How did you become interested in recording life stories?
I am a child and grandchild of Holocaust survivors. Many of my family members died in the war and I always yearned to know more about where I come from. I learned early on that when stories are not preserved, they die along with their keepers. I also have always been genuinely interested in people and the intricacies of their life journeys. You can find more of my story in the About Romy section!
How did you come up with the name of your business?
I feel that each person’s life journey is as unique as a fingerprint. In addition, when we die, we each leave our fingerprint – an impression or mark on people’s lives that cannot be recreated. ‘With love’ has always been one of my favourite ways to sign off on letters, and to me, when you are the recipient of one of these memory books, you are receiving them as gifts given with love.
What is a Memory Keeper?
This is a term I call a creative professional who helps people preserve memories – including stories, photos, and voices, in different forms (e.g., books, scrapbooks or audio).
Why hire a Memory Keeper?
Recording your own life stories can be a daunting process. It can be hard just figuring out where to begin! Even having a family member or close friend help you, can pose challenges. Many people find it easier telling their stories to a neutral observer because they are not as concerned about what strangers think of them and can talk more freely. By hiring a Memory Keeper, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are working with a skilled collaborator – somebody who is adept at interviewing and writing, and somebody who will guide you and ensure that your project is completed in a timely manner. Working with a Memory Keeper will make the process less overwhelming and more enjoyable!
Why is it important to record life stories?
As we get older, memories fade. Before that happens, it is important to preserve them for future generations and to help leave a lasting legacy. In addition, research has shown the power of reminiscence. More specifically, the act of recalling and sharing life stories can lower depression, exercise the brain, engage people with dementia, decrease disorientation, and increase life satisfaction. In short, telling our stories is empowering and healing!
I understand that you do life story projects to help people record their own stories. Do you also help people create memory books for which they pay tribute to someone else?
Yes! Creating books to celebrate other people’s lives is very meaningful. For example, I helped make a memory book for a little girl whose father passed away. I collected stories and pictures from her father’s friends and colleagues and put them into a printed digital scrapbook for her to cherish when she is older.
What will a book project cost?
Each project is a unique work of art. Cost is dependent on the scope of your project – for example, how many interviews are requested, how the stories are being collected (e.g., via emails, telephone interviews or in-person interviews), and how many pictures are to be included in your book. Typically, the cost will vary from a few hundred dollars, to a few thousand dollars. There are different types of projects available and I will always work with you to pick a project that is in keeping with your budget.
Can the cost of the project be shared by a group of people?
Of course! A great way to bring down the cost of your project is to go in on a project with others. For example, siblings can share in the cost of a memory book for a parent, friends can collaborate to have a memory book created for a grieving friend, and colleagues can coordinate a project for a revered colleague celebrating a milestone birthday.
What is the final product?
The final product is a printed narrative (a book which usually contains photos), and/or a printed digital scrapbook (a hardcover book with photos and stories that accompany the photos).
How long does the entire process take?
It depends on the scope of the project, but typically between one month (for smaller projects) and three months (for larger projects).
Do you only work with digital photos?
I can work with original photos or JPEG images. All original photos are handled with care and returned as promptly as possible.