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August 2006

April 2006

Spring is Blooming!

Spring_blooms_class_4_1At CHA this past January, I introduced our spring clear stamp sets. They have been wildly well-recieved and I have designed a few demos and classes around several of them. One of my favorites is the set we call Spring Blooms. I have a bunch of these sets that are designed around some wood mounted stamps I designed in my Cardmaker's Collection line of stamps. They are primarily solid reverse square stamps (where the design is actually white and the black square is what takes the ink). When you stamp them, the flower for example, the image is blank paper and the background is where the color is. They lend themselves to stamping with rainbow pads or coloring on them with markers and spritzing them.

My favorite technique is to use Cut 'n' Dry Felt from Ranger and cut it up into little pieces. I put these into little plastic boxes and make my own custom blended ink pad with them using dye-based reinkers. I love love love this look.

These sets in general offer a lot of possibilities to the stamper as they have these reverse blocks but they also include several word stamps and several background stamps to coordinate with the solid blocks. Check out the newest entries in the Cardmaker's Collection section for some samples!

Small Company, Big Heart

Well it's finally become spring here! I'm psyched about daylight savings time...a little tired today but happy as a clam that it won't get dark until late. I have some kind of psychological issue with it getting dark early. I feel like I get nothing done during the day. So I'm feeling all productive now! My spring DST resolution is more samples and stuff on here!

I just got back from a wholesale trade show and those usually either overwhelm me or excite me. We're a pretty small company and I like it that way...I like to interact with my customers directly. Sometimes I go to shows and get overwhelmed by all of the big companies' displays and the money they can afford to spend on marketing. I've come back from this show determined to maintain my connection with the many awesome retail stores who buy from me and do more to help the independent store sell our products. I see so many companies hit on a popular product, grow their companies seemingly overnight, and lose sight of the customers who got them there.

While IO has sometimes struggled with turnaround times and the fact that I wear too many hats, our intentions have always been to provide great customer service and that isn't changing. I just promoted two of my employees to managerial positions and hired three new people to speed up our production. Hopefully these changes will result in better organization and communication with customers and a much faster turnaround! (And maybe, just maybe, I'll get a little sleep every now and then!)

Every now and then I think about selling IO, but I always come back to the fact that I really love this company. I started it from pretty much nothing and I'm so proud of where we are now. My employees are one and all really great people and while we are not perfect, we will do whatever we can to make our customers happy.