Sweet Memories start conversations
Longtime Cleveland Heights resident Neil Slobin joined with several friends to develop Sweet Memories, a deck of 52 cards with questions designed to spark conversations.
Slobin, a philosophy professor, thought of the idea for Sweet Memories four years ago. While visiting a friend who was in declining health, Slobin became frustrated when he ran out of topics to discuss. That day, he considered the idea of putting conversation-starting questions on cards.
Slobin turned to friends to help him. Russell Stephanchick designed the cards while others offered support and suggestions for them. “We’re all from Cleveland,” Slobin said. “We’ve been lifelong friends.”
The group worked together to develop the graphics, compile questions for the cards, raise money to have sample cards made, and then find a manufacturer to produce and package them. As a reflection of the group effort in creating Sweet Memories, Slobin and his friends decided to name their distribution company All Together Now USA Ltd.
After the cards were created, Slobin and his friends worked to advertise their product. “The challenge is really getting out the word about [the cards],” he said.
“We’re in the process of contacting nursing homes, hospices and outpatient services,” Slobin said. He also sends e-mails about Sweet Memories to friends and family, asking them to forward the information to others. Slobin hopes that Sweet Memories, which is locally based, will soon become a national product.
Slobin also hopes that the cards will encourage conversations, especially among people whose independence and mobility may have been compromised. “My main goal is to get people to have meaningful conversations with people they’re visiting,” he said.
For more information about the Sweet Memories cards, go to www.sweetmemoriesusa.com.
Simone Jasper, a 2012 graduate of Beaumont School, is an intern at the Heights Observer.