Thursday, January 12, 2012

My New Baby!

          Running a business is a lot like having a child.  There is plenty of excitement and passion to get things started, then a lot of waiting, growing more uncomfortable every day while the little details are worked out, and finally the big day arrives amid much pain and a few tears, then relief and joy.  But it’s not over, because there is a lot of hand-holding, reassuring, trial and error, more tears, giggles and baby steps, and suddenly one day everything is moving along on its own and does not require your attention every waking moment.
          At least that is how I think and hope this is going to be!
          Last spring I started my first business.  Two actually.  But I quickly realized that I can barely handle one, let alone two.  So the second one is sitting around feeling sorry for itself no doubt.
          The one that made it is History and Heritage LLC.  But, because I have to do things in as complicated a manner as possible, we are dba (doing business as) Heritage and Family.  You can’t blame that one on me…the state of Oregon won’t allow me to have the name Heritage and Family, saying its too close to another company name.  pish-tosh
          So what does this company do?  Glad you asked!  Heritage and Family is “the premier family history and genealogy research service”.  We do family history with the focus on the HISTORY part.  Anyone with a subscription to any one of the genealogy sites out there can make you a family tree.  Shoot, you can do that on your own. 
          But when you hire us to research your family we research the history of the family.  I recently completed a project for a client who wanted to know more about his great-great-grandfather.  It would have been an easy thing to say “Here are the dates and places.” and call it a day.
          That’s not how I do things.
          Instead I researched the area where Great-Grandpa Dustin lived, I research the local economy, uncovered information about the landscape, I found books and diaries (some in French so I had to brush up on my French to finish this one!), made discoveries about the religious life of the people, and on and on.  I traced his family’s migrations, and learned some “why” and “wherefore” kind of things. 
          And when it was all said and done, I had converted those three lines of facts into ten pages telling the story of Dustin.
          So that’s what I do.
          But I tend to think and ponder a bit.  And I keep thinking about my Dad’s passing over five years ago, and all the things I miss, stories I can’t quite remember, and details that only he would know.  My mother-in-law has descended into the depths of dementia and everything she knows or can tell us is locked up inside of her, rendering her effectively mute.
          The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there is a way to prevent this from happening to other people.  And that I am uniquely suited to help them preserve their family’s memories and history.
          And thus my latest company was born:  HF Video.
Our premise is:  Your family’s history is worth preserving.
Our offer is:  A movie that combines a video recording of your loved one telling cherished stories, together with old family photos and music from your family’s history.   This is the story of you. This movie tells who you are:  the songs, the stories, and the memories that stitch your family together - young and old - across time and place. 

The website is almost ready (I’ll post the address on Monday) but in the meantime, here are two videos that you might find interesting.
The first one - - is a brief vignette showing just a little bit of an example of what we can do for your family history.
The second one - – is a longer sample of what I call Our Greatest Generation.  This is a story of your loved one (or a couple) told in the fashion of a public television-style documentary.
So take a look at both of them, see what we have to offer, and let me know if you have any questions.
I have to go now.  Seems like the baby needs more attention already!

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