In this episode Jess talks with Kris Ledonne who is the owner and CEO of Reminiscence by Kris LeDonne, a company that helps individuals organize and convert their photo and video memories into digital formats. Kris shares her journey from being a public school music teacher to launching her own business, and how she identified an opportunity to help people struggling with their vast collection of memories. She also discusses her passion for building relationships and creating a community of learners, while emphasizing the importance of being a third party to help clients with their pain points.
-There is value in building relationships and it’s so important to be relational creatures.
-Building relationships is key to serving customers
-You can learn more about your customers by asking about their pain and what matters to them.
-It’s great to create a community of people going through a learning process together and sharing what they’ve learned while having fun.
Contact our guest:
Grab my freebie and a free online workshop to Tidy Up Your Camera Roll at: https://linkin.bio/krisreminisce
Jessica Weaver 0:01
Hello, welcome to Women behind the millions. I am Jessica Weaver, wealth advisor, Best Selling Author and founder of the Women’s Wealth Boutique. And we have one of my dear friends Kris Ledonne with us today. She is founder of reminiscence. And let me share a little bit about Kris with you before she comes on here. She specializes in transforming photo and video memories from chaos. Yes, those of you like myself who have 1000s of pictures and videos on our phones and albums in our basements, attics, closets, right? All of that into a streamline system and creating these beautiful albums, displays, helping people take their past, reminisce with them in the past, and also figure out what they want to bring with them into their future. She helps people who are stressed like me, overwhelmed, worried we want to preserve these precious memories, special times that we have, these moments. But how can we use technology today so that we can use them, visit them more and more and share them with our families, with our friends with our communities as well. And she’s all about relationships, she really is. So thank you, Kris, for being on women behind the millions with us today. Thank you for being here.
Kris Ledonne 1:24
Thank you so much for letting me share your space Jessica. It’s such an honor.
Jessica Weaver 1:29
Oh, that’s such a good word that you use- space, because that’s how I feel you are able to hold so much care, love, space for the people that you work with and going through their past. And just to be able to really be there in the moment with them. You’ve helped so many out, my family clients, people we know and love. And they all say it’s such a joy to work with you.
Kris Ledonne 1:56
Thank you, you are so kind and it’s a mutual feeling. You’ve looked into my past with me and helped me make better financial choices because you allow me to be vulnerable with you. So I think we share a lot of the same space.
Jessica Weaver 2:13
We do. And I share this a lot. This just popped into my mind. One year for Christmas, I did not know what to get my mother and my brother in law. And I got them gift cards to work with Kris and I was in the hospital and I’m trying to remember if this was, I was having horrible contractions with my son. And I was sitting there and its right around Christmas time. And my father sends me a digital version of a video and it was a compilation of all of our Christmases. Christmas mornings when we would walk down our stairs, go into the living room, we turn the corner and we would see all the presents under the tree. I’m gonna get emotional about this. And there I am little Jessica, my big brother John. And I hear my grandmother’s voice who has been gone for several years now since what 2006 is when she passed away. I hear my grandmother’s voice and her laughing at what a ridiculous sight. Like, oh, yeah, this big bold voice and laughing at how ridiculous the whole scene was. And here I am having contractions with my son- talk about being vulnerable. Right? The hospital gown on no bra like right, just a mess. And I just start crying and laughing at the same time. And that’s what you’re able to do. It’s amazing.
Kris Ledonne 3:38
Yeah, that’s why I named my company reminiscence, I’m just, I’m addicted to that you know that when you can go back to a memory and just relive it. A happy memory, a special one and share it with somebody you love. And then it just brings that energy back to now. And the bonding that takes place with somebody you’re already close to. Just on a deeper level. That is actually the sharing. Yeah, yeah.
Jessica Weaver 4:11
That’s huge and at a time we need that connection more than ever, we can feel so isolated and alone. And even with though we have social media, so we’re more connected than ever. In the same way we feel the most disconnected.
Kris Ledonne 4:26
Yes, yes. Yeah. We’re not immune to isolation, we’re not. And when we can utilize, celebrate, marinate in the best parts of our story. It’s just it’s a reminder, like, oh, tap on the shoulder. I’m right here. I’m your I’m your life. I’m your story. I’m your I’m your memories. I’m your loved ones. I’m hugging you again. You know? It’s powerful stuff.
Jessica Weaver 4:56
Oh, I love that. What got you into this business and wanting to and you have your own company, you have your own firm. What got you into this? It’s so unique. And what a perfect time too as we become more and more digital. How can we share these things?
Kris Ledonne 5:13
So digital has given me my my fair share of challenges too. But let me see if I can give you the short version. My business has been through several metamorphosis.
Jessica Weaver 5:25
So it’s evolving,
Kris Ledonne 5:29
Right, I’m a former music teacher, public school music teacher. And at the time, I was married and expecting our first baby, when somebody invited me to a scrapbooking party. And I and I was like, I’ve got all these honeymoon, pictures, all these things that I would love to have in a book. And I kept saying, no, no, no, no, it’s not a good time. Oh, now we’re, we’re selling our house, we’re gonna be moving. You know, timing is everything right? But bottom line, it was a summer, a week of my my summer vacation as a teacher. And I sat down with a card table, and a stack of photos. And I made an album. And I just fell in love with that feeling. And all I wanted to do was show it to people. And and people were like, This is really cool. Your pages tell the story. I don’t have to sit prisoner while you narrate everything. They liked that the book told the stories, and I’ve been told I’m good at journaling and words. I love words, okay. So that that was the starting point of making it a business, learning that some people want the album but don’t have the bandwidth to make it even if they wanted to, they just can’t deal with it. So a lot of learning, you know, the teacher in me had to become the one willing to do it for the client. And that was a learning position. And then I worked for a direct sales company, and I sold the products and I taught the classes and the workshops. And that was fun. And then the teaching career started to tank when my position was eliminated. But I had seniority and I was put in a very awkward position to choose whose job I wanted to take. Because I had seniority and they and they didn’t even say what the jobs were, they were saying, Are you going to take his job, his job or her job?
Jessica Weaver 7:24
Wow. Oh, that’s a horrible position to be in Kris.
Kris Ledonne 7:27
As a tenured teacher, I knew, you know, I was seasoned enough in life to know you don’t treat people that way. And so that was the kick in the pants that it took for me to leave a career that really wasn’t about teaching anymore. It was more about politics and marching orders.
Jessica Weaver 7:45
I hate when that happens. They take the passion right out of it.
Kris Ledonne 7:49
Yeah, well it was very painful. It was very painful. But I went home, talked to my husband, I said, this is this is my chance, let’s see if a passion can be an income for me. And that began the journey of I quit my job and and started to build a team and direct sales taught me a lot of things. And then all of a sudden, everything was digital. And people were stuck with analog and they were stuck with digital and they’re saying what about my, my VHS tapes? Can…what about my wedding videos? What about the baby videos? What can you do and you know, life just offered me different opportunities, working with different companies, different brands, and then when the last one decided to follow the direct sales division of what they were doing, I had already received an arsenal of skills and know-how to do this myself. So somebody I’ve done some coaching with said to me, Kris, you could just do this yourself. So I literally the next day, looked up how to register an LLC and launched my business. And so instead of working for somebody else’s name I chose the name that felt the most true to my heart- reminiscence.
Jessica Weaver 9:04
So it truly is your baby. It’s amazing how I find this happening all the time. God will intentionally close doors or unravel pieces of your life, relationships, jobs, duties, yes, until you get into that alignment because it was always meant to be yours. It really was, right? That company you worked for before they didn’t have the passion, the heart the skill that you really do have.
Kris Ledonne 9:33
You know, sometimes I tell myself It hurts when something that you think is really good for you goes away. Oh sure, but But what really hurts is when you’re holding on too tightly to it when it’s time to release it and see what else can come in.
Jessica Weaver 9:51
That’s beautiful. When it’s time to surrender and let go we always hear law of attraction, law of the universe right? Don’t be too attached, holding on and you’re saying that I picture you know, holding on to a car being dragged in the mud and just letting Go.
Kris Ledonne 10:07
Exactly, exactly if I let go then I won’t fall in the mud.
Jessica Weaver 10:12
It’s not as painful. Not as many scars, dirt. Yeah, yeah, all of that. And you really have watching you, you’ve been on this huge personal growth journey at the same time, do you think you would be on that journey if it wasn’t for your business?
Kris Ledonne 10:29
I don’t think it would be. It’s a collection of things. And my business definitely offers me the platform and the freedom to do the learning that I feel called to do, rather than the learning that is decided by an administrator or decided by, you know, somebody else, and there’s nothing, there’s nothing wrong with being employed by somebody, I don’t mean to discourage or say anything disparaging to somebody in those positions, who who appreciates what they have, and everybody has something to appreciate, by the way. But, but this put me in, in waters that change. And when the tides change, instead of latching on to somebody’s, someone else’s boat, I have to figure out how to change and adapt with those tides and, and beautiful things come to me because I’m out there.
Jessica Weaver 11:25
I love that- beautiful things come to me, they just come- like a money magnet, money just comes to me, beautiful things come to me. And it is fascinating to see so many times, right? The rug has been ripped out from under you and you had to pivot very quickly, right? The next day, you are looking up how to register this, whereas so many people just be like, Okay, I gotta figure this out, I’m just gonna sit here, I’m gonna wait it through. But you, you took the risk? Quite a bit, a few times you took a risk, to keep going, to push through and to see, where’s my where’s the new path? This path is closed. Where’s the new path? To take it, which it really is amazing to see and witness. And I am curious how this also coincides with your work and dealing with everybody’s past. You are in a way you’re meeting with people in the present moment. But in the past, you’re combining both realities at once. And there are memories that we keep so in the front of our mind, because of that emotional attachment. So no matter what, the past is emotional to us.
Kris Ledonne 12:39
Jessica Weaver 12:40
How are you able to also help people kind of move through their past and to figure out how much of the of their daily life do they want to be stuck in their past? Does that make sense? Am I asking
Kris Ledonne 12:52
No, no, no, no, I’m there with you. It’s, there’s no one answer for everybody. And it starts with listening. And if if if I come in with a product that I want to sell to them, and I don’t know anything about them, then I’m not serving anybody. I’m wasting my breath. I’m wasting my time. I don’t. I am a relationship girl. You’ve said you said it earlier, my introduction. And thank you for that that was so heartfelt. It’s where it’s more about, we’re relational creatures. Yes, we’re relational creatures. And I don’t know the first thing about you until I do this. And I listen. I listen to you. So asking people, What matters to them? And what what’s their pain? Being the third party, I wasn’t part of that family story. I have a more objective perspective.
Jessica Weaver 13:50
Oh, that’s true. Yeah.
Kris Ledonne 13:52
And so it doesn’t mean that your memories are less important to me, it means I have the advantage of speed when it comes to suggesting better solutions. I have a dear a mutual friend of ours down in North Carolina, who had two bins of old photos and frames and albums and stuff that’s pre digital that wasn’t serving her and making her feel guilty because it was sitting in her storage room.
Jessica Weaver 14:22
Oh my gosh, how many people can relate to that? Yes, yes, exactly.
Kris Ledonne 14:26
So she went to the UPS store, packed it all up, shipped it to me. I’m just going to go through and I’m going to see what’s garbage, what’s not, what’s duplicates, what’s not, and then review with her. Because decisions are a little bit easier for me when I am not caught up in my reminiscing. It’s just a fresher perspective. I am not in the business of destroying memories. But I am in the business of illuminating and highlighting the good stuff. Because isn’t it true- what we focus on is what grows.
Oh, man, I was reading an Instagram, right? Focus on happiness, happiness grows, focus on shit, shit grows.
Yes it does. And you said last week, but yes definite too literally.
Jessica Weaver 15:17
And it’s interesting. I was just on with my business coach who you work with as well, Brittany, and we’re talking about celebration and when was the last time you celebrated yourself and this is a this is reminding me of that moment is to, as you said, illuminate to bring back to life these amazing memories, to celebrate them. To celebrate yourself.
Kris Ledonne 15:41
It’s important to celebrate. And it’s really satisfying when you share that celebration. That’s why parties aren’t one person. They’re groups of people. Yeah, I mean,
Jessica Weaver 15:55
It’s good to have our alone time but
Kris Ledonne 15:57
Yes, private celebrations are equally important. But you know, when when when it’s a milestone when it’s a graduation, when it’s an anniversary? It’s It’s usually more than one person, right? Yes. And that’s where the bonding comes in. And yeah celebrating.
Jessica Weaver 16:15
That’s a great point, Kris, it’s also a transfer of energy. When there’s more people in a room and you meditate or you’re celebrating there’s a huge transfer of energy where you’re all elevating at a higher energy now.
Kris Ledonne 16:31
Yes, yes. Yes.
Jessica Weaver 16:33
I didn’t even think about that- sharing memories, how that could do it as well.
Kris Ledonne 16:37
Absolutely. And you know what, we have the right to edit our past. You don’t have to make things up that didn’t happen. But you can choose to elevate the parts that are meaningful that you bring forward.
Jessica Weaver 16:51
Oh, I was gonna say, Yeah, let’s talk about this editing your past. Okay. Now, yes, we always say, right, this story is defining me I was neglected, I was abused, right? Horrible things happened to me growing up, and that’s what tends to hold a grasp on ourselves, right? We’re trying to get rid of it, but it just has this grasp on us. Right. So how can we then edit our past? So that it’s not on It’s almost like this, this burden on our back everywhere we go.
Kris Ledonne 17:23
So maybe I maybe oversimplified I would, I would tend to say edit how you perceive the past. So if there’s an abuse story, that doesn’t mean you can erase it from your history. It means what did I, what could I learn from this that helps me grow? And I’ve identified what I don’t want. Now let’s use that process of elimination to find what we do want.
Jessica Weaver 17:54
Yes, I got you.
Kris Ledonne 17:56
So there are racial stories and tensions that are very painful to for people to relive. There are abuse stories, there are war, stories of strife, that I’m not going to list the whole, you know, but loss, grief, pain comes in many different flavors. But when we rehearse that story of pain and hurt, and we practice it, and we preach it and we we perpetuate more of that. But what I’m suggesting is that UPS box, choose the very best parts to digitize and pay forward. And and enjoy. Yeah, yeah, I mean, quick question
Jessica Weaver 18:44
Kris Ledonne 18:44
Jess, in the digital age- how many photos would you say you take let’s say, okay, first day of school pictures?
Jessica Weaver 18:54
Kris Ledonne 18:55
Is it just one?
Jessica Weaver 18:58
No, like 50 because it’s so easy, right?
Kris Ledonne 19:01
Jessica Weaver 19:02
I’ll take multiple pictures. And then I can it’s so easy, then I can delete If I want to.
Kris Ledonne 19:07
You can. We can delete them because taking a picture doesn’t cost us anything, right? Yes. But it does cost us time. If over time, we’re not letting go of that. And we need to just you know, all of a sudden you’re like fishing through all the weeds to find the flower.
Jessica Weaver 19:29
Yes. I hear ya Kris. You got me there
Kris Ledonne 19:33
No, no, no, no, I was just saying, for example, I’m not pointing fingers.
Jessica Weaver 19:37
It’s true, though. Because then you go through your phone. You’re like, why do I still have the 10 pictures from the first day of school? Yeah. When I really only liked maybe one of them. And it’s also posted on Facebook, its in tinybean, so I have other ways to get to the pictures if I really needed to
Kris Ledonne 19:53
So why did you take 50 photos? Let’s go there for a sec.
Jessica Weaver 19:58
Um, well, honestly because my daughter has a very awkward smile, so I need to wait for the genuine smile.
Kris Ledonne 20:04
Okay, there’s that. Okay? So you want you want to give her something, the best you can to enjoy going forward and to share right? But is there an emotion behind that?
Jessica Weaver 20:16
Its probably me holding on to her a little bit longer. I didn’t even think about it until you just said that. But being in that moment with her a little bit longer before she gets on to that bus.
Kris Ledonne 20:27
Right. Well, do you love your daughter?
Jessica Weaver 20:29
I love my daughter.
Kris Ledonne 20:30
Yeah. Okay. There aren’t enough words to describe the depth of that love Right?
Jessica Weaver 20:35
Kris Ledonne 20:36
So it’s an expression of love, taking a photo of somebody you love. Those are the legacy moments
Jessica Weaver 20:45
Love that, the legacy moments.
Kris Ledonne 20:47
Yeah, for sure. So when I, when I’ve used the term legacy maker, I like to wear that title. That’s that’s that, you know, your queen crown. I like to wear the legacy maker crown. Yeah. Because I’m not making your legacy. I’m just archiving, cataloging, protecting and serving it up on a platter that you can actually enjoy. And then working with Brittany, I had a huge aha, many, but the one I’m going for right now is that when I have the privilege of helping somebody preserve their legacy, serve it up to them, they become a piece of my legacy.
Jessica Weaver 21:35
Wow, that is very true. I can see that I can visualize it. And, you know, part of why we want to have you on here is talking about that legacy. Yeah. And as, as us women chasing the millions, right building, building an impact, building a legacy. But the problem is, we’re so focused on the next steps, right? We want five year goals done in three days, we forget to celebrate ourselves, we forget to look at the legacy we’ve already built. That’s where you come into play, right, we’re able to look at where we were a year ago, five years, 10 years ago, to where we are today. That’s a huge part of our story.
Kris Ledonne 22:18
It is it is, and I’m reading a book, The Gap in the Game. It’s not a new one, have you heard of it?
Jessica Weaver 22:25
I haven’t. But it sounds really good.
Kris Ledonne 22:27
You can get it on Audible too, if you’re reading too many at once. And they say it’s all about staying positive and choosing the positive mindset versus the negative mindset. That’s a really grossly oversimplification, not nearly as elegant as the writing. But one of the one of the bits of advice that really resonates with me is measuring your success backwards, instead of forwards. And that ties into the celebration, right? So if I say to myself, where was I a year ago? Wow, I learned how to speed read. I cut eight inches off my hair. I I launched my daughter successfully in her first year of college, my other daughter danced alongside of professionals and I moved to Chicago to make it happen for a month. And, and now we’re looking at our next chapters when both girls have launched and are very excited about so look at all the things that have unfolded in a year’s time. So measuring back isn’t staying stuck in the past. It’s a practice of celebration and gratitude for how far we’ve come. And when we’re feeling full of gratitude, that feeds our motivation. And that’s like wind in the sails heading towards your next goal , Right? Next steps. So yeah, that’s a whole lot of books all in one conversation right there.
Jessica Weaver 24:02
Amen, though, you’re saying that like, so much can happen in a year and we had this conversation a lot with our advisors. I’m like, look at where you were a year ago, this wasn’t even on your radar, joining the woman’s wealth boutique, it wasn’t even on my radar to create it a year ago and look how much happened. And then its neat to see a year from now, who am I? And who am I becoming? And it’s such a cool practice where you almost can be the year before current and then a year forward and almost be able to embody it all
Kris Ledonne 24:36
Jessica Weaver 24:37
it’s amazing. So to me, you are that bridge, right? From the present, to the past you are that bridge of everybody’s growth, everybody’s journey in a way.
Kris Ledonne 24:47
Thank you. Or at least let me be the signs on the bridge. You know, because we all have to walk our own journey, we have to drive our own roads. But if you don’t mind me just – You know how things come full circle, like, we are a product of all of our life experiences and all of our life lessons. And, you know, my days in the classroom in the public schools, were not all bad. There were so many good lessons and so many skills that this ADHD adult developed to help me organize and, and my executive functioning skills, I know how to work with them, because I, I learned it as a teacher as an educator. And so full circle is this course that I’m working on now. That, do you mind me plugging a little bit?
Jessica Weaver 25:39
Please do. And I love moments when things come full circle. So I’m all in.
Kris Ledonne 25:43
So I chose a new classroom because I love working one on one with my clients. But not all my clients can actually sit in my living room or in my workshop, and I can’t all necessarily be in their home unless they want to plan a trip, you know, fly me to them, that’s fine. And I, I’m open to that universe anyway, because I love travel. My point is, I chose a new classroom, and it’s a virtual classroom. And after two decades, I realize this is my 20th anniversary. I’ve worked with people’s memories for 20 years now. You know, in the different stages, of course. And I didn’t realize I was developing a system through the whole process. And so now the teacher wrote a curriculum. And it’s a curriculum I titled Digital peace, because it’s a piece of what I teach. But it’s because one of the most common complaints I get from clients, private clients is my photos are everywhere. I don’t get all this technology, it’s in too many places. I’m so overwhelmed. I take a picture, and it’s lost. It just goes in this thing. And I don’t know how to get it back again, I missed the days of holding my pictures again, that’s, you know, or, or the adult children saying my parents are just so they’re downsizing, and they need help. Please help
Jessica Weaver 27:08
Oh sure Boxes, closets full of stuff.
Kris Ledonne 27:12
And some people want to do it themselves. And some people have the bandwidth. They just don’t know how. So long story short, I’m writing this curriculum, I’m launching a course by the time your podcast is live, it will be in progress. And it’s called Digital peace. And it’s to take away the stress and the worry of photo and video clutter.
Jessica Weaver 27:34
Everywhere. It’s true, or I see people let me show you this picture of my grandchild or my kid. Like, I can’t figure out where it is.
Kris Ledonne 27:42
Yeah. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Give me 10 more minutes I’ll find it. Give me 10 more minutes, I’ll find it. You know?
Jessica Weaver 27:48
I gotta go. You’re like, try nicely to bail out. But no, it happens all the time. I have, everybody has it.
Kris Ledonne 27:55
Yeah, yeah. So part of my part of my teaching approach in this course, is, is pre recorded. And I have downloadable materials so that you can go at your own pace, but I’m also implementing a live call aspect to it.
Jessica Weaver 27:58
I love that there is that there’s a live call, you can ask questions in real time
Kris Ledonne 28:16
Yes, in real time. And we can record them and share them. But there’ll be a community that’s built as people are going through the process together and sharing what they’ve learned. And we’re going to have fun, like sharing games and things like that, keep it on task. And and measuring back is going to be the wind in the sails of look how much you’ve learned in just one day. Look how much you’ve learned, just making that one decision is the difference between having this fixed and not, you know, so I got I got bucket loads of optimism and insights based on not just fluff, but progress that humans make every day and they don’t necessarily see their progress. I’m going to hold up that mirror so they can see- look how far you’ve come. And so I’m very excited to have that that relationship as a teacher with students again, but the students who are not assigned to me the students who choose to be in my classroom.
Jessica Weaver 29:19
I love that theres a community so you have that sharing of energy and where you’re not isolated and alone in your basement with your pictures. There’s that camaraderie that you really need to keep pushing you through it. The Accountability, the sharing, the celebration, all of that comes with a community. We’re all about community here. Absolutely amazing. So where can people find you Kris, the course, how to work with you, follow you, because you do have amazing social media presence, where can people go?
Kris Ledonne 29:50
So my handle on social is Kris reminisce and I’m Kris with a K, and my website is my name krisledonne.com and so if you want to put that in the show notes I’ll give you links or whatever and my website you can you can go to the Learn tab to find out about digital peace and where we are in the launch because it is going to be launching a couple times and just because I’m gonna constantly be refining it, you know, the best teachers are students too.
Jessica Weaver 30:19
We are both big proponents of always learning.
Kris Ledonne 30:23
Jessica Weaver 30:24
Always learning that’s where I get my inspiration. That’s where I get my creative Mojo is learning, reading, talking with people like you
Kris Ledonne 30:32
Well it’s it’s mutual. We have a really wonderful exchange and I’m grateful
Jessica Weaver 30:37
Me too Kris thank you so much for being on women behind the millions, thank you to those of you listening, watching the recordings, the replay, thank you all so much for your support and thank you Kris for spending some time with us today and reminiscing a little bit. That was so much fun
Kris Ledonne 30:52
That was! Thank you so much Jess.
Jessica Weaver 30:54