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Monday, July 8, 2013

How will Celebrating Family History work?

Celebrating Family History is a new concept for genealogy. It is based on the time-proven party-plan method of selling products but with a different twist. The idea of the party-plan is generally attributed to Brownie Wise, who developed the Tupperware company in the 1950s. See Wikipedia:Party plan. The method of selling has played an important part in developing a number of very successful businesses, giving many people with limited access to the job market a way to make extra money or in some cases, establish a very productive business.

It is true that the concept of the party-plan business does not appeal to everyone. But it is hard to argue with success. A good example of a currently successful business is the Scentsy flameless candle business. I had never heard of this company until I began looking at party-plan companies and realized that I had a Scentsy flameless candle in my front room.

Adapting this business form to genealogy is a natural extension of the needs of the genealogical community. One of the major challenges for a significant number of potential family historians and genealogists, it adapting to the rapidly changing technology. Where do you go for one-on-one support for moving from a paper based genealogy to computers and software? The answer comes through establishing a support system of family history consultants that work with small groups and individuals to help them and teach them the basics of genealogy in a non-threatening home-based gathering.

Let's face it, many of the genealogists are retired, older people with limited incomes. These are the people who can benefit from this type of business plan.

The main difference with Celebrating Family History is the motivation and the need. Here is a quote from Holly Hansen, the founder of Celebrating Family History:
You can develop a love for family history and you can give your family members the same kinds of skills and understanding Holly’s grandmother shared with her through Celebrating Family History at home. 
Family History Heals 
Family history heals on so many levels. It brings great joy to the aged. It brings excitement to the researcher as each new layer of family is discovered. It helps each of us gain a better understanding of who we are and how we got to where we are today! Holly said, “Family history is the reason I am who I am and the reason I love to share the joy of research with everyone I can.”
The concept here is to have groups gather with a resource consultant. Of course, the program will have products and the basic product will be the "Celebrating my Family Tree" program that is presently certified for FamilySearch Family Tree access. The program is powered by Ancestral Quest but the emphasis of the program is support from the consultants for installation and further education on the program and genealogy in general. Other family history related products will help support the basic educational aims of the business.

It will be interesting to see how this concept evolves. You should be aware that Celebrating Family History is associated with Family History Expos and I am an associate of both organizations.

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