Welcome One and All to the Design Team Feature!
I am so excited to announce our newest monthly blog feature where I share all the deets on one of our phenomenal Design Team Members!
For January, I am proud to introduce you to Vicki Von Richter! I poked and prodded her brain to figure out what Disney means to her and how it manifests in her life, and I can’t wait to share with you the wisdom I have gleaned from my investigations.
We’re all here because at the center of our craft is an inspiration that drives us to create happiness on paper, in crafts, and in our homes: Disney. I couldn’t help but ask Vicki what this looked like in her life. My Disney adventure started when I was young, as I’m sure many of you also experienced, but Vicki came to “the Disney Life” in her 30s. Her children inspired her to invite Disney and the happiness it can create into their lives, especially after having not “[grown] up with the privilege of knowing this lifestyle.” In the pursuit of providing her children what she had not experienced, she recollects this notion by saying, “I had planned for several years that I would take my kids to Disney World. This is what we are supposed to do as good Mothers right?” An astute question!
And so began Vicki’s painstaking process of planning that first trip. “I was checking off a milestone on a list. […] As a type A, organized planner, I loved that everything could be done ahead of time LOL! I had this thought that it was going to be our big, once in a lifetime, adventure.” With her being a single mother guiding two little ones on a vacation, I was shocked when she told me this. I think we can all agree that the tremendous love Vicki has for her children and the guts it took to even begin, let alone commit, to this complex yet romanticized idea of traveling to Disney World deserves the utmost respect. She continued on by elaborating how “a trip of that caliber is not something that you can do all the time.” I was completely enamored with her bravery. “Well let me tell you, I was inside the Magic Kingdom for all of 10 minutes and I turned to my 8 year old son and said, this is our life now LOL! We have been back 3 times since 2016 and I have made mountains move to make it happen.”
I can’t help but admire the passion Vicki has for both her children and the security of their happiness, and Disney can create that happiness for people regardless of age. Somehow, someway, places like Disney Parks, and especially Disney World, are deceptively clever at transporting families to places that don’t exist in the real world; places where everywhere you look around you, someone is smiling. This is perhaps central to the “magic” that we often feel when we escape to Disney Parks.
For some, it also creates relaxation? I was shocked when Vicki said, “For me, when I say Disney is the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on, people look at me sideways.” I too was another person looking sideways, but it makes so much sense. “Let me explain to you what I mean. As a single parent traveling with two kids, I have to DO everything. I have to make every decision. I have to organize, plan, decide, lead, navigate etc every point of every day. For example, I was traveling with the kids in England. I had to figure out where we wanted to go, how to get there, what train, what train station, what time the train comes and leaves, right down to left and right turns on the street. I do not have to do any of this at Disney. They take care of everything. I get up in the morning, food (can be) prepaid, I don’t need to know a bus or train schedule. There is always one coming. Just show up when you are ready at the right stop. No stops in between to worry about. On at the resort, off at the park. This is priceless for me.” The shining moment of her explanation is her saying, “I can literally shut off my brain and just enjoy whats going on around me.”
Don’t we all dream of that moment where you feel secure enough to just literally shut off your brain?! And the staff at Disney Parks do make it so easy! “All cast members are so accommodating. I have never once had a bad experience. Buy something, no need to carry it around. Send it back to your room! They have thought of everything that might inconvenience you and given you a way to avoid it.”
I believe a lot of what Vicki is responding to so positively is the consistent stress and burden and responsibility that adult life inevitably tasks us to deal with on a daily basis. I couldn’t agree with her more when she mentions how much mental stress Disney relieves simply because of the convenience they strive to achieve, and yet they make it seem so effortless!
But Disney also has this special ability to evoke emotions that are usually difficult to access, such as the sheer joy you feel when you aren’t burdened with adult responsibilities. Vicki speaks to this when she says, “At the same time, Disney provides an outlet to just be a kid (at any age). It makes it acceptable to ride a spinning teacup at 40 years old and giggle like a toddler. No one looks at you funny.”
“You just get to be. I LOVE THIS! My kids love this. My kids love that their Mom can relax and have some fun.”
When was the last time you saw your parent or your partner or you loved one relax? Or have some fun? It becomes easier and easier to forget these precious moments, especially when all of us are being asked to quarantine, isolate, and social distance. Masks hide our smiles, and I think more than ever it’s important for all of us to remember to “just be” like Vicki wisely suggests.
Just like all of us, Vicki is human. “We have a very busy life, the 3 of us. Both kids (now 11 and 13) play competitive sports that have us running around every day. Disney allows us all to just be together, having a great time. We do not get this on all vacations.”
In the end, we all leave Disney with memories…and souvenirs of course! I asked Vicki what she has stashed around her place that help hold those memories, and she said, “We keep many Disney things in our life. If that’s small trinkets in the house or in the clothes we wear. I think it just helps us all remember that magic and fantasy while we are away from our second home.”
Vicki continues to be a valued member of our Design Team and, as an incredible crafter, artist, and creator, we are very excited to share her story throughout our blossoming community portrayed in the original art and projects that she creates!
If you can’t get enough of Vicki and want to support, she also has an Etsy shop to help fund her next Disney trip, https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/Scraps4DayzDesigns?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=1047219838, and an Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/scraps4dayz/, where you can keep up to date with her ongoing adventure as a crafter, mom, and member of the Disney Creative Company Design Team!