Their Favorite Gift



What's a Mini-Memoir?

A Mini-Memoir keepsake book is a beautiful, high-quality, custom 10 x 10 photo and storybook that captures your memories in a Mini-Memoir that your family will treasure for generations.

Unlike full-length memoirs, a Mini-Memoir focuses primarily on photographs and includes the stories that accompany them, sometimes as a brief description, sometimes in more detail. Although birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, retirements, and weddings are great occasions to give a keepsake book, it’s the ultimate gift to give anyone you love. Your loved ones will delight in perusing these deluxe keepsake books over and over again.

These keepsakes are also meaningful gifts for small businesses, whose employees often share a history much like a family. Some small businesses are, indeed, family, which makes the books even more poignant. Through sharing photographs and stories about the company from its earliest days, you can document the changes, growth and accomplishments of a small business and help keep the company culture alive throughout the years. It’s also a heartwarming way to celebrate a retiring business owner or employee.

Sample Book Pricing

Sample Book

Sample Book

How It Works

To create your beautiful, custom Mini-Memoir keepsake book, you’ll gather important photographs and then we’ll meet and talk about the photos and more. I’ll record your stories and anecdotes and create the Mini-Memoir in your own voice. Sometimes the stories are lengthy narratives, sometimes they’re brief descriptions. Either way, the results will be fantastic.

Once we’ve gathered your photographs and stories, I’ll weave them together, capturing memories to share in a high-quality, custom 10 x 10 photo and storybook that’s typically 20 - 25 pages. You’ll have a chance to review the book and make changes before we print your treasure, which is typically ready 12 weeks after we begin your walk down memory lane.

As we talk, it may seem to you like you’re only telling the ordinary story of events that happened during your lifetime but you’re giving so much more! While future generations can research genealogy or DNA information, a story about a person can be lost forever. You’re the only one who can share your particular stories.

To understand how special these books are to family members, try to recall what it was like for you to listen to your grandmother’s stories, if you were lucky enough to hear them. Think about what it’s like at Thanksgiving dinner, when cousins and siblings gather and laugh, recalling incidents from their youth. People love their family and their family’s history. When you give a Mini-Memoir keepsake book, you’re giving much more than just pictures and words. You’re giving your family precious memories for lifetimes to come.

What to Bring

Creating your Mini-Memoir keepsake book takes a little pre-planning but isn’t difficult. Don’t worry – I’ll walk you through the entire process, step by step.

When you decide that you’d like to begin creating your keepsake, start thinking about 25-35 photos and any other special items (like an old family recipe or an important award) you’d like to bring that we can talk about when we meet. Once we have our initial consultation, I’ll mail you a complete list of everything you might want to bring to the information-gathering meeting, which generally lasts about 1 1/2 hours. Because each book is customized for each client, my ideas are only suggestions. I want to create the Mini-Memoir that best suits you!

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While many personal history memoirs are time intensive and expensive—most take six months to a year to complete and cost $5,000 - $15,000—a Mini-Memoir takes much less time and is quite affordable. Typically, from the time we first meet to review your photographs and begin your stories, we’ll have your Mini-Memoir keepsake book ready within 12 weeks. Our custom Mini-Memoirs cost just $950 for the original keepsake book. That price includes the right to purchase additional copies of the book for relatives through Shutterfly at their reprint price.

Jessie Bruinius

I’m fascinated by people’s life stories, especially those who consider themselves ordinary. Meaningful moments and memorable events comprise every life and I love helping people capture those times in beautiful, high-quality Mini-Memoir books. As I look at photos and talk with people about their lives, it’s fun to help them discover their extra-ordinariness—and share it with generations to come.

I discovered this interest during graduate school, when I lived with my grandmother. She’d show me old family photographs and share stories about the people, places, and moments they captured. Unfortunately, I never wrote her stories down. At the time, although I loved hearing them, I didn’t realize what a treasure they were.

After I got married and started a family of my own, I recognized how special the little moments were. I decided to record them and began creating scrapbooks, taking photos of my kids and asking them all sorts of questions. I thought the process was wonderful but my kids took exception. “Mom,” my frustrated son once said as I was asking questions about his day, “this feels a lot like school!”

As I recorded our family memories, I thought of my grandmother and her photographs and stories, wishing I had somehow preserved them. I decided then to help others do what I hadn’t. I began my journey as a Personal Historian, helping people celebrate their lives and preserve their memories and photographs in beautiful, sturdy, keepsake Mini-Memoir books for themselves and future generations. As I met with and interviewed people, I discovered that, unlike my son who thought my questions felt “like school,” most people love to show me their photographs, reminisce, and talk with me about their lives. It’s a journey of joy to stroll through the years and recall the moments that mattered most, knowing that generations from now those stories will live on.

  • Emma Harris, Wyoming
    Got it for my mother and she loves to show it to everyone. Beautiful way to capture a life.
    Emma Harris, Wyoming
  • Vicky Davis, Grand Rapids
    A perfect Christmas gift for my grandfather! Such a lovely and nostalgic memoir of his life.
    Vicky Davis, Grand Rapids
  • Barbara VanSolkema, Holland
    Jessie was so great to work with, and did a fabulous job with the book she made for my family.
    Barbara VanSolkema, Holland

Connect with Mini-Memoir!

I’d love to meet with you, show you a sample book, and answer any questions you might have about creating a Mini-Memoir for yourself or your loved one. Contact me today to schedule a free, no-commitment consultation.