Live Inspired

Entries Tagged as inspirational products

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.”

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» 8 Comment s   Tags: window cards · inspirational products

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