Your votes helped select Life's Memories & More as the recipient of the 2016 Independent We Stand, Independent Small Business of the Year Award - Sponsored by STIHL Inc. and FCA US LLC. Life's Memories & More is a scrap bookstore, located in Palmer, MA, that offers unique and quality products at competitive prices. In addition to the 5,000+ products you can find at Life's Memories & More, they also offer a handful of classes and events that help each and every individual tap into their creative side!
From September to December, local communities, from towns across the country came together to nominate and vote for their favorite businesses. "It's just amazing to me this community of people that have come together under the umbrella of Life's Memories & More," says owner Tanya Bullock.
Tanya, who comes from a long line of small business owners, credits her family for her creative side. "Ironically, I was a computer technology teacher so I was probably on the total other end of creativity than what we do right now but I grew up in a very creative family," she says. "So, I think part of it, being a school teacher and able to show people how to do things and learn how to use products, is very beneficial."
A huge selection of supplies and friendly, familiar faces aren't the only things that keep Tanya and her team hard at work. She is dedicated to supporting the community, helping to promote other small businesses and is involved with many charitable organizations. After learning about a program called "Cards for Troops" from a customer in 2009, Life's Memories & More quickly became involved, sending handmade or manufactured cards of any occasion to the Oregon Coast Avid Stampers (ORCAS) , who then distribute the cards in care packages to our troops overseas. To-date, Life's Memories & More has sent over 35,000 cards to the troops, the majority being handmade. Tanya continuously collects bottles and cans to benefit a local boy scout troop and even offers discounts to those that bring in products that can be used towards Boxes of Love, another group that sends care packages to our troops.
Additionally, Life's Memories & More has raised over $11,500 for Baystate Health System's Rays of Hope program, since the start of their annual fundraising in 2007. Each year, Tanya and her community of caring crafters donate handmade scarves, over 200 thus far, to the Pink Scarf Project for the Rays of Hope Walk.
As the 2016 Independent Small Business of the Year, Life's Memories & More will receive prizes with a combined value of more than $10,000. Prizes include a $5,000 check, a $1,000 STIHL equipment certificate, redeemable at more than 9,000 independent servicing dealers nationwide, a "Small Business Web Starter Package," from independent web design firm The Meridian Group and a three day/two night stay at an independent beach resort hotel in Virginia Beach, VA. The Indie Award winner will also receive a plaque to display at their business, as well as public relations and social media recognition.
Life's Memories & More was in good company among the other finalists in this year's Indie Award contest. Both the quarter and semi-finalists for this year's Indie Award will each receive an Independent We Stand Premium Membership.
Thank you to everyone who showed their support by nominating a business, voting for a finalist, and promoting the contest. Your stories are what inspire us and give the “buy local” movement so much meaning.