ViaStories1
Last week I was invited to New York by the UPS Store as an ambassador for their brand at the Martha Stewart American Made event. This was the event that announced the American Made 2014 winners for which I was a finalist. Even though I did not win this year, being able to attend the event was truly an honor. You can see a bit of the fun Anna and I had on both Instagram and Facebook as we met makers, leaders and influencers. Other bloggers in this photo are Fat Vegan Baby, The House that Lars Built, Flax & Twine and Anna, my business manager.  As an ambassador, the UPS Store has asked me to share one of my #viastories here with you. This is a story of how I got to where I am now and I am going to start at the very beginning.

FourthofJulyParade
I was born into a very creative family. Not that my parents knew just how creative they were or even appreciated their gifts at that time. I think a lot of the creative adventures came from them needing to get things done on a very tight budget. There were 4 of us girls and I was the youngest. Mom and dad owned a photography studio. They started their studio before I was born so I have very little memory of those years. I do have these great photos of the 4th of July parade where my parents made our costumes for Lewis, Clark, Sacajawea and a big brown bear. (I am lot liking that the bear has a rope around its neck and would free the poor bear in an instant, haha). Not only did they make our costumes, but the cardboard boat and rifle. We were handmade head to toe. Of course we won first place in the parade that day so as you can see I did not fall far from that tree. During that time my parents were doing award winning portrait work but for new parents in their late 20’s and early 30’s, there had been little training on how to run a business and be profitable. Sadly, they had to close their business and my parents moved us to Enterprise, Oregon where my dad became a sub contractor while my mom raised the family.

Awards_Indian
During my 5th and 6th year we moved out to a little farm house in the Wallowa Lake area of Joseph, Oregon. This is were my fondest memories begin. All of my sisters were in school for the day so I was home alone with my mom and I had the time and direction to see my creativity blossom. One of my favorite things to do during those years was to make my own custom paper dolls. I made no sense that paper dolls only had fronts when we all have backs too. Maybe someday I will have a paper doll line. I started to learn to sew by making clothes for my dolls. My favorite craft item was a large card board box that I crafted into a life sized toy car with plastic wrap windows and all. Here is a photo of dolls I made from rolling toilet paper and painting them with craft paint. My days will filled with my imaginary friends and my furry friends, dressing up and riding my little pony (which was an attachment on my swing set). That time set my life in a creative motion that has yet to stop. This is the beginning of my Via Stories.

JosephOregon
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Come back tomorrow for instructions on how to share your own #viastory and for a chance to win one of two $50 visa cards from the UPS Store. These can be used anywhere they take visa and are a great start to your holiday shopping! ~ Lia

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