Back of Jan's 8 pocket purse
Front view of Jan's
second purse created with Stampin' Up products
The first purse design Jan submitted
Erin: How long have you been scrapbooking?
Jan: I've been scrapbooking 9 years.
Erin: What got you interested in Scrapbooking?
Jan: I started out making greeting cards with rubber stamps 11 years ago and was perfectly happy to just be a stamper. I'd go into the local store that sold both stamps and scrapbooking supplies, look at the scrapbooking stuff and say, "Nuh UH! I'm not going to do that!" Then my in-laws had their 50th wedding anniversary and since we weren't throwing their party for them, I decided to volunteer to do a memory book. I included a note in the invitations asking people to send me pictures and memories, but I didn't get enough back to make a book out of, so I raided my in-law's photos and did the book mostly with those. It got a lot of attention at the party. After that, I had all those tools and things I had brought for their book..it seemed only natural to continue by making scrapbooks.
Erin: How long have you been with Stampin' Up!
Jan: I signed up in March 2003, so it's been 4 years.
Erin: Do you have a team of ladies under you? How many?
Jan: I have a very small downline of 3. I used to have 7 in 2 levels, but women sign up for different reasons and drop out for different reasons. I'm not a big recruiter, so I'm happy with the downline I have. I certainly wouldn't turn anyone down that wanted to sign up!
Erin: Are you married? Do you have Children?
Jan: I have 3 children( 2 girls and a boy), but only 1 husband. We've been married almost 24 years and our kids are 12,10, and 8.
Erin: Were you creative as a child? If yes..do you have a story you want to share?
Jan: I've always loved making things. My mom was always knitting or sewing or doing something...she encouraged me by buying me things to craft with from the time I was around 7 years old. I have always enjoyed drawing, painting and doing all different kinds of arts and crafts. I can remember the day I decided I would be an artist: I was probably 11 or 12 and was at my grandparents' house. They lived opposite an old farmhouse. I was looking at the farmhouse,its clapboard sides white against the blue sky and thought, "I'd like to paint a picture of that." And that's when I knew that I would be an artist someday, I went on to get my degree in art at Western Michigan University with an emphasis in watercolor. But making a living painting watercolors is not very easy...I've only sold a few paintings since then.
Erin: Would you like to share with us your purse making experience? What type of adhesive did you use? Any tips you want to share?
Jan: I have done 3 different versions of my purse since I got it. Every time I finish I feel I've done the best version yet, but when it's time to freshen it up I have as much or more fun the next time! I used EK Success' Dotto, which is a temporary to permanent adhesive, it makes it easy to peel the paper off when it's time to change my purse.
Erin: Do you prefer the 2 pocket purse over the 8 pocket purse?
Jan: I like the 8 pocket purse best because I can showcase more stamp sets and/or techniques.
Erin: When you are out and about do you get stopped by strangers asking about your purse?
Jan: All the time! Not a day goes by that I don't get at least 1 comment on the purse. People love it! Not only the artwork I put in my purse, but the purse itself....people like the handle especially. I call my purse my little billboard. In direct sales, your business is primarily expanded just by talking to people, so my purse being the natural conversation piece that it is, is a great tool for me.
Erin: When you get stopped does it make it easier for you to pass out your business card or book a class?
Jan: I've passed out a lot of mini catalogs and business cards since I started carrying it; more than ever before! I have gotten at least one new customer, plus a teaching job at one of the local scrapbook stores, just from carrying my purse with me everywhere.
Erin: Would you be interested in offering purse classes to your customers?
Jan: I have had customers and some store owners where I shop who have been interested, so yes, I would be.
Erin: Do have anything else you would like to say or share?
Jan: I like the design for the purse a lot, even though a vinyl purse was a big departure from my usual style! It is just the right size and the best thing about it is that it does not slide down my shoulder and arm all the time; it stays put! I have given your website out to a lot of people and I highly recommend your purses to anyone who loves to show off their artwork or just likes to have something unique and different.
Erin: Thank you Jan for taking the time to do this interview. We always look forward to seeing how you will PURSuE Your Art! We look forward to seeing more of your purse designs in our Customer Gallery. Please visit Jan's website to learn more about her and her Stampin' Up products. She has a great blog too!
If you would like to be featured here in our blog make sure your purse photos are in our Customer Gallery. We may be calling you next.... as a thank you for your time we will send you a set of replacement panels and pocket cards to create another look for your purse.
Visit us at PursueYourArt.com to order your purse today!