Friday, May 20, 2016

my memory-keeping consultant story

I dedicate a lot of time and energy to inspiring people to tell their stories, and giving them an avenue with which to do it.  That's because I believe in it so much.

And that is true. 

I was challenged recently to share MY story here--my Heritage Makers story.  I've told my personal story in many ways, in several hardbound Heritage Makers books (including my personal history) and scrap pages that are scattered throughout my home, but here I'll share my Heritage Makers story.  

I would say my Heritage Makers story starts pretty much at birth.  I was born with a desire to connect and remember.  I have always loved journaling, writing,  reminiscing, photos, personal histories, and family stories.  I find those connections strengthening; they increase both peace and happiness to me personally.  

My sister recently read an old letter I wrote when my brother and my mom were visiting my grandparents a few states away.  I think I couldn't have been older than about 13 or 14 at the time.  In the letter, I spent an entire paragraph (of a fairly short letter) admonishing them to TAKE PICTURES of everything they did.  I told them if they didn't take pictures, it's like it never happened.

I have always kept scrapbooks.  And by that I mean:  For my entire life, I have kept scrapbooks.  I've always seen their value and purpose. 

When I was introduced to Heritage Makers in 2005, I was a busy mom of three.  If you promise not to tell them I posted this (because they're sensitive, private teenagers now), you can be privy to this sweetness:

These were my littles when Heritage Makers came my way.  I was already a memory-keeper.  I wasn't about to let my babies grow up to be jpegs.  

I scrapbooked because I wanted them to know that their lives matter to me.  I wanted for them the self-esteem and the sense of belonging that comes from memory-keeping and making family connections.  I wanted them to feel secure in who they are, where they fit in our family, the talents I see in them, and their importance in many lives.  I wanted them to have something to look back at to remember good times when life's tough moments show up.

In 2005, I worked full time for these three, and I wasn't looking for anything else to put on my plate, let alone a job.  One of my friends who introduced me to Heritage Makers said, "It's like a company made for YOU!"  And I knew she was right.  

I kept thinking about the possibilities Heritage Makers would provide for families.  I knew that I wasn't the only one who wanted to gift self-esteem and a sense of belonging to my children--or my parents and siblings, for that matter.  

I also knew that not everybody loves to scrapbook.  But Heritage Makers was digital, and it went beyond scrapbooking.  It was memory-keeping, yes, but it was the ability to tell a life story or to make a little "10 things I love about you" book.  

I realized that the ability to record a family photo history or a life story or a love story went far beyond what we knew as "scrapbooking."  I knew that it could be a powerful tool for many people, including the many people who aren't "scrapbookers."  

Despite some real introvert tendencies, I knew this was something I could step out of my comfort zone for, something I would be excited to get out and tell people about.

And I was right.  I've never looked back.  There's nothing better than spending my time changing lives through the power of story and the power of the connections that come from it.

UPDATE 2021:  16 1/2 years after I started, I still love sharing the power of photos and stories.  I have expanded to now recommend two companies for heirloom-quality photo books and guaranteed photo privacy:  Heritage Makers and Forever.  

I love offering additional possibilities because it means there's something for everyone, from quick and easy pre-designed templates to fully creative digital scrapbooking.  

See the differences here, choose the best fit for you, and start bringing the power of photos, stories, and connections into your life!

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