Sharing my story as an upline

Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator Pootles – Sharing my story as an upline

Stampin' Up! Demonstrator Pootles - Sharing my story as an upline side

Happy Tuesday everyone! I have a slightly different kind of blog post today for you. There is a card idea here, I couldn’t put up a post without a pretty visual, but I wanted to tell you a story.

As a team leader and upline, I get the ultimate pleasure and privilege of working with ladies and gentleman from across all our European Countries. I get to watch their journey unfold. I get to see them flex their wings and fly. And I get to nurture them.

One of the things I do as a leader is go Live into our team facebook group each week. We don’t do creative things in the Live Broadcast, but I talk for about 30-45 minutes on a topic (or two!) and then we have about 15 minutes of Q&A and our ‘Toot Toots’ where we all share things we’ve achieved that week.

This past week I invited the team to take a moment to think back over their journeys as demonstrators and to put down in writing their reasons for buying Stampin Up products and their reasons for joining.

It’s been a wonderful week for me to read their stories – there have been posts that have made me laugh, posts that have touched my heart and posts that have made me think ‘wow, that’s a great testimony’.

Seeing them blossom and grow is one of the greatest privileges and though many of them have previously kept their personal struggles private, they’ve bravely shared their own experiences and those are now touching other people.

I felt it only right though that if I’ve asked my team to share their stories, that I ought to share mine too.

Now many of you will know my reasons for becoming a demo and how I have built my business, but I don’t often talk about the part of me that is the team leader and upline. So I thought I’d share that with you!

I’m very much an internet girl (no surprise there), so most of my team in the early days were online based too. Very quickly I set up a facebook group exclusively for our team and it remains the hub of our team community now, 3 and a half years on. It’s a busy and bubbly place with creative ideas being shared, support to new demonstrators and huge cheers when someone has achieved something.

I used to be a very confident person – able to stride out in front of an audience and happily talk about beauty and makeup. But somewhere between being a Mum and having less time outside, I became more reserved and I lacked the confidence to talk in front of others.

But having a team meant stepping out of my own comfort zone and braving having people ‘look at me’ because that’s how it felt. As though people were just staring! The reality is that yes, they were looking at me, but most importantly, they were listening. That’s what I needed to get to grips with. People weren’t just gawking at some girl in front of them, but they wanted to hear what I had to say.

So little by little, I grew in confidence. The hardest speeches you ever make are in front of friends. Strangers are a walk in the park in comparison! And my team stood by me.

We started off having occasional webinars and conference calls, but they were clunky and cumbersome. I’ve always done one to one calls right from the beginning, but finding the right solution to encompass everyone has been the biggest challenge with live training. Newsletters are great to get everyone included, I will always do those, but sometimes you just have to speak and not write. Hence why I do video tutorials!!!

We are literally across different countries and doing in person get togethers was proving impossible, so I started to do 3 minute sound bite videos 2 or 3 times a week and post them into the group. Usually on the fly, when something exciting had popped into my head. I’d film them on my phone and load them up for everyone to watch at their leisure. The team seemed to really relish these and I still do them when it’s something specific that I want to quickly share or talk about, but doesn’t warrant a live event on.

So imagine my delight when Facebook Live came out earlier this year! Well that set the mark for weekly team training and our first official ‘Live’ broadcast came just a few days after my first Live and In Person team event. We had the best time, it was just a one day event, but in the space of about 6 hours we had covered half a dozen topics, played some amazing games, had some fantastic recognition and a great make and take project. And it was an honour to have not just our UK Country manager with us, but 2 other people from the USA Home Office spent the morning with us too, sharing some background information and a little insider information!

That paved the way for a full weekend event last month when a whole group of the team joined me for the weekend in Manchester where we had so much fun! Exhausting but loads of fun. And it was wonderful that one of our German ladies was able to fly over to join us!

We had 6 creative projects, testimonials from 3 of my team, 2 demonstrator presentations, the UK corporate manager joined us, so many business ideas and tips and the funniest game ever!

So I’ve come a long way as a team leader and upline, where I was 3 and a half years ago is a long way from where I am now. But it’s an ever evolving process, technology may change again and make us all connected in a different way. And of course, not everyone is on facebook, so I do still work in email newsletters and absolutely put things in the post! Goodness, every month I sent out around 40 parcels to various members of the team. Parcels of goodies and products for promotion or milestones. You name it, if they do it, I will recognise and gift it!

So I leave you with one of the projects that I designed for our weekend – crazy woman that I am, not only did I cover 6 different business topics, I also designed 4 different creative projects and prepped the whole lot too. Clearly I need to get better at delegation….. Roll on next year, we have another couple of big weekend events planned including one out in Europe!!

Have a wonderful day everyone, thank you for reading my story, and if you see a blog or facebook post out there where the demonstrator is talking about her journey with Stampin’ Up! you know it’s someone who’s a Pootler. Because Pootlers Rock.

S xx

Stampin' Up! Demonstrator Pootles - Sharing my story as an upline

I hope you enjoyed this project, please do use the hostess code to get free product! (hostess code shown in the top right of my blog for the current one!) Learn more HERE. If your order is over £150, please do not use this code as You become the hostess and get the Rewards!



Sam Hammond

Stampin’ Up! UK Independent Demonstrator

You can buy Stampin’ Up! online easily through my Stampin’ Up! shop link on the right hand side, or within this blog post.

You can also join Stampin’ Up! through similar links too! I have various FAQ and joining Stampin’ Up! pages on the blog, so do click around!  

I cover the UK, The Netherlands, Germany, France and Austria with my shop, but also my team too, so you can join me in those countries also!

And of course, you can find me on facebook, instagram, pinterest and on YouTube as a Guru with my account name as PootlesPapercraft, however, I’m scattered everywhere as Pootles!


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  1. Anne Lumsden says:

    Most inspirational Sam…

  2. Penny Caird says:

    Thought about writing a book??! Seriously it’s lovely to hear how your amazing story is unfolding! Xxx

  3. Elisabeth says:

    Thank you for sharing. From Paris, i love your news and your blog ( I refuse Facebook!!!)

  4. Carla vdM says:

    I enjoyed reading your story too and I like what you make and share with all of us, very inspiring and it is great to try it out and see the smile on the face of the receiver(s)
    Wishing you loads of stamping- and sharing fun for the years to come.

  5. You really are an inspiration Sam. It’s made me realise that I’ve been alongside you for 2 and a half years of your journey. I live your projects, and I really do miss being part of the Pootlers team (I’ll be back one day!). I always think of my time as a Pootler as a fun filled one where I met lots of wonderful people and made some wonderful friends. Thank you for the Pootles Craft Forum too. It’s such a fun and inspiring space.
    Thank you for being you, and doing what you do! Debbie, and the Pootlettes 😉 xx

  6. Sam you are amazing

  7. Karen Clemson says:

    The only thing I regret in joining Stampin up was that I live in Australia and couldn’t be part of your team. I have followed you since the very beginning (I joined in Australia 2 weeks after you) and can honestly say that there has not been anything that you have made that I haven’t enjoyed, although I have to admit that I especially love your 3D products. Keep,it up Sam and don’t change and Pootlers!! consider yourself lucky and blessed that Sam is your up line so enjoy her. With hugs xxxx Karen

  8. Sam, that was beautiful. Made my day.

  9. Helen Howell says:

    Thank you Sam. Very interesting story. Love love love your projects and love to see them appearing on my phone . Keep trucking !! H xx

  10. Marie Giordano Campagna says:

    You are an amazing person. Your friend from the States

  11. Thanks for sharing! I’m a demonstrator in New York and have enjoyed your ideas and used some for my SAS’s. Continued good luck to you. You are amazing…two boys and an active business…WOW!

    • Actually, she’s got FOUR young sons, but she is DEFINITELY amazing!
      Side question for you, Lois….I live in New Jersey, do you ever do any sort of Stampin’ Up events? I’m looking for a demonstrator, but I want an active one (like Sam here), who has get-togethers and such.

  12. Rosemary Smith says:

    You are truly a wonderful inspiration to all of your Pootles family out here near and far. I am in Florida and follow you daily. You sound like a wonderful friend, leader and especially a mom to all those boys! Good for you. And you still manage to be bubbly and beautiful. Keep up the fantastic videos and know how adored you are by afar from people you have never met but feel like they know you.

  13. Stempeljunky-Monika says:

    Thanks for sharing! I always love your new posts and projects! Keep it rock´n!

  14. Gail orsted says:

    Sam, you are such an inspiration to us all.

  15. LEANNE RYKARD says:


  16. Windy Ellard says:

    You are so inspiring Sam! Even to so many U S demos like me…and you are famous here, too! Your team is very blessed!

  17. Thanks for sharing Sam – you are such an inspiration and I am proud to be a Pootlers! Xx

  18. Leonie Aland says:

    Would love to read why you joined stampin up, but I cant find it on your blog, could you tell me where I might it find it please.
    Thank you
    PS I love your videos!

  19. Please Sam could you confirm you get my emails X

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