Sunday, March 17, 2013

Five Reasons to Join a Stamp Club

Where do you go to learn new techniques?  Are you a YouTube watcher, surfing the internet all day looking for new ways to do creative things?  Do you find yourself on Pinterest, madly pinning ideas for cards you’d like to make or sharing fabulous crafts for your home?  Do you take classes at your local craft store or subscribe to crafting magazines?

There are as many different sources of great ideas as there are scrapbookers.  We are all looking for something different, and we all have something different to share.  I for one, used to like to take classes at my local scrapbook store, but alas, they closed quite a while back.  There are other stores in the area, but I’ve noticed an alarming trend in the prices of even just the simplest classes – they’re going UP!  I’m much too frugal to spend $80 - $100 on a scrapbooking or craft class…I don’t care WHO is teaching it!  YouTube videos are fun, but some of those videos are horrible.  They’re too long, the quality is bad, and sometimes they are hard to understand.  That’s one of the many reasons I like to participate in a stamp club.

Stamp clubs, also known as card club or hostess club, are a great way to get that classroom experience without the hassle and overhead costs of a traditional workshop.  Here’s five reasons why you should join one near you:

1.  Cheaper than classes at a store:  Most clubs operate on either a low monthly fee or else a minimum purchase from the product demonstrator/instructor.  Since the money you are paying for the class comes back to you in equivalent product, it’s really a win-win situation.  In a store setting, classes are usually marked up above what it costs to pay the instructor so that the store makes a profit as well.  The profit margin can sometimes be as high as $50+ per student.

2.  Learn something new every month:  Clubs generally learn two or three small projects each month.  This can vary of course.  Some clubs may do only one big project per month, while others might vary the number of projects each time.  Either way, with a small minimum purchase, you still learn a lot.

3.  Use products that you might not have tried:  We’re all guilty of it – a new product comes out, we see it, and we wonder what all the fuss is about.  Then you see someone use it, and voila!  Now you see the potential and you just have to go buy it NOW!  This is one of the things I love most about stamp club, because sometimes the patterned papers just don’t look all that cute in the catalog, but the minute I see it in person, I fall in love.  And it’s always nice to get to try a new tool before you buy it.

4.  Learn to use your old products in new ways:  I’ve been scrapbooking a long time.  I think I know my way around the products pretty well – well enough to teach others.  Yet I still learn new tips and techniques on a regular basis.

5.  Make new friends:  I’ve made a lot of scrapbooking friends over the years, many through stamp club.  It’s also a great excuse to get together with old friends.  And what’s even better is that many stamp clubs meet in a home setting, so it’s relaxed, comfortable, and, of course, friendly.

Did I mention that you get all kinds of new product?  I love shopping the catalog for the latest stamps or the prettiest new papers.  Generally speaking, the minimum orders for a stamp club member are pretty small, but the benefits are big!  And once each cycle, you get to be the hostess ,which means lots of extra free goodies.  It’s a great way to build up credits to buy some of the more expensive items that are on your wish list.

Hmmm….that looks like six good reasons to join a stamp club!  If you live in the Dallas area, we would love to have you join our 3rd Wednesday Stamp Club.  We meet every (yes) 3rd Wednesday right here at Crafty Neighbor Studios, and we have a great time.  If you aren’t close enough to join us, I encourage you to find one in your area.  Stamp clubs are a great source of inspiration and a good excuse to make new friends!

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