Live Inspired

Entries Tagged as inspirational products

Living on Purpose

by Layla · 08.11.2010

A note from Compendium: We're thrilled to offer you a post by our very first guest blogger--Layla from The Lettered Cottage. Keep reading, and you'll discover exactly why we feel so lucky to have her here.

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I'll never forget the day my husband, Kevin, and I discovered Live-Inspired.com.

It was around 1 o'clock in the morning, and we were both working on our computers in our home office. The room was dimly lit and quiet, except for the sound of our clicking keys. We were both pretty tired, but we were on a mission to finish up some internet business before we turned in for the night.

One item on Kevin's to-do list was "find the website that makes the cool metal postcards."

Earlier that day, I had received one in the mail from someone who reads my blog.

There was no return address on the package it came in.

It was a completely random act of kindness, and I was not only blown away by the sweet anonymous gesture, I was also intrigued by the super-cool metal postcard she sent me.

So as we sat at our computers that night, Kevin did a bit of surfing and eventually landed at Live-Inspired.com. He invited me to pull up a chair next to him, and we spent the next hour scouring the entire site together. We sat there, side by side, just taking it all in. With each click of his mouse, we found ourselves smiling. We read phrase after phrase aloud to each other, and we became filled to the brim with a fresh sense of focus and passion.

As we made our way from one Live-Inspired webpage to the next, we were re-inspired to be dreamers, do-gooders, and romantics.

We were encouraged to share our abilities, energies and talents.

We were motivated to stay hungry and foolish.

And we were reminded to preserve and protect the things that can't be replaced.

At one point, we clicked on a link that took us to a video about the "5" book. If you've never watched it, I encourage you to check it out. It has the ability to both fill you up and take your breath away, simultaneously. It's amazing.

We watched it three times in a row that night. We even paused it a few times so that we could talk about some of the thoughts it sent rushing through our heads.

The phrase, "live your life on purpose" initiated a conversation about the importance of our 'invisi-goals'--the kind of goals that concern your spirit. The kind of goals that make you feel the most alive--like being a better friend or family member, giving back more often, and thinking more positively.

The question/answer, "What is life for? Life is for YOU" sparked a discussion about the importance of seizing every one of our days. We made a pact to be more observant, and to seize even the most common of occasions and treat them all like extraordinary opportunities.

We talked and talked, and we must have smiled for an hour straight. Needless to say, it was a truly inspiring day from start to finish, and by the time we finally decided to head to bed I swear we could've floated there.

» 13 Comment s   Tags: relationships · tin can · inspirational products · encouragement · friendship

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When I Was with My Father...

by Dan Zadra · 06.07.2010

 

Here’s a great reminder from our best-selling Dad, My Hero book:  “Those who say that we live in a time when there are no heroes just don’t know where to look. To find a real hero, sometimes all we have to do is look closer to home."  Joseph Campbell once wrote that a hero is not necessarily a legendary figure; more often he’s an everyday person who has given his heart to something bigger than himself. That’s a perfect way to describe a great dad.

 

 

It’s true. Few things in life are more powerful or heroic than a father’s positive presence throughout the years. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Think back on some of the simple, loving things he did that made you feel happy and secure. Was it the sound of his footsteps on the stairs, as he hurried home early from work? Was it his laughter at the dinner table? His cheers from the sidelines?  His words of encouragement and hope?  His hand on your shoulder and a “you can do it” when the going got tough?

 

Years from now, when you look back on all the times you had with your Dad, chances are you won’t be able to remember all the things he did or said. What you will surely remember, however, is how he made you feel---and that feeling will always be with you.

 

There’s a little poem by Marsha Jeffrey Hendrickson that expresses what I’m trying to say. I once had this poem typeset and framed for my own dad at Father’s Day. He kept it on a shelf with his favorite family pictures for years, and we included it in his memorial service when he died:

 

When I was with my father,

when I was just a child,

the world was filled with wonder

and every place was wild.

And every day was magic,

and Santa Claus was true,

and all the things that mattered

were things my father knew.

We often went exploring. . .

and I learned to love the land,

but the greatest thing I ever learned

was how to understand---

That the finest gifts are often

things we may not always see;

when I wasn’t with my father,

my father was with me.

 

A great dad is someone we look up to, no matter how old we are. He may not be perfect, but he has given his heart to his kids, over and over, especially when it counted.

» 1 Comment   Tags: love · relationships · father's day · gift books · inspirational products

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The Stationery Show Top Ten

by Liz · 06.01.2010

 

 “Start spreadin’ the news

I’m leaving today…

I want to beeee a part of it,

New York – New York…” 

 

This is what I hummed  from Seattle to New York City last weekend on our way to the New York Stationery Show.  My seat neighbor was probably less than thrilled on round 27 of my tune.  In thinking of how I could re-tell our stories to you with some New York flair, I landed on David Letterman’s “Top Ten List”.  So without further ado, here are the:

 

Top Ten Things from Compendium in the City:

 

10.    Since we already covered the humming, you should know that I am always happy.  I high-five coworkers, hug strangers, sing in traffic, etc.  Working at Compendium means we are surrounded by inspiration on a daily basis, and this inspiration rubs off.  This was evident when my cab driver looked in his rearview mirror and said, “You sure smile a lot.”

 

9.    New York City has the best slice of pizza for $1.00 at 9th and 41st.  I will buy you a slice if you can find a better one.

 

8.   We debuted our new boxed card sets and had outstanding feedback!  It’s so fun to hear people get excited about new products!

 

7.    We met an extraordinary woman with a touching story.  She came to the show to window shop and while shuffling through all of the busy booths, she discovered us.  She couldn’t help but stop.  She told us that she had stage 3 cancer, and is now living her life to the fullest.  She was touched by our products.  We were touched by her courage.

 

6.    Have you ever seen a cuter face?  Okay, maybe I’m biased, since this is my child.

 

 

Side note: Our new kids products are SO fun!!  I can’t wait to get the new World of Thanks kit out!

  

5.    Note to self/tip to travelers:  Always carry an umbrella in New York City.  Sudden DOWNPOUR and a nine-block walk in the rain make Liz a very soaked girl. 

4.    Our designers went to see the Letterman show and brought a Tickle Monster Laughter Kit for Dave’s son Harry.  The show’s producer had much fun with the mitts, I’m wondering if we have an adult demographic we are overlooking…

 

3.    We stocked our booth with One books to give away.  Three days and dozens of “Are you the ones giving away that cool blue book?”, and we inspired 1000 new Compendium friends and fans. 

 

2.    The Louie Awards are like the Oscars of our industry.  Last year we won Greeting Card of the Year with a Positively Green card and this year, WE BROUGHT HOME TWO AWARDS for Friendship and Sympathy cards!  Such a great honor!

 

And LASTLY:

 

1.    At the Louies we were introduced to a young man named Ian Meier.  Ian is a 5th grader who makes incredible handcrafted greeting cards out of his bedroom, sells them at local stores, and loves inspiring other people. Ian’s passion and innocence warmed my heart.  In the age of video games, Facebook hellos, and twitter thank-yous, Ian is bringing his generation back to gratitude.  He reminded me to think of how thankful I am for the people in my life who make me smile.  Then he encouraged me to slow down.  And tell them.

» 4 Comment s   Tags: relationships · tickle monster · positively green · gift books · inspirational products · encouragement · friendship

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To the Best Friends We've Never Met

by Dan Zadra · 05.14.2010

 

Who can explain the magical sets of circumstances that conspire to create a lasting friendship or bond between people?

 

Here at Compendium some of our most cherished relationships are with people we’ve never even seen face-to-face. Sure, we may have talked with each other by telephone, communicated online, or even collaborated from a distance on mutually important projects. But we’ve never actually sat down and looked each other in the eye, or shared a handshake or a hug.

 

And yet, we know in our heart of hearts that these people who we’ve only known from afar have come into our lives for some important reason, large or small. We count them among our friends and kindred spirits. Over the years I’ve adopted a special name for them—a term of endearment that you are welcome to use if you, too, are lucky enough to have similar people in your life. I call these people “the best friends I’ve never met.”

 

Let me introduce you to one. Back in the 1990’s Compendium received a phone call from an elderly woman who lived on a small pension in a trailer park in Lacy, Washington. Her name was Betty Kieler, and though she spoke in a gentle, wavering, grandmotherly voice, we quickly discovered that she could be very tough and determined when it came to fighting for her causes.

 

Betty proudly informed us that she was the newly-elected President of the Northwest Senior chapter of Random Acts of Kindness. Their goal was to somehow feed and clothe hundreds of disadvantaged children in the Pacific Northwest, and also teach them to read. Betty wanted Compendium to help by donating our Gift of Inspiration books and our window cards to their causes.

 

 

 

 

Over the next decade, Betty became one of the very best friends we never met, staying connected across the miles by phone or email. We marveled as she overcame recurring heart attacks and cancer on the way to recruiting dozens of senior citizens to her organization. Over time, Betty and her elderly volunteers fed and clothed thousands of students, and created a wonderful student reading program that became a national model.

 

We didn’t have to meet her face-to-face to know who she was, or what she stood for. It was clear. To all of us at Compendium, Betty Kieler was a kindred spirit, a familiar and reassuring soul, a beautiful example of what we like to call the “inspired community”—and one of the best friends we never met.

 

There have been lots of others along the way—people of all ages and walks of life with whom we share something special, hopeful and affirming. And now, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and other far-flung ways of connecting across the miles, there are more of us getting connected than ever before. Here's to the inspired community, and to the best friends we never met. People like Betty. People like you.

 

» 3 Comment s   Tags: love · relationships · volunteers · compassion · window cards · inspirational products · friendship

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Priceless Gifts for Mother's Day

by Meredith · 04.20.2010

Of all the gifts she gave us, please

The greatest of these

Were the memories.

---Isabella Graham

 

She nurtured you, encouraged you, believed in you, and gave you time and space to find your own place in the world. She gave you her hand to hold, her heart to call home, and the gift of laughter to keep and to share. What can you give her in return?

 

Through the years, your mother made a treasure out of every finger-painting, home-made present, and photograph that reminds her of you. This year, for mother’s day, show her once again that some of the best gifts in life cost the least but mean the most.  For example:

 

-Frame a photo of the two of you, and write her a note describing your memories of that shared moment.

-Buy a small flowering tree like a cherry, dogwood, or crabapple, and plant it in her yard. She’ll think of you as she watches it grow and bloom.

-Buy two matching teacups; give her one, and keep the other. Tell her to think of you sharing tea together whenever she uses hers.

-Write a letter describing some of your fondest and most beautiful childhood memories together.

-Give her a set of stationery or a box of cards, pre-stamped and hand-written with your address. Promise her a response to every letter she writes.

 

Here at Compendium, almost all of our most popular Mother’s Day gifts cost under $15.  One of the best examples is a little hardcover book entitled, “My Mom—Her Story, Her Words.”

 

This book is filled with questions that only your Mom can answer—questions such as, “Mom, when you were a child, what was your neighborhood like?  What is the best memory of your own Mom and Dad?”  You’ll spark conversation, cherish old memories and create new ones as she answers these questions, and end up with a family heirloom in your mother’s own handwriting.  This book costs only $9.95, but creates a priceless keepsake—something that will be treasured for generations to come.

 

No matter how you decide to remember your Mom this Mother’s Day, remember this: in the end, the true value of a gift is not its price, but its significance.

 

As we at Compendium get ready for Mother’s Day, we’d love to hear from you about special memories of your Mom.  Is there a meal she always made, a flower she always grew, a saying that makes you think of her?  Post your memories here. Join our community and share the love.

 

 

» 6 Comment s   Tags: love · relationships · mothers · gift books · inspirational products

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The Right Words at the Right Time

by Meredith · 04.06.2010

 

Hello! I'm Meredith, the newest addition to Compendium's creative team. An incredible set of circumstances brought me here to Compendium, but I'll save that story for another post. Today, I'm writing to tell you about a famous fashion designer who crossed paths with Compendium long before she was a household name. It's one of those stories we love to hear--where a single insight helps to alter the course of a life.

 

A recent edition of Pacific Northwest--the Seattle Times' Sunday Magazine--tells the story of Luly Yang, the couture dressmaker whose elaborate and meticulously constructed garments have gained her a worldwide following. There was a time, however, when Yang doubted her ability to make a living in the fashion industry, and took work as a graphic designer instead. She continued making dresses in her spare time, and held onto the hope that she might one day make her passion into a permanent career.

 

One evening, she had dinner at Seattle's Palomino restaurant. If you dined at Palomino from 1998-2009, you probably remember receiving one of Compendium's Window Cards at the end of your meal. More than 20 million customers of Palomino received one of these "Thoughts for Good Friends" cards during those years, and Luly Yang was among them. Yang's was this quote from Jonathan Winters: "I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it."

 

 Photo by Kirsten Sessions

 

Yang took the quote as a sign, and decided it was finally time to start putting her passion first. With a home-equity loan, she rented a studio for dressmaking, where she spent her off-work hours. Over the next several years, she built her shop from a one-woman business to today's thriving operation, with a staff of seven, and a steady stream of international accolades.

 

Today, Luly Yang's shop is full of lace, buttons, thread and silk, and the dreams that fit these pieces together into something bigger and more meaningful. For us at Compendium, it's a good feeling to know that, years ago, our work connected with Yang's work at a key moment, just when she needed an encouraging reminder.

 

What about you? Over the years, we've sent nearly a billion Window Cards out into the world. Did you receive one that sparked an idea, or somehow made a difference that day, or in your life? We'd love to hear your story, and we'll try to share it in a future blog or on our Facebook page. Until then, live inspired!

 

» 3 Comment s   Tags: window cards · inspirational products · encouragement

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A Billion Messages of Hope and Inspiration

by Dan Zadra · 02.10.2010

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Careful what you set your heart upon, for it surely shall be yours.” It’s true. If you have a dream, write it down. The moment you set your dream to paper all sorts of unforeseen support, people and material assistance will quietly conspire to make your dream come true.

That’s how Compendium got its start. In the mid-1980’s I watched as the McDonald’s hamburger chain updated its signs to read, “50 Billion Served.”  I remember standing on a sidewalk in Seattle, looking up at that sign and thinking, “Hey, if someone can serve up 50 billion burgers, someone else ought to be able to find a way to serve the world something a little  more inspiring.”

[Read more »]

» 8 Comment s   Tags: window cards · inspirational products

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