By Shannon West, Demonstrator Training Manager
It started one Saturday in January. I was kicking myself for not sending out my Christmas cards, but I also noticed that many friends had simply posted their Christmas cards on Facebook rather than sending them in the mail. For years I’ve complained about Facebook ruining birthday cards and now it would seem the same was happening to Christmas cards. A handmade, handwritten card in the mailbox seemed to be nearly extinct—and I was contributing to the problem! I wanted to do something drastic and immediate to stop this neglect and hold myself accountable.
So that Saturday in January, I made a decision: I posted on Facebook that I would send a birthday card to any of my friends that wanted one. I didn’t think about the possibilities or consequences…I just posted and was astonished when the responses started rolling in.
After 24 hours, I had over 300 responses…far more than I had ever received on a previous post. I started a spreadsheet to keep track and went to work making and sending birthday cards.
Two days later, I posted a photo of my first set of cards that I was sending. At this point, my posts started to be shared and others started posting that they were also sending cards to their friends. These results were an absolute surprise!
As my friends began receiving their cards, they posted photos of them on social media to thank me. This sparked another idea: there needed to be a way to easily see all the cards—my cards and others’ cards too—so that we could see all the different ideas to CASE (Copy And Share Everything). Playing on the lyrics of a Justin Timberlake song, the hashtag #imbringingbirthdaysback was born! I wanted to stamp it on each card so that the receiver would know to use the hashtag if they posted the card, so I carved my very own #imbringingbirthdaysback stamp.
As my spreadsheet of birthdays grew (it’s currently 1,327 names strong!), the sharing grew. There is something special about a birthday. It’s your special day—you get to dictate what happens that day and it’s yours to own and craft. And EVERYONE has one. It seems this unexpectedly played into the development of this movement. And it wasn’t difficult to sense the happiness and excitement that one feels when simply sending cards…that was a factor in the excitement that built around the movement too, of course.
After a few weeks, Sara approached me and asked how Stampin’ up! could support the movement—after all, making and sending cards is what Stampin’ Up! has always been focused on (Shelli still sends every single employee a birthday card each year!). I also got to share my story on a local news program: Good Things Utah. (You can watch the host make a birthday card below.)
This is such a great idea! It is true that social media has changed our habits of sending out cards for birthdays, Christmas etc. I have posted this challenge on Facebook and plan on creating a class out of this idea and the supplies you shared on your video. I can't wait to get started on this challenge and get my hands on your new stamp you created! Thanks for inspiring us to make birthdays special and to get stamping to make a difference in someone's day!
Trying to do this too, Shannon. I had gotten a little lazy in this area. Can't wait to get your stamp!
Wonderful idea, I'm going to start sending birthday cards to help continue bringing birthdays back.
LOVE this! What an awesome idea. I'm joining the movement. Thanks Shannon. I'm inspired! When's your birthday Shannon?
How do we get the stamp???
Love this idea...when will the stamp be available??? I want one 😊💗
Great to idea. Can't wait to get my stamp
Love this idea. I had a similar revelation at the end of last year when I realized I was spending so much on the products and not really using them. I just knew I had them just in case. So I decided to start small with my co-workers. Each one of them will receive a birthday card during the staff meeting of their birthday month. I only have to remember one date a month and of course who has a birthday that month. For January there were 5 birthdays. It is a small start but it is a start. Now on to my family.
I'm in....can't wait for the new stamp to become available!
Congratulations Shannon, I always think a card especially handmade is the best thing someone can receive for their birthday, as it takes time and lots of love goes into designing and making it. Wow to think SU has made your stamp for us to purchase and use, what a buzz for you, I hope you are very proud of yourself for this to happen. SU is such a wonderful company and I am so happy and honoured to be a part of it as a Demonstrator myself. I hope that I am able to purchase this stamp Hopefully SU can make a Stamp Set with # imbringing******back. 4013216 Demonstrator Dapto NSW Australia
Love the idea! I too believe that birthdays are very special! Can't wait to get the stamp!
I haven't purchased a card for at least the last 10 years. . .I prefer to send a little piece of myself by making cards for those I care about. Can't wait to get my hands on this stamp!!
Shannon, so the same thing happened to me regarding my Christmas cards..I was sitting at my kitchen table and I was upset that I didn't get my Christmas cards completed or mailed out. I was thinking, am I the only one that feels this way? So I decided at that moment that I was putting together a "Get It Done" Christmas Card class! I reached out to my customers telling them about my thoughts and what I wanted to do to make sure this didn't happen to me this year. I had 10 ladies join! I am NOT the only one that this happened too! So each month Jan-Nov of this year, I am holding a class to "Get It Done!"
What's the order# I will order it today!!
I send alot of birthday cards but also thinking of you card which work great for Sympathy and Get Well. I get alot of thank you for doing this simple gesture.
Brilliant! I know a guy who speaks about this same theme from time to time :)
I can't wait to purchase this stamp, Shannon! I love your movement and pledge to join in this year. I routinely send birthday cards, though not always handmade unfortunately, and am sad that many times I or my family members don't receive cards in the mail. Let's hope this spreads like wildfire across the globe!
I've been sending about 250 cards a year for past ten plus years - to family and friends and now children of my friends as well. I agree it's a great gesture! Excited to get this stamp to add to my cards!
What an amazing idea! Shannon I can't wait to get my stamp. You go girl!!
I love this! Such a great idea. Thanks Shannon. I'be one of the last to receive my Card this year (12/31) but I'm already looking forward to it.
I will try to do better a sending birthday cards love it
What an awesome idea! Like so many people I post on the birthday person's Facebook and have become lax (OK, lazy) about sending cards. I love it that they are making a stamp and I'll be watching for it. I sure do hope they make enough stamps for everyone who wants one.
Great idea! For the 40 days of Lent, beginning today, I will be sending out one card per day "just because." Last year my 40 days turned into 61 days because it was so much fun. Thanks Shannon for the birthday card you sent me! I'm looking forward to buying your stamp!
Lovely idea. I am looking forward to the stamp!
I'm thrilled with this idea - I also have a spreadsheet, of sorts, to organize my needed cards! Please let me know when the #imbringbirthdaysback stamp becomes available! I'm all over that!! LOVE Stampin' Up!!
Yay for Shannon!
I have been sending cards to family, friends church family for sometime. I love sending them and people love receiving them. Doing the facebook thing is find but impersonal. So, you have an awesome idea.