FOREVER Leads the Way to the Future of Family Memory Keeping
All FOREVER users seem to agree: there’s no better way to preserve your memories. Founded in 2012 by Glen Meakem, FOREVER was new on the scene of memory-keeping, but the company came in strong – with a focused mission and a long-term solution. For people who have been in the memory-keeping community for years, what FOREVER stands for is extremely important, especially considering what they experienced before FOREVER.
Roxanne Buchholz, Vice President of Creative Services at FOREVER, is one of those longtime memory keepers. For 12 years, she has worked professionally in the world of digital memory keeping – from template design and digital art creation to managing teams of artists and developing online design applications. She spent eight of those years with Heritage Makers, a memory focused online printing company.
“I was new to digital memory-keeping, and I thought at the time, Heritage Makers seemed like an awesome platform where I could create, print, and share my family memories,” said Buchholz. While Heritage Makers may have been founded on good principles, the execution fell short. After several years of struggling, Heritage Makers was bought by a larger company whose main businesses had nothing to do with family history or memory keeping. According to Buchholz, “Memory keeping at Heritage Makers was just lost in a sea of dietary supplements and hundreds of other various consumer products.”
“That’s the main thing I value most about FOREVER,” Buchholz said. “Long term memory keeping is our sole focus and purpose.”
At the heart of it all, that’s the thing that many other memory keeping platforms lack: focus. At FOREVER, all efforts are funneled into cloud storage, software applications, conversion services, digital art, printing, and client care – everything clients need to preserve their memories for generations. It’s impossible to do that when an organization is dipping its toes into many other endeavors.
Preserving memories for the future with the ability to transfer them to future generations is also an oversight at many memory-keeping companies. According to Buchholz, “Heritage Makers, like Creative Memories, wants you to do things like upload and print your memories now, in the present, but there is no thought at all given to how to move your digital memories into the future. FOREVER thoroughly understands the digital world and has made meaningful, long-term commitments to its clients. We want everyone’s grandchildren and great grandchildren and beyond to have access to and value these memories. To learn more, people just need to look at the FOREVER Promise and the FOREVER Guarantee.”
Many of the legacy memory-keeping platforms are also built on third party software systems. They do not have their own software development and maintenance teams, and their systems show it. Plus, software like Adobe Flash and Mediaclip (used by Heritage Makers, Creative Memories, and others) have limited shelf lives as announced by the companies that supply them. Some systems are continuously shutting down for weeks at a time and will be fully unsupported at the end of 2020. This means that those digital projects and files will most likely be lost.
Buchholz revealed, “I have already lost many projects as well as digital art at Heritage Makers. Unfortunately, there is no way to export or save your projects in high resolution format. There is no way to print outside their system. There is no way to get your photos back without paying for a DVD or downloading one-by-one. There is no way to preserve your memories for the long term. Yes, you’ll have a printed photo book, but we all know what time, or natural disasters, do to printed projects. The bottom line is that you own nothing.”
Buchholz continued, “With FOREVER, your projects are yours. You own everything in full resolution – photos and files, design projects, and your digital art. All of your data is stored on a secure platform we’ve built from the ground up. Plus, FOREVER will never delete your content due to inactivity or failure to make a purchase every 18 months.”
“FOREVER is by far the best long-term solution, but you don’t know that when you’re trapped in another memory keeping system.”
With all their issues and problems, other platforms are seeing a downward shift in client numbers. But since they do not own their memories and with expiring publishing points, many clients feel held hostage. So, what’s the solution? For Roxanne Buchholz, parting ways is still the best option.
“Whether you stay with them or leave now, your projects are lost in their systems either way,” says Buchholz. “It’s okay to mourn - I believed in Heritage Makers. But I needed to have a clean break and move forward into the future. You can’t continue to invest your time, money, and memories into a company that is not a long-term solution. The cold hard truth is that you are just wasting your energy and your memories are destined to be lost. I would hate to see someone’s passion come to an end because of companies like this, when I know there is a better way – the FOREVER way.”
“It’s hard to trust again. I understand. I have been through the process myself. When you don’t own your digital content, when companies go bankrupt, or are using soon-to-be obsolete application software, how can you trust? At FOREVER, it’s all transparent. We are solely focused on complete memory-keeping and the future of memory keeping.”
At the end of the day, it came down to this for Roxanne: “FOREVER came along and saved me and my memories for my future generations. FOREVER showed me a better way, and I’m never going to look back.”
To learn more about the heart and soul of FOREVER and the vision for the future, be sure to read Founder & CEO Glen Meakem’s book, The Gift of FOREVER.