"Helping people 'Hold onto What Matters' by getting their photos off of their phones and the cloud and into their hands has been so incredibly rewarding. And I’ve been able to discover new talents and develop new skills while performing as a late blooming business woman." -- Vanessa Quigley, Co-Founder of Chatbooks
I am really good at taking pictures. Ok, I should clarify -- my strength primarily lies in the quantity of photos I take. I am really good at taking an exorbitant number of pictures. I am NOT good at doing anything with said pictures. I have every intention to print them off, organize them, put them in a photo album, etc. But... life.
Obviously I'm not alone in this, because two years ago Vanessa Quigley co-founded Chatbooks with her husband, Nate, and the company took off. With a purpose "to help people hold on to what matters," Chatbooks makes it easy and affordable to compile photos directly from your social media accounts or your phone, into simple and sophisticated 6"x6" photo books.
(Photos via Instagram @Chatbooks)
Described as "photo books for people who don't have time to make photo books," Chatbooks gives you the option to be as involved or univolved with the creative and printing process as you'd like. Whether you're looking for a set-it-up-and-forget-about-it-until-it-magically-appears-in-the-mail option (Chatbooks Series subscription) or a create-very-specific-and-custom-books-for-special-occasions-and-personalized-gifts option (Custom Books), Chatbooks has you covered all while maintaining affordability, quality, and ease of use. I'm sorry, but what's not to love about that?
(Photo via Instagram @Chatbooks)
Chatbooks is a fast growing company designed to help others capture and share their stories and moments. Today, we're thrilled to share part of Vanessa's story and why she is an American Dreamer:
"I am the oldest of 12 children. I had an incredible childhood and loved my big wild rowdy family. But by the time I graduated from high school I had already changed a lifetime’s worth of diapers and starting a family of my own was the furthest thing from my mind. My mother always told me that I could be and do whatever I set my heart on— and so I was going to be a professional singer and travel the world. And then, one day, when I had had my fill of the spotlight, I’d start a family. That was my plan. However, halfway through college I got married and had my first baby all in less than a year. It was a wonderful and crazy turn of events. But what about my plan?
"My plans changed. I still got to travel quite a bit and even lived in Paris, France. And I still got to sing. Sometimes people even paid me to do it! My dreams didn’t go away, they just changed. I learned to embrace change! As a mother especially you learn to go with the flow and enjoy every new phase of life. Change is the name of the game! That doesn't mean it’s easy by any means. Watching the babies that you have birthed and raised and nurtured for 18 years pack up and move out on their own is not easy! But seeing those children thrive as they continue to grow is so worth it. Change is necessary for growth!
"There was one change I was really looking forward to -- My baby was getting ready to go into 1st grade and would be in all day school. For the first time in 19 years I was going to have my days all to myself. I had all kinds of new plans. I was going to get into yoga and record an album and maybe even go back to school to get my master’s degree. But then things changed.
"I had an idea to start a company that could help people like me make super easy, super affordable photo books. When I was a young mom I was an avid scrapbooker, but as babies came along I had less and less time for projects. I didn’t even have time to print photos! However, I felt guilty about not having any more photo books for my family. I wanted my entrepreneurial husband to take my idea and run with it. He did, and a couple of weeks later he and his team had a prototype. It was amazing to see my idea come to life and I was so excited when Chatbooks officially launched. But it soon became clear that he needed me to be more involved as the company grew. My yoga and music would have to wait as I embraced this new change and dove into this new life as co-founder and Chatbooker-in-Chief.
"The past 2 years have been an absolute roller coaster with lots of change as our little startup has grown into a thriving business. Helping people 'Hold onto What Matters' by getting their photos off of their phones and the cloud and into their hands has been so incredibly rewarding. And I’ve been able to discover new talents and develop new skills while performing as a late blooming business woman. I’m literally living the American Dream. I’m so grateful to live in a country where we can be whatever we want to be and chase any dream we may have. Even if it means singing a slightly different song!"