Good morning, crafty friends! Today’s the day! Our big birthday celebration officially kicks off tonight at 7:30 pm Central time with the launch of new products and inspiration from our talented Creative Team! While we’re all waiting, I have a few things to keep us busy. First, thanks to everyone who stopped by last week and over the weekend to play our 10-Year Trivia game! I hope you had fun taking a walk down memory lane! Whether you got all the answers wrong or all the answers right (or somewhere in between), I entered your name into a random drawing for 1 of 10 $25 gift certificates to the TE webstore! And the lucky winners are:

  1. Debbi Johnson
  2. Sherry Hall
  3. Brenda Lee
  4. Cheryl (cplpn)
  5. Kim Wiethorn
  6. Shari Morris
  7. Cheryl Williams
  8. Kim Swenson
  9. Joy Schultz
  10. Sherrie Nelson

Plus, I thought it’d be fun to award an extra prize to the person who got all of the answers correct and in the shortest amount of time! But guess what? There are two people tied for the lead with all 10 questions answered correctly in 29 seconds, I’ll also be awarding a $25 gift certificate to Wahnita Hammond and Annette Santefort! You ladies are either really lucky guessers or you know your TE Trivia!

Congratulations! You’ll be receiving an email from us today so your gift certificate will be ready to spend when the new products launch tonight at 7:30 pm Central. Although the prizes have been awarded, if you didn’t get a chance to play the trivia game you can still do so by clicking here.

You know what? A lot happens in 10 years! In some ways it seems like a long time ago (10 years ago we didn’t have children and right now it’s hard for me to remember life before kids) and yet in many ways it seems like just yesterday (I can remember all of my California stamping friends who showed up in my garage the weekend after our first release to help me package orders – I can remember what I was wearing – and I can even remember the names of many of the customers who supported that very first release). I know you’ve all joined us at different points in the journey so I thought it’d be fun to take another walk down memory lane today and read about some of my favorite moments in the journey of TE:

Our first release was on September 5th, 2008 and included three stamp sets: Trick or Sweet, Frightful Night, and Sweet Celebration. All three sets featured drawings by Jessie Oleson, our first illustrator. I discovered her paintings through some rabbit trail of links I followed online. I still remember the email I sent to her and the first phone call we had. I’m pretty sure she thought I was nuts (what? rubber stamps?), but I was so thrilled when she agreed to provide me with her adorable illustrations of Cuppie. Over the next several years, Cuppie was found at the beach, swimming with sharks, at the hair salon, riding in a hot air balloon, at the movies, on the farm, and so much more! Cuppie officially retired from the TE collection in 2014 and after 11 years of painting Cuppie, Jessie officially sent him into full retirement earlier this year. Do you have one of our first three sets in your collection? You can read more on my first Release Day blog post HERE.

In March 2009, shortly after our initial launch of new products, we introduced The Giving Tree – a program designed to give back to specific charities through the sales of stamps designed specifically with that charity in mind. Our first Giving Tree set was appropriately named Branching Out, as we branched out with a new illustrator, Nancy McKinney. This set was also designed with a tree theme to support Eden Projects, an organization tasked with restoring hope through reforestation in Madagascar. We continued The Giving Tree releases quarterly for more than a year and with the help of our customers, we were able to donate thousands of dollars to organizations like Sick Kids Hospital, Make a Wish Foundation and The Humane Society. We continue to support many organizations both monetarily and through the donation of handmade cards received through our more recent Share Joy Campaigns that were initially launched in 2013. Read more about how you can participate in our efforts to give back with our newest Share Joy Campaign HERE.

CHA announced the opportunity for booths to set up for a consumer event in conjunction with the regular wholesale-only CHA event so we decided to take a leap and exhibit at the CHA Craft SuperShow in Anaheim in January 2010. I had no idea what I was doing setting up a large booth space for people to come and shop, but with the help of over 10 ladies (and the man that still stands by my side) we pulled it off! We rented a house with a pool (and it rained the whole week), we figured out how to change the stickers in the pricing guns, hung curtains 8 ft. in the air without a step stool, and shared lots of laughter. Since then we’ve exhibited at 5 wholesale CHA events and countless consumer shows around the country. You can read more about our first event HERE.

In 2013, we had the wild idea to host our own crafty weekend event in our hometown of Ankeny, IA. One of the thoughts running through my head was, “Will anyone come?”. We moved forward with our plans not knowing the answer to that question (“But wow, event venues are expensive so I hope people will come!) and we started brainstorming names for our event. Many ideas made their way onto the veto list (Stamp or Die, Stamp Stamp Revolution, Happy Stamp Camp) before we settled on the perfect name, Stamp Joy! And guess what!? People came! We had 100 crafters join us for our very first Stamp Joy and this fall, we’ll be celebrating our 5th annual Stamp Joy with 250 crafters joining us from all over the country! You can read more about Stamp Joy HERE.

It’s fun to look back on where we started and where we’ve come in the last 10 years, but I can’t leave you today without mentioning where many of my fondest memories come from – YOU!

You’ve rejoiced with me in so many happy moments; our move from California to Iowa, the births of our three children, our expansion into an actual warehouse & the opening of our local studio.

You’ve encouraged me with the excitement you share for each new product release, the emails expressing your gratitude for some small thing that made your day, the stories of how you’re using TE products to make a difference in your family or community.

And we’ve shared a lot of laughter too! Remember when our cat disappeared, my blowdryer turned out to be crazy, we dressed up for Halloween, and our cat was accidentally shaved at the groomer?

No matter what point you joined the TE journey (maybe just today!) thank you for being here! Without you, Taylored Expressions wouldn’t be here to Share Joy and that happens to be one of the greatest joys of my life so thank you for making it possible. Join me tonight for our Mini Release Mega Party – new products, party favors, and fabulous inspiration from our Creative Team starting at 7:30pm CST! And now, just a touch of inspiration to whet your appetite!