I’ve always known what I wanted to do with my life and have strived towards my goal with every fiber of my being. For the past 14 years, I’ve been a visual designer, web designer and UX designer. During this time, I have loved it with all of my heart and soul; however, something was missing. As long as I was designing (corporate or consulting), I have been thoroughly happy and have genuinely loved the work, but it wasn’t necessarily fulfilling, because I wasn’t making a difference.

Over the years, I’ve always tried to fill that void by giving back and have volunteered my time and services for many community organizations and charities. I am a founding member of the BlueLight Coalition in Lakewood WA, I have created websites and collateral for Safe Streets, The Food Pantry, The Dalles Freedom House, Exodus Housing and many other local charities and community organizations. I am an active design community member, mentor, and leader and find all of these things extremely rewarding and fulfilling. Currently, I serve as a board member for lacrosse club my Son plays on called the Emerald Ridge Lacrosse Club of Puyallup Wa.

In August, my Son Alexander lost his fellow lacrosse teammate and close friend, Brayden Edgar at the age of 14, in a tragic car accident. The day of his passing I helped organize a vigil for our tight nit little lacrosse family. At that vigil I told Brayden’s family and friends: “Anything I can do to help, please let me know.” It turns out there was a LOT of help needed and this help I was offering would change my life in a way I couldn’t imagine. I jumped in with both feet and assisted by donating my time and skill-set in helping Brayden’s family by organizing vigils, creating a meal train, fundraising and creating a memorial website and Facebook page to host all of these things. For the service I created a memorial video montage to celebrate the life of Brayden Edgar. As time went on I provided crowd sourcing for a non-profit clothing line to spread a special message to the youth about choices in honor of Brayden and continue to assist the family with these efforts.

Since Brayden’s passing I have had two close childhood friends a family member also pass. Friends and family knew I had given back in this way and asked me to provide services to our loved ones. Not only was it therapeutic but I have found a passion for this type of giving back. It’s so fulfilling to be able to make a difference and take such a huge weight off the shoulders of the immediate families’ by lessening the things they need to take care of and worry about. I’ve been able to provide special memories that friends and family can cherish for a lifetime, and look back upon over the years.

This really got me thinking about a need that doesn’t exist. I spent a few months with my gears turning and put my UX skill set to work. I have been doing a ton of research and competitive analysis in addition to putting together a business plan, advertising, and marketing materials. I have created an online presence (website, social media, SEM and SEO) and have started networking and gaining momentum.

I started a business venture with the idea of helping people to memorialize their loved ones through custom “forever memories and keepsakes” they could hold near and head to their hearts. As I shared my idea with strangers, friends, and family the concept just kept growing and services kept expanding. I found a real need that exists and no one that provides it.

The business venture is called In Loving Memory Memorials. I’d love it if you took the time to check it out! I have big dreams and plans associated with this adventure. This could wind up being something I do in my spare time to supplement my income, or it could wind up being a huge success as an entrepreneurship or even a franchise! Only time will tell:)

Helping and making a difference like this has been pretty therapeutic and eye-opening for me. Starting on this venture has been scary, exciting, amazing, and so rewarding. I hope to give humanity, compassion, and strength to families and friends that are grieving and forever memories to people celebrating special times in their life. Every day that I can wake up and use my skill set to make a difference it feels better than the day before and is more rewarding than all the money in the world.