I was so excited to interview the lovely Stacy Julian about her new venture with Close to My Heart, one of our beloved partners. Stacy has launched a new scrapbooking and memory keeping product line with CTMH, and we wanted to as her a little more about her goals, her vision, and how this new line of scrapbooking products came to be. Keep reading for all the details and learn where you can find these amazing items.

1. Tell me more about the idea behind “Story by Stacy.” What was your goal in creating this system for memory keepers?

For years, as editor of Simple Scrapbooks magazine and in my role at Big Picture Classes, I have taught specific concepts—with a variety of manufacturers’ products—that are designed to simplify the physical process of scrapbooking and help someone focus on documenting stories. I continue to use these trusted concepts in my own memory keeping and storytelling and simply want to share them with others in a way that is very accessible. I’ve never imagined myself a product designer, but the idea came to me in the Spring of 2017, so I approached my friends at CTMH.

2. Why was CTMH the perfect partner to help design and distribute this system?

I have a long-standing relationship with Close To My Heart. I actually began my career in this industry with them as a demonstrator 26 years ago. Beyond this, I love three things in particular about CTMH.

  • 1. They manufacture super high-quality products
  • 2. They focus on education, which is a passion of mine
  • 3. With CTMH I am able to teach and train consultants, who in turn work with individuals or small groups to teach the concepts and the principles behind them.

3. How do you see customers using these products?

I see customers using these products as solutions to help them move past common obstacles to both creating scrapbook projects and to documenting personal stories. We all have countless digital images on computers and mobile devices—and while this technology is ultra-convenient, it can also be crazy overwhelming. I think the charm of digital images is beginning to wear off as we accumulate tens of thousands! Most people that I know are anxious to create something tangible with some of their pictures—something they can view and
share off-line. My products are decidedly low-tech and refreshingly doable for longtime scrapbookers. They are completely non-intimidating for new comers!

4.     What types of products are available with this memory keeping system?

There are currently two products kits available. The first, Story Starter results in a super cute and colorful 4×4 mini book filled with authentic personal memories. It teaches someone how to access the details that we so often forget or forget to include in our journaling. The emphasis is on starting with the story and then adding pictures. The second kit, Short Story results in a super cute and colorful 6×6 album filled with up to 50 (fifty!) pictures—and a one-page story summary. It teaches someone how to work quickly and intuitively using papers and embellishments designed for any topic. The emphasis is on starting with a stack of photos and then adding a story at the end. Both kits come with a workbook that guides someone step by step through the creative process.

Here’s a look at the two Short Story kits now available. Both come with mini albums, paper, stickers, and more!


5. Will there be additional “Story by Stacy” products available in the future?

Yes. There are two more product kits in the phases of planning and production. Hopefully, there will be many more Story by Stacy products!

6. Do you need to be a stamper to use this system?

You do not need to be a stamper, but there are stamps exclusive to each kit. I began my own creative adventure as a stamper, so I love to include them in each program as an optional purchase. Here’s a look at some of the charming stamps available with this program. You can use them as stand-alone stamps or use them with the coordinating kits.

7. Is the system designed to stand-alone, or does it require additional embellishments and tools?

The product kits that are currently available are stand alone as far as consumable products are concerned. My goal is to make it very easy to
purchase a kit and be able to start creating. There are basic tools, ie. Paper trimmer, scissors, an adhesive that are sometimes required and not included with Story by Stacy kits.

8. How does this system differ from other memory keeping programs?

The biggest difference is the emphasis on teaching specific principles and concepts. Each Story by Stacy kit comes with an interactive workbook that walks someone through the creative process step by step. Workbooks ask specific questions and allow room for note taking, organizing and drafting story elements. Of course, I love that CTMH customers have access to a consultant who can answer questions and share insights and experience. That’s just cool!

9. What types of stories can memory keepers tell with this system?

All kinds of stories! But, to be a little more specific, I have always taught storytelling that focuses on documenting the people we love, the places we live in and visit and the things we do that are a part of everyday life as well as special celebrations and traditions. Products are designed to support a wide variety of themes.

10. What is the best way to order or find these new products?

You can see and order all of these products through the CTMH website HERE. I absolutely recommend that customers find a consultant who can support them and introduce them to a community of makers. If they do not already have a CTMH consultant, they can find one as they move through the online purchasing process.

We’re excited to see Stacy’s products roll out onto the market. This easy-to-use memory keeping system is both charming, as well as, insightful in its approach. You’ll find yourself documenting some of your most cherished stories as Stacy and her system walk you through the process of telling YOUR stories. Look for additional products from Stacy and Close to My Heart coming soon!

~ Jen Gallacher (ps…be sure to join us Friday with a fun follow up to this interview!!!)