2017 CTMH Convention in Salt Lake City

THE RECAP!
Hello everyone! This is Kirsten here to tell you all about my wonderful trip to Utah and the amazing convention that was put on by Close to my Heart.

This year's theme was "Who tells your Story" and it was absolutely a powerhouse of amazing presenters.

TUESDAY - TRAVELING DAY
Today was the start of my vacation. Whoot whoot! Brandy, Dorothy and I were traveling (and rooming) together. It wasn't so bad, we had a lot of time between flights and were able to get something to eat. We even met up with a few other consultants in the Calgary airport that were also on their way.
The last flight was a little shaky - small plane = more turbulence and weird sounds. But the landscape was beautiful. Very odd compared to Manitoba - I'm used to seeing a patchwork quilt and instead saw this:

Once we landed we were picked up at the airport by a friend of Brandy's. We all went out for supper at the Red Iguana before going to our hotel. I never tried Mexican before but it was delicious! (I'm really fussy but it was pretty safe to order just meat and cheese - LOL)

WEDNESDAY - LEADERSHIP DAY

Leadership Day kicked off with a great opening speech by Monica Wihongi, who also presented the amazing team she has. The ones that work hard for us and that we see as the faces of the company. I really enjoyed hearing everyone's name and job description. It really helps to get the feel of how the company is run and just how much work everyone does.

I even got recognized as a first time promotion leader. I had to go up front and got a yummy candy apple as a gift.
Next we had great presentations from Casey Spinks, JoNell Gneiting, Morgan Vogt, Naomi Smith and Nancy Klein to teach us leaders many practices and strategies to build our business while keeping your own life balanced. There were encouraging words and stories about how life happens and ways to stay motivated and successful. They were really good. Then, COO Brian Holman spoke on how to stay fully charged in our life and business.

Once the classes were over I had quite a few meetings to go to. First was the first time attendees Mix and Mingle. I wasn't too much of a fan of this one because there were a lot of questions that kept getting repeated or questions that didn't really pertain but oh well. We got a little gift after. :)

Next was the Canadian Meeting with Pierre Gelinas. That was fun. I always love having Pierre around. He is so nice and works really hard to improve the business and relationships in Canada. We played a funny ice breaker game where we were in groups of 5 and we had to choose 5 CTMH items that would save us in the invasion of King Kong. So we chose the No Worries paper pack, Paper Trimmer, Micro-tip scissors, Piercing tool, and the Mini stapler. We said we would distract King Kong with the pretty paper, we aren't worried. Then we would shoot staples at him to distract him while we removed the wire from the paper trimmer (the thing didn't work anyways) to trip him. Once he was down we'd stab him with the scissors and poke his eyes out with the piercing tool. Yes we are quite the violent group. LOL.
After the ice breaker we moved into Team awards. I got 4!!! Three were from Brandy (my upline) and 1 from Denise Murray as she is Brandy's Upline. I am so honored! I won Rockstar recruiter, Queen of Sales and the Heart and Hustle Award. And then the Heart and Hustle Award from Denise Murray as well!
Denise Murray also made us all a layout page for convention. I thought that was so super cool! Love it!

Once that meeting was over we went to Karen Morris' meeting. We were just guests but got to participate in the table discussions and see how meetings are run with such a huge group. It was super cool to see! Karen Morris is the leader of the Dream Team and has over 1200 downlines. It's crazy! Congrats to her for all her hard work and 26 years in the company.

THURSDAY - OPENING DAY
Normally this is the day you register and the convention gets to kick off with the Product Reveal General Session. I actually registered the day before because I was eligible for Leadership Day. I was so amazed by the crowd gathered at the doors waiting for them to open. Everyone was buzzing with excitement. There were over 1000 consultants there. People were taking videos, pictures, dancing, and searching for Sticky Boy. How exciting!
It's just such an amazing experience to be there in person and see everyone so happy. Amazing. The second those doors opened people started cheering and whistling. People were dancing up on chairs so that their team members would find them. The excitement was surreal. Some of the highlights of the general session:
  • Marching band came out to start everything off with some amazing music! And then streamers flew everywhere!
  •  Short video clip of home office on the screen that zooms in on our amazing CEO and Founder Jeanette Lynton waving to us with Brian and Monica on the screen and then the curtains went back and there she is with her family!
  • Skits put on to tell the amazing story of Jeanette and how she came to create CTMH and it's growth.
  • New product reveals including:
    • Revamped whole new Basics color palette. All current colors are retiring except Black and it is becoming a stand alone with White Daisy. The new colors are called: Linen, Mink, Pebble, Heather, Pewter, Charcoal, Espresso, Nutmeg, Toffee and Almond. Colonial White is retiring.
    • New color of the Year: Bashful (a light pink)
    • Two toned cardstock. All colors will have a lighter shade of the color on the reverse side. Opens up a lot of possibilities and essentially gives us 84 colors to work with.
    • Sidenote: We also now have silver and gold foil paper and vellum
    •  New Workplace Wonder pieces including a swivel base and top, Mini Tray, Ribbon Organizer, Medium Tray and Medium stack. Love it!
    • New Make It From Your Heart Volume 3 with holes so it can easily slip into an Everyday Life Album.
    • 2 New 10- 2 page Cut Above baby kits (1 girl, 1 boy).
    • All our new fundamental paper packs and coordinating ribbon and complements.
    • New thin cuts including borders, tags, banners, words, and letters!
    • New cricut cartridge in both digital and physical versions called You Are Here.
    • New digital only mini cartridges for each USA, Canada and Australia/New Zealand.
    • 3 layered stamping plus many new stamp/thin cut bundles
    • New hostess rewards that include the ability to purchase a cuttlebug and cricut explore.
    • THE NEW HOLIDAY EXPRESSIONS (Sorry only available for convention attendees)
After the general session was over we had to rush and grab our boxed lunch provided by CTMH, our new catalogs and catch our bus to head to HEAD OFFICE for a tour. Wow!
This is something that has never been done before and it's like a dream come true. We got to see a bit of the warehouse, get our picture taken by a professional photographer in front of the building and sign, and tour the lobby, creative area, boardroom and JEANETTE'S OFFICE. To be honest I nearly broke down when I entered her office. It was seriously like entering the President's Oval.
All too soon it was time to go. While we were there we got our amazing Convention bag (pictured in the photo of me about to enter Jeanette's Office and a M size stamp that says "You are Welcome Here". This was the most incredible experience. Loved it. Thank you so much CTMH for doing this for us.
After we got back we grabbed our creative supplies and went to the Creative Session. I got to meet many people from Head Office throughout the day and took selfies with them. They are all extremely kind and talk to you as though you are important. The things they did for us the entire weekend... just WOW.
FRIDAY - THE MIDDLE DAY.

Today at the general session we had such inspirational speakers. I cried so much it's crazy. We started off with the amazing Stacy Julian who talked about how important is it to share your story and how everything can be story-ish. She also announced a new venture coming as a partnership with her and Close to my Heart in 2018! More details to come later.
Then came the inspirational story by Stephanie Nielson, a plane crash/burn survivor. There was not one dry eye in the room. That woman is totally amazing. If she can overcome all the obstacles that came her way than anybody could. Beautiful inside and out.

In the afternoon we had a business class by Shari McAllister. It gave me many ideas on how to further my business to become more successful. It was interesting.

Next was the amazing Extravaganza presenters. Wow! Such beautiful work to showcase all our new products. Loved it! Made me want to create!

We went back to our room early that day and did some work and created wish lists after a nice supper at the Cheesecake Factory.

SATURDAY - CANADA DAY

Wow, busiest day of my life. I woke up at 4h45am to go walk/run a 5K for Operation Smile. It went much better than I thought. It was shorter than I expected and finished just under 29 minutes. I decided to walk the other 5K back to the hotel since I felt fine. (Bad idea - my legs were dead the next morning). It was really nice to see different things, downtown SLC and the State Capitol. The race was on Capitol Hill.
When I got back I had to shower and get ready for the general session. It was Canada Day and Brandy gave me a Canadian T-Shirt. That was awesome.
At the General Session they did more awesome reveals such as:
  • An exclusive Canadian Celebrate 150 years bundle which includes cardstock, the new digital cricut cartridge featuring Canada and the exclusive 150 Years Canada Stamp! The official logo! It is available for all of July and the stamp will be available until the end of the year.
  • The next convention will be at Red Rock in Las Vegas! Where Sticky Boy and Sticky Girl will be getting married.
  • Our next incentive trip will be a 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise!
  • Jeanette Lynton herself! She came onstage to share her heart breaking story of her journey with Lyme Disease. Again, not a dry eye in the room. She also did some Q & As and forced her good looking hubby to show us some karate moves. She is a hoot and I love her so much! I'm so glad she is starting to heal and I pray for a full recovery!
  • Operation Smile video, talk about their mission and then the Auction! We raised around 45 000$ over the weekend for Operation Smile! Whoohoo!
After the general session we Canadians got a special luncheon. It was awesome. Good food, awesome surprises and great company.
Then we all went to the stairs to take a picture and unsuspectingly broke out singing the National Anthem. People stopped and watched us in awe. (Well, I hope awe anyways haha). There is a great Facebook Live Video on Close to my Heart's facebook page.

After lunch we had a great business class on Social Media by Karen Pedersen. It was perfect! I only saw the beginning as I went to prepare backstage to present after her but she did a great job.

It was my turn to present! I was SO excited and honored to be doing this. I loved it. I got to take a selfie with Monica backstage before I went on. I just felt so... important. :)
Apparently I did a good job presenting and that makes me happy. If only I can inspire 1 person I've accomplished something. I really enjoyed all the wonderful ladies that came up to me after to congratulate me and to share their inspiring stories of adoption. I loved it and wished I could talk even more about it. Keep sharing your stories!
Last event of the day and weekend was the Awards Gala. We got to get all dressed up and got served an amazing supper. Congrats to all the award winners!!! Great job and keep working hard!
Don't forget the inclusive convention stamp sets we got <3. I can't wait to make my convention album.
 It was a great evening. I got to go back up on stage again to congratulate the presenters.
At the end of the awards we had a special guest come out. Jeanette in her wheelchair out on stage to say a huge thank you to Monica for her hard work and dedication the last 25 years! Again we all stood and cheered... and cried... it was so amazing!
Thank you for everything CTMH! This trip will forever my etched in my brain as the most fun I've ever had. I am so honored to have been asked to present and to take part in such an amazing event. I have no words to describe the absolute experience. It was beyond what I could have imagined. I love this company SO MUCH. I could never leave.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! I have come so far since becoming a consultant, both as a person and as a business. I owe it all to this company. I made so many friends through scrapbooking that I would have never had. I owe it all to you. Thanks! See you in Vegas next year!

P.S. If any of you want a part in this fabulous business please click the tab called "Join my Team" at the top of the page. ;) Hope to see you all in Vegas next June!

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