A Handmade Connection

A Handmade CONNECTION AFTER RECEIVING A MEANINGFUL SYMPATHY GIFT, THIS ADVISOR INVITED CLIENTS TO MEMORIALIZE LOVED ONES THROUGH ART.

When Nolan Baker lost his mother last year, he marveled at the outpouring of love, cards and gifts from family and friends. However, one gift from Nolan’s friend, Advisors Excel VP of Advisor Development Jake Klima, stood out: 

“Upon hearing of the loss of my mom, Jake sent me a pottery vase that his mother made in memory of my mother,” Nolan said. “That personalized gift was so special to receive.”

The gift also inspired Nolan and his team in Maumee, Ohio, to launch their “Remember Our Loved Ones” event — a way to bring clients together and create handmade art in memory of a family member, friend or other important person.

FROM LOSS COMES HEALING …AND CONNECTION

Last July, Nolan got a call saying that his mother, Kathleen BakerFilson, had just learned she had cancer. Nolan raced to the hospital, where doctors revealed that his mother had stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

“Most people who know me would say I’m a mama’s boy,” Nolan said. “My mom was everything to me. As a young advisor, she was my biggest cheerleader. She would help me set up public-speaking events — heck, she’d even tell the mailman about her son and why he should work with me.”

After his mother’s diagnosis, Nolan and his sister learned as much as they could about pancreatic cancer. Nolan’s sister discovered that one of the best places to get treatment for it was a few minutes away in Columbus, Ohio.

Unfortunately, their mother’s cancer quickly spread to her spine and brain, and local treatment didn’t help. Nolan lost his mother 35 days after she was diagnosed.

“Losing my mom was terrible,” Nolan said. “I’ve come to the realization  that losing a loved one, no matter the way, sucks.”

The ordeal proved life-changing — and reinforced the ideas Nolan heard at The Journey: Atlanta and the World Series of Sales in January  about staying connected with clients. Nolan’s team started making plans to hold a special memorial event for clients at a local glass work studio.

FIRST EVENT DRAWS 30 CLIENTS 

To start, Nolan’s team identified potential venues, including pottery, painting and glass art studios. They decided to sign up for a class at Copper Moon Studio in nearby Holland, Ohio, which specializes in fused glass designs. The event would be held on Valentine’s Day, so their widowed clients wouldn’t have to spend that day alone.

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