Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Changes at Splitcoaststampers

If you've been to Splitcoaststampers today, you may have taken notice of the news update on the home page. Splitcoaststampers is a site I dearly love and have poured into as a paid member of the admin team for the last 10 years, so the email I received at the beginning of August came as a shock... due to efforts to reduce the cost of running the site, Internet Brands (corporate owner of Splitcoaststampers) has made the decision to eliminate my role of Artist in Residence on the site. Lori Craig's position as Advertising Manager has also been cut.

While sorting through spreadsheets and archived files and organizing things for Lydia, I stumbled on the bio I wrote when I joined the Splitcoaststampers team in late 2013. This contact from our corporate supervisors was unexpected and has left our team bewildered and heartsick for weeks, so I paused for a minute to reflect on what hasn’t changed.


Ten years ago, I wrote: “Artist in Residence” is actually a term that came to my mind months ago when I was pondering my creative goals for the year - “Residence” speaks of belonging, and I really feel that sense of belonging here.”  I am so grateful for this community of caring, creative people, and this still rings very true. We have laughed and cried together, prayed and cheered for each other, raised families and said goodbye to loved ones together, all while working together to use and improve our cardmaking skills and make our own extended communities a little brighter. Splitcoaststampers provides a safe haven for our crafting community to be curious and learn, to inspire, and to grow together. Analytics matter, but they don’t reflect this heart.

Nothing feeds imposter syndrome like being told that your efforts are expendable... I had saved these emails and comments in a folder so I could go back and look at them when I got in a rut or was feeling like I wasn't making a difference:

“While I enjoy seeing the various projects featured in the newsletter, I get the most out of Dina's answers to questions. I've learned so much from her column that I now print them out and keep them in a binder for future reference. Thank you, Dina, for providing answers to the common questions and those we haven't thought to ask yet!”

“Dina: No question or complaint. I just want to say how much I enjoy and learn from that little blurb of yours. You answer questions I never thought I had succinctly and professionally. I appreciate that corner as much as I do the tutorials. I am so grateful to Splitcoaststampers.”

“I simply want to tell you how very much I appreciate your tutorials. They have helped me grow and become more confident in my stamping/scrapping. They have also renewed my love for stamping. I had become stagnated at a very primary level, but you helped me to advance my skills. Thank you.”

“Thank you for all the work you do to help us!”

" Dina, I know I've said it before but I just can't help it....your tutorials are just FANtastic! I've learned soooo much from you, dear, not to mention all the fun you've added to my crafty life. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!"

“I don't care WHAT you are teaching.....I LOVE your voice, your tutorials are concise, quick, clear, without wasted time cutting/ prepping/ gluing things!! THANK YOU!!”

Also in there was an exchange where someone wrote to ask about a card in the gallery and the artist wanted to mail the card to her… and someone who wanted to gift a die cutting machine to a member who didn’t have one. How special to be a part of connections like that.

I tracked down a few stats from my time on the team too, just to make sure I had left a mark… so:

--I edited nearly 500 newsletters (pretty sure I never missed, even through one international and one cross-country move, and 2 surgeries!)

– that also means I have provided answers to nearly 500 “ask the artist” questions!

--over 100 of my own tutorials are on the site.

--I worked to publish content from 139 guest authors, scheduling and editing their tutorials for newsletters and our Falliday Fest events. I’m so grateful to all of them for their creativity and sharing spirit!

I was a little bit vague when I contacted my guest tutorial authors and some of them expressed that they hoped I had new opportunities or something exciting on the horizon - at this time I don't have anything lined up, and I am looking for a freelance contract or part time position that allows me creative freedom in a remote work setting. There are a lot of options and directions I can take with my own art and business as well - I want to be able to keep doing all of those things and I have a difficult time balancing my energy when I have to budget too much for "people time". I also can't shake the dream of having a downtown studio/ gallery/ shop/ classroom where I can work, sell and teach.

It has been incredibly special to help steer the site with a team that has worked so well together. To borrow Lydia's words, "We have been through thick and thin together, and these are the best humans I've ever worked with, and the best friends a person could ask for. We have been through major life events together, laughed, cried, and broken and fixed things that will always be a bedrock of an enduring friendship."
We had a virtual meeting recently to discuss how we could reshape and revive some of our content going forward – I loved being able to share my struggles and thoughts and get their fresh perspectives.

 I’ll still be involved at Splitcoaststampers in my various volunteer roles with challenges and behind the scenes with the design team. I will still get to answer the "Ask the Artist" questions, so keep those coming! If you've benefitted from the community and resources Splitcoaststampers has to offer, please consider supporting the site with a Fan Club membership, interacting on social media posts, and engaging with and sharing content as you're able. It is an incredible community and creative resource, and I can't imagine life without it.

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Dina, I'm so sorry to hear this! YOU have been ONE of the reason I like SCS! I haven't been on there much, but I do check in on things from time to time still. HOPEFULLY, this will free up some time for you to follow some of the other dreams you have! I know you have ALWAYS had a word of encouragement & believed in me, when I needed it! THANK YOU DEAR FRIEND & MANY OF GOD'S BLESSINGS on you as you venture out....!

  2. I was heartsick to read the news, Dina. I loved you filling the position of Artist in Residence and always having wonderful tutorials for us. As a matter of fact, I used one of your tutorials today for the WCW challenge. You girls were a great team and this is just so hard to comprehend. You girls have been such a wonderful asset to Splitcoaststampers. But, glad you will still be involved.

  3. I was heartbroken to read the news this morning on SCS. You girls have added so much to the site and I have enjoyed your tutorials so much, Dina. As a matter of fact, I used one of your tutorials for the WCW challenge today. I can't imagine the change but happy we can still have you there being involved. You girls are the best and hope you find something else that makes your lives happy and fulfilled.

  4. Dina- I am speechless- Goodness, I am glad you will continue ask the artist and that your presence will be felt at SCS. I LOVE your work and tutorials! Change is hard and it will be hard for so many of us to grasp this and wrap our heads around it too! Big Hugs. Your next chapter will be fantastic, I just know it!

  5. You are far more than merely the backbone of SS – you are the main reason I tune in every week. I am never disappointed in your offerings – only encouraged, uplifted, and newly ready to increase my skills. Your videos with your lovely voice are warm, succinct, richly informative, and never waste a moment of our time with steps better handled off camera. I have an entire file filled with your tutorials and videos and have been thrilled with my results on every one I’ve tried out.
    I don’t know what’s up with Internet Brands. Presumably, they have bowed to the ravings of a demented bean counter with their shortsighted decision to dump you. Perhaps they’ll have to learn painful lessons like those being suffered by Budweiser, Fox News and others who have fatally tampered with fixing what ain’t broke.
    I hope your wonderful idea of a downtown studio/classroom/ store comes to fruition as it sounds like the perfect endeavor for you. In the meanwhile, I hope you’ll consider staying in touch with us via online opportunities to continue spreading the joys of stamping. You’ll remain in my prayers for the duration . . . you WILL land on your feet, of that I am certain.

  6. Wow this is quite the shook, I do hope you know how much all you have done has meant so much to so many, hope whatever you do from here brings you much joy!

  7. Jean Meyer Kanack9/06/2023 7:57 AM

    I'm so sorry about this, Dina. I hope you find some new place to bless with your talents.

  8. Jean Meyer Kanack9/06/2023 7:59 AM

    I'm so sorry about this, Dina. I hope you find something wonderful where you will bless them with your talents.