Two years ago, I was in Australia, meeting my new Facebook friends in person. On the very first day I was there, as Shelley and I sat eating lunch on a terrace overlooking Bondi Beach, I asked her if she thought we could form an international company that would sell subscriptions for online training for StoryBook Creator. When she didn’t think I was crazy, and when she said she had been thinking the same thing, I got really excited!
We have learned a lot in the past twenty months, since our very first weekly conference call back in December, 2009. We’ve learned a lot about each other and a lot about things we knew nothing of – making business plans, setting and meeting project deadlines, editing videos, building websites, determining and planning curriculum, marketing, and negotiating, to name a few. For example, we thought making recorded videos would be so much easier and more efficient than trying to do live webinars. We were right about the efficient part, but boy, oh boy, were we ever wrong about the easier part! Did you know that the industry standard for producing a video recording is that it takes about one hour to produce one minute of video? That means the webinars you spend thirty minutes watching took us at least 30 hours to record! I’m assuming that formula is for professionals who know what they are doing, and we were rank amateurs who have been teaching ourselves as we go. Add to that the fact that most of us are perfectionists, and I’m guessing that figure is a conservative estimate of the time we’ve been spending! You might be surprised to learn that one of our earliest videos was completely recorded NINETEEN times before it passed our tough QA standards and made it to the website!
Some of us (me!) thought that setting up a website was as simple as starting a blog, and that we wouldn’t need any professional help to do it. WRONG! I don’t even want to think about the number of hours of planning that Carolyn and Marilyn did to work out the logistics of the site, and then Marilyn, Jeannine, and our website designer worked almost non-stop for weeks to build the site and make it fun and functional. Our IT team is always on call – thank goodness we have Jenny, Shelley, and Juzzi in Australia to help Jeannine, Kim, and Anne keep things working around the clock!
We began to realize that if we were serious about turning our venture into a profitable business, the day would come that we would need to resign as Creative Memories Consultants. One reason that we have continued to operate as a free service to you is that it took some time to get used to that idea and to decide if that truly was the direction that we wanted to go. The twelve of us have 126 years of experience as CMC’s between us – Creative Memories has been a part of our lives and a significant portion of our identity for a long time – and it’s not an easy thing to leave behind. Each of us has taken that step on our own terms, and I want you to know that this has been a huge leap of faith for us – we’re jumping off the cliff and there’s no safety net below! We are happy that we can remain a branch of the Creative Memories family tree and we will do our best to live up to the high standards and ideals of the company.
What I have learned is that sometimes you have to give up what you have in order to have what you want. And so it is for me and my pixels2Pages teammates. We have worked diligently with the Creative Memories North America Home Office to work out an arrangement that will be a win-win for everyone. We are so excited about our partnership with Creative Memories and we commend the leadership at the Home Office for venturing into this new arena with us.
We were honored and thrilled to be included at Showcase in Minneapolis this week, and we are grateful to those who took time to stop by our pixels2Pages booth and find out what’s happening. In case you missed it, the big announcement is that we will be partnering with Creative Memories North America to provide high quality online training for StoryBook Creator and Memory Manager in the form of a fully commissionable subscription that will be sold by Creative Memories Consultants from their personal websites or from creativememories.com.
Over the next four or five weeks, we will be working on our website, updating it and working with Creative Memories to ensure a smooth process for our subscribers. For this reason, we closed the website at midnight (CDT) Monday night, 22 August. Never fear, though! Our Facebook page will remain open and active, as we do our best to continue to keep you motivated and inspired during this transition period. We’ve got some special things planned for you, and we encourage you to stop in daily, as we will be sharing details of what’s to come.
We’re excited about the possibilities that lie ahead, and we’ve got a lot of work to do! We look forward to providing you with the best possible training, information, and inspiration so that you can learn and appreciate these awesome digital programs. As always, we want you to HAVE FUN WITH IT!
Jan, and your pixels2Pages team