Dresden scrapbooking retreat gives woman new purpose in life

Dresden scrapbooking retreat gives woman new purpose in life

Yvonne Hammond and her husband bought the Village Victorian Bedand Breakfast nearly three years ago to help make Yvonne’s dream come true.

Sometimes starting a new chapter of one’s life seems akin to reading a mystery novel.

What happens next? Will she find happiness? Yvonne Hammond asked herself such questions in 2008 after moving to Newark from Chillicothe and she was struggling emotionally. “I left my job, my family, my church, everything,” Yvonne says. “I didn’t realize how depressed I had gotten.”

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With both her children raised, Yvonne says she felt unsettled, until she attended a quiet church retreat through a women’s church group in January 2013. “My dreams were to have a family, I raised them and then that was it.”

But the retreat did inspire Yvonne to think beyond the ordinary.

After journaling and praying, Yvonne realized that her dream was to open a business where guests could come together to create memory filled albums. “Just like that, it was like God just said that’s what you’re doing,” she says.

Her husband, Ron, says he suggested to Yvonne, in the past that owning and operating a scrapbook retreat was the perfect fit for her. “It just made a lot of sense,” Ron says. “And I just thought … not only would (she) be very, very good at it, but very, very happy doing it. ”In May 2013, she and Ron purchased a nearly 150 year old home in Dresden—the Village Victorian Bed and Breakfast—and renamed it the Village Victorian Scrapbook Retreat.

Three months later, they welcomed their first guests. “There have been a few headaches, but it’s been such a joy,” Yvonne says. “I just absolutely love it.”

A typical stay

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The small bed and breakfast sleeps eight guests, and there is a separate living area for Ron and Yvonne. All of the guest rooms have a theme: ocean, garden and angel. The front rooms of the house are set up for scrapbooking and have eight stations, complete with lamps for extra light. Most guests stay for a weekend, Yvonne says. And while women are busy decorating pages or doing other crafts, Yvonne cooks all the meals for guests—something the guests love.

Rosie Lozano and five of her friends stayed at the retreat for a second time in September, and she says Yvonne’s cooking is what brought them back. Lozano and her friends have tried going to other hotels to scrapbook, but she says the Village Victorian, “just feels like home.”

Yvonne reports similar regulars. “I have a couple ladies, that they’ve been here, I think, five times,” she says.

She says guests come to relax and have a good time, aspects Yvonne tries to deliver. “I love to hear the laughter because then I know they’re having fun,” she says. “They don’t have to do anything, and when you’re a mom that’s the whole thing, that you don’t have to cook. People want to clear the table, and I’m like ‘no just go!’ They don’t have to do anything but just enjoy
themselves.”

She says when they were starting the business, some people thought she was taking on too big a commitment. Now, two years in, they can see it is her passion and that it works. “Every time somebody says to me you’ve found your calling, then I know that I’ve done the right thing,”
she says.



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