Sunday, August 2, 2009

...Stampers, Beware

Happy Sunday, everyone! I have learned a few things about myself and others in the last week or so, and I would like to take some time to share those with you today. As all of you already know...I LOVE to stamp! I would rather stamp than do almost anything else in the world; and like most stampers, I would like nothing better than a chance to be on a respected design team. But as of late, I have discovered that not all stamp companies and leaders are created equal! There are some wonderfully lovely stamp companies and leaders that create simply for the love and joy of creating...which is where I want to be. I want nothing more than to work for a loving and friendly company whose leaders treat their designers with the same respect that they wish to receive. I want a leader who means what they say, and says what they mean...a leader with integrity...a true leader who wants harmony and unity in their midst, and a leader who celebrates your triumphs right along side of you.

But the harsh truth is that there are others which strive to be at the top of the stamping heap without regard for the hard work and feelings of their designers. These are the people that spew syrupy-sweet compliments to your face, then stab you in the back as soon as you turn to walk away. These same people will cut you to ribbons and insult you when speaking "privately" to other members of the same design team, then laugh and confide in you with the next breath. They get a kick out of sending hateful and disrespectful emails to their designers through the companies' group page {via their right-hand-man/woman}, then act as though they were oblivious when drama ensues because of it. They sit silently in the wings when their blind-sided designers stand up for themselves and demand answers, then try to innocently claim that they had no part in the email's cruel intentions. Such individuals have no place in a world that exists for the pure pleasure and enjoyment of stamping...and they will never see true success.

With all of that being said, these are the things that I have discovered:
  • I will NEVER work for a company like that ever again!
  • ALWAYS research companies/leaders before agreeing to do anything for them.
  • ALWAYS treat people with respect, decency, and dignity...especially in a professional setting.
  • ALWAYS do what is right...not what is easy.
  • ALWAYS defend your friends when they are ridiculed or attacked without provocation or reason.
  • ALWAYS warn your friends about the danger of getting involved with horrible companies/leaders...if they are already working for such companies/leaders, tell your friends the truth about unacceptable behavior on the company/leader's part.
  • Integrity is ALWAYS better than popularity.
  • NEVER associate with individuals who have lied to you or about you.
  • ALWAYS accept the counsel of those who have been through similar situations with such companies/leaders.
  • ALWAYS be thankful for faithful and loyal friends...they are so hard to come by!
  • ALWAYS remember that life is too short to do anything but surround yourself with wonderful and supportive people.

That's it for today! I hope that I have opened your eyes to some of the dangers that exist in the stamping world, but I also hope that I have given you some good advice on how to deal with such dangers. It is so much better to know what you are getting into than to jump in blindly only to be swept off of your me on that one. No stamp company, design team, or other opportunity is worth losing yourself and/or your integrity!

Thanks for stopping today, and I will see you all again tomorrow. Until then...


Lynda Benden said...

Mercy, you are SO right and QUALITY is better than quantity! I am in such a great place now with Verve, Jacksonbelle and Serendipity! All 3 are AMAZING and so good to all of the DT members. Because the Owners are so wonderful, it encourages me to do the best I can do for them (doesn't hurt that their stamps and products ROCK!!! LOLOL!!!).

I am glad I had a similar experiences as you in the past because if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't be where I am today!!! By having bad experiences, it makes you really appreciate what you DO have!!!

I am sorry you have had such a bad experience but you know what Mercy, their loss!!! You are SO talented and a wonderful, funny person so don't sweat it. What goes around, comes around!!!

Have a GREAT Sunday and I will "see" you around!!!

Cindy Haffner said...

Mercy I couldn't say it any better than what Lynda said.

You are a kind loving person, and a superb talented designer.

Do not let what one person does, out weigh all the love and admiration from your stamping peeps!

I'm proud and honored to be part of "MERCY'S MUSES"

Hugs Cindy

Danni said...

I so know exactly what you're talking about! Hugs and I enjoy your blog so much!!

Vicki said...

I could not agree with you more! I have not been a part of any design team but I do know much of what you say applies to life in general.

Always stand up for your friends, always do the right thing, even if it is not popular or it is HARD! STay away from those who have lied to you or about you. Surround yourself with true.;oyal friends and stay away from the negative.

You did the right thing and I am so proud to call you a friend.

You ROCK!!


the whimsical butterfly said...

Girl you know I am RIGHT there with you on this! Never in my life did I know that the stamp arena could contain so much D-R-A-M-A!

Well, I can say that thankfully I am VERY blessed to be on teams that are drama-free and that I feel appreciated, respected, and even loved by some. That is hard to come by.

Also hard to come by are the friends you make in life that just "get it"...and on that note I am so excited to get to know you and Pam better. You guys are awesome, funny, and have been very welcoming to me and I am so excited about being "neighbors" , y'all! HUGS to you and good for you for shouting it out there!

You are an amazing designer and friend!

Patricia said...

Mercy, What good advise and well put! I have enjoyed your blog for some time but have never left a post until now. I felt the need to let you know how special a person you must be to do what's hard and the right thing at the same time. Rare to find such qualities these days. I plan to publish a book at some point with card pics, layouts and tutorials and hope you are still around so I can include your work (with permission of course). Keep up the great work you are doing!

Renée said...

Dealing with that kind of behaviour in an area where we really wear our hearts through our creativity has got to be very difficult. I'm sooooooo sorry you've had to deal with heartache in something that should have be so much fun. I'm glad you've been able to look through it all and find more of how to be a better artist. You are so very talented and although I don't comment often, I've followed your blog for a loooooooong time.

There are good companies out there and they far outnumber the not-so-nice ones.

Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us in such a kind and caring way! God bless you, Mercy :)

Basement Stamper said...

Mercy, I'm so sorry that you have gone though this! I'm very thankful for the company I design for as they always show us their appreciation and ask for input & suggestions. They also show us a great amount of respect so I have been spoiled!

Keep your chin up, move on and now you know what to look for in a company you design for. You are a wonderful person and you didn't deserve that type of treatment!

Pam Varnell said...

Girl I am right there with you and you know if I needed to I would "cut" them for you. Yes, the drama was ridiculous but I think it hit you more than it did anybody by being their sketch designer. You are an awesome designer and I am so glad to call you my friend and my BFF. Girl you know I got your back and if they hurt you then they've hurt me. Love you and I'm gonna miss you this week!!

Melissa Punt said...

k well, i just found your blog this past week, have enjoyed looking every day and am sorry to read your post today! I'm kinda new to the blogging world and have never even thought about designing for someone else( sounds super cool tho) but i wish you all the best... according to your work on here... u r fantabulous!!! ;)

hugs to you~ melis

Julie said...

Well said, Mercy! I'm right there with ya sistah! I'm so relieved to be working with a great group of people on ALL my design teams, and especially proud to still be sampling your gorgeous sketches! I just hope that YOU keep up the great work that you're doing, because I know so many of us look up to your AWESOME stamping and sketching abilities! :)

Neva said...

Mercy, I so 100% agree with you about the D.R.A.M.A., backstabbing, and psycho's in the stamping world. There are so many out there that can blindside you. I have found a few in the few yrs I have been doing this hobby that I truely love. I stamp because it pleases me. I get overjoyed when what I make pleases someone else. I get ready to drop it all when something like you described happens. Life is too short to deal with childish adults. I love your blog and your sketches. So glad you did not stop because of all of this. So sorry you went through all this drama. May God continue to bless you with the talent you have.

Julee (Vervegirl) said...

Mercy, this was such an eloquent and unfortunately needed post. In the past few years my naive little eyes have been opened to the drama that so many women feel the need to bring to this fabulous hobby.

I've been hurt, betrayed, used and broken by people in the stamping world, but I've chosen to make those experiences shape my character and integrity. We are not defined by our experiences, but by the way we learn and grow, and allow ourselves to be shaped by the hand of God through the good and the bad that comes our way. You are a survivor and I just know you will rise ABOVE!

So rock on, Sister! You are an EXTREMELY talented designer and deserve to be treated with respect and integrity. Never settle for less!

Jackie Pedro said...

Amen, Sistah.....It's so unfortunate that this post was necessary but you worded it perfectly!! You know how I feel about it and I'm so happy you came out better on the other end!!

Jen Tapler said...

Oh Mercy! I'm so sorry you've had to go through this bad experience, but glad you're using it as a learning experience! You're so talented and you deserve to be where you are appreciated!! You're right - Life's way too short for unnecessary drama!!

Suzy Tyler said...

Such a well spoken post, Mercy. I admire you for sticking to your guns and sticking up for the rest of the "team". I am honored to consider you, be be considered by you, a friend. :-) I'm looking forward to the wonderful art that you and your Muse's will bring us each week! Keep up the good fight, woman!

Pam Speidel said...

God bless you Mercy! I'm so sorry to hear you've had such a bad experience. Whatever happened, it sounds like you kept your head high and chose to rise above it all. Happy Stamping & Keep Smiling my friend! :)

Judy Miller said...

Sorry to hear you have been treated badly. Sadly, you will find people in every walk of life (even families) who do this. It's selfish, immature, etc.
The best you can do is learn from your lessons and try to use your best judgment in the future.
Take things slowly and, hopefully, in time you will learn to deal with disappointments in life without as much heartbreak.
In time you will be able to let this go and look on it as experience.

Amy Sheffer said...

Awww, sweet Mercy, while I don't know any of your specifics, I certainly recognize the type you warn against. It's a shame that some people seem to thrive on stirring the pot and then pretending they had nothing to do with it. I'm so proud of you for sticking up for yourself, and awfully sorry you had to go through any mistreatment at all. You are such a wonderful person, with a beautiful heart and some amazing talent - you deserve the absolute very best! I'll bet this post will help someone else avoid the pits that unfortunately do exist in our stamping world. Glad this is all behind you now! Big hugs, girl!

Going with the Flow By Renee said...

I love your blog and hate what you have been going through. I don't know the specifics, but by posting it here on your blog, it gets it "out there" and now you can move on with the peeps who love your work and your honesty! We love you and stand with you, Renee

Janet Marks said...

I am so sorry for all you have been through. You have been a great inspiration to me and I want to let you know what positive things you have done for others. thank you for sharing your designs and your soul.

Sharon said...

I agree! It is really sad that anybody would have to worry about those types of things, but the reality is that the stamping world can be just like anyother business setting. I am sorry that you experienced such hardships. Creativity needs nourishing! I love all that you do - you are so talented! I look forward to your inspiration daily!

Moosisk said...

Gee, Mercy, I hate to hear that such things go on in the stamping world. I follow several blogs so I am not sure which companies you are talking about, but I don't want anything to do with the one(s) you are talking about. I would love for you to email me privately the name(s) of companies that treat people so badly. I do not want to support a company like that. Thanks.
Janet Sisk

MrsBoz said...

I have never been invited to become a member of any DT, and I have not applied either. Maybe I'm fortunate that I'm nowhere near as talented as you so that I don't run into the same type of problems! I do know that, when you think someone is your friend, but they tell lies behind your back, it's terribly hurtful. I'm glad to see you have started the Mercy's Muses and are creating your lovely sketches weekly! At least we all are not being deprived of your wonderful talent and inspiration!!!! Blessings, CA

Stephanie said...

Obviously you have made the correct decision to ditch the people that are false and tear you down. In the 30+ years I've worked in the finance world I have seen my fair share of this type of behavior, and in my opinion, it's driven by those that have little self esteem and seek power through manipulation and thinking they control the actions of others. Eventually, hopefully, it comes back to bite them in the end (literally and figuritively LOL) but it leaves those in the wake questioning themselves and damages ones ability to truly trust others. I am so sorry that you've experienced this but your evident sense of self worth and innate integrity has already boosted you to get beyond this experience and begin fresh. Good post. It's impressive and a good wake up call to the unaware because it happens in all industries.

All the best to you in the future!

Viv said...

Mercy,you've stood up and been counted and I'm standing right up there with you!!!
I'm pleased and proud to call you 'friend' and know you are in my corner, (as I am in yours).
My eyes have been opened and I won't fall for 'syrup' ever again. You are a STAR!
Viv xxx

Silke said...

Well said - Mercy!!! I'm proud of you too for standing up and speeking out!!! I respect you for doing so!!! Hey - I have three girls at home...I wouldn't need this kind of drame on top of it - LOL!!! Hugs ~S~

Juliana said...

I so appreciate your comments.
I have learned that though there are WONDERFUL people in this business, this business is also IN our fallen world. Like in the rest of the world we need to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Luke 10:3).

I admire your pursuit of integrity!! And I am thankful for your presence in the stamping community--for your talent and good character.

I am looking forward to your sketch tomorrow as well!

Nancy ~ Inkcicles said...

I totally understand where you are coming from Mercy. I've never found myself the object of design team backstabbing but I have noticed the difference between designing for different companies.

Your words are very well said.

THANK YOU and I hope you are encouraged.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mercy,

By your posts I have heard your wounded and betrayed heart and I want you to know that I really feel for you. I have read a couple of other accounts of stamping bloggers who have been ripped off, blasted unfairly, and treated just plain badly all because they opened their lives up to share something they enjoyed with "others". I applaud your integrity and even your return to your regular blog and challenges after parting company with the people who made your days miserable. I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful creations and your personal posts!

(I never really liked those cuppy things anyway!!!)

Your pal,
Karen Branigan

Anonymous said...

Hey girl! Yes It sucks to have this wonderful hobby dirtied by "some" people. I am just so happy I have "met" you and glad you put this out there to help warn others. You are an inspiration to us all in MANY ways sistah!!

LORi said...

Wow, How in the world did I manage to miss this?? Oh, I know I was blinded by your WONDERFULLY designed and totally FUN sketch above!!

Ok, NOW about your post...YOU GO GIRL!!! Like I told you when we talked...After some time goes by, the shock, confusion, sick feeling in your tummy will start to fade and you will feel so so FREE!! She is a fungus that oozes with hatefulness, sneakiness and decite. It's actually very sad. That is not where you are meant to be. My regret is that I didn't warn you all when I finally had ENOUGH and left. I feel guilty, for if I had told you all EVERYTHING, I could have saved you some heartache. I am sorry girls!! AND I am sorry to all the girls in the batch before us for believing or at least listening to the lies about all of you. I am so glad I have had the chances to see you are all NOT what was presented to me. I am Sorry!!!

Well, Mercy Girl, you put out there... exactly what needed to be said. I am proud of you!! Maybe now this person will see that there are a few things she needs to evaluate...and I really hope she does. One thing I wouldn't change is the fact that I did walk through this mess, for if I had not...I would have NEVER met all you wonderful ladies I have not only designed with but can now call my friends!! You all ROCK!! Sorry you all had to walk through this too, but remember...You can't have a RAINBOW without a storm!!! Not to mention the fact that there are MANY more CUPCAKES in the oven!! Just forget about her!!!!

LOVE ya Mercy!!! Love Ya Girls!!


Kathy W said...

Hi Mercy, just a note to let you know that this post has lifted me up...I don't have any drama with stamping, but I did just resign from my teaching job at the end of the school year because of bad things happening at the school and how I was treated. Not the greatest time to be unemployed, and it is feeling like I've been blacklisted with other schools...but your post reminded me that what I did was right, though not stand up for my ethics and what is true and not lose life energy stressed in a bad situation.

I so enjoy your blog and your creations. I gain so much inspiration here. Thanks, again, for the great post. Hugs, Kathy

Heather P. said...

Wow... There are no words! I'm so sorry to hear about the things that have been happening to you. You are so talented, and have such an eye for design! {{{{Big hugs!!!}}}}

mudmaven said...

You managed to put into words all the things that so many of us have experienced. Thank you for that! I'm so sorry you have had a bad experience, but if you let it make you a stronger, wiser and more compassionate person - YOU are the ultimate winner! Hang in there. ~chris

~*Joni said...

Hi Mercy, I am new to your blog but heard about this in the stamping world through a dear friend of mine. Wow. You expressed yourself so well, that I am sure crafters who seek to be on Design Teams will go into it a bit more cautiously. Thank you for the eye opening, jaw dropping peek into what happens behind closed doors (some, hopefully just a few).
Ironically, things like this is what drove me to start up my own little digi line and seek out a DT - without any regard to past experience or the likes, I chose members with personalities and attitudes who could soar high in this creative world we live in.
Thank you for your advice, have a wonderful weekend.

Carolyn said...

Oh Mercy,

I have just found your blog. I am so sorry to read of your bad experience. I too have been in work situations with difficult people. But in the end I did learn what was acceptable and what was not to my integrity and my sense of worth. You are deserving of respect as a child of God.