ChrisAnn Tomasso was heartbroken.
It was only a day after her dear friend, Meia, had passed away, and she realized she didn’t have a single photo of the two of them together to commemorate their 25 years of friendship.
“I was so upset and realized I didn’t want someone else to end up in the same position where they have nothing left,” reflects ChrisAnn of California.
She had stumbled across a Facebook post where a friend, Shauna, had shared a photo frame featuring a customizable locket she could add charms to. From the frame to learning more about the company’s mission to be a Force for Good™, ChrisAnn found herself drawn to Origami Owl® and thought starting a business would offer a “good distraction” from the darkness she struggled against as she grieved the loss of her friend.
Sharing Her Heart
A heart-shaped Living Locket® filled with Nesting Hearts proved to be an irresistible conversation-starter. Whether she was at the doctor’s office or running errands, people couldn’t help but ask her about the Swarovski® crystal-studded piece on her neck.
“I’ll tell them what it means to me (God, me, husband, family, and friends), and say ‘I hope you have something that does that for you,’ and, most of the time, they say ‘not like that,’” explains ChrisAnn. “So, I’ll say ‘if you have a cell phone, I can text you my info so you have it and can see the things Origami Owl has for preserving your family’s memory,’ and that helps us make a connection.”
Sharing her Locket has led to many of her friends also starting their own Origami Owl businesses in the short month she’s been part of the company. And, it’s resulted in more than she ever expected.
“My girls and I look forward to putting together Lockets, and now we have more in common to talk about,” says ChrisAnn. “It’s a little bit of time for us to just put life on hold to play, have fun and remember good memories or things we hope to do.”
She continues, “Another reason I LOVE Origami Owl is that it highlights my strengths and uniqueness, and at the same time, allows me to be like everybody else; to feel ‘normal’.”
ChrisAnn grapples daily with ongoing illness, which makes getting out and about a challenge. She can share her business when she feels good, and Origami Owl has given her something else.
“I’m not ‘disabled in Origami Owl. I can wear a beautiful Living Locket, sparkly earrings, and charming bracelet just like everyone else regardless of my chronic pain and physical limitations,” she says. “Origami Owl actually makes me feel pretty (which is somewhat a difficult task), confident, and that I too can really make a difference in other’s lives. I’m not defined by the things I can’t do; I’m celebrated for everything I am!”
For ChrisAnn, now a Team Leader, she loves that she can share Origami Owl to give hope back to others.
“If it doesn’t pull on your heart strings, it won’t pull on theirs either,” she says. “This is about letting others know they need to seize the moment and live every day like it’s your last. Wishes shouldn’t be tied to grief. They should be something you look forward to; not pain from a past thing you never did.”
She’s focused on introducing others to Origami Owl through her in-home Jewelry Bar® setup, which includes three focuses: memories (the past), current blessings and celebration (the present), and creating hopes and dreams (the future).
“Hopes and dreams bring a smile to your face,” ChrisAnn adds. “What you have coming spurs you on and keeps your heart lifted.”
Now, ChrisAnn is setting her sights on the fun in her future. She’s looking forward to attending Origami Owl’s annual convention in Phoenix. She’s appreciating the income she’s earning to help pay her medical bills.
And, she’s loving her new community.
“This is helping me cultivate deeper relationships,” she says. “This is my ministry and I’ve called it ‘Hope Sparkles’ (because I want it) to spark hope in others’ lives, even if they feel they’re drowning in their circumstances. I don’t believe God wastes any experience.”
ChrisAnn’s Tips for Sharing
1. Remember it’s not about you! Ask questions of your friends and the ladies God puts in front of you to uncover what their need is, what their memory is, what their celebration is, what their dream is, then show how you can preserve each one in a special keepsake and meet their needs through Origami Owl.
2. Always wear your jewelry every time you step out your front door (literally)! Yes, even if it’s just to get the mail or even take out the trash, you never know who you’ll run into! I even throw on my heart locket when I take my furbaby out to potty; I got a couple of great sales that way!
3. Have fun and keep it personal! This is sooooo important and the lifeline to my business! People will not remember everything I said, but they will remember how I made them feel. If you have a fabulous waitress and food, or have a blast shopping with a gal-pal, don’t you tell your friends and/or invite more to join you next time? Have fun and keep it personal and they will share, too!
4. Always be ready to share with anyone, anytime, and be sincere! If someone tells you they love your necklace and you nervously mutter “thank you,” you’ve just ended the conversation and lost any opportunity unless she gives you a reprieve by asking where you got it.
5. Give yourself grace! Especially at the beginning of your journey. You will not remember everything you want to say. You will forget somebody’s name. There will be questions you don’t have the answers to right then. You may get caught off guard from time to time. Someone will always have a better idea, more jewelry, or a prettier display. Just start now, right where you’re at, with what you have, and look for opportunities to learn and grow each day.
6. Remember your blessings and give thanks daily. I hand-stamp a beautiful card and write a personal note to every customer who places an order, books a Jewelry Bar, joins my team, etc., and I especially thank God for every blessing I’ve experienced so far, and for all that He’s going to do in my future.