Rachel Arbuckle is a Navy Veteran, wife, mom, and founder of 2000 Paces Photo Organizing. After a series of fires forced her family to evacuate and leave behind photo memories that were scattered throughout their home, Rachel was motivated to help others spend less time worrying about organizing and protecting their memories and more time making them.
In 2014, a series of fierce fires roared through San Diego County, the largest of which started on the mountain just behind Rachel’s home. She had only minutes to grab a few items. Her instinct was to gather all of our photos, but she panicked when she realized her precious memories were all over the home in boxes, picture frames, and albums. She ended up grabbing what she could as her family headed to safety.
After many days of worry, she was able to return home to the memories we had to leave behind. Thankfully, her home was spared, but others in our community were not as fortunate.
This experience not only solidified her commitment to protecting her family’s collection of photos but prompted her to found 2000 Paces Photo Organizing, encouraging people to organize and protect important memories.
After the fire, Rachel came back home and followed through on her commitment to getting her family’s photo memories organized and then ultimately left corporate America to start her own business. This was an unexpected turn of events and for her at some point was terrifying. She continued to focus on what she could accomplish for other people! What are their needs, what solutions do we need to make sure that we care about servicing them the way they need to be. Then one day after a lot of hard work, she realized that she was creating a successful business! It was from there that her business began to develop and she needed to learn more about the managing of the business.
We dive into the process of what to do with all these photos that are either in albums or boxes! Rachel recommends starting by putting everything in one place and taking an inventory of what you have on hand. Pull everything out of every nook and cranny! She reminds us that it took years to create all these memories and they are not going to get organized overnight! Take a look and weed out the duplicates and then the photos where you don’t know who the people are in the photo! Then ask yourself, What are your goals with your photos? What do I want to accomplish?
Rachel shares with us the unique approach her team takes with every client to ensure that your photos are handled with care and they are meeting your goals. How they may organize your photos may be different from how mine would be organized. There is a consult and interview process to make sure that you are creating a relationship with the person who will be handling your job.
We discuss some stories about work she has done for other clients over the years and share that a lot of her clients will say, “I wish I had asked my mom about these pictures sooner” We always think there is more time. More time to ask, more time to organize, and more time to share.
Rachel gives us permission to throw out those photos where we don’t remember who the people are or the event was not significant to us. ( That’s why it’s so important to ask questions now while those that are still with us can share about those memories )
All of Rachel’s employees are trained through a specific process and handle a mock project prior to taking on a client. When you go to engage with them you are assigned a photo manager so there is one person who is rocking on your project through the entire process.
I ask Rachel how leaving corporate America and forming this business has changed her life! She says it’s hard to remember what her life was like before she started her company. It’s something she and her team have created and that she is proud of their accomplishments! For her, it’s exciting to be a business owner but at the same time, there is a huge responsibility as people are counting on you. Not only the employees but their families.
Rachel loves mentoring and providing feedback to her team. At some point, we all need to work so why not be working at something we love? She is now working harder than she did in her corporate job but it’s something she is passionate about and she is having fun while making an impact!
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