Operation Smile™: Consultants in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

On October 11, 2018, a few of our Close To My Heart Consultants embarked on what was to become an experience of a lifetime. They traveled for 20+ hours to arrive in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where they were immediately given instructions and put to work. After many long days in hot, humid, and very humbling conditions, all of these women, who are our Upline, Downline, Team members, friends, and family, would gladly do it all over again!

For over a decade, Close To My Heart has partnered with and supported the work of Operation Smile™, an international medical charity that provides free surgeries to children and young adults in developing countries born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other dental and facial conditions.

In an effort to increase our support for this cause, Close To My Heart hosted the Share a Smile Challenge last year. The winners of the contest would earn a spot as a non-medical volunteer in the Santa Cruz, Bolivia Operation Smile™ international medical mission, from October 11 through the 19. Announced in our North American Convention, the prize winners were none other than the generous and tender-hearted Avis Latimer, Holly Veselenak, and Brenda Rose. Canadian Consultant Jennifer Smith was awarded a fourth spot on the mission due to the extraordinary amount of donations brought in by her artwork donation at our Convention. (To read more about the Share a Smile Challenge and its winners, visit Operation Smile™ for the Win!)

We’ve reached out to all of our medical mission volunteers and collected their thoughts and insights into what it was like to be part of something so awe-inspiring. Here are their experiences:

Operation Smile Consultant Report #ctmh #closetomyheart #operationsmile #ctmhoperationsmile #scrapbooking #scrapbook #charity #medicalmission
Avis Latimer (Glenn Dale, Maryland)

“I’ve always wanted to do a mission trip but figured it would happen once I retired. I wasn’t sure what kind of trip it would be, I just knew that I wanted to help others and broaden my personal perspective. Now, I know my skill set and wasn’t sure how I’d find a fit, but, as always, when you let go and let God take over, amazing things happen—like earning an Operation Smile mission trip to Bolivia! I wasn’t prepared for the wave of emotions that would overwhelm me…”   continue reading

Operation Smile Consultant Report #ctmh #closetomyheart #operationsmile #ctmhoperationsmile #scrapbooking #scrapbook #charity #medicalmissionHolly Veselenak (Macomb, Michigan)

“It blows my mind, still to this day, that I went on a life changing mission for Operation Smile to help little babies, young toddlers, young teens/tweens and even adults, when in actuality, my life was changed. I’ll never forget landing in Santa Cruz with my mission buddies, Avis Latimer, Brenda Rose, and Jennifer Smith. We had no idea what we were about to embark on and we were all so humbled and blessed to have been the ones chosen to go…”  continue reading

Operation Smile Consultant Report #ctmh #closetomyheart #operationsmile #ctmhoperationsmile #scrapbooking #scrapbook #charity #medicalmissionBrenda Rose (East Bethel, Minnesota)

“Some time back, Bill and Kathy Magee spoke at our Convention. I fell in love with Operation Smile, and I respect every little thing the organization and volunteers do to help children and adults that so desperately need it. It has been a dream for me to go on an Operation Smile mission…”   continue reading

One of the great things about this cause is that we don’t all have to leave our house and fly around the world to help these beautiful children. All they need from us is to make donations to make the medical missions possible. Close To My Heart is fully committed to helping Operation Smile™ receive these donations. Did you know that it takes as little as $240 to perform one of these life changing surgeries?

“Operations Smile changes lives. We can help by simply rounding up our order or buying a t-shirt or stamp set. So simple, yet it allows Operation Smile the ability to continue the very important work they do!”
Brenda Rose

With each donation from you, whether from rounding up your order or by purchasing the Operation Smile stamp set, My Acrylix® Your Best Self, you are making a difference in someone’s life.

Operation Smile Consultant Report #ctmh #closetomyheart #operationsmile #ctmhoperationsmile #scrapbooking #scrapbook #charity #medicalmission #beyourselfstampset

You may never get to meet or see them, but these children will never forget your generous heart. To learn more about how you can help Operation Smile™, talk to your Consultant today or find one in your area by visiting closetomyheart.com and clicking Find a Consultant under the What We Do tab.

“If you’re looking for a charity to rally behind and support, this is it. You are impacting not only one life, but the lives of those who surround this person. We are making a difference one smile at a time.”
Holly Veselenak

Thank you for helping us make a difference! And a special thank you to Avis Latimer, Holly Veselenak, Brenda Rose, and Jennifer Smith for your continued support and extraordinary commitment to Operation Smile™!

“In the end, it’s about having faith, hope, love and doing what we are each led to do in order to improve the life of another.”
Avis Latimer

(Due to scheduling conflicts, Jennifer Smith was unavailable to contribute to this post.)


12″ x 12″ The Faces of Moses…Layout
Avis Latimer
X7242B I Heart Us Paper Packet, X7242D I Heart Us Coordinating Cardstock, X7242C I Heart Us Complements, Z4270 I Heart Us Sequins

12″ x 12″ Smiles for Miles Layout
Holly Veselenak
X7241B So Much Happy Paper Packet, X7241D So Much Happy Coordinating Cardstock, X7241C So Much Happy Complements, Z4254 So Much Happy Puffy Stickers, Z4271 So Much Happy Washi Tape, Z3230 Flip Flaps™ Memory Protectors™ 3″ × 4″

12″ x 12″ Be the Reason Someone Smiles Today
Brenda Rose
X7240B Something Fierce Paper Packet, X7240D Something Fierce Coordinating Cardstock, X7240C Something Fierce Complements, Z4221 Mink Twine

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The Many Emotions of Convention

As some of you know, this year’s Close To My Heart Convention will play off of the Disney movie Inside Out, which tells the story of an 11-year-old girl moving to San Francisco through her emotions: characters named Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust.

In the spirit of Inside Out, we thought it’d be fun to talk about the many emotions YOU’LL get to experience at Convention!

Ready to board this emotional rollercoaster? 🙂

1. Anticipation

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

You’re probably already well acquainted with this emotion. After all, you’ve been waiting ALL YEAR for this event and now it’s ALMOST HERE!

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

Once you get to Convention, the anticipation will continue! For one thing, you’re going to find a Sticky Boy. It just has to happen. You NEED him! Just try not to feel too much anger or envy if someone else snatches him before you! 😉

2. Wonder

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

Just a head’s up—this is one emotion that you’re going to be experiencing A LOT. From getting your own copy of the brand new Annual Inspirations idea book…

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

…to seeing new products in person—and don’t even get us started on how wonderful it will be to create artwork with these new products!

3. Fear

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

That momentary feeling you’ll get after seeing all the new products you want to buy, and then thinking about your husband’s response…or your bank account. But don’t worry, this feeling doesn’t stick around too long! 😉

4. Joy

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

You’ll feel this emotion for all sorts of reasons. Maybe because you get to see dear friends you haven’t seen since last Convention, or maybe because you get to experience the magic of Convention with your best friends in the world.

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

Then there’s the fact that Convention is basically a three-day party.

5. Pride

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

One of our favorite parts of Convention is getting to reward our Consultants for their hard work, diligence, character, and loyalty.

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

If you get called onstage, prepare for the waterworks—and enjoy the pride you feel in yourself. You deserve this!

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

You’ll also feel pride in your team…

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

…and because you’re part of a company that helps women around the world run their own businesses.

6. Sadness

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

When it’s time to pack your suitcase and kiss your friends goodbye, you’ll feel a little bit of this emotion.

7. Gratitude

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

But mostly, you’ll feel overwhelming gratitude. Gratitude for the friends you’ve made, gratitude for the opportunity to attend Convention, and gratitude for being able to turn your passion into a means of providing for yourself and your family.

The many emotions of Close To My Heart Convention! #closetomyheart #ctmh #makeitfromyourheart #insideout #ctmhconv2016

We feel all these emotions at Convention, too. 🙂 And we’re so looking forward to sharing Convention with our fabulous Consultants. If you can’t make it this year, be sure to follow us on Facebook, and search the hashtags #makeitfromyourheart and #ctmhconv2016 on social medial to see even more posts. We can’t wait!

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From Monica: Fun in the Sun

The 2016 Close To My Heart Eastern Caribbean Incentire Trip was a blast! Read all about it on the blog. #ctmh #ctmhescape #closetomyheart #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #vacationI’m back from paradise! Last week was the Eastern Caribbean cruise incentive trip, and boy was it a good one! We climbed aboard the Norwegian Escape®, and sailed off on a grand adventure.The 2016 Close To My Heart Eastern Caribbean Incentire Trip was a blast! Read all about it on the blog. #ctmh #ctmhescape #closetomyheart #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #vacation

This ship was the most luxurious ship we’ve ever been on. I definitely felt like royalty! We had a ton of fun taking photos with props at a photo op. We held fun beach items and blown-up versions of some of our stamps. Everyone just kept taking pictures and laughing. It reminded me why photos are so important to preserve.The 2016 Close To My Heart Eastern Caribbean Incentire Trip was a blast! Read all about it on the blog. #ctmh #ctmhescape #closetomyheart #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #vacation

People loved the Create & Take we did on the ship, which gave them a sneak peek at new paper. There’s nothing like a little crafting to help you fully relax while you’re on vacation! 🙂 In our business meeting, we talked about the recent changes to the compensation plan and gave a sneak peek at upcoming promotions and changes to the New Consultant Kit. These announcements were met with cheers and applause! I sure love our Consultants!The 2016 Close To My Heart Eastern Caribbean Incentire Trip was a blast! Read all about it on the blog. #ctmh #ctmhescape #closetomyheart #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #vacation

Many of our Consultants took advantage of the opportunity to go on excursions. One especially memorable excursion was a trip to Devil’s Bay in Tortola. We crawled through a cave and walked through water to reach this beautiful secluded beach that was pure heaven! It was absolutely beautiful!The 2016 Close To My Heart Eastern Caribbean Incentire Trip was a blast! Read all about it on the blog. #ctmh #ctmhescape #closetomyheart #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #vacation

It’s wonderful being surrounded by good friends while you soak up the sunshine, relax, and talk together. We kept chatting about business too because when you’re passionate about your job, you just can’t help it!The 2016 Close To My Heart Eastern Caribbean Incentire Trip was a blast! Read all about it on the blog. #ctmh #ctmhescape #closetomyheart #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #vacation

One thing that made this trip very special for me was that I got to bring my mom along. She was able to meet many our wonderful Consultants and better understand why I love my job so much. Sharing special memories with her on this trip is something I will always treasure.The 2016 Close To My Heart Eastern Caribbean Incentire Trip was a blast! Read all about it on the blog. #ctmh #ctmhescape #closetomyheart #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #vacationI know each of the Consultants who earned this incentive trip would tell you it’s totally worth all the hard work. I hope each one of you makes earning next year’s incentive trip a priority—I want to share this one-of-a-kind experience with you!The 2016 Close To My Heart Eastern Caribbean Incentire Trip was a blast! Read all about it on the blog. #ctmh #ctmhescape #closetomyheart #crafting #scrapbooking #cardmaking #vacationTo see more photos from the incentive trip, visit our Eastern Caribbean Incentive Trip 2016 album on Facebook or search #ctmhescape on social media.



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Sharing the Love and Sharing Inspiration: Ideas for Helping Operation Smile

Today, we’ve got an extra special post. We’ve asked three Consultants who have been successful in raising money for Operation Smile™ to share a little bit about how they do it. We know that each of you can make a difference (you already do more than you think!), and we want these three incredible women to help you know that you can do it! Holly Veselenak, Kimberly Deines, and Kelly Hammonds have been kind enough to share these thoughts with us:

Holly Veselenak, Senior Director from Macomb, MichiganLearn about the amazing efforts these women have made to help Operation Smile! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #operationsmile

At the 2008 Convention, I was one of a handful of Consultants that won a special luncheon with Dr. Magee and his wife, Kathy, the founders of Operation Smile.  That day I made a personal commitment to do whatever I could, locally, to help raise money and awareness for Operation Smile.

As a mom of four children, it’s heart-wrenching to imagine one of my children not being able to eat or drink due to a facial deformity and possibly even losing their life. My twin boys had TTTS (Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome), so I know what it’s like to have a doctor look you in the eyes and tell you there’s no hope for your babies. Just thinking about this brings tears to my eyes. Knowing that it only costs $240 and takes 45 minutes to perform this life-changing surgery, how can you not want to help?

I’m blessed to know some of the most generous crafters in Macomb County and the surrounding counties of Michigan. It’s through their generosity that my Operation Smile crops have been able to raise over 125 smiles (as we call it). I’m merely the facilitator—they are the true heroes!Learn about the amazing efforts these women have made to help Operation Smile! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #operationsmile

This will be my seventh year holding all-day crops to benefit Operation Smile. My best advice for where to start is this: Just do it, and they will come! My very first event I had two people show up. I’m not kidding! If I had let that discourage me, I would have never continued on. Tell everyone about your event even if they don’t craft, because chances are they know someone who does.

I keep my events very simple. A hall with great lighting and space for everyone to spread out is key. Plus, it’s all about the food. Trust me. 🙂 I have raffles and a grand prize showcasing the latest Close To My Heart products. I’m there to inspire, share tips on how to use Close To My Heart products, and foster a sense of community. Holding a fundraiser is great because everyone leaves filled with joy.

I wish everyone much success with their events. No matter what happens, whether you have two or two-hundred people show up, you are helping to make a difference in the life of a child!

Kimberly Deines, Director from Hudson, Colorado

Every time I watch a video about Operation Smile, it hits me way deep down inside. I’m always so taken aback, and I wish no child ever had to experience any facial deformities. But then again, it is uplifting to know that there is something that can be done to help!

I recently organized a weekend retreat at the Embassy Suites in town. I was also blessed to have seven wonderful Downline help organize the event and bring their friends. We had a total of 52 people for the weekend! Not only was this a great Team-building event, but we went to work and raised $1,408 for Operation Smile! That is almost six smiles!Learn about the amazing efforts these women have made to help Operation Smile! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #operationsmile

My Team members and I each donated at least $50 of Close To My Heart product to give away throughout the weekend. We sold raffle tickets for $1 each to give away these goodies. Then we all created artwork masterpieces, too, donating 21 items between the seven of us to hold a silent auction. The last thing we did was to give away a $150 gift card for the next Embassy Suites retreat we will be having later this year in November. We sold tickets for this giveaway for $10 each.

I think one thing that had a huge impact on how much generosity we saw throughout the weekend was sharing an Operation Smile video near the beginning of the event. It is easy to share what Operation Smile is verbally, but actually seeing what a child goes through by watching one of these videos is powerful.operation-smile-scrapbooking-fundraiser-kimberly-deines

To help kick things off on a fun note, I also wrote my very own left right game and personalized it for our event (this game is very popular within Close To My Heart!). Everyone loved this, and it started our weekend off with laughs and high spirits. It all added up to a very successful event for me and my wonderful Team, Heart To Heart Memories!

Kelly Hammonds, Senior Executive Manager, Phoenix, Arizona

When I made it a goal to raise funds for Operation Smile four years ago, I was actively involved in Networking Groups to promote my Close To My Heart business. For three months, I changed my focus from my business to the mission of Operation Smile. I’ve found a lot of success getting donations by talking about Operation Smile in a way that reaches people’s hearts.

Learn about the amazing efforts these women have made to help Operation Smile! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #operationsmile

I had the opportunity to go on an Operation Smile mission to the Philippines with Brian Holman. It was an incredible experience. This is me in the pre-operation play room.

First I talk about how a mother views their child as the most beautiful child in the world. I explain that mothers who have children with facial deformities still feel this way, but other people in their community may not: Children born with cleft lips and cleft palates in third world countries are typically shunned by their neighbors, their villages, and even by other children. Many do not go to school, cannot find work as an adult, and do not get married.

I point out that cleft lips and palates are not as prevalent in the US because our level of medical care addresses them almost immediately. I make it a point to mention famous people who had facial deformities as children—such as Stacy Keatch, Tom Brokaw, and Peyton Manning—who would not have been successful or maybe even alive if they hadn’t received medical care.

I have my guests visualize themselves as parents of an affected child, and ask how much they’d be willing to pay for their child to receive this life-saving surgery, before telling them that it only takes $240 USD to provide a surgery for a child in need. I explain that this money not only helps save their life but also helps them so they are no longer socially shunned.

Learn about the amazing efforts these women have made to help Operation Smile! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #operationsmile

This little girl is Angelique. I was with her from when she was evaluated to when she was able to go home after surgery.

I always wrap up with this story: My husband and I worked very hard to have the two children we have. We are so blessed that they have beautiful smiles—I don’t always like what comes out of their mouths, but I LOVE their smiles! 🙂 Because we are so thankful for our two healthy children, we donate two smiles each year so that another parent can show off their most beautiful child in the world as much as we show off ours.

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From Monica: Starting 2016 on a High Note

Reflecting on the incredible Team Builders event we held last week, I just have to say that I feel so blessed to be part of this amazing company. This is how I feel after every event, and I want to express my gratitude to the wonderful group of leaders that took time out of their busy schedules to join us on a snowy weekend in Salt Lake City so we could learn and grow together. Any day I can spend with these friends, many of whom I have known for over twenty years, is precious to me.

Needless to say, our schedule was jam-packed with top-notch business presentations from Close To My Heart employees and Consultants alike. The days flew by in a steady stream of great ideas, one after another.

We also had plenty of creative time together, too. Here’s one of the beautiful projects that we worked on:TB164

Art Studio Manager Gina Crotts came to me with this project as a recommendation. “Meraki” is a Greek word that means “to do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself into your work.” That word felt like a great way to describe what our Consultants—especially these leaders—do, both in their businesses and in their artwork.


It was a unique type of creative project for us: We just showed a few examples, set out the supplies, and gave our attendees complete freedom to create their own page. It was so awesome to see what they all came up with!

Meraki Creative time. #ctmhteambuilders #watercolor

A photo posted by gmbscrapper (@gmbscrapper) on

The highlight for me, and I think for everyone, was Saturday afternoon—and no, I’m not talking about those unbelievably delicious waffles from Waffle Love!—I’m talking about when Jeanette surprised us with a visit. After sharing a few words with us, she spent the better part of an hour answering questions, cracking jokes, and sharing her insights and vision for the future of Close To My Heart. It was a wonderful and memorable afternoon for all of us!


At the end of the event, we all said our goodbyes and returned back to our homes and our normal lives, armed with new perspective, new resolve, and new ideas for the future. I left feeling optimistic and hopeful, and I saw these same feelings reflected on the faces of my friends, who have shown such determination and loyalty in building up their own Close To My Heart businesses over the years. I am looking forward to the rest of 2016, because I know that with such incredible people involved in this work, we’ve got a great year ahead of us.



From Jill: Album Retreat Awesomeness

Hi! Jill Broadbent here to share the highlights of one of my favorite weekends of the year—Album Retreat! We held another amazing Album Retreat in Salt Lake City this past weekend. With 200 creative Consultants, we got comfy-cozy and created 12 pages in just two and a half days! The album was themed to tell important stories and let the attendees dig deep to document moments from their life. From birth to bucket lists, we covered every milestone along the way. I love the process of telling stories and tying them together with beautiful products and techniques. Check out our Instagram video for a quick look at the album we created!

We were also inspired by a message of storytelling from Stacy Julian. We love when she comes to share her passion and inspire us to be better keepers of our family history.

We loved Album Retreat! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhalbumretreat2015 #stacyjulian

Another highlight was the photo bus! Consultants lined up for a turn to load into the back of a VW bus that was decked out as a photo booth. Can you tell we had a lot of fun with it? 🙂

We loved Album Retreat! #ctmh #closetomyheart #ctmhalbumretreat2015 #stacyjulian

Honestly, my favorite part each and every time we host an Album Retreat is seeing the satisfaction from Consultants as they finish page after page and leave with an album ready to share with those they love. The pages are beautiful because we work hard to share fresh techniques. What makes them masterpieces, though, are the personal photographs and journaling.

We had many generous hearts at the Album Retreat, too. As we frequently do, we held an auction at the event as a fun way to raise money for Operation Smile. After auctioning off several pieces of beautiful artwork, we raised over $3,000—enough for 12 smiles! We feel so blessed to be associated with this important charity, and we are grateful for the kindness of those who donated their works of art as well as those who purchased it—all for the sake of changing the life of a child.

If you’ve ever wondered about attending Album Retreat, I can promise you it is well worth the investment. But, don’t take my word for it! Here are a few social media posts from some of our attendees!

View this post on Instagram

Fuzzy cutting done! #ctmhalbumretreat2015

A post shared by AlexG (@scrappingaudess) on




Join us next time for a fabulous weekend of scrapbooking fun! We can’t wait for you to come!

Until next time,


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Honoring Longevity: 25 Years of Awesome!

KM 1

Today we want to recognize a very special anniversary: It was 25 years ago that our dear friend Karen Morris signed up to be a demonstrator for a direct sales company called D.O.T.S., Jeanette Lynton’s stamping company that later became Close To My Heart. Her intention was just to earn a little extra money to help pay for Christmas for her two children. From that modest beginning has grown an impressive legacy of achievement, service, and inspiration that has made a profound effect on Close To My Heart.

KM 4

Karen’s list of achievements spans every area of the business, including reaching Presidential Director, the highest title at Close To My Heart. She has been the recipient of multiple personal and Team sales awards, Team building awards, and service awards, and has earned her way to many of our incentive trips to destinations all around the world.

KM 2

She has been an integral part of Close To My Heart in many other capacities as well. As a frequent presenter at national events, Karen has trained thousands of Consultants on how to build a successful business like hers. Over the years, she has been a member of multiple Advisory Boards, has been featured in various advertising campaigns and videos, and has even been one of our guest bloggers!

KM 6

In 2011, Karen received the company’s highest honor, the Spirit of Close To My Heart award, in recognition of her years of service and her countless contributions to the Close To My Heart community. At this year’s Convention, we recognized her 25-year anniversary onstage by presenting her with a scrapbook filled with pictures from her many experiences, friendships and achievements, some pages of which you can see here.

KM 5

Anyone who has met Karen knows she has the biggest heart; she has a gift for making people feel special and important. Karen also has the best sense of humor—and a pretty impressive shoe collection! She is a devoted wife to her husband, Marty, who has been by her side through her entire Close To My Heart journey. She has also filled the role of mother to her two children, Ashley and Trent, who learned to help in the business from an early age, and who have benefited in many ways from their mother’s hard work.

KM 8

We want your help in showing our appreciation to Karen on this special anniversary. She has touched the lives of so many, and we want to return the favor! If you know Karen in some way, please share a brief memory or story about how Karen has influenced you in your Close To My Heart business in the comments section. For those who don’t know Karen personally, feel free to simply congratulate her on her 25 years with us. Next week, we’ll randomly select 25 comments—one for each of Karen’s incredible 25 years—and send those individuals the Sangria paper packet, which is the featured paper collection for October! Again, congratulations to you, Karen, for all your accomplishments over the past 25 years. We’re so lucky to have you as part of the Close To My Heart family!

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From Jeanette: Life Is Worth Sharing

With the reveal of our new idea books, I’ve been feeling especially sentimental toward this company and all it stands for. My wish is that these books will become something you cherish and return to again and again throughout the coming year. As we do with all of our products, we’ve put our hearts and souls into these books, and I hope you can feel it. I know that when I flip through these crisp, colorful pages, I’m filled with a resurgence of why I work so hard to do what I do.

Why am I so passionate about what I do? I know I’ve been asked that question on more than one occasion, and I’m sure our Consultants have as well. To answer it, we released a video that explains the “why” of Close To My Heart. Please take a moment to watch this video that has become so very dear to me.

Isn’t that beautiful? I also believe life is worth sharing—the laughter and the tears that make up life’s cherished moments and become precious memories. And what better way to share these beautiful bits of life than through memory keeping?

I know that this video will resonate with many of you who share my passion for preserving memories. If it does, I invite you to join me in my mission to promote this wonderful method of memory keeping by becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant. Now is a great time to take that leap! As of August 1, all new Consultants will receive a beautiful, redesigned New Consultant Kit*, which you can see below. This kit will give you all the necessities to get your Close To My Heart business up and running. You already have the passion and the skill for making and preserving memories—now it’s time to put it to work in a new way by becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant! Becoming a Close To My Heart Consultant is more than choosing a career path. When you join our wonderful company, you join a family.

New Consultant Kit

For those of you who are already with us, thank you for making this company extraordinary. Thank you for the years of dedication you’ve already given and the years of dedication to come.

I hope that each of you who share my love for beautiful artwork and memory keeping will share this touching video. Email it to your family, tweet it to your followers, post it to Facebook, Instagram, and your blog. Let them know why you are passionate about what you do.

I can’t wait to see what this next chapter at Close To My Heart holds for all of us!

With love,



*contents may vary

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Julie Reynolds: The 6 Connections of Convention

I’m so excited to share with you why I love Convention! As I thought about this topic, “connection” was the word that kept coming to mind. So, continuing with our Making Connections theme this year, here are six ways you’ll feel connected when you attend Convention!
1. TEAM Connection
Because so much of my Team is spread across the country, Convention is the perfect time for all of us to gather together. Sometimes we have huge, crazy Team meetings with my Upline, Karen Morris, and other times we have intimate gatherings with just my Downline over a pizza dinner. But Convention is always our best chance to all be together at one big party. It always warms my heart to have the opportunity to celebrate the success of my Team members with them.

2. WHY Connection
One of my favorite things about attending Convention is that I come away feeling equipped and excited to share all the new products and programs. Over the years, Close To My Heart has refined the art of this training. When they present us with a new product or program, they not only teach us how to use it, but also the “why” behind it. They share with us the decision-making processes that go into what we have to offer. They provide us with marketing tools and training that allow us to present Close To My Heart products with confidence. We leave Convention not only with bags of wonderful new goodies, but also with the knowledge of how best to share this company and its products with others.
3. CREATIVITY Connection
Creative genius abounds at Convention! Extravaganza is a must-see event for everyone. This spectacle of artistic display has morphed over the years. Although I love the organized calm of the current format, which works SO well, one thing I’ll always remember is the crowd around Stacy Julian’s booth back when she was a Close To My Heart Consultant. You were lucky if you could get close enough to see! (My claim to fame is that Stacy was once my Downline.) Excitement and creativity are contagious—and this is the perfect place to catch the bug!

4. INSPIRATION Connection
Some of the best nuggets of wisdom I’ve brought home with me have come from discussions with other Consultants during those in-between times, where I’ve huddled together in a few chairs between sessions with fellow Team members, or sat by the pool with people who have mentored me, like Sue Laufer and Lynn Como. I’ve asked them questions like “How would you handle this situation?” or “What has worked for you?”. Sometimes those unplanned conversations have provided the exact insights I needed for my business. It’s definitely a bonus blessing that comes from being at Convention!
5. HEARTBEAT Connection
Want to feel the heartbeat of the company? This is where you’ll feel it. You’ll feel it while you’re hearing Jeanette’s hopes and dreams for us, seeing what a difference we’re making through Operation Smile, and deepening your understanding that you are a part of something bigger than just a direct sales company. You can’t leave Convention without feeling the heartbeat, and knowing that YOU are a part of this wonderful energy!

6. WELCOME Connection
“You are welcome here” has long been our motto at Close To My Heart. It’s something we want to extend to our customers and Team members. After nearly 24 years with Close To My Heart, this is the feeling that is renewed within me at each Convention. With awe, I applaud the highest achievers, and come away encouraged that I can build on what I am doing now. I stand amazed at the brilliant art, and it inspires and leads me to my own creative ideas.
Although I’m not the highest achiever, I bring my own gifts and passions to Close To My Heart—and that is good. It is enough because I know it’s me, and I am welcome here.

You are welcome at Convention, too! Come and connect!

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