Back to School…

Back to School…

Who’s heading off to school?

Erin starting P1 – ten years ago xxx

  • Are you relieved to wave them off back to wonderful school life?
  • Maybe you’ll be looking forward to a moment of peace and not hearing “MUUUUM” repeatedly?
  • Have you started threatening that bedtime will be becoming earlier yet?
  • Does the prospect of going food shopping alone actually sound quite appealing?

Starting School…

Waaaaahhh…The moment feared by many! The BIG day arrives – THEY’RE STARTING SCHOOL!

You feel excited and proud that they are growing up, but sad to watch them becoming more independent and not needing us so much.  Realising how precious those first few years are and wanting them to slow down!!

  • Is your little person skipping off down the school path, beginning their journey into education?
  • Have you been reminiscing and wondering where the hell the last 4 years have gone to?
  • Have you ironed name labels onto every piece of fabric? (Did you see the hack to use your hair straighteners instead of the iron? Personally, I’d rather break my iron than my GHD’s…)

Are you lying awake at 3am overthinking?

  • What if he doesn’t make friends?
  • What if she gets bullied?
  • What if they can’t manage the work?
  • What if they cry when I go?

Stop Worrying!

Be impressively proud that you have created an independent little sponge who is ready to soak up all the new learning and experiences that school will bring them.  Capture this milestone, remember with satisfaction that YOU created this fabulous little human who is now stepping up, and stepping out into their journey.  What better reward could you ask for than knowing you helped them begin their expedition?

Mums know how hard it is to let go of that little hand, and teachers do too. That little hand that you’ve nurtured and watch grow. You held it tight and kept them safe, and now it’s time to let it go…just a tiny bit…

handsSo STOP WORRYING about them, because they will be absolutely, perfectly happy…they will have a coat hook AND a tray…with THEIR name on it.  Your little sponge will be safe, cared for, looked after, guided, nurtured and ready to flourish – Why? Because YOU gave them everything they needed – go you!!

Celebrate the impressive memories of this special day.

Starting school is one of life’s very Impressive Memories.

Letting go of that little hand at the school gate. Trusting your most precious possession to skip off along the path, on their new adventure.That little hand that you’ve held so tightly, has grown, and keeps on growing. Where do the years go??? Your little person has reached ANOTHER milestone.

Here at Impressive Memories we prefer to hold on to these moments. Don’t let them fade to a memory…treasure them! It’s time to reward yourself!

 

Come and Paint a Memory!

Make an impressive memory of that little hand on a beautiful ceramic mug. Treasure the moment and remember how much this little hand has grown, and how much more growing it has ahead of it! A great way to remember this milestone moment.

Why not make one for an Impressive Granny too?

Message me, comment or call to find out more…

Have those cameras poised with stiff new uniforms (with plenty growing room) and smell the whiff of new gym shoes in the air.

Oh, and guess what?…there’s only 38 school days until the October Holidays! YAY!!

Be your own boss

Be your own boss

Impressive Memories

What's it like to run your own business?

What was your dream job when you were growing up? Did you ever think about becoming an entrepreneur?

If you could change your job now – would you?

I received a letter recently asking me about being self-employed…

be your own boss

At Glenwood High School one of the S3 elective subjects is “Be your own boss”. The class have been learning about entrepreneurs and were asked to make contact with a local small business. One of the students decided to get in touch and ask a few more questions about Impressive Memories.

I’d have loved to be taught about being self-employed when I was at school.

Not only did I have no idea what job I wanted to do when I was 14, I don’t think being self-employed was even mentioned as being a possibility.

Could this mean more students will become entrepreneurs?

Here are the questions Mollie asked me…

Questionnaire

Name of business:

Impressive Memories – where I make your memories tangible. To touch, hold & treasure for a lifetime.

Reason for choosing the name:

Initially, I called my business Impressive Babies because I predominantly worked only with babies and I took their impressions…which were impressive. As my business progressed I didn’t only work with babies but children, adults and pets too, I was also creating jewellery and ceramics – the name no longer felt right…so in 2011 I changed it to Impressive Memories.

The name to me means I capture memories, through impressions – and I still always aim to be Impressive!

When did you start the business?

I started lifecasting when my daughter Erin was born in 2003. I created casts for friends and family for several years. In 2011 I registered my business with HMRC and officially became self-employed.

Why did you start the business?

I wanted to capture memories of my daughter as she grew up, then realised other people wanted to do this too.

I enjoyed helping people hold on to tangible memories of moments that were important to them. I wanted to prove to myself that I could make a living doing something I loved with no one telling me what to do!

How long did it take to start the business?

Initially, I started my business working only part-time on it, while still teaching part time too. Soon it became clear that both jobs needed more hours than I had, and I needed to decide how to go forward.

The dream of being 100% self-sufficient sat in the back of my mind until 2013 when I started working in the funeral industry capturing memories for families who’d lost a loved one. It made me realise that life is short, often shorter than we’d expect. You only get one life and I knew I’d regret it if I DIDN”T go for it. I kept asking myself “What are you waiting for?” It’s easier to make excuses and NOT do something

I knew I wanted to work on my business full time but it is a scary prospect to leave a secure career, with a salary, a pension and stability. As a solo parent, I had no backup plan and had to make a lot of changes if I was to make my business a success.

In 2014 I resigned from my teaching career and decided to focus 100% on Impressive Memories.

Do you enjoy being self-employed?

Yes, I love being self-employed. It’s hard work…constantly, the hours are long and it’s hard to switch off and stop working – especially because I work from home. It is a rollercoaster and no two days are ever the same…or predictable, which I really like. I have no intentions ever to work for anyone else again.

If you could go back would you change anything?

I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done. I have always made the best decision I can, at that time. You never know what’s ahead of you, and you can’t change what’s already happened so you should always trust your gut instinct and do your best…that’s all you can ever do.

Is it easier having your own business than working for someone else?

Neither option is easier or harder than the other, just different.

Being your own boss needs more than just the ability to create the product your service you plan to sell. You need self-discipline, a lot of hard work, tenacity, determination and bucket loads of courage.

Running a business successfully you have to become an expert in so many different things…not just making/doing the thing you think you’re good at!

Possibly the biggest misconception people have about being self-employed is that you can do what you want, when you want and never have to do things you don’t like to do…erm…WRONG! The only thing I outsource is my accounting & tax…everything else I do myself. From CEO to cleaner.

I can only spend about 20% of my time actually doing the hands-on making of products, 80% of my time is taken up running the business properly.

I have had to learn about finances, accounting, marketing, time management, advertising, IT, web design, budgets, investment, communication, customer care and not forgetting all the laws surrounding your industry too.

Would you recommend starting a business to other people?

Deciding what to do in life is a decision only you can make. What’s right for me might not be right for someone else.

My advice would be to ask yourself “What’s the worst that can happen?” if you can answer every single question and scenario, and be brutally honest, then you’ll know if you can do it, or not.

Small business survival rates are as high as 91 per cent after one year of trading, but after five years just four in ten small businesses will still be trading.

If you think you’ve got what it takes – go for it!
I did and I love it.

Have an Impressive week!

Best wishes

Jen x

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Wedding Day Memories: 6 ideas to capture

Wedding Day Memories: 6 ideas to capture

Would you like to create tangible memories of your wedding?

Weddings – big or small, traditional or wacky, lavishly extravagant or cosy & intimate – it is a day to be remembered. However you choose to celebrate, your wedding day should be filled with Impressive Memories.

With months (possibly years) of planning, and an enormous amount of work and effort you think you have covered every possible idea to make your day absolutely perfect. No doubt you’ve spent evenings knee deep in Pinterest boards, dreaming of your perfect day.

Because let’s face it…none of us want our day to be bland or predictable. Nobody wants peach silk bridesmaids, do they? Everyone wants to have the wow factor and for their day to be remembered as being spectacular.

Fear not!! I can help you create 6 ideas that absolutely nobody else can replicate. Guaranteed to be as unique as the couple who are tying the knot…

Here are 6 personalised memories for you to incorporate into your wedding day celebrations.

#1 Bride & Groom Hand Cast

To have and to hold 

Why not create a completely personal work of art with a 3d hand cast incorporating those all-important wedding rings? You can organise this yourself or why not suggest that friends and family contribute to buy you this as a totally unique wedding gift?

Hand casting for couples starts from £135. A little bit more if you’d like to include ornate rings with stone settings.

This beautiful example was created by a couple who were first married in Serbia (the grooms home), then had a second wedding here in Fife (the brides home). The newlyweds visited my studio (between weddings) and the plan was for the cast to be hand delivered, by the father of the bride, on his next journey to Serbia.

#2 Wedding Cufflinks for the Groom

From this day forward

What more could a Groom ask for on his wedding day than to wear personalised cufflinks created from his very own son or daughter? 

Travis made these for his Daddy as a surprise gift on the morning of his mummy and daddy’s wedding day. It was quick, clean and simple for Travis to pop to my studio and have his prints taken, but means the absolute world to his parents to have their son at their wedding. Now his little hand and footprints are captured for a lifetime at the moment of such an impressive event.

Linzi Moffat

I decided to get my husband a gift for our wedding day, personalised cufflinks with my son’s hand and footprint, however, I had left it a bit late for timing but Jen made sure they would be ready on time! Her studio is beautiful! I almost cried each time I received my items from her. I cannot thank her enough and urge people to have a look on her site! She is amazing at what she does, I can’t wait to be back in her studio again one day!

#3 Your Wedding Dress on a Silver Pandora Charm

For better, for worse

Would you like to wear your wedding dress every day? Well, you can’t…because you’d look like an idiot. Imagine going on the school run wearing your wedding dress? Nipping around the supermarket? It’s not gonna happen is it?

But you could have a silver charm made with an impression of your wedding dress. You could wear it on your Pandora bracelet, on a pendant or maybe a ring? Then you COULD wear it everyday…impressive!

These aren’t in my online shop at the moment, drop me a message and I’ll help you order this charm today.

#4 Your Wedding Bouquet in a handmade silver charm

For richer, for poorer

Flowers make your wedding day bloom…ing lovely! I adore fresh flowers and, for me, they are a hugely important part any special occasion. Sadly though, flowers don’t last long – but jewellery can last a lifetime.

Do you have a favourite flower? My personal favourite flower is a lily, which is why I adore making silver fingerprint lilies.

Created from a love heart of silver and gently rolled into a lily, they have the fingerprint impression of a loved one tucked inside. It could be a guest who lived too far away and was unable to attend your wedding. Or a loved one no longer with us. Whoever you choose.

I recently made a pair of fingerprint lily earrings for a lovely lady. She was delighted with them and I think they will be a popular choice for everyone.

Maggie Gray

A truly professional job by a very caring lady. I can’t thank her enough for all her help during a very difficult time for me. I am absolutely delighted with my gorgeous items, they are unique and stunning. I definitely recommend entrusting Jen with your priceless memories. She will give you all the help and advice you want.

#5 Wedding Guest Fingerprint Plate

In sickness and in health

When you’re planning a wedding you also have to plan who will share your special day.

It might be that some guests are ill and don’t manage to spend the day with you as they’d planned. They could still be part of capturing a memory by having them create a fingerprint tree of family and friends.

They will love being part of your wedding family tree!

Each guest can add a leaf with their fingerprint and even leave a signature or a message for you both.

#6 Honouring a deceased loved one at your wedding

Until death do us part.

Your wedding day is a celebration surrounded by loved ones, sadly we may have relatives and friends who’ve passed away and can’t be there for your big day. That doesn’t mean they can’t still be part of your celebration – there are a few ways you can incorporate them into your special occasion.

I offer a range of jewellery that incorporates locks of hair, cremation ashes, fingerprints and handwriting and signatures. You can find out more about Memorial memories in a blog that I wrote here.

Conclusion

These are just 6 ideas to let you see how to make your wedding as unique as you are.

If you have a question about any of the items shown here or you’re left wondering…

Who can help bring my ideas to reality?

The answer is…

“I do”

And you don’t even need to get down on one knee to ask me.

Best Wishes

Jen x

Mothers Day: Gift Guide

Mothers Day: Gift Guide

What do you buy your mum on Mother’s Day?

Flowers? Always a favourite, but they are expensive and last only a few days…Chocolates? They are always welcome, but somehow just don’t feel ‘enough’. Wine is also welcomed, but it lasts even less time than the chocolates, let alone the flowers!!

Would you like a gift that is totally unique, handmade for mum, inspired by the very person (or persons) who made her a mum in the first place?

Maybe you are a mum yourself and you’d like to ‘help’ someone choose the right gift for you – share this with them and start hinting!

 You’re in the right place!

Every mum is different and she deserves a present as unique as she is. Mums aren’t mass produced, and the gift that she’s given on the 11th March 2018 shouldn’t be either.

There is something for everyone.  Well, everyone that’s Impressive enough!

1. Gifts Under £25

Want to make an impression but not burst the bank?

Book an appointment to come along and get creative! Bring along some little hands and feet and create a gift for Mum, Gran, Aunty…YOURSELF.  No mess and stress of visiting a busy ceramic cafe. I’m here to help, guide, inspire you to create something that’s simply beautiful. I can give as much or as little to help as you wish.

Please book before Friday 2nd of March to guarantee your item is ready to collect in time for Mother’s Day.

2. Handmade Jewellery

Handmade jewellery can be made for Impressive Mums.  Distance is not a problem…all jewellery can be made by posting out a kit for you to take the prints for me. If you live nearby you can book an appointment and I can take them for you.

Please book an appointment before 25th February to guarantee your item is ready to collect in time for Mother’s Day.

Online/web orders must be placed prior to this, and all elements returned to me by the 25th February to guarantee your item is ready to be posted/collected in time for Mother’s Day.

3. Gift Vouchers

Choose a Gift Voucher and let mum be part of the creative fun!

If you’re quick you might still manage to grab an appointment as near to Mother’s Day as possible…capture a memory to treasure for a lifetime.

Vouchers can also be used for jewellery and ceramic orders. Online and at appointments too.

4. Golden Fingerprint Jewellery

If Mum prefers a golden charm to silver, this could be perfect!

  • Costs almost the same as silver.
  • Golden Moments are not a precious metal
  • Charms do not need Hallmarked.
  • They are a solid golden metal alloy NOT PLATED and will not wear off
  • All metals will tarnish – this will too – but a cleaning cloth and a gentle wipe will bring it back to its shining glory.
  • I’ll give you a free cleaning cloth!
  • It is a very robust and strong metal – it will not scratch or damage easily.
  • Golden Moments are better suited to more defined fingerprints – so toddlers through to adults, and pets too! Miniprints will suit better for babies.
FullSizeRender
Golden Star

5. Miniaturised Charms of YOUR child

Are you looking for a truly Impressive gift?

These solid Sterling Silver charms are miniaturised from your child’s hand and foot!! How awesome is that?

The price might look high, but if you investigate this style of jewellery you will find that only a handful of people in the UK can offer these, and nobody (that I am aware of) is doing them for as good a price!

These charms are made entirely by myself – I have developed my own technique that is different to the rest of the UK market.

This doesn’t mean they are only limited to my local clients because I am building a network of lifecasters who will be on hand to help create the initial lifecasts. (I need the lifecast as the first stage in creating these).

Find out more about these Impressive ‘Tiny Treasures’…with split payments, they are much more affordable than you may think, and such a talking point!

Got a question?

I’m sure you have lots of questions. Here are a few I’ve been asked recently…(click on the question to see the answer). If you’d like to know anything – just ask!

I live too far away - can I order anything?

Yes, all jewellery can be made by posting out a kit for you to take the initial prints.  You may even have hand/footprints already that I can use…best to get in touch and ask.  Call me on 07837800353 or email [email protected] 

My budget is under £25 can you help?

Yes, I have lots of ceramic options for you to create in this budget.  Take a look…

I am a mum of many...can jewellery combine more than one child?

Yes, I have lots of jewellery designs that can show off your impressive children no matter how many you have!

Do you have any gift ideas for 'mum-to-be'?

Gift Vouchers are a perfect idea! They are valid for one year, but if baby isn’t due for a while, I will add longer onto the voucher.

I've left it too late - HELP?

It’s never too late!! Why not order an item and have the print kit ready to take the impressions on Mother’s Day, then have your piece made. You waited 9 months for a baby, you can wait a fortnight for your jewellery 😉

I'm a mum to an angel, can I have anything made?

If you have ink prints or hand/footprints I can turn these into jewellery for you. The originals will come to no harm.  I also make memorial keepsakes from locks of hair and cremation ashes too.

Drop me an email if you’d like me to help [email protected]  or call for a chat on 07837800353.

My mum has passed away, could I remember her on Mother's Day?

Take a look at HERE and see if you’d like to remember your mum with any of these ideas. Drop me an email if you’d like me to help [email protected]  or call for a chat on 07837800353.

Mother's Day - 11th March 2018

If you’re a mum, a step-mum, a foster mum, an adopted mum…If you’ve been a mum, you’ll be a mum soon, or you had an awesome mum who’s now passed…

If you’re able to go and hug your mum and tell her how amazing she is on the 11th of March – do it!!

And not just on this one day, because mums never stop being mums…

Be sure to make their day Impressive and filled with Memories.

Happy Mother’s Day from me,

Jen xxx

Back to School…

Back to School…

Back to School…

Waaaaay back in July the daunting prospect of entertaining, feeding, motivating, reasoning, refereeing and CONSTANTLY tidying up began…yup, once again it was “THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS”.

daughter & horseWeek One began full of anticipation of spending quality time with my daughter – this was not to be. I am not a horse, therefore I have very little appeal to my daughter. Day one began idyllically as she headed off on her favourite activity…involving…horses. Day one also included an eventful air ambulance and a trip to Ninewells – another joy of horse riding. Thankfully my sproglet was not injured, only witnessed the fall of another not so lucky rider.  Here’s hoping week two is a little less eventful.

Week two went by fairly calmly if I remember.  I spent most of my time juggling work and chauffeuring the jodhpur legged one, to various locations…different day…different dirt track.  Returning several hours later to collect the muddier, hungrier version than I dropped off.

Week three – the midway point – hump week…wakening to the mantra “Hang in there…you can do this…after this week, there are less weeks to go then we’ve had…stay strong”.  In between driving on the dirt tracks and washing the jodhpurs, that little mind monkey reared its head…whispering loudly -” It’s time to be buying the new school uniform…don’t leave it to the last minute…you’ll regret it…DO IT NOW…good mums will have done it already…you are a failure to motherhood…” I asked the preteen what she would be requiring, but only got a shrug and a grunt…If I had suggested a visit to Jack Wills, I might have got a better reaction than my choice of Asda or Matalan! Silly me!

Week four – I don’t remember a great deal about week four – I had toothache.  painkillersNever have I swallowed so many painkillers and tried to keep functioning, hoping that if I didn’t acknowledge it, it wasn’t actually happening. Delighted to say the codeine addiction is now under control and the tooth (which has already had root canal treatment followed by a crown) has survived. Who knew that teeth that have gone through all that can STILL fester into pain that is comparable to child birth without the epidural OR maternity leave? Thank you codeine for being there for me in my time of need.

Week five – no time for complacency, DO NOT let down your guard!  This is the week you reach out to other mothers and join forces…you form teams and find safety in numbers – Let the sleep overs commence!  If you look after someone else’s child, a beautiful thing happens – THEY LOOK AFTER YOURS!!!  Just when your purse and fuel tank are almost as empty as each other – a guardian angel offers to temporarily home your child. **High Five** The word sleepover used to fill me with dread – sleepless nights, homesick children, peanut allergy fears, dying slightly inside when child X tells you they can’t sleep unless the bedroom is 17 degrees and her bed is facing the moon. But this year was different…they came, they stayed, they fed themselves, washed beds themselves and remained reclusive in the confines of the bedroom 90% of the time (when they weren’t out riding). Maybe preteens aren’t so bad after all? (Remember the week 5 warning – do not become complacent!)

school-bag-1275044_960_720Week six – The uniform is ordered and the chauffeur is more than willing to drive anywhere now, because she treated herself to a lovely new car. Much to the disapproval of the preteen who cannot see the need for a new car when she does not have a new horse, but full approval of the fact that the new car talks to her iPhone (which coincidently was dropped in one of the many horse fields and needed its own air ambulance to the iPhone repair shop to repair it – another unexpected financial hit for mum’s purse with the promise of “I’ll pay you back”).

Erin on Day 1

Normal service shall resume on Wednesday…

So, Impressive Mummies…what does Wednesday mean for you?

  • Relieved to wave them off back to wonderful school life?
  • Looking forward to a moment of peace and not hearing “MUUUUM” repeatedly?
  • Have you started threatening that bedtime will be becoming earlier yet?
  • Will the car drive itself to soft play automatically, as it’s become your second home?
  • Does the prospect of going food shopping alone actually sound quite appealing?

Who's Starting Primary One?

Waaaaahhh…The moment feared by many! The BIG day arrives – STARTING SCHOOL!

You feel excited and proud that they are growing up, but sad to watch them becoming more independent and not needing us so much.  Realising how precious those first few years are and wanting them to slow down!!

  • Will your little person be skipping off down the school path, beginning their journey into education?
  • Have you been reminiscing and wondering where the heck the last 4 years have gone to?
  • Have you ironed name labels onto every piece of fabric? (Did you see the hack to use your hair straighteners instead of the iron? I’d rather break the iron than my GHD’s…)

Are you lying awake at 3am overthinking?

  • What if he doesn’t make friends?
  • What if she gets bullied?
  • What if they can’t manage the work?
  • What if they cry when I go?

DO NOT WORRY!

Be impressively proud that you have created independent little sponges who are ready to soak up all the new learning and experiences that school will bring them.  Capture this milestone, remember with satisfaction that YOU created this fabulous little human who is now stepping up, and stepping out into their journey.  What better reward could you ask for than knowing you helped them begin their expedition?

Mums know how hard it is to let go of that little hand, and teachers do too. That little hand that you’ve nurtured and watch grow. You held it tight and kept them safe, and now it’s time to let it go…just a tiny bit…

handsSo DO NOT WORRY about them, because they will be absolutely, perfectly happy…they will have a coat hook AND a tray…with THEIR name on it.  Your little sponge will be safe, cared for, looked after, guided, nurtured and ready to flourishWhy? Because YOU gave them everything they needed – go you!!

Celebrate the impressive memories of this special day.

Starting school is one of life’s very Impressive Memories.

Letting go of that little hand at the school gate. Trusting your most precious possession to skip off along the path, on their new adventure.

That little hand that you’ve held so tightly, has grown, and keeps on growing. Where do the years go??? Your Impressive little person has reached ANOTHER milestone – time to capture the moment.

Keep them close to you forever.

Wearing it wherever you go, showing the world how precious this little person is to you.  It makes a bespoke keepsake while capturing a unique memory of those Impressive Memories in your life.  Capture yours today.

**Impressive Offer for all NEW PRIMARY ONE PUPILS - In Aug 2016**

**ORDER a featured CHARM and MAKE A FREE Handprint MUG too!**

Keep a little piece of them with you forever x

Come and Paint a Memory!

Make an impressive memory of that little hand on a beautiful ceramic mug. Treasure the moment and remember how much this little hand has grown, and how much more growing it has ahead of it! A great way to remember this milestone moment.

**SPECIAL OFFER**

All new primary one pupils can come and make a handprint mug for just £9. Monday – Friday between 1-3pm until August 23rd, 2016.

Message me, comment or call to find out more…why not make one for an Impressive Granny too?

Have your cameras poised with stiff new uniforms (with growing room) and a whiff of new gym shoes in the air. Safe in the knowledge that there's...

Only 38 school days until the October Holidays! YAY!!