Stampin’ Up!, which informed its consultant base back in March that it was launching a new direct sales brand, has spent the past few months quietly launching Apostrophe S. The new venture is being headed by Sara Douglass, a Stampin’ Up! company executive who is the daughter of founder Shelli Gardner.
Apostrophe S is a direct sales company aimed at a young demographic of Makers, and is focusing solely on selling self-contained project kits at the moment. The initial product releases includes 8 kits in a variety of craft areas including jewelry, home decor and kids crafts, with price points between $20 and $40 dollars each. For instance – the kit pictured below, called Recycled Romance, creates romantic table centerpieces out of recycled paperback books and ribbon, and sells for $25.
The new company’s sales system turns the traditional direct sales party program on its head. Whereas most companies use parties as the sales venue, Apostrophe intends sales to take place pre-party. The party itself becomes then a social venue for customers to enjoy constructing their kits together and share their knowledge and skills with each other – a Maker event.
Of course, as a new direct sales company, Apostrophe S is not just looking for customers. The company is also looking for consultants – or as it calls them, “coordinators”. Despite being a Stampin’ Up! brand, the company is starting from scratch with their sales corps, as Stampin’ Up! consultants were informed they are currently ineligible to sign on with the new company.
Apostrophe S is obviously pushing hard for a new, younger demographic in their “coordinator” offering. The “join” page is highlighted with a large photo of three twenty-something young women. The lede, above the photo reads:
EARN EXTRA INCOME MAKING DIY PROJECTS WITH FRIENDS
Whether you’ve been eyeing a new pair of shoes, looking for a rewarding new hobby, or just want to go on a much deserved vacation—we want to help you make it happen!
The compensation plan is described as “kickbacks” and “lifestyle rewards,” not commission, and that header quoted above clearly stresses earning extra pocket money in your spare time, not creating a career path like the major direct sales company currently push. In fact, part of the compensation package isn’t even financial – coordinators earn “lifestyle points” for each dollar of their sales, which can then be exchanged for rewards (which the company describes as “from a yoga mat to travel”).
The company’s coordinator “welcome kit” costs $50. Apostrophe S is currently accepting only a limited number of consultants.
According to their Facebook page, the company will soon begin holding what it calls “Mix N’ Mingle” events at hotels in cities across the U.S. There will be events in Denver and Portland on July 24th, and in Seattle and Austin, TX on July 25th. For a $35 registration fee, attendees will get the chance to make one of three of the company’s new kits, meet and greet other area Makers, and learn about Apostrophe S.