Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's Time For Change

We have some really big changes coming soon! Please read so you are aware of these changes. :)



After talking to someone I highly respect and consider a good friend (who also runs a memorial keepsake store and organization), I've decided to separate the two. This will not be a complete separation, it's just I miss the IAAMTAA Facebook page being for support. Let me explain...

 First of all, I want our Facebook page to be comforting, supportive, uplifting, encouraging, and all the good things it can be. It already is all of these things but sometimes these things get overshadowed. I do not want someone coming for support and thinking, "This isn't a support page after all just a business". I get talked down to a LOT for asking people to not post order questions on our wall and for deleting them. I have no shame in admitting that I delete order questions, good or bad, from our wall. I do that because I don't want our wall to be nothing but post and conversations about orders. I want our wall to be people seeking and receiving support. I don't want someone to post seeking support and be missed because there are 5 other post surrounding hers regarding orders. I realize that with everything being completely together it's hard to have it both ways. The change should help out with that issue.

Second of all, it would be better for tax/legal reasons. I've looked into becoming a registered 501c3 over the last year. I never expected IAAMTAA to get so large and it just grows bigger everyday. Registering as a 501c3 takes a lot of time and money. Even though being a registered 501c3 would help me out tremendously in the money aspect... to me this isn't about money and it's not worth it anyway if it cost more money than I can afford. The person I talked to (that I mentioned above) told me that for her it was better to just separate the two. Her memorial keepsake store is registered as a business (and ran as one too) and she pays business taxes, but it still funds her organization. This keeps the IRS happy and when asked she can still honestly say, "The keepsake store funds my organization". I'm following her advice and her lead. While I've never pulled in enough money on IAAMTAA to be required to file taxes, it's still better safe than sorry. I'm admittedly dumb when it comes to taxes, but at the same time terrified of the IRS. I had another great friend who has a famously known business look up the tax laws for me and walk me through filing taxes for a business. I'm confident that I understand it now and can make sure things are done the right way. Thank God for good friends!

The memorial keepsake store has always been named "In Memory Boutique" on the store app so I will stick with that name for our keepsake store unless anyone gives me a better name idea. The organization will still remain named at I Am A Mother To An Angel. Everything will mainly stay the same, just the store will have it's own Facebook page instead of being one in the same as IAAMTAA. At the same time it will still be considered a part of IAAMTAA.


What does this mean?
It means that while I may still share post about deals, specials, sales, and new items in our keepsake store... it will have it's own Facebook page. The keepsake store app will remain on the website and IAAMTAA fanpage, so it's not completely being separated, but will still make things better overall.

Will the keepsake store still be nonprofitable?
Yes, while it be be ran like a business and be registered as a business officially, it will still fund things at IAAMTAA. However, neither one will be called a non-profit because neither one is a 501c3.

When will this happen?
I'd like to get better caught up on pending orders before investing a lot of time in creating the new Fanpage for the keepsake store. As soon as I get more ordered shipped and out the door I will start work on making the changes.


In Memory Boutique Improvements
(We've all got to get use to seeing it called that instead of the IAAMTAA store)

There will be changes solely to the way the keepsake store is ran. I will be doing ready to ship items only for the most part. It may limit the items I can offer because that means no more preorders and no more personalized items for your angels. It's a really hard decision for me (one I have cried over) because I think having things with our angel's names on them is a priceless treasure. I feel like I'm being forced to this choice by people who get mad at me and jump to calling me a "scammer" when things get behind. I need to make changes to cut down my wait times, make things easier to catch up on in the event something does go wrong at home (getting sick etc), and overall make responsible decisions as a business owner since this is now officially a business.

I've always been bad about getting behind on everything that I have ever done. The main reason for that is taking on way too much. I mean let's face it: taking over 70 orders on handmade personalized name bracelets last October, while on bed-rest, and less than 2 months away from my duedate with my rainbow baby was not the brightest idea. That caused so many problems that I didn't think about when taking them. I should have never taken that many orders on something handmade and especially not so close to my due-date when I was already on bed rest. Originally the offer was for the first 20, but people kept begging me to do more and telling me how it wasn't fair to only do 20. How could I turn these people down who wanted these things for their angels? I didn't think about how those same people may feel if things in my life caused them to fall far far behind. I'd rather people be upset with me about having to wait to order than to be upset with me about having to wait on their order. It's time to stop spreading myself too thin. Taking a set limit of 20 (for example) orders at a time, fulfilling those orders on time, and then having 20 happy people is much better. I'd rather do that than take 70 orders at a time, get behind on those orders, fulfill them late, and have (for example) 10 or so  people that are unhappy. Again, it's about making responsible choices as a business owner. I've never thought of any of this as a business so it's really hard for me to call it that. Even though it will officially be a business and be treated more like a business, it will never change it's meaning to me. It will still always be something I am doing in memory of my angels to help other families who are grieving. Nothing will ever change that. The mission will remain the same always.


The Story

I've never fully known the purpose of my life. I believe everyone does have a purpose but I've always had a hard time finding out exactly what mine is. I've had a hard life with a lot of tragedy. I think it's all led me to where I should be and I think where I should be is here doing this. I now think my purpose is to help grieving families.

A lot of people know that I have a brother in Heaven. My brother Wade died at just 1 day old. 1 day old. He was born before I was, but I was still brought up to remember my brother and love him even though he was in Heaven. My Papaw and I visited his grave every year on his birthday. We would go to Roy White's Florist in Charlotte, NC which is on 7th Street and my Papaw would let me pick out the flowers. Sometimes if I begged extra hard I'd get to pick out a balloon for him too. We would make the very long drive to Cornelius, NC where my brother Baby Wade (as we always have called him) is buried. Upon arrival, I'd watch my Papaw unload jugs of water, scissors, and his photography equipment. He would use the scissors to cut away any grass that was overgrowing Baby Wade's headstone. Then he would use the water to wash away the Carolina red clay from it. I'd help arrange the flowers and then Papaw would sit at his headstone to talk to him for awhile while I ran around the cemetery visiting my favorite graves. It may sound a little morbid, but it was normal for me and I loved paying my respects to all of the other children who were angels in Heaven. I always thought of them as Baby Wade's friends. After we were both done, my Papaw would set up his tripod and we'd take photos posed with Baby Wade's grave. We'd go to Carolina Cones afterwards for ice cream. It was a tradition to celebrate my brother's life. Even though his life was short it was important. My Papaw taught me to value life no matter how short it was. He taught me the importance of remember a baby gone to soon. He could have never of known I'd one day go through loss myself or how much these life lessons and our tradition of celebrating my brother's birthday would shape who I am today.

Before my own losses, I still offered things for bereaved families. It was important to me since it was important my brother was remembered. I wanted to be sure other little angels were remembered too. For a few years I ran a graphic design site on Myspace. Free graphic offers to anyone who requested. It was fun and simple and I have over 30,000+ people who were there for the ride. Occasionally, I would have special graphic offers just for angel moms. Back then, loss was even more taboo than it is now. There were not as many resources, organizations, or things offered to those who had watch children. I watched angel moms request graphics from other design sites and get rudely turned away. I wanted to make sure my graphic site included angel moms too. I named it All Mommy Talk (AMT) and made it clear that whether your child was in Heaven or on Earth that it was a place for you. Our website had late night live chat that consisted mostly of angel moms. Every night I would stay up all night long chatting with my angel mom members. Even though I was not an angel mom back then I was accepted because everyone knew that I understood, that I didn't judge, and that I supported them. I provided them a place to grieve openly and talk about their angels when there wasn't many other places online that did. Through AMT I was able to gain many online friends and supporters that I still have today. It was how I met my very best friend Lacey who is also now an admin at IAAMTAA. Lacey taught me so many important life lessons (and she still does). I've tried to be by her side and be a true friend as she has traveled through her grief journey over losing her son Landan. Like my Papaw did, she has unknowingly taught me many important life lessons. She raises so much awareness for Meningitis and reaches out to others. She does so while keeping Landan's memory alive. So many people all over the world know about Landan and know his story. So many parents are aware of the signs and symptoms of Meningitis because she brought light to a topic that was in the dark. I think God put placed her into my life not only so that she could be my best friend, but also to help shape me for my true purpose in this world.

I started I Am A Mother To An Angel after my first two losses. For a long time after my first two losses I did not tell anyone. The few people who did know didn't really count it as a loss. After all, at the time there was no awareness for those who had lost their babies to miscarriages. It was hard enough to get people to show understanding to people who had lost an infant like my family or a toddler like Lacey's family. A miscarriage? Why did I have a right to grieve over a miscarriage? Obviously it wasn't a loss right? Eventually I found other women in  my shoes. Women who had miscarriages but were hush hush about it knowing that nobody else would understand or even try to understand. I chatted with them one on one privately and we supported each other in silence. We all were seeking support but didn't really know where to turn. That's when I created the I Am A Mother To An Angel Facebook page. At the time everyone was making these pages named all sorts of things. For example, "That moment when you drop your phone on your face while texting in bed" or "I love cheesy tacos". I never expected anything to "like" my page. I woke up the next morning to find the "likes" growing into the hundreds. I didn't really know what to do. Nobody really knew about my losses. There would be questions! There would be doubts! I would be told I didn't have any angels because miscarriages don't count! At first I lied and said that the page wasn't mine. I told friends and family that it was my friend's page who I was helping. So afraid of being judged over my losses. I was so afraid to come out about my losses. Looking back now it all seems so silly. It wasn't long before it came out that it really was my page and that I had had my miscarriages. It was very hard to expose this secret that only a few people knew about. To go from being alone in my loss to making it public knowledge. When starting IAAMTAA I could have never of known how big it would become and to be honest most days I'm still just making things up as I go. This isn't a profession and it isn't a job. I'm just trying to do good things with good intentions. IAAMTAA may have started out as just another "like" page on Facebook, but I knew as soon as it started growing so quickly that I had to make it into something more. I knew it was my purpose. I knew that it was the meaning of my life. Nothing has ever made as much sense to me. It's like I could feel God nudging me and hear Him saying, "Okay this is it. I've led you here now it's up to you!" We now have the Facebook page, the website, the keepsake store, 5 support group targeting different things, this blog, and are known all around the world for the support that is offered in our ever growing community. The best is still yet to come. IAAMTAA is still very young and so am I. There is so much to learn and you had better believe that I'll make mistakes along the way. I just hope that everyone will be supportive of me, just like I try to be of you, along the way. I hope you all see the good that I'm trying to do. Typing this here today I have 5 little angels in Heaven that I have lost to miscarriage, my angel brother, and my angel niece Scarlette who was taken by SIDS. Everything that I do is done in their memory. I think about my grief and use it to try to provide as much love and support to others that are grieving as I possibly can.


  1. in all honesty, it sounds perfectly reasonable to me. is there a possibility of personalized items in the future.. just on a limited number that can be more easily handled?

  2. Stacy, yes definitely, I plan to take maybe 5-10 orders at a time on occasion depending on what the item is. I'd never completely get rid of personalized things because it is the main thing we are known for and one of the main things people love us for as far as the store goes!

  3. Kerin, I love you and all that you do for us parents that have lost angels. You are a God-Send to us all. I feel that the changes that you are making will make things so much easier and more beneficial for you. I support you and the decisions that you make concerning IAAMTAA!! <3

  4. read every word it will all work out in the end you put so much hard work into everything you do i just know it will all turn out right xx

  5. Kerin, I love you and everything that you do for us parents that have lost angels. I support you in this and any decisions that you make concerning IAAMTAA. I feel that this change will be most beneficial for you and your family. <3

  6. I totally understand your changes and support them 100% I look forward to things to come and feel honored to be apart of it!! Your doing an amazing job!

  7. I think these will be fabulous changes! :)