CLOSING TIME (remember that song?)

It's me, Michelle, here!  I'm the owner at A Million Memories (if you didn't know that).  I've been dreading this blog post, but it's time.  After much thought and consideration, my family and I have decided to close A Million Memories.  My family life and priorities have changed so much in the past few years that I haven't been able to put my full attention into it anymore.  My kids are getting older and we just don't want to miss any more time with them than we have already.   It's been an amazing ride.  If you don't know our story, here's a little skip down memory lane.

In 2006,  my friend Alison and I were working full-time at a law firm in Irvine, California.  Our daughters were both 3 years old and I also had a 2 year old son. It was driving us crazy having to leave them every day while we went to work.  I remember having long chats with her during our morning breaks and we would talk about what we could do while working at home.  We were basically daydreaming, but when an opportunity arose to purchase an already established online scrapbook store and kit club, I jumped on it!  After discussing it more and more with her, she agreed to be my business partner in this crazy venture.  A month or so later, we were packing up monthly kits, taking in orders and making our first business trip to Memory Trends in Las Vegas. All of this, while working full-time, taking care of our homes and families ~ but we didn't care.  This was our dream and we were going to work hard to make it work.  

In November of 2007, my then 4 year old daughter Chloe was diagnosed with Leukemia.  Our lives were turned upside down and we struggled with staying strong and positive to get her through it.  One of the saving graces for me was not only Alison, but also all of the wonderful friends that I had made in that past year through A Million Memories.  People were constantly praying for her, she would receive sweet little gifts in the mail to help lift her spirits, one friend, Michelle Magana (who lived in Georgia at the time), even came to visit Chloe in the hospital.  Michelle was new to our community at the time, but still had a heart big enough to come and meet Chloe and the rest of our family.  I mean ~ that still chokes me up.  Very good people out there and I have met SO MANY life long friends through this venture.

In 2008, Alison stepped out of the business (I really think she did this for me more than anything because she knew how much it meant to me and how much heart and soul I had invested in it).  My family stepped in after that and we have been working together ever since.  I left my full-time job to take care of Chloe while she went through chemo and started working full-time on AMM until she was done in March of 2010.  It's been a wonderful experience and I will be forever grateful for the faith that my family has in ME and for the strength that having this business gave to me while our family was really struggling (emotionally and financially).  I've made some amazing friends that  I will forever stay in touch with (and hopefully share more vacations with).  :)  I want to say a very special thank you to all of the women that have designed for AMM in the past and a special thank you to my online besties Jennifer Findley and Tonya Dirk. They have been amazingly fun, inspiring and supportive people!!!

About 2 weeks ago, I just decided that it was done.  My heart is not in building this business anymore.  I have a new full-time job that is pretty much my dream job at this point in my life. They give me the flexibility that I need to be with my kids for school events, sports activities, etc., and it is within walking distance from my home.  I would like to have more free time to play catch in the yard with my kids, work on some home remodeling, enjoy some road trips with my husband and do a little crafting ONLY for myself.  So it is with a smile on my face and true sense of freedom that I really haven't felt in a while, that I say I am ok with saying good-bye to AMM at this point in my life.  

OK, with all of that being said, I am going to work diligently to try and clear out our shop in the next few months.  Right now, the entire store is 60% off.  Use code SUMMER at check-out (SUMMER is my goal for having this all done, so that I can actually ENJOY summer again).  

Thanks again for all of the wonderful memories that you have shared with me and I hope that you have made friends through our community as well.  Feel free to leave comments and let me know how AMM might have brought something positive into your life (like it did for me)!




Kathy said... sad and yet I know it is the right thing for you to do...maybe we can yet get together and scrap. I wish you and your family all the best! {{{hugs}}}, Kathy

Maureen Rizzo said...

Michelle, I was so sad to hear this news but so Happy for you just the same! AMM gave me the opportunity to meet you , one of the coolest ladies ever, and many other wonderful ladies on the AMM boards. I was lucky enough to meet you in person and hang with Jenn, Michelle, and to reconnect in a new way with my dear friend Tonya! I will hold you close to my heart forever. I was an honor to pray for your Chloe and such a blessing to me to "watch" her beat Leukemia like a Champ! I love you my friend and wish you many many blessings with your beautiful family! Love, Moe

The Melanson Crew said...

Awwww....I am choked up! I am glad you are ready for your next chapter with a strong sense of who you are and what you want. You are amazing and you have made so many wonderful life long friend through AMM. I also think AMM really stretched you as a person and made you even stronger. I will never forget how happy AMM made you ... A kid in a candy store! Cant wait to watch you and your family on the rest of your adventure! Love you! Xoxo

Debby Schuh said...

It was so nice to meet you and Allison all those years ago at my class at Sweetpeas and Snapshots and then to guest design for you. I've prayed for you and your daughter and so thankful that she is better!
Enjoy the days ahead... blessings to you!!

chenguna said...

So sad to hear this. But I so understand why you are doing it. Good luck to ya and IT HAS BEEN A GREAT RIDE! I know how much you and your family has put in this business and now it is time for you guys to just relax and enjoy life. I LOVE YOU and your family so much. I'm glad that through this hobby I was able to meet such amazing people. So happy that you finally got the job that you've been dreaming of and can now just scrappy play. I will always be here for you. Thanks Michelle for everything! Hopefully I will see you soon again. God Bless!
Michelle Magana

Jenn said...

Oh my gosh! I am so happy for you! AMM was my first design team and my only online home. Some of my best memories are of our CHA trips! I hope you get your butt on a plane to visit the "D" very soon! Love to my AMM peeps!

CathQuillScrap said...

I have loved shopping in your store over the past few years... so it will be very sad to see you go.... but quite understandable too..... all the best for your future adventures.

Karen said...

sweet girl. i want you to know that you've changed my life forever. i will never, ever forget my amm days and the true joy you have brought into my life. you are such a beautiful soul and shine so much light every where you go. I am so so so grateful I met you and that you're a part of my life. I have no doubt that your life and new adventures will be full of pure joy and wish you nothing but the very very best!! love you so much michelle.

Abby and Brenda said...

I am so happy for you, Michelle! I know it had to be a hard decision for you to make, but in the end, family is what's the most important. AMM was my first online store and the community you created was like no other! I LOVED it there! You are an amazing woman!

Jean said...

MIchelle - I wish all the best to you and your family!

jintyoo7 said...

What a bitter sweet post, it is straight from the heart.
May I wish you and your family the very best of wishes and good luck with your new job.