Friday Feature Mumpreneurs: Samantha & Louise Leah
Beautiful Fairy Photo books specialises in creating customised and premium quality photo books and keepsakes. Our motto is ‘Sprinkle your memories with magic’, as we aim to capture the preciousness of everyday life by using beautiful graphics and printing our work with professional print companies.
Beautiful Fairy is named after my sister in law and business partner Louise’s first child Ella. Ella was born sleeping at 21 weeks. A friend who had lost her daughter suggested to Louise that she try digital scrapbooking to help her through the grieving process. When Louise lost her second child James as a result of a cord accident at 38 weeks, digital scrapbooking became an important tool for sharing her baby boy with us. During the year following James’ birth, Louise worked on her memory album while I created a pregnancy album of my second child. We shared our digital creations through email and online chat. Our albums became more than just a collection of happy snaps- they were a powerful medium for sharing our hopes, dreams and fears. It was during this time that we began discussing the idea of creating premium albums for others who did not have the time to make their own.
Our business beginnings may seem very sad, but to us it just seemed natural to honour the children and the role they had in creating a passion in both of us and helping us form a very strong friendship. We have a perspective that others perhaps do not have, and believe very strongly in the magic to be found in everyday life. The years of your life spent raising children are very intense, and stressful, and at times it is hard to stop and take it all in. We hope to help people pause and reflect on their lives and take in all the amazing everyday moments.
I also have an honours degree in history, and have spent countless hours in archives looking over accounts, letters and diaries from everyday people. Every single word was crucial to me and my research. I really notice how much of our lives are not being recorded. People keep blogs, not diaries, they IM or email instead of writing a letter. Our lives are digitally recorded. Closing a Facebook account or a hard drive failure can mean every memory you have is lost. This obsession to record our lives for posterity is a massive driver for us. We have an information pack for interested people and along with product information we include sheets with ideas for recording memories. If someone cannot go ahead with an album, our hope is that they will still take the time to make notes and back up their photos.
Beautiful Fairy has been running as a business for about 18 months now. I began putting the basic administrative side of the business together as Louise worked her way through her first six weeks of motherhood with her beautiful daughter Chloe. Working on it every day is an absolute joy. We love our work. We love the challenge of creating something bigger from our ‘hobby’. We also thrive on the role we have as memory keepers. When someone looks at our work, contacts us and hands over their most treasured memories, asking us to create a keepsake for them... it is an honour and a privilege that we take very seriously.