I’ve always been a bit of a quote-a-holic! So it’s only fitting I start with one … Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Life is a journey, not a destination” I am inclined to agree. But I think I would like to add a few words to his quote …. “Life is a journey, not a destination and the passengers you meet along the way make it all worth the while”
My journey has gone in many directions, over mountains, down a few valleys, over and under some bridges and through many magical lands. And on that journey grand friendships have been forged! (Kind of feels like I am writing the next instalment of Lord of the Rings!)
Some of my closest and dearest friendships have been formed through the acquaintance of Creative Memories and for that, I am truly grateful. I sat in at my first ever CM class at my current day best friend’s home. I told her I was not making photo albums, just frames to go on my wall. So I took along a photo frame and right there on the table I got it out to fill with my photos. I used the ‘lady’s’ cutters and cut every single shape I could get my hands on. I was THAT customer! LOL Of course I put away my frame, did my page and booked a party the very next day! My friend never did do any scrapbooking, but she knows I am here because of her! Thank you Donna!
I really got into my cutting and pasting! It matched very well with my obsessive – compulsive photo taking habit. I owned Kodak you know? It was my husband who all those years ago talked me into becoming a consultant. I didn’t really want to, but he encouraged me and said “You’d be so good at this, you are a teacher and love the crafty side of it all” Never let it be said that I didn’t listen!!!
I loved teaching classes and found that I really had missed leaving my teaching career behind when I had my children. But this was different. People wanted to learn and find out more and get as much inspiration and as many ideas as possible for their own albums. That was the easy part! The creativity came naturally, so I tapped into it and used it to build a large customer base of crafty, like-minded people who all had one thing in common – to preserve their memories for years to come. These passengers stayed with me and have become life-long friends.
Creative Memories became my life. I would often say “I eat, sleep and breathe Creative Memories” And for thirteen years all those hundreds of ‘passengers’ joined me on my journey. Some stayed the distance, but many hopped on and then off. I built up a large team of consultants to share the CM journey with and became a Unit Leader. But it was my extra consultative activities that I probably enjoyed the most. One of my team members asked me to do a consultant only workshop to show our team and some fellow consultants some of the more ‘crafty’ ideas I was doing with my own customers. I loved paper and creating something from nothing and my mum says that “I was born with paste in one hand and glue in the other.” So, it began. My new direction of consultant training. More passengers to meet and inspire and be inspired by.
My background, before CM, was primary school teaching, and in particular, an art teacher. This was a perfect combination for workshop training for consultants. I could take the fantastic Creative Memories products and develop their potential to really ‘create’ something in an album. After all, we were called ‘Creative’ Memories. I always stressed the importance of preserving the memories of the photos and telling the stories and that not every page had to be a work of art, and showing simple designs worked. I loved what I did, my customers loved it and fellow consultants were taking away ideas to promote CM products and increasing workshop attendances and product sales.
Two of the biggest highlights of my CM career were when I was a guest presenter at both our Summit Conference for Leaders and at our annual Showcase Conference. On both occasions I was so humbled by the gratitude of fellow consultants for sharing my ideas and album designs with them. It was an enormous privilege for me to be bestowed with such an honour to do these presentations. I continued to run monthly consultant workshops and provide ideas for Creative Memories Ideas books and Crop Talks using newly released products. I also got to travel to every state in Australia, except Northern Territory, to present ideas workshops for consultants. There were new passengers all the time. Faces lighting up at the endless possibilities for our Creative Memories products that they just hadn’t thought of!
Then along came digital. “It’s not for me!” I said “I love traditional products too much.”
And that is where I think I changed trains!
It was a whole new world for me. I liked it! My mouse became my new scissors and my screen my palette! I started sharing pages and fun ideas on Facebook and many new passengers (Facebook Friends) crossed my path. Some stayed in my carriage. We gathered together daily like a little clan to chat and share new digital tips and techniques. I was obsessed. Staying up until 3am working on a page and just trying to figure out how to do some fancy design was a common occurrence. The best part of those late night jaunts was the ‘chatter’ to new friends in the USA. This is how I met Jan. Firstly we were ‘cyber-friends’ until we met at our Australian Showcase that she was visiting for. Then we were real friends. At that Showcase, the Australian members of pixels2Pages were all in the same room at the same time. Only at the time p2P had not quite been born. Not long after that Showcase though, we had our first (of hundreds) of web-conference calls and a strong bond between the p2P team was cemented.
These are my travelling pants sisters now!
We are in the carriage together and we are moving forward. I tell you, the ride is bumpy sometimes, but the scenery is spectacular. The creativity and integrity of these women is a force to be reckoned with. Now, I could go on and on and on and on about all the hard work, long hours, laughter and tears as p2P has grown and developed into what it is today, but I am pretty sure those stories have been told and we have a whole entire website to prove it. My journey continues and the slight detours are what keeps it interesting. I am forever grateful to YOU, the passengers, for sharing your stories, your lives and your love with me during our encounters on this trip of a lifetime.
“If you want to be a passenger
Climb aboard with me we’re leaving now
Step outside and see another world
Only if you want to be a passenger”