Monday, February 24, 2014

Saying Goodbye to the Little Store that Helped Me Grow

I will miss this door!

The amazing bookmark Marilynn for my book signing
Book signing...A dream come true!

One of the many trunk shows
Much of what I do in my art world began right here. When I first began doing my artwork one of the girls that worked at Stamp your Heart Out in Claremont, CA introduced me to the owner, Joan and suggested that I do some classes there. I so looked up to all the women from this store. They knew EVERYTHING. I knew very little about the craft world. They showed me what glue sticks to buy, they told me what pop dots were and they explained die cutting to me. They showed me the latest paper lines and put aside patterns that they knew I would love.
I barely remember my first class there. I'm sure I was extremely nervous. What if nobody signed up? Well, guess what? People signed up! I do remember how ecstatic I was when I got my check. I couldn't believe I was working for myself! I've had many classes there since and have met many wonderful women in the process.
I also remember Joan invited me to do a trunk show one evening. This was the first time I ever showed any of my art to the public. I was really nervous. I showed up with just my art and nothing more. I had no idea what I was doing! What if nobody showed up? She lent me some easels and plate racks to display my stuff and told me it would be a good idea to put prices on it. So price it I did, with post it notes! Well, a few people came and I did sell my art. This was the beginning of a few trunk shows at Stamp your Heart Out that were always successful and always a lot of fun. Yes, the people came!
When my book, Collage Couture came out, Joan invited me to do a book signing at the store. Again I was nervous...what if nobody came? The day of the book signing came, complete with a darling bookmark they had made up, good food and guess what? People showed up! They were the perfect hosts for this event and I will always remember it fondly.
The day I received prototypes of my stamp line from Prima Marketing Inc. I ran straight to Stamp Your Heart Out. I DIDN'T know what to do with them! I was not a stamper and didn't have a clue what to do with these things! Ginny was there that day and explained all that I could do with them, showed me the best ink pads to use and sent me on my way.
Last month, we did a preview of my new stamp line at the store. Guess what? I didn't worry about the people showing up! This little store helped me grow! No more nerves!
They have been there through thick and thin for me. I must admit when I received new product, I went directly to the store to show whoever was working that day. I was too excited to go home and I had to show someone! They had all the sneak peeks from stamps, to dies, to book covers. I had to share it all with someone and that someone became a store. A store filled with wonderful people. I hope they all realize what they have meant to us over the years. Joan who never took a dime of commissions for the trunk shows and introducing me to influential people in this business. Michelle, who drives a Porche (our little joke) who really started it all, Liz and Cynthia  who took my first class and keep me laughing whenever I'm there, Sheila and Ginny who have given me oodles of product advice. I swear they are the smartest people in the craft business! I will miss this store dearly. Where will I go when I get the new products in my hands? What about future book signings? Yep, I will miss this store a lot.
And the staff? You may be able to close a store but you can't close the staff. The staff who became friends and mentors cannot get shut down and I hope the new chapter in their lives bring many fun get-togethers in the future. Girl talk, crafting and maybe some sneak peeks at new products.
Thank you Stamp Your Heart Out for being a MAJOR part of my story! Enjoy your retirement, Joan!


  1. Julie, Thank you so much for your kind remarks! You have been so generous and giving of your talents to the Power of Pink Project. You've donated pieces of your incredible art, created a special piece for our logo and more. I was happy when you came in on my last day working; it was like a cherry on my sundae. I too will miss the store but I know that the special friendships that we have will continue. We are always here to help you as your career continues to soar. Michele

  2. Julie, my heart is with you. I didn't come in contact with this wonderful store until a few months ago. I loved the service provided by the ladies and the cozy ambiance the store had. Upon my third visit I was shocked to hear that the store was closing. As I gathered items to purchase, I could help but feel saddened. I felt like a little girl in school whose new best friend moved away. I sure wish I had found this store and awesome ladies earlier in life so that I too could have made lasting friendships. Best of luck in the new endeavors of each of the ladies. Gina

  3. As one door closes another opens...we just need to be available and aware. May you all have continued success in all you do. Peace and Joy...