had met on the recent trip to Fiji.  She was not expecting this award and was sitting way far in the back of the auditorium. it was very sweet to see her surprise and shock on earning this prestigious award. When they called my name next as the number 2 achiever in this category, I was so excited as that meant I could go on the much coveted Founders Circle retreat and there was an extra squeal because I had forgotten that I get a BEAUTIFUL leather bag and an additional memento of my choice (eg jewelry, or iPad). I received a beautiful flower lei that I wore for the evening. The lei was a foreshadowing to everyone that the next grand vacation incentive trip is to Hawaii!

I was sitting back in my seat with with my friends and the very last announcement for the evening was to say farewell to the current advisory board members and welcome the incoming members. From what I understand, the Advisory Board is a hand picked team of 6 high achieving demonstrators who will be working closely with stampin up and helping to be the voice of the demonstrator base over the entire year.  I have viewed the Advisory board as one of the highest honors for a demonstrator because it indicates that Shelli Gardner CEO and the rest of stampin up admire the values, integrity, business practices of the chosen demonstrator and believe that the opinions of the demonstrator are extremely valuable in the direction of the company. 
As I am sitting there there talking to my seat neighbor while they are starting to announce incoming members, I hear them say "Markham, Canada...Genevieve Ko!" To say I was shocked was really an understatement. I did not see this coming at all. I screamed. What could I do? I somehow managed to make it to the stage shaking, tears in my eyes while my head was spinning. A hug with Rich Jutkins (president), a hug with Shelli, a large bouquet of beautiful uellow roses, listening to the other names being called up, a group all kind of blurred by. I walked down the ramp and was given a pretty packet that contained some details of the Advisory board benefits and a confidentiality agreement as I suppose we will hear about secret things during our meetings. 

I am so touched by the compliments and encouragement that I have been receiving since the announcement has been made. Right at the bottom of the ramp when I left the stage,  Dale Hampshire, the Canadian Stampin' Up manager came to meet me for a hug and with his wonderful twinkle in his eye just gave me a word of cheer...letting me know of his support.  My friends were as shocked as me and in between the squeals there were many hugs, photos and very large smiles.  Fellow demonstrators that I knew and those that I didn't, have been approaching me at the after party last night and all through today to congratulate me. It is crazy! I am not used to the attention. I am not sure how to respond. I do know that it is not all about me. I hope i am able now to share honestly how I feel...i trust you will all give me room for these words from my heart.  Good gifts come from God and my heart is so thankful to Him for all I have experienced and learned. Thank you to my hostesses, customers and friends who have supported me in this journey. Truly, your friendship, your referrals, your orders, your many kind words at my classes, have "filled my bucket" and given me the energy to continue when i feel tired. So many times I have done a class and felt pure JOY sharing conversation and tea and serving you with paper stamps and ink to create something beautiful. 
Thank you to the awesome Team STIC. Words are not enough to express all that you have taught me and without you none of the achievements would be possible. 
Kevin, I know you are reading this. There are not many husbands who give the kind of support you give me in pursuing my hobby and passion. Your "Jesus-like" sacrifices and love are not unnoticed. Your style of love is an inspiration to me!
Okay, so that's my super long post for today. I will be home tomorrow night! 
See you soon!

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