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Old 04-15-2019, 09:43 AM   #6
Splitcoast Dirty Dozen
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 840

I wasn't a demonstrator. I only ever placed 5 orders with SU, and most of it was for paper, inkpads and adhesive. But I've definitely felt the too-many-new-releases burn out. With so many awesome things being released what feels like almost daily, it's far too easy to get overwhelmed (not to mention risk going bankrupt!).

So, I made one simple rule for myself and it's really helped out.

Every new stamp, die, paper and tool go on a 6-month wait list. They stay on that list for 6 months, and if I still want them after that time, they go into the cart. I have limited my crafty purchases to twice per year (birthday and Christmas) and I do occasionally get a card kit if it's a great value or fills a hole in my stash.

Putting things on a wait list has so many advantages. For one, it easily filters out those impulse purchases -- things that hop into the cart because they're cute and right there in plain view. It also gives me a chance to figure out how things will fit into my stash. I can come up with card ideas, view a whole bunch of videos about different techniques or even make a folder with card inspirations including more than just release project hype.

Most importantly, though, it's been super helpful in avoiding the trendy fads. Sometimes, a particular product/tool/technique will be everywhere on social media - to the point where you feel like you need this amazing thing too. But 6 months later, everyone's abandoned it in lieu of the next best thing. Waiting for a while helped me avoid buying all the foiling equipment that I'm convinced would just be gathering dust since foiling isn't that "in" anymore.

It has also helped show which products will last the test of time. I was very resistant to buying distress oxides at first. I have some regular distress inks in many colors, and didn't have a ton of issues with blending. But distress oxides are still on the favorites list for many people and that convinced me to give them a try. I do enjoy them and I invested in a few more colors to round off my collection (though not all of them, still).

If it happens that a product is retired before those 6 months are up (limited edition, etc), I take it as a sign I didn't need to have it. Limited edition stamps and dies can be absolutely fabulous, but they become an even quicker fad. Lots of people will use them in projects right at launch, but no one will use them down the line because the product won't be available anymore. That leaves a limited pool of inspiration and techniques.

(Incidentally, that's actually one reason I didn't stick with Stamping Up. I don't like that things get retired and the only emphasis is on the newest release. Stamps and papers will likely last me more than just a year, so having to get rid of them because they're no longer sold doesn't make me happy. To each their own, though! I know a lot of SU demonstrators love the yearly refresher and enjoy not having a massive catalog to wrangle.)

There's a good chance that there will be some sort of sale or discount after the product's been out for 6 months, too. I get a little more bang for my buck. Not to mention I can avoid the "I want this, but it has been out of stock everywhere, so I have to go place an order with the only store that has it - and hey, since they have free shipping at 75$, maybe I should get a few more stamps" thing that used to happen way too often. Things aren't out of stock so much after 6 months.

Finally, the best part is that the wait list means I have a chance to give some love and attention to my stash and actually use the things I bought. I don't just organize and collect things anymore with an overwhelmed feeling of guilt because I have 20 unopened stamps from my last two crafty orders and I just bought 8 more.

Not having the latest and greatest right when it's launched has actually been really liberating. Card-making is a hobby for me. I'm not on any design teams and I'm not running a business (not even affiliate links). But I would still catch myself getting that "keeping up with the Joneses" feeling when it came to social media. On some level, I was competing for attention with other designers and that's really not what I want out of this hobby.

There's room for everyone. We can inspire others with old supplies and new supplies alike. So, I'm going to work on and keep sharing things that I've created - and using my stash instead of buying new shinies is a big part of that.
Creative Cardsea
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