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Step One: Choose Your Project

October 31, 2008   

Submitted by: Chris Crandall 

“This is such a great idea!”

“I love this!”

“I have so many stories I want to publish!”

“I can’t wait to get started!”

Screeeeeech!

Does this sound familiar? We all get so excited about publishing our stories, but sometimes the thought of it all gets overwhelming. At this point, we may put the brakes on our excitement!

When I feel like putting the brakes on, I like to ask, “Where do I begin?”

The fact is, every story has a beginning – and so does the process of creating a storybook. The exciting part is that we have so many stories and photos to share – and heritage to build – that we are eager to get started!

So, let’s ask together…”Where do I begin?”

The first place to begin is to choose your project. I remember the night when I saw Candy’s first storybook about her grandfather; I went home and couldn’t sleep. Among my many thoughts was one that kept reoccurring- “Oh, if I only would have done a storybook about my own grandfather.” He would tell us stories of his life over and over again – and we always assumed that we would remember them. The fact is, we didn’t. We were forgetting the little details – and even some of the facts.

So, the first storybook I wrote was about the love story of my amazing grandparents. I talked with my grandmother and captured and preserved their special love story. I couldn’t ask my grandfather because he had passed away. I have always regretted that I didn’t write my grandfather’s stories down. I regret that I didn’t listen to him closer – and that I didn’t thank him for the stories he shared.

I realized that the best, guilt-free place to get started was the story to which “time was of the essence.” Interview your elderly loved ones and capture their loves, life, laughter and their legacy. Capture it and preserve it while they are here, so that that there will be no regrets later.

Now, let’s move forward…

Go for a visit or get on the phone and interview a loved one who may pass away soon. You will find the reward before you even receive your published storybook. The time you spend together will be priceless. And it’s not only for you, but for them as well. I have heard time and time again, “I found out things that I never knew before. It has been an amazing experience.” And I have learned this from my own experience.

Chris Tip: Not sure where to begin in the story writing process? Thank goodness for Story Maps! Be sure to discover and USE these little treasures. A link to “Story Maps” is found on the “My Studio” page. Right now, the “Life Story” theme is available and it will guide you through the process of what questions you ask a loved one, to help their story – your heritage – unfold.

Don’t worry about writing a novel. The answers to the questions in the Story Map become the story of your priceless storybook. You can do it!

My next tip about getting started? “Do it now!”

Sorry, I don’t have time to “sugar coat” it because YOU have someone’s life to capture. You have a legacy to preserve. We all do. We should not put it off – there is too much to could be lost – and found!

Here is a quote that I recently heard that hit home – and my heart. It’s great for us to remember as heritage makers…

You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.” – Harold Hill, The Music Man

We are Heritage Makers! Enjoy the wonderful journey and start TODAY!

Heritage Makers in the News

October 28, 2008   

It’s impossible to keep a company as fabulous as Heritage Makers a secret! As members of the Heritage Makers family, we’ve known for a long time what an incredible company, product, and opportunity we have –and now, others are taking notice. Check out this nice article out of Idaho.

Getting Started: Write a Dedication

October 24, 2008   

Submitted by Candace May

Dedications set the tone of your storybook. Here are some wonderful dedications that coincide with the Cornerstone series. Hopefully the ideas I present here will help inspire you to create your own special dedication.

Parent/Grandparent

Dedicated to the only hero I ever had-the greatest man I ever knew.

He never owned a new car, he took peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to work, and loved bologna and Kool-Aid. He was a plain and simple man, with minimal financial means and limited church service. And yet, his was a life of overwhelming success, immeasurable by worldly standards. He was the husband that most women dream of, the father that most children wish they had and the kind of man that most men wish they could have been. He lived a quiet, Christ-like life, dedicating himself to the wife and family he loved, giving each of us a gift we never can repay.

Baby

This book is dedicated to my first baby boy.

Always remember, “I can’t stop loving you.”

Children

I dedicate this book to my children. Perhaps I will look back on these images and once again feel what it was like to have your soft cheeks resting next to mine, or hear your tiny voices saying, “Mommy.” I hope that you will look back at these images and know, without question, that you were loved.

Love

This book is dedicated to my handsome husband. Thanks for making my dreams come true and giving me this family.

Life

This storybook shares some of my most important thoughts and is dedicated to my children so they may, some day, have more than just their memories to go by.

Visualizing or seeing someone else’s decication is an inspiration to me. It always helps me to see what others have written to inspire my own writing. Now, after having seen some sample dedications, you can write your own meaningful introductions to every storybook you write.

Happy Storybooking!

I’ve Been Storybooked

October 24, 2008   

Submitted by Sharon Murdoch

Since Candy wrote the first storybook about my father some 10 years ago I have never had anyone write my story. It was always my intent to write my own story, but like the shoemaker, I was always too busy helping others to create their memories.  

But, one day a few months ago, my two precious daughters held a birthday party for me with six of my 10 grandchildren at the party. There was the usual noise, balloons, cake and presents to open.  We all had fun giggling with delight. Then Candy reached into a box and produced a 12 x 12 book. My grandbabies helped me to rip off the paper. What happened next was nothing I ever thought could happen to me.  

There in front of me, on the entire cover of the book, was my picture at age eight. The grandbabies wanted to see more and so did I. As I started to read, the tears of love and joy flooded down my face. I had to keep telling the little ones that I was happy and the sobs were part of this happiness. I don’t think they got it, but they will some day as I intend to create all their books at each stage of their lives.

Yes, I was storybooked. When I am in my “turbo” wheelchair someday, I will retell this story over and over, probably to the chagrin of my audiences, as this undoubtedly was one of my most treasured days.

If you have not written your loved ones’ stories, do not wait.  Please allow them to experience a most treasured day!

Check out Sharon’s book here.

What People are Buying in a Recession

October 23, 2008   

The New York Times recently published an article about the kinds of products people are buying in a recession. This is incredible news for Heritage Makers! The time is right for Heritage Makers and our products. Products that tie families together, that bridge relationships, that strengthen homes, that create or preserve memories-that’s our message.

Read the article here. And while you’re at it, leave a comment and share how incredible Heritage Makers really is.

Now is the Time for Heritage Makers

October 20, 2008   

Submitted by Chris Lee, Heritage Makers CEO

The news is full of negativity and uncertainty about the state of the U.S. economy. However, as I’ve pointed out to those in attendance this year at Leadership Roundtable and at Reunion, these are also times in which companies like us can thrive.

As one retail analyst said this week in the New York Times, “This is the cocooning that we saw in the 1980s that we’re seeing coming back.”

That “cocooning” is the very same phenomenon that analysts say caused the incredible growth in scrapbooking at Creative Memories, kitchen gadgets at Pampered Chef and Tupperware, and other direct sales success stories over the past 30-40 years. One of the great brands of all times – Avon – doubled its business during the lean years of the 1930s.

Big-ticket purchases like fancy vacations, plasma TVs, high-end restaurants, and SUVs are out. I suspect that the holidays will also be slow for toy companies’ colored plastic products that break or are thrown into the back of a toy closet the day after Christmas. These “forgettable” gifts, made in China from Middle Eastern petroleum, are hardly what this country needs to consume in times like these. 

On the other hand, products that create a lasting legacy for families, sold by local sellers making some needed extra income, and produced by employees right here in this country-that’s where we want to be right now!

Who offers such products? Who sells them in such a unique way-through Workshops that teach and inspire?

I think you know the answer to that one.

It’s time for Heritage Makers. Oh yeah, and one more thing. Oprah likes us too.  How’s that for a vote of confidence?

Get Six Pages Absolutely Free

October 15, 2008   

Publish select storybooks now and get 6 extra pages*! That’s right, if you publish between now and November 12 storybooks will come with and get 27 pages instead of 21. Now that’s a deal you don’t want to miss out on.On November 12, 2008, all storybooks will default to the 21-page format. In order to get your 6 extra pages, FREE, be sure to publish by November 12! Six pages, no charge.

There’s no better time than now to get a head start on all those holiday gifts! Plus, with the Template Gallery, you can publish a classy book in half the time! Make sure to spread the news to all of your clients!

Any credits purchased before October 10, 2007 that have not expired will still be honored with 27 pages after November 12. All you have to do is call Client Services and they will help you out.

*The extra pages does not apply to 12×12, 13×11, or 5×5 storybooks

Eh, Happy Thanksgiving

October 13, 2008   

A great big Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian friends! We hope you have a fabulous day filled with much thanks, good food, and loving friends and family. Eh, enjoy the day!

5-minute Greeting Card

October 8, 2008   

In just 5 minutes (no kidding, 5 minutes) you can create a beautiful, custom-made greeting card. Check it out:

1. Go to the Heritage Makers Template Gallery.

2. Choose one template from the hundreds available. (I chose a 5×7 greeting card for my experiment).

3. Your template automatically goes into your Studio account.

4. Add pictures.

5. Add text.

And you’re finished! In just 5 minutes, I was able to create a holiday greeting card, complete with my pictures and personalized text. It’s really that easy. You can send greeting cards for birthdays, anniversaries, the holidays, or simply just because. In 5 minutes, you can make someone’s day with a stunning greeting card.

Don’t have a Heritage Makers Studio account? No worries! Get one for FREE here.

Oprah Called – Press Release

October 7, 2008   

 A personalized storybook to one of the most influential women in the world gets national attention.

Heritage Makers personal publishing consultant creates book for Oprah Winfrey and gets personal thank-you phone call.

Provo, Utah – September 25, 2008 – Heritage Makers, the leader in personal publishing for hardbound storybooks, recently received some unprecedented attention. Brenda Kruse, an independent consultant from Waterloo, Iowa, created a 5×5 storybook for Oprah Winfrey that resulted in a personal thank-you call from the celebrity.

The storybook celebrated the life of Oprah’s beloved dog, Gracie, who passed away in May 2007. After being personally moved by Winfrey’s August 2007 editorial in O, The Oprah Magazine, Kruse wanted to celebrate the emotional story of “Gracie’s Gift” and created a treasured keepsake about Oprah’s experience with her 2-year-old dog.

“I just felt compelled to put this heartfelt story into print for Oprah to keep handy so she could keep what she called ‘Gracie’s Gift’ in mind. I knew our little 5×5 brag book was just the vehicle to deliver that message. She could keep it on her desk, in her purse, or by her bedside…wherever she wanted to be reminded to slow down in life by seeing Gracie’s smile,” recalls Kruse.

In honor of the one-year anniversary of Gracie’s death,. Kruse sent the storybook to Oprah Winfrey’s offices at Harpo Studios. The storybook arrived and was personally received by Oprah. “Shortly after I mailed the storybook, I received a ‘private call’ on my cell phone that went right to voicemail,” shares Kruse. “When I checked the message, I was stunned to hear a familiar voice say, ‘Brenda Kruse…Oprah Winfrey…’ I had received a personal thank-you call from one of the most influential people in the world! And it all happened because I wanted to give the gift of story to someone who has touched so many lives herself.”

Heritage Makers believes in the power of the individual and in the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Kruse states, “Many people can say Oprah made a difference in their lives. But not many people can say they’ve made a difference in Oprah’s life! With this small storybook, I had a huge impact on a very influential person. Now, that’s the power of storybooking. And that’s why I am a Heritage Makers consultant.”

Brytt Cloward, Heritage Makers Vice President of Sales and Marketing says, “Our independent consultants really believe in the power of story to strengthen homes and families. A simple thing like a storybook can have lasting effects on many generations. Whether you’re a celebrity or a stay-at-home mom, Heritage Makers storybooks have the power to change lives. Kruse demonstrates the spirit of heritage that so many of our consultants deliver one storybook at a time in homes across the U.S. and Canada. With this effort, we truly are ‘binding families together.'”

To learn more about Kruse’s story or to see the storybook that Oprah received, go to http://www.heritagemakers.com.

About the Company

Heritage Makers is a company and a community that believes in the power of strengthening family relationships through storybooks. Heritage Makers publishing platform is easy-to-use and simple enough to help anyone make a book-families, photographers, creative professionals, artists, writers, or anyone else with a story to tell. With Heritage Makers unique online publishing process, these stories can be preserved forever in custom hardbound books and related projects. In addition, Heritage Makers offers a unique income-building opportunity for its consultant sales force and anyone interested in binding families together.