Tuesday, May 27, 2008

one small step...

"My name is Beth Kingston...and I am blog-o-phobic."

is what I said to myself when Laurie asked me if I was interested in blogging for S4I. I was envisioning myself sitting in a room full of other people who also don't blog - coming up with excuses to get myself out of what was about to happen. "I'm too busy." "I travel too much". "I barely know how to use my computer". "No one wants to read what I have to say". The truth was that I was a little intimidated and I had no clue what I'd ramble on about - but if you know Laurie like I have come to know and love Laurie over the past few months...she can't hear you when you say no. :) So here I am. Beth Kingston - first time blogger, proud Army wife, Instructor Programs Manager for IRW and recent transplant to the South - trepidaciously coming at you from cyberspace. One small step at a time.

For those of you who don't know about I Remember When (IRW) - we are a Direct Sales company that offers brand-name scrapbooking supplies with the personal touch of home parties and workshops. But we are so much more than that. The thing I have always loved most about IRW is our instructors' deep sense of community and friendship - with each other, with their customers, and with the world at large. When other instructors have needed prayer in times of crisis - these amazing women have rallied prayer vigils around the clock. When instructors have loved ones deployed - letters and care packages and words of encouragement come from their IRW sisters all over the country. When an instructor suffers a loss or celebrates a blessing or just needs to know they are loved - their IRW family is there. It is truly something to behold. So when Laurie asked us to join S4I as a National Partner, I knew we had found our calling. So many IRW instructors are raising, teaching, mentoring, or loving someone with disabilities - this was the perfect opportunity to combine their passion for the hobby and their ties to their own communities to raise funds and awareness for such a special group of children.

One of the other things I've always thought set IRW apart is that we "walk the walk". Everyone on the management team is also an instructor - we have to meet our minimums, we get the same discount as everyone else, we do home parties and workshops, we use the products we carry - so we know what questions a customer might ask because we've got customers of our own. We also know what it feels like to put on that first open house and worry that no one will show up! :) As Laurie and I put this partnership plan in motion I was feeling really good about the program and how great this was going to be for IRW and we decided to have a kick-off conference call. Laurie would be on the call to talk about Scrapping 4 Inclusion and I would be on the call to explain what IRW was going to do to support the instructors and how easy it would be to put on your own event. We were about 24 hours out from the call when I said to myself (can you tell that I talk to me quite a bit?) "How on earth can you tell these girls how easy it is to put on an event if you don't do one too?" To me - this was the ultimate example of walking the walk. Not only encouraging these girls and telling them how successful they could be - but actually doing it WITH them. Finding a place and picking a date and marketing the event...right down to deciding if we want chips or cookies with our catered lunches. Every single detail - one small step at a time.

So that is going to be the theme of my Tuesday blogs. I will share my journey from deciding to hold an S4I event in my town to the planning and marketing to the day of the event and beyond. Along the way you'll hear from other IRW instructors who are at all stages of their journey - we'll share our triumphs and our challenges, our funny stories and those days when we just want to pull our hair out. This is such a wonderful opportunity for anyone who wants to take it - scrapbooking has always had a way of bringing people together, and this is YOUR chance to inspire your community to do just that. So Tuesdays are for those of you who want to do an event but just don't think you can...WE'LL DO IT TOGETHER.

One small step at a time...


ddinak said...

Woo Hoo! I thought I'd leave a comment since I hate it when I don't get any comments on my blog! Not gonna hold any events but you know I'd go to your's if I lived in the land of Sweet Tea and Special Forces!

texaskris said...

Welcome Beth! Don't be afraid of the blog... it can't hurt you! ;)

Shirley said...

Beth, You are the bomb!!! you are a natural blogger!


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