By Shannon West, Demonstrator Training Manager
It started one Saturday in January. I was kicking myself for not sending out my Christmas cards, but I also noticed that many friends had simply posted their Christmas cards on Facebook rather than sending them in the mail. For years I’ve complained about Facebook ruining birthday cards and now it would seem the same was happening to Christmas cards. A handmade, handwritten card in the mailbox seemed to be nearly extinct—and I was contributing to the problem! I wanted to do something drastic and immediate to stop this neglect and hold myself accountable.
So that Saturday in January, I made a decision: I posted on Facebook that I would send a birthday card to any of my friends that wanted one. I didn’t think about the possibilities or consequences…I just posted and was astonished when the responses started rolling in.
After 24 hours, I had over 300 responses…far more than I had ever received on a previous post. I started a spreadsheet to keep track and went to work making and sending birthday cards.
Two days later, I posted a photo of my first set of cards that I was sending. At this point, my posts started to be shared and others started posting that they were also sending cards to their friends. These results were an absolute surprise!
As my friends began receiving their cards, they posted photos of them on social media to thank me. This sparked another idea: there needed to be a way to easily see all the cards—my cards and others’ cards too—so that we could see all the different ideas to CASE (Copy And Share Everything). Playing on the lyrics of a Justin Timberlake song, the hashtag #imbringingbirthdaysback was born! I wanted to stamp it on each card so that the receiver would know to use the hashtag if they posted the card, so I carved my very own #imbringingbirthdaysback stamp.
As my spreadsheet of birthdays grew (it’s currently 1,327 names strong!), the sharing grew. There is something special about a birthday. It’s your special day—you get to dictate what happens that day and it’s yours to own and craft. And EVERYONE has one. It seems this unexpectedly played into the development of this movement. And it wasn’t difficult to sense the happiness and excitement that one feels when simply sending cards…that was a factor in the excitement that built around the movement too, of course.
After a few weeks, Sara approached me and asked how Stampin’ up! could support the movement—after all, making and sending cards is what Stampin’ Up! has always been focused on (Shelli still sends every single employee a birthday card each year!). I also got to share my story on a local news program: Good Things Utah. (You can watch the host make a birthday card below.)Ultimately, Sara and I decided that Stampin’ Up! would manufacture a #imbringingbirthdaysback stamp, as the stamp is what ties all the cards together into one giant-sized birthday party! In fact, Stampin’ Up! took my carved design and is making a single wood-mount stamp, which will be available globally while supplies last.
Keep tabs on Stampin’ Up!’s social media feeds or check back here for the exact availability date. But you don’t need to wait for the stamp to join in the movement. Start creating and sending your own birthday cards to friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and more. Let’s bring birthdays back together!