WELCOME

THIS IS THE PLACE TO TURN YOUR MEMORIES INTO LEGACIES.

“When there’s no one left in the living world who remembers you, you disappear from this world. Our memories… they have to be passed down by those who knew us in life—in the stories they tell about us.”

— Héctor, from Disney’s Coco.

WHAT WE DO

The Memory Collective is a memory preservation service that captures and organizes stories, experiences, memories, and heritage for yourself, loved ones, and future generations by blending the ancient art of oral storytelling with modern capturing and organization technology.

Essentially, we help you capture the stories that are important to you using simple oral storytelling techniques. And if you want us to, we can organize, label, store, and back up those stories, and even make a plan to ensure they get to the people you want when that time comes.

PROBLEMS WE SOLVE

TOO MANY TIMES, WE HEAR…

  • “I wish I would have thought to write down my mom’s stories before she passed.”

  • “My dad died when I was really young. There’s so much I wish I could have asked him about his life.”

  • “I wish I could remember those stories Gramma told me about where we came from. She was the last one to know the old stories of the family, back when our ancestors lived in Italy.”

  • “I can’t find my uncle’s pictures anywhere. It’s going to take hours–maybe even days to hunt through the attic. I don’t even know if that’s where they are. Does anyone know what college he went to, for the obituary? I know he told me, but I just can’t remember. This is the last thing I want to have to think about right now.”

These are the situations we want to help you and your family avoid.

We do this by being proactive and not reactive.

We do this by starting today.

SOLUTIONS WE PROVIDE

PEACE OF MIND

Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Major Neurocognitive Disorder, and Amnesia all affect the brain’s ability to recall the memories that connect you to your life and loved ones. Alzheimer’s in particular is more prevalent than even breast cancer, and the chances of getting it only increase with age. Whether it runs in your family or not, our services will put your mind and your family’s mind at ease. We can’t stop Alzheimer’s or other memory-affecting disorders, but we can take preventative steps to make sure your family never utters the words, “I wish we would have thought to document his stories sooner… but now it’s too late.”

As the granddaughter of a full-blooded Italian immigrant, I’ve gotten a glimpse of the invaluable stories of traditions and culture and heritage. For those who have moved from their home countries and are now trying to both find their way in a strange land as well as maintain their sense of home, our services can help capture what you want to personally remember and pass down through your family.

I know this is one no one wants to think about, but it’s happened to me too many times already (and I’m only 30). Our services help ensure that, should tragedy strike, your stories have already been captured and will be passed down to your designated loved ones.

It’s unthinkable to imagine a young child losing one or both of their parents. We always think it might happen to someone else, but never to us. But it happened to me when I was 13, and it’s happened to countless other kids far younger than I was. We provide multiple services that approach a solution from both sides: preemptive memory gathering for a “just in case” angle, and collaborative memory gathering for cases where the tragedy has already happened.

Most people only think of memory loss as something that happens to “old people.” I’m here to tell you that just isn’t true. At 20 years old, I couldn’t tell you many of the childhood memories I had of my dad anymore than I could now. At 30, only 12 years removed from high school, I couldn’t tell you many of the memories I have from those four years (which I know were packed with stories). Do we need to remember every memory? No. But if they are important to you, the best way to keep those memories is to document them as early as possible. Our services–especially our subscription–lends very well to this.

Sometimes, we are given a timeline of the remainder of our life. It isn’t easy for the individual or those who love them, but in a lot of ways, it is a gift. It is an opportunity to pass down the stories, knowledge, wisdom, advice, wishes, and experiences to those who will outlive the individual. If my company had existed during the time when my dad knew he was sick but didn’t know what was wrong, he might have used it to leave me stories, advice for when I was older, his take on big topics like religion and science and politics and philosophy, or things he wanted me to know about him when I was old enough. If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with a terminal illness, our services can provide closure.

When you use our archiving and organizational services, we help you consolidate your stories and memory artifacts all in one place where they are organized by name and indexed by keyword. You’ll be able to search through your memories like a database, saving you time and energy.

When you store your stories and memory artifacts with us, we take effort to ensure we know exactly who you want these memories passed down to and when. For instance, if you died prematurely and have young kids, you can designate that you want them to be 18 years old before they can have access to your account. We check in with you once a year to see if you need to update any changes to your inheritance preferences.

If you’re like me, you have physical photo albums, loose photos, framed photos, digital photos stored on your phone, computer, pin drives, social media accounts, and cloud backup. You have hand written journals and digital journals and audio journals and video journals–which are all scattered between notebooks and different drives on my computer and my phone and cloud backup. You might have creative projects, like original works of music, art, needlework, photography, animation, illustrations, writings. If you disappeared tomorrow, how long would it take for someone to find all of that and put it together, say, for a funeral? For your little kids? For your spouse? Would they ever find it all? Even if they did, it could take days, weeks, months, or even years. By putting everything in one safe place with us, it’s as simple as emailing your designated loved ones a password to give them access to everything you want them to have.

YOUR STYLE

Are you a private person? Don’t want to be interviewed or personally guided through your story-capturing experience? We get it, and we’ve got you covered with multiple DIY solutions. Or maybe you want to go at your own pace on your own time without the pressure of a subscription. Our DIY Oral Storytelling Kits should be perfect for you.

Maybe you aren’t good with technology, don’t know what stories to share, and don’t want to take the time to organize your stories, photos, videos, and other artifacts. We can’t tell your stories for you, but we can do everything else, including leading you through important topics (that you choose), and creating the audio recordings for you.

We create new memories every day. Some of these memories might be ancillary, but some of them might be very special to you. Using our services, you could capture these new memories as they come up. The sooner you preserve the story, the more details you will capture and thus retain.

Maybe you have something in mind for an oral storytelling project, and you’d like to get it totally done and check it off your list. This might be for peace of mind, or maybe because there is an event coming up, or because time is of the essence (such as with a terminal illness or memory affecting disorder). In any case, we have multiple approaches for getting your project on a schedule and complete.

If you find yourself thinking you’d be into journaling if it weren’t so time-consuming, our services are designed to help you save time during the journaling process. They’re also designed to help you save time later, when you or a loved one is trying to look up a specific memory. Whether you can’t remember the name of that restaurant you spent your 25th anniversary at, or you’re locating stories and photos to use in a funeral or celebration of life, our organization and archiving services will cut your time sifting through memories down to a fractional amount.

If you opt into having us partially or totally guide you through the story-capturing process, we have both in-person and online options. Though we can only offer in-person interviews to those local to Indiana at the moment (without an additional travel fee), we can conduct interviews via Zoom. Any in-person interviews will be done with proper PPE, social distancing, and precautions taken to wipe down surfaces.

YOUR BUDGET

Our Oral Storytelling Kits are low-cost collectibles that let you focus on only the topics you want to pursue. Bundle them to save money, and add more at any time. We also offer several a la carte options, such as a storage only monthly/annual fee that grants you X amount of Memory Vault storage space.

We understand that monthly bills are easier to manage than large upfront expenses. That’s what makes our subscription options so great. We can also set up recurring project interviews for those who still want a done-for-them solution.

Some people are sick of subscriptions; they already have so many and they don’t want any more! We get it. This is one advantage of doing a DIY project with Kits or hiring us for a Project. One payment (or a payment plan), the project will be over, and you can move on to other things.

We have a lot of add-on services that let you customize your experience with us to your specific needs. We do our best to offer a base service that, at bear minimum, will allow you to collect the stories you want to. From there, everything else can be done after the fact–things like audio editing, transcription, organization, indexing, book making, and online consolidation and storage. Now, to be fair, many of these add-ons are highly recommended to give you the best experience and peace of mind, but we understand that starting somewhere is better than not starting at all.

YOUR SITUATION

We love to see people capturing their own stories. Our services are perfect for people who already journal, take photos, videos, make scrapbooks, or are on a journey of some kind.

Maybe you’d like to use our service to capture memories of someone you love. We’d love to help you do that. Just make sure, before you commit, that your loved one is on board to participate. Let us know if we can help you in preparation for that conversation.

Live events are a little tricky right now due to the pandemic, but under normal circumstances, we can come to your wedding, funeral, celebration of life, corporate event, bachelorette party–you name it–and capture stories and memories about a topic. Sometimes that might mean just setting up a microphone and being non-intrusive; sometimes that means intentionally asking people to share stories.

Talking through any form of traumatic events can be both difficult and very therapeutic. Though we cannot give you clinical or medical advice, it is generally understood and accepted that sharing stories can help release the burden of them. Whether you experienced loss, anxiety, depression, abuse, were bullied, have PTSD, mental illnesses, or any number of things in the range of trauma, audio journaling can not only help relieve and process that burden, but also provide a way to track progress when your journey to recovery or improvement is documented too.

We get it. Journaling and memory documentation takes time. But we promise, audio journaling is faster than other methods, and it’s natural. We help you find the time, even if it’s only fifteen minutes per week, to share the most important parts. Even if you only share a little, something is better than nothing. Imagine the impact of a voicemail from your mom after she’s gone; it’s the only record of her voice and you cling to it like it’s your greatest treasure. Now imagine what having fifteen minutes of your mom talking all throughout her life would mean to you! Fifteen minutes isn’t a lot of time each week, but the return on that time investment is invaluable.

You’re in the right place. Talk to us about a special unlimited plan that lets you have unlimited memory giving options.

WHO WE SERVE

We serve the old and the young, the traveler and the homebody, the ill and the thriving, the teachers and the students, the natives and the immigrants. We serve the grieving, the struggling, the parent, the actor, the veteran, the couple, the friend, the athlete, the musician–quite literally any person who has memories they don’t want to lose–and all those who will come from them. The memories we capture together can depict childhood, a special place, epic journeys, transformations. They can stand in for a parent who died before their young child would ever know them. They can bring sweeping ancestry together so that family members generations apart might know one another on a personal level. They can serve as testimony of a person’s value and worth when they are struggling with self-worth and confidence.  There is no limit to what a your Memory Collective can be.