So Friday was our Kanab tour, the location of Stampin' Up!'s manufacturing facility. The new place was built pretty recently, so I didn't get to see the one in all the old pictures with the red store front, but I was very impressed with it! We had to be ready to leave by 8 a.m., and the drive to Kanab was about 2 hours long. I was on the "Georgia Peach" bus, full of mostly first-time Founder's Circle achievers. Part of our bus ride involved the opportunity to tell Shelli what we thought Stampin' Up! should STOP doing, what they should START doing, and what they should KEEP ON doing. It was nice to have a chance to be heard, and it was interesting to hear all the different ideas of what "should" or "shouldn't" be happening within the company!
Here's a picture of my new friend Beckie and I in front of the building before our tour. We were allowed to take pictures inside part of the building--the foyer area with displays and Shelli's "apartment" where she stays when she's visiting the facility. I write "apartment" in quotes because this gorgeous area is probably more square feet than my regular house!! She decorated it herself, and it has the feel of a bed and breakfast--at least, the bedrooms and bathrooms do. There's a beautiful kitchen that (sadly) is much bigger than my own!
We weren't allowed to take pictures during the part of the tour that led us through the areas where they cut the rubber and make the impressions. Wow, though, what a fascinating process! We learned all about the work that goes into making the stamp sets die-cut, a new and very popular feature that is here to stay, thank goodness! Several more people have full-time jobs thanks to that decision! We watched ladies packaging stamp sets and even packaged wooden blocks ourselves--it's like a puzzle finding the right-sized pieces and getting them all to fit in the box. I have a whole new respect for this whole process! I could certainly never do that kind of work day in and day out. But the environment is very nice--you'd never know you were in a manufacturing facility. It's well-lit, bright, clean, and you can just tell that the employees really enjoy their work environment. After going through the place, we got to sit and ask questions of some of the guys who are managers within the facility. I must confess I don't remember much about this portion of the tour, as it was approaching lunchtime and I was extremely hungry and sleepy!
Thankfully it wasn't too much longer before we Georgia Peaches were loaded up onto our bus again and got to ride to the "Park That Stamps Built!" You can see the cut up pieces of rubber that are used as playground filler--we could even see some of the stamp images! Very fun and soft. We were told that Shelli sends the material to anyone who wants it for their parks for only the cost of shipping. I wonder how many parks around the country have rubber instead of rocks?! For lunch we got to order Subway from a little traveling vendor wagon and of course pick out chips, a cookie, and a drink. I sat with Beckie and met Julie and her downline Stacy, a Rising Star, and enjoyed visiting with them. One thing I enjoyed about my trip was how many Christian demonstrators I met--these gals share my beliefs also, and it's like an extra little connection that makes for instant bonding.
On the way home, we played some games...all of us "won" a pack of the new Georgia Peach Designer Series Papers (woohoo!), and then we played Bingo for more prizes. I ended up with a pack of the new In-Color buttons, not because I got a Bingo, but because a new friend (Dawn) had won two prizes and got to choose someone to give a prize to. She picked me! That made staying up late the night before chatting with her all worth it, LOL! Really, it was sweet of her to pick me...we weren't even sitting close together. It was fun meeting and getting to know Dawn; I had seen her give Convention presentations, and it was great to learn more about her on a personal level.
Back at my hotel room I found another little gift, but I didn't get a picture of this one because I was in a hurry to scoot out for dinner before our evening activity. It's a cute charm necklace with our first initial in silver glitter. (What would they do if a male demonstrator made it to Founder's Circle?!) About a dozen of us went to a nearby steakhouse for dinner--you can see my table of 6 here. The cute blonde gal on the left is Jen, the one whose room housed my suitcase for a couple of hours. :-) Next to her is Jo, Jen's upline, and Georgia, and on the other side is another Jennifer (who apparently looks like me, or I look like her, as we were confused by some other people on occasion!), me, and Sarah.
After stuffing ourselves beyond the point of reason, we went back to the hotel to catch our bus. This was one of our free nights, and about 45 of us had signed up to go to a gorgeous outdoor theater to see a performance of Big River, a musical based on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. As an English major, I was very excited to go, but I was also extremely exhausted from an already-long day. Thankfully the production was AMAZING, and there was no danger of me falling asleep. :-) My only frustration was that the demonstrator sitting in front of me texted nearly the whole time, and the glow of her phone was rather irritating. Why pay to go see a show when you're going to sit with your head down and text your way through it?!
It was about midnight when we got back to the hotel, and I'm quite sure I was asleep not long after!