Q: Donna, why is your company called SONDERFUL? What is a sonder?
A: Thanks for asking me that, Anne! The definition of SONDER is "The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own."
Q: Where did you learn about sonders?
A: When I was a kid, my dad and I used to sit on a bench drinking banana shakes and ponder the random people walking by. We talked about how we knew they had full lives like ours, filled with their joys and challenges, and opinions and feelings on the little things (like marshmallows!) and the big things (like their mothers!), but we had no idea what any of those opinions or feelings were – we only knew that we wanted to honor their existence in our own small way!
Q: What a fabulous memory to hold of your father and your time you spent with him. So, your company is called Sounderful Productions, and you video people's vivid and complex lives through them talking to you about their lives and memories?
A: That's it in a nutshell. I had captured snippets of my dad's stories on video before he passed. When I became engaged, I could share these with my now husband so he could "meet" my dad. Having the opportunity to start a new career recently, it hit me that I wanted to devote my time to recording people’s stories – capturing them, celebrating them, and creating a format for those stories to be preserved for family members and friends for many years to come. When I started to think about the name for my company. If you've seen "When Harry Met Sally," you'll remember the interviews interjected throughout the movie of older couples ( click HERE to see a montage of them). I'm enjoying recording great conversations similar to those!
Q: I love those great clips in "When Harry Met Sally." Why did you chose a bench for your company's logo?
A: The bench in the logo is in honor of my dad’s memory and all of our wonderful talks on a bench. I ask people to email me photos of them on a bench enjoying being with someone, chatting.
Q: We met recently, and we got a photo of us doing just that! How can someone interested in having you capture their stories on video get in touch with you?
A: My contact information is on my website. I can't wait to work with them! And, if you would like to see how casual the process is to work with me to capture your stories, visit my youtube channel to view some I have recorded.
Q: The one with Peter Friedman telling his story of meeting Arnold Palmer had me in tears. What a story!
A: Absolutely! My approach is fun, low-key, and casual - as if I were sitting on a bench chatting away with you.
Q: Thanks, Donna, and I look forward to our next "bench" time together!