QUESTION: I had the pleasure of meeting GeneaCreations at RootsTech 2018 (click on image above)! If you, dear reader, have ever attended RootsTech then you may have guess that we didn’t have a lot of time to chat and get to know each other, so I’m very excited to have the opportunity to do so now. First though, Jeannette, have you had a chance to catch your breath from the conference? Every time I walked by the booth you were pretty busy, I hope it was a grand success for you!
ANSWER: Thanks! It was wonderful success. I was a presenter a couple years ago at RootsTech, so I had a little bit of an idea on how to prepare. I have a booths at NGS and FGS. This year went to Burbank Jamboree. I also go to genealogical societies’ annual conferences. I have custom order forms now by the type of shirt customers would like. That helps a lot!
QUESTION: Great! Thanks for sharing our flyers with your visitors, by the way. They sure did seem to fly off the table – or maybe I should say, sail away! I was really taken by the variety of products you had to offer, everything from door magnets to charm bracelets and genealogy focused shirts. What was the item you got the best response from?
ANSWER: My shirts are a big hit! People asked me how I came up with the idea. As I have attended many conferences over the years, they always have shirts that are unisex. I wanted something pretty. I have always loved my rhinestone shirts, so I decided to come up with designs for genealogy. I make rhinestone shirts that are sold in gift shops. My genealogy dresses were new for RootsTech and I think these are going to be very popular.
QUESTION: I have to admit, I’m really pleased with my “Genealogist Happily Lost at Sea” door magnet. It will definitely be getting packed in my bag this coming November. But we should probably get down to business. What inspired you to begin GeneaCreations?
ANSWER: I’m so happy you like your magnet! My mom and I took a Baltic cruise, and this was her idea. She brought the Humane Society magnets to put on our stateroom door and it made it easy to find our room. Other people talked to us about the door and a common interest. I thought with the popularity of genealogy cruises, there might be an interest in decorating their door and be able to use on their fridge, desk or cabinet. A Command Strip works great to hang it on other places too.
Many years ago, Elizabeth Shown Mills mentioned in her presentation about genealogy work being a 3-legged stool. I gave that some thought and decided on my 3-legged stool a little differently than what she discussed. I accept some clients, historical sewing and design for productions, and GeneaCreations. Prior to GeneaCreations, to build the clients to sew for movies and theaters I needed to be a sutler at reenactments. Movie Scouts always attend reenactments. Being in this type of venue requires period-correct showing: Beating rebar through rocky soil to setting wooden posts and a heavy canvas tarp, along with being exposed to the weather. Although I still enjoy attending reenactments, I rarely go to the extreme to display. I found that I can take many of the ideas I had as a sutler to adapt to my other love of genealogy. So it is through my combined 3-legged stool that you might find me dressed in a historical gown or designing a new bling shirt for the next conference.
QUESTION: Your website showcases several types of shirts with sayings and pictures; available embroidered on, printed, or added as bling. There’s a number of sayings and images listed and your embroidered shirts say you have thousands of images you add. With all this selection, I imagine the problem most people have is picking between favorites! For those that aren’t finding the exact shirt they want, though, do you accept custom requests? If so, about how long do those take to receive?
ANSWER: Absolutely! For custom orders, I try to listen to what they like or have in mind and send suggestions based on what will work for the type fabric and how items will stitch or press on that type item. I try to only send 2-3 concepts and if they don’t see what catches their eye, I send a couple more. I am working toward 3-4 weeks for custom orders. But for societies I recommend 6 weeks so they have time to review a picture then a sample. I will also accept customer’s items to add the embroidery, rhinestones or litho print too, as well. But there are specifications for those options.
QUESTION: I noticed that GeneaCreations is “By a Court Research.” Is this another business you own? Would you tell us a little about it?
ANSWER: Yes, A Court Research was the 1st leg. It is court research, I frequent courthouses primarily in Texas, sometimes at Clayton Library. Of course, the occasional cemetery. I enjoy working on applicant’s SAR paperwork and heirships.
QUESTION: “When it comes to genealogy research, the answer to one question leads to two more questions.” The “about us” section of A Court Research certainly hits the nail on the head there! Could you give us an example of how an answer to a question created more questions, taking your research into a completely unexpected direction?
ANSWER: When I approach a genealogy issue, I try not to focus on what I think the pattern is. Instead I look at all the possibilities. Many times, when we research if we think we know and follow that path, we forget there are many other things that could happen. If we stay so focused on the one path, we can easily miss a very important clue. Just as in locating descendants to provide a DNA sample. The information may all fall among the norm but taking another step at other possibilities reflects that the child ended up from a previous encounter and not the current marriage partners. Using this person for a DNA test would make the results questionable.
QUESTION: Is there anything else you would like to add?
ANSWER: I absolutely love my customers and clients. I greatly appreciate their encouragement that they love what I have designed and made. Everyone is so sweet and I work very hard to make sure they love what I made for them. I love to see them smile!