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11/30/2003 - Memories By Design Blasts Off

ince Memories By Design moved into the Terabyte Triangle almost a year and a half ago, business has grown nearly 500%, and they have expanded their headquarters in the Courtyard Office Center twice. They've also become an international company. In addition, they have more than doubled their staff. "We're on course to duplicate this growth in the coming year," says Dan Womach, President and CEO. Womach and Barbara Gustin, Vice President, are the principals at Memories By Design.

Memories By Design creates software and allied services for the funeral industry. The product and service most responsible for the success of Memories By Design is the Memory Keepsake Suite of software. The Keepsake Designer software provides the digital assets for a full video production of a custom made Memory Keepsake DVD, celebrating the life of the deceased. Each production combines photographs of the deceased with music, scenery, custom design, and text. The DVD is designed for viewing at funeral services and visitations, and then becomes a treasured keepsake for the family.

When creating a Memory Keepsake Video, the family of the deceased looks through the family pictures and makes their selections. The funeral director then scans and e-mails the images to Memories By Design. The technicians prepare the video, and send it back, via the Internet, to the funeral home. The funeral director produces the DVD in house and is allowed to create additional DVD and VHS copies. "It's healing for the family to look through the photographs and remember happy times," says Gustin. "We are now creating over six hundred Memory Keepsakes every month." Memories By Design guarantees a 12-hour turn around time. According to Womach, some funeral directors make sure every service has a "memories" video. Now funeral directors are contacting them for the service.

Sending videos with pictures, sound, and text around the world demands high-speed and bandwidth. With Memories By Design's tremendous growth, bandwidth has become a larger issue. They are planning for more bandwidth and redundancy at their suite in the Courtyard. The bandwidth is available in the Terabyte Triangle, getting it in a scalable and affordable way is the challenge. "In our business, we absolutely can not be down," says Womach, "so we have to have redundancy."

Memories By Design is branching out into other industries, and they will create keepsakes directly for an individual customer. They will create videos featuring weddings or any other occasion that arises. Christmas gift videos are another possibility. It's an idea for the loved one who seems to "have everything." They fit these video productions into the interstices between memorial service productions. The client may send photos by e-mail or regular mail depending on the desired turn around time.

"This is the only job I've ever had that's really fun," declares Womach. "Memories By Design can provide this special thing and make a living at the same time." Memories By Design draws its technical staff from local colleges and universities. The employees get to use their special talents, receive a "family wage," and they don't have to move to another city for employment in their field.

For more information, go to:

Billie Morelands
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