inspired by

February10

Let's All Bring Birthdays Back

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.

stack

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.

IBBB
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!

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  • Marie

    Feb 10

    Yay for Shannon!

  • Eveline van Heijst

    Feb 10

    I love this! Such a great idea. Thanks Shannon. I'be one of the last to receive my Card this year (12/31) but I'm already looking forward to it.

  • Linda Borgwardt

    Feb 10

    I will try to do better a sending birthday cards love it

  • Phyllis Strickland

    Feb 10

    What an awesome idea! Like so many people I post on the birthday person's Facebook and have become lax (OK, lazy) about sending cards. I love it that they are making a stamp and I'll be watching for it. I sure do hope they make enough stamps for everyone who wants one.

  • Sue McNeill

    Feb 10

    Great idea! For the 40 days of Lent, beginning today, I will be sending out one card per day "just because." Last year my 40 days turned into 61 days because it was so much fun. Thanks Shannon for the birthday card you sent me! I'm looking forward to buying your stamp!

  • Teresa Saathoff

    Feb 10

    Lovely idea. I am looking forward to the stamp!

  • Deborah Fox

    Feb 10

    I'm thrilled with this idea - I also have a spreadsheet, of sorts, to organize my needed cards! Please let me know when the #imbringbirthdaysback stamp becomes available! I'm all over that!! LOVE Stampin' Up!!