Today Carrie shares with us her home-based business in holy cards and keepsakes. Inspired by a gift shop in Rome, she now personalizes vintage holy cards for Holy Communions, weddings, and more.
Tell us about yourself.
I am Carolyn McDowell and received the nickname “Carrie” from my friends my freshman year in high school Oh! so many years ago. It stuck so that’s what I call myself!
I’m married for 27 years to my husband who is retiring from the Navy next year after 24 years of service. Born on Long Island in New York, I’ve lived in many places before landing here in Southern California: I grew up in San Jose in California, New Jersey, Connecticut, and then Florida, Virginia, and the island of Sicily before Southern California. We have 3 living adult children.
One of our adult daughters passed away last year very tragically in a car accident in Arizona and we have adopted and are raising her 3 children. Our beautiful granddaughters ages 12, 11, and 10 keep us very busy! We are a home schooling family for 20+ years and continue on with the girls. We are Latin mass supporters for over 20 years and are registered at an FSSP parish.
What do you make?
About 20 years ago a friend of mine had some personalized holy cards made for her daughter who was receiving her First Holy Communion. I remember thinking how wonderful it was to have this keepsake not only for her daughter, but for guests attending this milestone event. The holy card had the child’s name, date, and a simple prayer on the back side. I thought it was a lovely idea and hoped I’d remember when our children received sacraments from that day forward.
Well, life happened and we moved around with the Navy and I forgot all about it. But one day when we lived in Sicily and were traveling around Rome, we went into a shop on the pedestrale near Vatican City and saw a package of 100 blank holy cards with an image of Jesus with a chalice in His hands surrounded by lovely flowers.
I immediately remembered those personalized First Holy Communion cards I’d admired all those years ago and decided to purchase the blank cards to make for the next sacramental milestone for one of our own children. Then we moved back to the states and the cards were packed away and forgotten.
One day in 2009 I found them and worked hard to figure out a way to personalize them for our eldest granddaughter’s First Holy Communion. It took some time, (I’m not a computer wizard but an extreme hit and miss, trial and error computer user), but the mission was accomplished.
They weren’t perfect, but when she handed them out on her special day, many complimented the personalization and it was then we thought to share Keepsakes with everyone!
We customize the back side of the image chosen with information provided by the customer so each person’s order is personal to them. The cards come in microperforated sheets of 8 cards per sheet. We print, separate the cards, and laminate them for preservation to last a lifetime. Baptism, First Holy Communion, Engagement with an engagement prayer for the bride and groom, Holy Matrimony, Remembrance for deaths and miscarriages, Enthronement Keepsakes, Birth Announcements, Name day cards,… These are just a few occasions for which we’ve personalized prayer cards.
Do You Do Anything Else?
In addition to personalizing prayer cards, I am also an Independent Consultant with Lilla Rose. Lilla Rose specializes in quality hair accessories such as clips, bobby pins, hair sticks, hair pins, and badge clips.
Contact and Social Links:
Email: keepsakes.by.cm (@) gmail.com
My Lilla Rose Email: carrie.the.consultant(@) gmail.com