Hi Hollowers!

I have interrupted our normal Sunday posting to bring you some important news…..

So you may have been watching my special announcement on Facebook yesterday, if not….I have been given a fantastic opportunity to work with some of the biggest stamp retailers and manufacturers, this is the best news for Hedgehog Hollow and it’s followers! Unfortunately, that means I have to leave Stampin’ Up!; it was a difficult decision but I felt needed to explain to you, as my readers, my reasons why.

I explained a little in my Facebook live my reasons for leaving, (which I have also posted for you below) but I wanted to share the whole story with you; expect some tears, laughs and a lot of reminiscing! It all goes back to about 13 years ago when I opened a little online stamp store called Scrapboutique and a blog called Invogue Stamping; it was a ball, I travelled the UK exhibiting at shows in my spare time and using up most of my vacation days for set up, it was great fun and it funded my stamping hobby (addiction!).  Then I moved to the USA, living first in New Jersey and then Pennsylvania, I was so lucky I got to work with Michaels whose corporate headquarters weren’t far away, I was trained by Suze Weinberg (best course ever!) and got to meet Tim Holtz! I also worked with Rubbernecker and did some designing as well as worked on some design teams, then Miss Maddi was born and I joined Stampin’ Up! I got to meet some fab ladies some of which are friends for life and one lady I met who became my downline; both my girls, husband and I love her to pieces and call her my adopted Mum (not sure how she feels about the title?!), I can’t imagine life without this very special lady.  I still got to teach at local stamp and scrapbooking stores, as well as doing my designing; but all this came to an end when I got divorced and had to move back to England; I had always worked in finance before moving the the US, so on my return I had to get a ‘proper job’; so between a full time job in London and Miss Maddi I just didn’t have the time to craft let alone blog!  Here’s a project from the good olde days…

After returning to England, I fell in love (again) with my high school sweetheart (that’s a whole post of it’s own!), we started out on a new adventure together…Roll on another 5 years or so, and we finally get a house big enough to unbox all my craft things (yay!), most of which I was so pleased still worked: my SU pads were still moist, my Copics ready to use, but somehow I fell in love with sewing and it still all just sat there, I started a new blog but I never had the passion to continue with it and it slipped by the wayside, I crafted here and there but nothing major, after that I got a job with Jaguar Land Rover and travelled all over the world with them from Dubai to Shanghai and worked funny hours dealing with time zones in India and Brazil to name a few.  Then came along Miss Tilly, I was very ill when I was pregnant so out came all the craft things again and I took over the dining room into a craft only room! First of all it was all sew, sew, sew, making sweet little things for Tilly who at the time was known as Ginger as we didn’t know if she was a boy or girl! (You may think Ginger is rather odd, but my grandparents bought me up with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, Maddi was called Freddie when sex was unknown so it seemed right to call the second Ginger!).  I had a wonderful craft room in England, one day I picked up a stamp and I was off! Hedgehog Hollow was born, the name took some work but it was going to be something to do with Polka dots or Hedgehogs, I love anything spotty and I love Hedgehogs after rescuing them and nursing them back to health with my Grandad as a child. Hedgehog Hollow reflected my love of hedgehogs and the pretty British countryside I could see out my window.  Remember our first card series?

I started up a blog, I learnt how to build my own website, installing themes in wordpress and getting everything going, by this point, my soon-to-be at the time husband and high school sweetheart was a professional photographer whilst at university, using it to pay for his engineering degree.  We were the perfect team! Blogging started great, I joined Stampin’ Up! in England and was running classes from my new craft room, don’t they look fun?

Well everything was going great, then Greg (aka Mr H-H) won Young Scientist of the Year at the Tire Tech awards (he’s a tire engineer so it was a pretty big deal); our life changed forever.  Last summer we flew to America to meet with prospective employers as he had been approached by a few companies to come and work for them on lots of exciting projects.  Together we looked at Danville VA, Akron, OH and he went down to Charlotte, NC.  Whilst in Akron we drove around and found this pretty little town called Hudson, we loved it but it really didn’t work with the location we thought the job would be at so we looked at lots of other places and moved on.  None of the jobs were quite right, but roll onto August and Greg’s 30th birthday and he was offered a job with Goodyear, the interview was on his birthday so it must have been a sign.  Not only did that mean a massive move but it also meant we could move close to Hudson!! Blogging came to a hasty stop, we accepted the offer in September and we were on a plane by November, in this time we needed Visa’s, to pack up our house, change Maddi’s school, the list seemed endless! But we made it!

You may recall back in November I posted a few things I was crafting for Maddi’s friends at school, we were in a tiny two-bed apartment with four people but there’s always a space for craft!  In January we bought our first home together in Stow OH right next door to that pretty Hudson downtown I fell in love with! (I could throw a stone and hit Hudson….even with my throwing skills!) I have a dedicated space for Hedgehog Hollow and have the potential to teach classes in the future.  I rejoined Stampin’ Up! when I got back to the USA because I love their products and it was again a way to meet people when we knew no-one.  However, a few weeks ago I started to get calls from some companies asking about working as a affiliate for them.  After much discussing and many late night conversations with Mr H-H on what should I do, I have decided to go it alone! This is quite scary in such a big paper crafting world, but I have hand selected brands I love as a consumer, companies I buy from regularly and I have the freedom to blog whatever I want for you all.  I would love to stay with SU but they have a non-complete clause which doesn’t allow me to.  Ultimately if SU would let me stay alongside my new project I would, but it’s against their policy and I respect that, which forced me to this decision.

So what’s the plan?

There will be be a transition phase on the blog whilst all these new things get set up, but we will be back to regular Wednesday and Sunday YouTube tutorials next week and our daily stamp tips on Facebook @hedgehoghollowink will continue.  Next week on our tips, will be a farewell to Stampin’ Up! and each day I will be showing you some of my favorite items from the current product offering.  The following two weeks (w/c 6th & 13th March) I will have a huge event on the blog showing you my new partnerships and who they will be with!  Each day I will have a video and/or project for you as well as a giveaway from each company or brand!

To thank all my loyal customers and Hollow readers I am offering 15% of the catalog price of any purchase through my Stampin’ Up business.  You will need to contact me (alexandra.stapleton@me.com) to place your order as I will need to process your discount.  This promotion will be good through March 15th.  SU products will still feature here and if you don’t have a demonstrator I have two excellent ones I will be recommending.  I am sad to say goodbye but if this doesn’t work out SU is a great family and I know they would always welcome me back with open arms.

So thank you for being with the Hollow, I hope you will join me on an exciting journey and I will continue to provide full tutorials and the best content I can for you all.  Theres much more I wanted to say in this post but I shall save that for later in the week, including what affiliate links really are and how I will be choosing what to share with you all.  Here is the video I posted on Facebook yesterday, you can following along at 11.30am EST everyday for new stamping, hints and tips.  Join us on the blog tomorrow for a round up of our organization tips from last week, and stay tuned for a studio tour very shortly once I rearrange my room to suit my new needs.

Here’s a sample of what’s to come, hopefully I get my wish like Dorothy, who was my inspiration for this card….

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Stamping!