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Community Highlights: Meet De’Andra Roberts of A Life to Share

Today we’d like to introduce you to De’Andra Roberts.

Hi De’Andra, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Definitely! Professionally, I am the Founder of ‘A Life to Share’, which is a company that makes it easier, quicker and more affordable for people to document their family’s life stories. I’m sure we’ll get into the details of my company later, but for now, it’s safe to say that my business is a testament to my entrepreneurial spirit. I also do Corporate Public Relations, which reflects my go-getter, hustle mentality. And on a personal level, I’m a self-proclaimed empath who loves Jesus, family, good books, reality television, and my dog, Sisqo.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
You’re not really on a journey if the road isn’t sometimes long, bumpy and constantly changing direction. So, to answer your question, no. The road has been full of twists and turns, personally and professionally, but at some point, I learned to embrace the unknown.  Many have heard the saying, “If it’s not challenging you, it’s not changing you” and as cliché as that may sound, it’s absolutely true. Once you’ve met a few bumps and successfully gotten over them, you’ll feel more prepared to tackle the next bump on your journey, no matter what it is.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Everyone has their own reason for wanting to start a business and for me, I realized just how many incredible stories have been lost over the years, simply because no one ever documented them. Like a bad game of “Telephone”, we’ve relied on oral accounts to be passed between each generation, and it’s not working. 

What has happened in my own life is just one example of this. I lost all of my grandparents before I turned 18 and as someone who loves learning about my family’s history, it’s heartbreaking to know that so many stories left this Earth along with them. I was determined not to let that happen with my own parents, so with the world on pause during the pandemic, I tried to document their life stories. The few options that I saw on the market were timely and costly, so I took matters into my own hands. I started documenting their stories myself and I learned more about them than I ever thought possible. 

Because the experience was so rewarding, I kept it going by documenting my extended family’s life stories and over time, friends began asking for help documenting their own families’ stories too. That’s when I decided to create ‘A Life to Share’. As I mentioned before, it’s a site that makes it easier, quicker and more affordable for people to document their family’s life stories. We then turn those stories into electronic and hardcover books that can be passed down from generation to generation.

To capture the stories, we offer several plans that cater to every preference. Your family member can choose to use our Story Prompter, which is an intuitive, online tool that can help  jog their memory and guide them through the writing process. But for those who don’t want to type, we also offer an in-depth video-recorded interview that we will subsequently transcribe from start-to-finish. 

Documenting life stories shouldn’t be a stressful, expensive or daunting task, so our price, the ability to document multiple stories at one time, and the ease of documenting those life stories in chronological orderis unmatched. And let’s not forget that we provide choice. Whether you want access to our Story Prompter or help from an interviewer, we really strive to cater our plans to all preferences. 

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
Growing up, I was much like I am today – your typical extroverted, introvert. I was the girl who couldn’t stop talking, dancing and laughing, but I was also the shy one in the corner when around unfamiliar faces. I loved a good TV shows, just as I do now, and I did competitive gymnastics from the time I could walk until the time I graduated high school.

Lastly and on par with my business, I’ve always enjoyed writing and reading. My love for stories was picked up when a friend from middle school gave me a book, and I have been obsessed with trips to the book store ever since.

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