~Album featured at Children's Miracle Network fundraiser
~Design Teams and Creative Teams:
~Featured business in Worthington Daily Globe newspaper
~Featured Mom Entrepeneur at MomtobeDepot.com
~Feature article in Edgerton Enterprise-Front page news
~Featured business at SuccessInBloom.blogspot.com
~Feature article at Hall of Fame Moms
~Featured speaker at Red Hat's event
~Feature business at Scrapventure.com
~Featured business at Diva-Designz.net
~Featured business at Buckeye V.A.
Children's Miracle Network:
The featured album is shown on the table in the left layout. The album was created for a little girl that had open heart surgery when she was only a few months old. Click on images to enlarge
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Remembered Moments is a custom scrapbooking venture for Edgerton woman
By Julie Buntjer Worthington Daily Globe
EDGERTON-In today's age of digital cameras and home computers, people can build up quite a stash of images that they never get around to printing much less putting into photo albums or scrapbooks.
Who has the time to transfer all of those photos into keepsakes like scrapbooks and memory boxes?
A rural Edgerton woman does.
Julie Vander Pol left a full time job in engineering a few years ago to become a full time mom. With a knack for creativity, she expanded on a custom scrapbooking venture and discovered a niche that allows her to stay home to be with her kids.
Most of her business is conducted via the Internet, especially since she is relatively new to the area. She and her husband, Mark, moved to rural Edgerton from Michigan about a year ago, after Mark's parents retired from farming and he took over the operation.
Vander Pol created a studio in the basement of their farmhouse, where she designs her own scrapbook pages and has work space to create both traditional and digital scrapbook albums, shadow boxes, birth and wedding announcements, photo calendars and a host of other products.
"My main thing is people send me their photographs and I create a scrapbook, photo or memory album for them, " she said. "I can also make copies for grandparents (aunts, uncles or others)."
On her website, www.remembered-moments.com, Vander Pol has a variety of products and options available for customers.
"I design (scrapbook pages) all around the photographs. It's all unique and whatever people want designed for them," Vander Pol said.
She posts progress of scrapbook orders on her website, giving customers their own personal link to view their pages as they are being made.
There are several different options with the scrapbooks-they can include traditional pages filled with unique embellishments to the digital pages, which are created on the computer and are printed out on paper so the pages lay flat. A variety of page and scrapbook sizes are available, and hardbound albums are also an option.
"There's lots of samples on the website of different things I make," said Vander Pol, adding that she even gets requests to make things that aren't displayed on her site.
Vander Pol gets ideas for her designs from a variety of different sources. Even things like seeing clothing displays gives her ideas on what colors work well together, and she can incorporate them into her projects.
One a project is complete, Vander Pol said it is up to the customer to add their own personal touches, such as writing little stories for the pages or writing captions for the photos. [although journaling can be done for you]
"I really encourage people to use their own handwriting," she said. "I leave a spot for them to do that." [if desired, or it can be done for them]
Scrapbooking has become increasingly popular in recent years, and Vander Pol relies on scrapbook supply stores throughout the are to purchase the products she uses in her craft.
"People see scrapbooks but they don't have the time or the (creativity)," she said. "I just think it's so important for people to preserve their memories."
For more information about Vander Pol's business, visit her website, www.Remembered-Moments.com, email Julie@Remembered-Moments.com, or call (507)220-0682
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LOCAL WOMAN FINDS NICHE WITH CUSTOM SCRAPBOOKING BUSINESS
by Jill Fennema
Do you have a box full of photos at home just waiting to be remembered? Or do you have a computer full of images that have never made it to paper?
Digital cameras can really make life easier – no film to buy, no need to go to the photo finisher. The problem lies in the fact that it is just so easy to leave all those images stored on your computer or worse yet, on the camera card.
Have you ever thought about how many of your memories would be lost if your hard drive went bad?
Local home-based business owner, Julie Vander Pol has a special business designed to help people preserve their memories. She has a custom scrapbooking business that she runs out of her home.
Mostly, she creates custom-made, personalized scrapbooks (also known as professional scrapbooks) using photos and memorabilia brought to her by her customers.
Some of the other items she makes are shadowboxes, cards, invitations and birth announcements, and other business and personal portfolios.
Her creativity extends beyond cutting and pasting paper and photos and the bits and pieces that make up the pages of a memory book. She also creates custom digital photo albums, which are designed entirely on the computer and then printed on a quality laser printer.
Julie and her family – which includes her husband Mark, and two children Alexia (3) and Tytus (1), and a new baby due this May – moved to Edgerton in October 2007. They live on the farm that Mark’s parents, Vern and Mina Vander Pol, retired from. When his parents moved to town, Mark moved home to farm.
Prior to this, both Mark and Julie were mechanical engineers, Mark working full-time and Julie worked part-time. She also did scrapbooking on the side at that time.
“I had several people say that they wished someone could scrapbook and create
memory albums for them, since they either didn't have the time, didn't like to scrapbook or have the creativity,” Julie said, “Thus Remembered Moments was born.”
“I thought I could help many of these people out-I had many years of experience and thought this was a great way to help other people while doing what I love.”
One of the albums Julie created was featured at a Children' Miracle Network fundraiser.
She created an album for a little girl who had open heart surgery soon after she was born. The book was about her surgery and recovery.
Julie really enjoys the flexibility of her work and being able to be home with her children. The room where she does all her “paper-crafting” is in the basement of her home. The room is not only her “office,” but also the kids’ playroom.
But having the kids in her “office” and trying to manage her time – between being a wife and a mom and a business owner – is the challenging part.
Julie said she does most of her creating in the daytime, and most of her book work, marketing, and computer work in the evening hours. She is self-proclaimed night owl, so she enjoys that she doesn’t have to get up early to go to work every morning.
As for her projects, she says that she loves nearly every project she has done, and they have all been very different. Every client is different, with different tastes and personalities, so each project has a unique theme and feel to it.
“I also love the 'odd' requests I get-for example I just created custom made napkin holders out of wine corks from a wedding,” Julie said. “I was happy to create them – just goes to show, I do all kinds of special requests. You never know if I can do it until you ask!”
Julie still takes the time to scrapbook for herself. She uses her personal stuff to test her ideas. She added that most of her own books are digital, but she still creates many traditional, paper mini-albums and altered items.
She is also on a couple design teams and creative teams and for those
assignments, she always uses her personal photographs and memorabilia, so that forces her to get own scrapbooking done, too.
The design teams she has worked with are designers and/or manufacturers of paper scrapbooking products, cards, digital scrapbooking kits, etc. By doing design work for them, she can get free or discounted projects in return for her creations.
If you would like to contact Julie regarding a custom scrapbooking project, wedding invitations, or even a website design, you can reach her at 507-220-0682 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. She also has a website: www.Remembered-Moments.com
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Success In Bloom -featured business:
Julie Vander Pol
Remembered Moments has been in business since 2004. Julie started this business because she had several people say they wished that someone could create memory albums and scrapbook for them.
Why would you want someone to offer these services to you?
1. You don’t have the time to do it yourself.
2. You don’t like to scrapbook or don’t feel you are creative enough to scrapbook.
3. You just don’t know where to start and feel overwhelmed.
It was for all these reasons and more that Julie started her business. She felt her many years of experience would be a great way to help other people while doing something that she loved. She is experienced in both digital design and traditional paper crafting.
Although her business is service-based, her clients still receive a finished product. She is unique in that all items are handmade by her and she offers both a service and a product to her clients.
Julie’s target market is working couples/parents, new parents, newlyweds, and retired travelers. However, she believes that just about anyone can benefit from her services and products.
What makes Remembered Moments stand out from the crowd? Julie works worldwide to create custom made items to suit her clients. She creates a personalized website for each client so they can view their works in progress. Julie offers this service so that her clients can see the pages prior to receiving their scrapbook and it is easier for them to ask her to add journaling to each page. She has payment plans available and accepts many forms of payment. Julie does not limit herself to custom scrapbooks, although this is her primary service. She also creates birth/adoption announcements, wedding invitations, programs, shadowboxes, altered rolodexes, recipe boxes, pre-made albums, and many other items. Julie also works with clients on special requests for other paper crafting projects when asked. She also provides scrapbook copying and printing and will provide traditional (paper) scrapbooking/crafts and digital scrapbooking/crafts.
Remembered Moments markets their products and services through their website and on a referral basis. The company is run solely by Julie who does everything from finances, crafting, web design, marketing, and taxes.
Julie has a degree in mechanical engineering so a lot of business based learning was done while earning her degree. She says she doesn’t think she would be where she is today if she had not obtained that degree.
What is your definition of success? Julie says, “Success to me is helping anyone preserve their memories-even if it is just one event, or one story, or one photo-that was more then what was preserved before.”
This is Success in Bloom – What type of flower are you/your business and why?
Gardenia-these flowers are hard to grow and have a strong scent. Many people find it hard to preserve their memories, for many different reasons; but also know, and are continually reminded, that it is very important to do so. (The hard to grow Gardenia is like how many people find it hard to preserve their memories; being continually reminded that it is important to do is like the strong scent of the Gardenia continually giving off its strong fragrance.)
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Today’s talk is with Julie Vander Pol of Remembered Moments. Learn more about Julie, why she started her scrapbook business as well as some success tips she learned along the way on her scrapbook business journey.
Why did you decide to start a scrapbook business creating albums for others?
I had several people say that they wished someone could scrapbook and create memory albums for them since they either 1. didn’t have the time 2. didn’t like to scrapbook or have the creativity 3. various other reasons thus Remembered Moments was born. I thought I could help many of these people out-I had many years of experience and thought this was a great way to help other people while doing what I love. I am experienced in both digital design and traditional papercrafting.
How did you first get started in your scrapbooking business?
I started out with A LOT of research and just doing word of mouth marketing.
What tools/resources would you say are essential to succeeding in this type of business?
Understanding finances and pricing structures.
What are some mistakes you may have made getting started in your own business?
This is maybe not so much a mistake as it is a word of advice from my experiences…. It does not have to be done in one day. Starting a business is a big task no matter what the business. It is easy to get excited to get your ‘doors open’ but making sure you spend time choosing an appropriate business name, setting up your pricing structure, and doing all of the other necessities will help in the long run. You will be glad you spent the little bit of extra time up front to make things ‘perfect’ before you ‘open your doors’. It is never fun to have to raise prices on people simply because you did not spend the time in the beginning to figure out the right pricing structure for your business.
What is your favorite/most effective method for gaining new clients(especially when you first got started)?
Website was and still is my most effective and favorite method.
Tell me a litle bit about your typical work day. How many hours do you work?
Since all my work is custom work, it depends on what I have lined up for projects. I also work from my home so my schedule is very flexible, I may work 4 hours one day and 12 the next. I do most of my ‘creating’ during the day while my children are awake. We have one large room in our home and ½ of it is my studio and ½ of it is playroom; so I can be creating and being involved with my children at the same time. I love it!
How should someone determine if starting their own scrapbook business is right for them?
Do you have the time? It is not just ‘I love this as a hobby, I think I will do it as a business’. There is a lot more too it, finances, marketing, all the legal aspects (federal, state, county, township, even subdivision-some subdivisions and trailer parks do not allow in home businesses), taxes, and extra time. Do you have the business sense? As I mentioned previously it is not as easy as saying ‘I enjoy this hobby I want to make a business of it’. Do you understand finances and pricing structures? You need the business to be profitable and self-sustaining, if it isn’t your business will fail, it is simple as that. Do you have the creativity? Do you have marketing know how? Do you have the time? You don’t want to get burned out! If someone does not have these qualities that does not mean they shouldn’t start a business at all, just maybe not at this time. The should take some classes first to enhance their abilities in the area that they are lacking. Some of the areas can be contracted out, but you have to know how to deal with contract labor then also.
Based on feedback from your customers, what are some of the benefits you provide?
Custom made to order-each project is designed specifically for each client. Involvement-the client can be as involved (or uninvolved if they choose) as they want to be. Professional quality. Timely work.
What is your favorite way to grow your business online?
What is one mistake you have made and learned from?
Follow up, follow up, follow up
Do you consider yourself successful? Why or why not?
Yes. I love my job and have a profitable business while being able to stay home to care for my children.
Any final words of advice you would like to add?
It is a lot of work, but it is well worth it for me.
Thank you Julie for sharing with us. I think many who are considering or already started their scrapbook business will gain some valuable insight from Julie’s experience.
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Full Name: Julie Vander Pol
Company/Business: Remembered Moments
Year Founded: Officially with this business name in 2005 but I used my own personal name for a while before that.
Tell us about your business: Primarily I create professionally made custom handcrafted scrapbooks, memory albums, and portfolios. I also provide many other services and products (shadowboxes, rolodexes, lunchboxes, website design, and boutique children’s bows).
What inspired you to start your business: I saw a need for this and wanted to help fill the gap. I want to help people preserve today’s memories for tomorrow’s generation.
Share one business goal you have: Preserve today’s memories for tomorrow’s generation.
What would you say contributes to your success: Constant communication and simple kindness and understanding.
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Diva Designz -featured business:
Full Name: Julie Vander Pol
Company/Business: Remembered Moments
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Real Story:Julie Vander Pol
Question: What is your name?
Answer: Julie Vander Pol
Question: Can you tell us about your business? Please include the business name, and the website url. How long have you been in business?
Answer: Remembered Moments and have been in business since 2004.
Question: What made you decide to work from home? Was there a turning point in your life that made you seek being a business owner? Please share your story.
Answer: I have always wanted to work from home and then once we decided to have children I wanted to do that even more. There was not one specific moment or turning point, I think being an entrepreneur has always been a part of me.
Question: What is the 1 hurdle that you have had to overcome or are trying to over come at this minute?
Answer: making people realize that this is not just a hobby it is a business. Many people just think it is an extension of my hobby to make a ‘little extra money’; when in fact it is a full fledged business with all of the strings attached (marketing, finances, registrations, licenses, etc.)
An extension of this hurdle is that many people that want to do this don’t think (or want) to register as a business thus undercutting me (and other business owners, and the government) and that is in fact illegal and fraud.
Any last thoughts or comments that you would like our readers to know?
I love my job and love to encourage others to preserve their memories for future generations.