In addition to supplying the national and international scrap booking and paper crafting markets with everything they need, CropStop prides itself on its extraordinary customer relations…and that’s due, in large part, to you…our truly extraordinary customers!
Talk with CropStop customer and stamp-art extraordinaire, Sue Nelson about anything…and you’re in for a real treat. And that’s because Sue is not just lovely and articulate, but passionate about everything in her world, from the cards she creates, to the classes she teaches, her professional history, the evolution of stamping, her beloved Detroit Tigers, and, of course, her wonderful family.
Crop Stop sat down with Sue to learn a bit about her and how she uses CropStop products in her stamped-card creations.
CS: Tell us about stamping…what about working with stamps in particular appeals to you?
SN: I’ve been stamping for a long time and have watched the industry and its surrounding technologies evolve over the years. I’ve also been lucky enough to evolve along with it. I am not an illustrator, but do have an eye for color and design. Stamping allows me execute a range of creative visions on all different kinds of cards. I also love the variety stamping offers. Stamping can be complex or simple…casual or formal…practical or fun. And regardless of age or level, it’s enjoyable and gratifying for everyone. I also find it to be extremely therapeutic.
CS: You mentioned evolution. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen when it comes to stamping over the years?
SN: As far as coloring stamped creations go, I’ve seen the coloring mediums evolve from Bruynzeel pastel pencils, to Prisma Color pencils, to Copic Markers, which are now the new “hot thing.” I’ve worked with many stores and businesses demonstrating how different variations of pencils can and do work, which is always so much fun and allows me to stay on the cutting edge of developments. The stamps themselves, of course, went from having traditional wood mounts to today’s clear mounts with acrylic stamps. These hold the clings much better and allow stampers to more easily control placement. The latter, as you can imagine, also weigh significantly less, and are, in turn, a lot less expensive to ship and much easier to store.
CS: I know you teach classes to people in your area who are interested in learning about stamping or want to take their artistry to the next level, but how would you describe your own, personal stamping style?
SN: If you go to my website---www.heartprints.net—you’ll see that I gravitate toward warm and cute, simple, and practical designs that are easy to reproduce. I love hearts, butterflies, and animals. I did some freeform designs for a while, but now lean toward more practical stamping with a purpose. But I help my students create whatever appeals to her aesthetic and skill level.
CS: Tell us about your students and classes.
SN: These days, I teach 2 classes per week once per month and usually have 5-7 students each time. We meet in my home in Michigan. Everyone who comes is supplied with her own kit and I bring new materials into class each time. This keeps my students interested and ensures that I keep learning as well. I love teaching, art, and stamping, so this is a joy for me.
CS: How do people find out about you?
SN: Word of mouth has been huge, and I’ve been around for a long, long time. I was also a long-time conference demonstrator and my loving husband would walk around handing out my business cards! If you google, “card galleries,” my site pops right up. In 2010, I had a million hits. Currently, I average about 500 hits a day, which is phenomenal for someone who’s not selling anything. I have lots of folks who email me all the time and I receive all sorts of questions. One thing I’ve noticed about crafters of all types is that we a sharing and helping community. It is an honor to be a part of it.
CS: What is it about CropStop as a company that keeps you coming back?
SN: I’ve been a customer for years. Haylie-Jo is lovely! She communicates, is so warm, is on top of things, and is highly organized. I love that she always has new products to offer. I started with CropStop by purchasing dies and embossing folders many years ago, and I now turn to the site and Haylie-Jo for so many of my supply needs.
CS: I know you are extremely close with your family…any other crafters or artists among you?
SN: Yes, but all of us are interested in different in things. My husband is an extremely talented and very accomplished home remodeler who also builds incredible furniture. He has built some very useful workstations for me. My three sons, though not artists by trade, are all very supportive of my hobby. My oldest has a creative side, and, in fact, has built intricate scale models of Star Wars buildings out of wood, Styrofoam, and paint, and his daughter—my granddaughter--makes incredible sculptures out of paper. She loves to craft with me, but when she comes over, she is the teacher and I am the student!
CS: Thank you so much for your time. What’s the best way for CropStop customers to see your work or get in touch with you?
SN: The easiest way is to visit my website at www.heartprints.com. There, you can see galleries of my products, my message board, and ask questions. I’m happy to share my designs with anyone who is interested--as long as they don’t take credit for my work or use it for selling purposes.
Thanks so much for taking an interest in my work and in me. I am honored and look forward to hearing from other CropStop fans.