Introducing my new business: Treasured Stories

Pink Think: “There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside the dullest exterior, there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.” – Mark Twain

Click on pic to go to my website

Ladies and gentlemen, ahem! I would like to announce that I am the proud owner/operator of a brand spanking new business: Treasured Stories, a personal history writing service.

Wow, dontcha love the sound of that?

How this came about: I was singing with my ol’ guitar last Thursday for some nice folks at a senior care center, as I usually do every month. Before my performance, I asked my audience to tell me their names and something unique about them. Florence was a pianist, Clyde was a shepherd, Jeanine was a painter, Eleanor quilted, Shirley does genealogy…on and on, around the circle. Migosh, these were beautiful, vibrant people. I thought, I hope their family and other people know their life stories.

As I left the center that day, I had an a-ha moment. Why don’t I help folks like them capture their life stories?

Mmm, I thought. COULD I? Well, let’s see…I love being with older folks. I’m always fascinated by what they have to say. Really, what anyone has to say, but especially those that have lived long good lives. I’ve been a professional journalist for 20 years, I’m good with words, and I’m great at getting people to open up. I can finish by a deadline. I’ve finished three novels. I can make sense of a jumble of information. I can find a theme throughout interview notes. I love getting to know the real person behind that Mona Lisa smile. I can work from home around my family’s schedule. And I LOVE to market a business idea. So why the heck not?!

(In essence, thanks to my short stint with a rock band years ago, which led me to play guitar and perform on my own, I am now running a personal history writing service. Funny how things work out.)

Friday, I contacted a couple of ladies in the industry, ultimately feeling good after talking to them. So I rooted around the internet for a domain name. It’s tough to find real good ones that aren’t already taken, let me tell you! Felt like arriving at the party after the caterer’s gone, and there’s not even pans to lick. And it’s a little frustrating that a lot of domains are taken up by not very active if-at-all-operating websites. So there went: Memory Lane, Shoebox Memories, Treasured Memories. (I also crossed off Mummifying Memories and Story Sarcophagus, but NOT because they were already taken.)

To my amazement, was available (if you go there, it’s still somewhat under construction, so pardon the dust and watch your head.) So I nabbed it, before I could chicken out, even though I was chiding myself, “Wow, you’re so optimistic Jewel, you already bought a domain before anything else.” But it feels great to have a good domain name that actually goes with my business. I can already see the slogans. And my giveaways at the local business fair. Yes, I’m a marketing geek that way.

So today, I worked on my website in my pajamas all day. I was so absorbed in it that I a) nearly forgot to make dinner for a lady in our church, her hubby and her 7 kids (plus baby, but baby doesn’t really require food) and b) forgot to take my son to a scheduled hair cut. The house is a mess (thank goodness we haven’t done any showings lately), I have to-dos piling up, and yet, I am so energized by this whole thing.

I made my own website. Used a blogger template, but essentially, I made the header, which is really cool, using Gimp. It’s got a treasure chest with my family’s photo in it, when I was growing up. But I will have a net address, and my blog will be redirected to it. Hooray for technology!

I am learning so much, on the run. For instance, that you should get a business license with your city, and also register with the state (There was a “Treasured Story Collection” operating out of Orem, but the registration expired, so hopefully, my business name “Treasured Stories” will be fine.) And the difference between sole proprietorship and LLC. And lots of fine print that got me all cross eyed and hoping I’m not breaking any laws.

I can’t wait to read Jennifer Campbell’s book for advice on how to start and run a personal history business (ordered it Friday, too…seems like forever to wait for the book). This Friday, I’ll be going to Taylorsville to learn at the feet of a personal historian lady who is so generously sharing her wealth of knowledge, with me, and two other women.

I can do this. I CAN do this!

Deep breath.

It’s like putting on the harness for a zip line and knowing that there’ll be some freefalling, but it’ll be a great sensation. I just know it!

I’ve always wanted to have my own business to promote, and now, here it is. My very own baby. My very own stamp on it. Just any way I want it. I don’t have to nag anyone else to produce. I am the producer. I am the marketer. I am the bathroom cleaner. I am *booming voice* The Colossal Coconut.

Squee! Check back often for my entre-venture updates. Click here to visit my Treasured Stories website.

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