Tuesday, September 22, 2020
McMillan Uses God-given Talent to Create Memorable Keepsakes
By Cora Jackson-Fossett, Religion Editor
Published July 26, 2017

Marilyn McMillan creates personalized keepsakes through her company, iDesign Programs. (Courtesy photo)

Believing in the promises of God inspired Marilyn McMillan to transform her lifelong passion of creating memorable keepsakes into a full-time profession.

McMillan, the owner of iDesign Programs, stands on Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” – and her firm conviction in that scripture guides her successful venture.

“All the promises of God are real and alive. And daily, whatever I need in this life, the Lord will give me the strength to achieve it,” said McMillan, who started her company after working 20+ years in information technology and project management for several firms.


While she excelled in her technical profession, McMillan gradually realized that creating and designing special keepsakes was always her true desire. Even as a child, she gained great joy in crafting personalized gifts for her family and friends. She also used her parents’ camera to snap photos of classmates to fashion a pictorial story about the school year.

Three years ago, she placed her faith in God’s promise found in Philippians 4:19 – “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” — and launched iDesign Programs as a full-time service. McMillan started out by attending wedding shows as a vendor to display her unique wedding programs and personalized accessories. Also, she sought other opportunities to expand her design service.

“In 2014, I began working with private and charter schools designing special event programs as a keepsake for the parents,” she said. “Then iDesign Programs was contacted by a family to create up to 200 keepsake booklets for the family and the family’s matriarch who was celebrating her 90th birthday. This included interviewing the birthday matriarch to create a video biography, transcribing the information for the booklet and incorporating nearly 100 photos into program.”

iDesign products include individual milestones, retirements, homegoing memorials, and event recognitions. (Courtesy photo)

Her work on those projects led to more contracts to develop custom design programs for significant individual milestones, retirement celebrations, special edition homegoing memorials, and event recognitions. Last year, she designed a commemorative souvenir journal to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Miracle Center Apostolic Community Church.

“The 120-page full color book highlighted the church’s history, acknowledgments from state and city officials, and contained over 400 photographs illustrating the 40-year journey of my pastor, Suffragan Bishop Roy S. Petitt; our first lady, Dr. Bennie Petitt; and their ministry,” explained McMillan.

In addition to creating printed and digital keepsakes, iDesign Programs will transfer photographs to DVDs and CDs. The service assists clients by scanning their photos that may be located in multiple albums or boxes onto a convenient and long-lasting medium. Clients also have the option of iDesign producing a hardcover book depicting a person’s history in pictures.

McMillan, who noted that a range of individuals and organizations can benefit by using iDesign Programs, shared, “I’m passionate about working with senior citizen groups, theatre companies, schools and sport groups such as bowling leagues, soccer clubs or youth recreation teams.

“I enjoy helping families and businesses preserve their legacy and capture their story.”

To learn more about iDesign Programs, call (323) 394-8798 or visit iDesignPrograms.com.

Categories: Religion
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