Lindy’s Stamp Gang Company story by Tracey Brown
My crafting story begins when I was young and revolves around my mom. Not only was our house always full of crafting goodies, but my mom was the creative spirit that helped my brother and I craft our way through our childhood. As I got older, my crafting story changed, but always was inspired by my mom.
Here is her story:
Lindy was born in Seattle, WA, raised there and along the shore of Hood Canal, WA. She became a teacher and moved overseas to teach US military dependents. Bremerhaven, Germany was the first stop in her adventure, where she met and married another American teaching overseas, the guy with the funny name, Wolfgang. She and Wolf moved around Germany, had me, Tracey Brown and my brother Joe and thought it was funny to sign all our family letters as being from “Wolf’s Gang”. Mom was always a creative, artistic person, drawing, painting, crafting, and putting her funny animal cartoons all over the walls of her elementary class rooms. Living in England, Canada, Cuba, Iceland and Germany there were lots of inspirations for her amazing cartooning talent. Most of the stamps you see today were inpsired by the many places we lived, including the farm that was our “summer home”, in Chehalis, WA, where Bovinia Buttinski was born! Always, though humor was a part of her cartooning.
Mom and Dad retired in 1994 and moved to Winlock, WA to start the new chapter of their lives. Mom became a very active crafter, scrapper and stamper and was encouraged to make rubber stamps out of her cartoons. So in 1996 Lindy’s Stamp Gang was born! It was a joint effort as mom & dad traveled to lots of local shows with her rubber stamps and did a lot of the behind-scenes manufacturing as well as enlisting me to help too. Every show brought new and exciting products along with her stamps. By 1998 she had her own line of Mica powders and very soon after the sprays began with Glitz Spritz and the Moon Shadowlines. Embossing powders and Starbursts were quick to follow, as I protested from my basement that was filling to the brim with powders to put into jars! It wasn’t long before her sister, Vicki retired and they “hit the trail” traveling nationally to stamp and scrap shows from shore to shore. They left a lot of giggling in their wake as they took a few days to explore the current show’s location and hope to not get lost with their GPS! What a fabulous thing to be able to share and enjoy together!
Lindy lived every day to its fullest and we will always remember her smile, infectious laughter, spunk, sparkle and creativity!
Lindy’s Stamp Gang was known at all of the shows for Lindy’s amazing demonstration, (that would always have a standing room only crowd around her during the whole show), as well as funny stamps, great products at unbeatable prices and service with a smile. Lindy continued creating images for stamps along with all of the colors in her different product lines, making sure they all had perfect names, making “how-to” cards for customers and taking time to create, create, create. This between trips to eastern Washington, where I live with my husband and two girls. Lindy’s went global gaining great popularity in the UK and Australia during the early 2000s, with specials offered on QVC in the UK for quite a few years. Wholesalers and retailers alike, were always charmed by Lindy’s great humor and friendliness.
Our world came crashing down in the spring of 2008, when mom came down with “the flu” for the 10th time. She claimed that she had gotten a “bug” at her show in Hawaii, 9 months before & just wasn’t able to “shake it”. We now know that those “bugs” were actually Hodgkins Disease, but didn’t learn this until after she had already suffered through a stroke. Part of her “flu” was always shortness of breathe and no energy, which were contributed to her blocked carotid arteries. Doctors performed the Carotid Artery Surgery in early July, 2008, which mom came out of with tons of energy, feeling like a “new woman”, until a week later when she suffered a stroke. We were devastated, as was she when she was finally good enough to transfer to a rehab center. The rest is just a series of strokes and the battle with Hodgkins, that finally took her life. She never had a chance to fight the cancer because of the strokes and passed away on Christmas day, 2008. It is such a tragic loss for us and we miss her dearly each and every day!
Lindy’s Stamp Gang will continue as was her hope and dream. Dad and I took things over in July, 2008 and hope to keep Lindy’s creativity alive in the business. I have always been in the background of the company, but am now trying to fill some pretty incredible shoes! I am thankful everyday that I still get to have a piece of mom with me everyday!