Rapid City small business owner digitizes memories to last a lifetime
A moment lasts all of a second, but the memory lives on forever. The hard copies of memories are often in a box somewhere, dusty and forgotten. A local woman is helping people make the most out of their family's treasures.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Stephanie Csornok is an archivist, digitizing and restoring people’s more precious moment.
Csornok, Owner of Digital Downsizing, says, “Almost everything that I wound up digitizing for people are moments…it’s family moments, it’s christenings, it’s birthday parties, it’s ballet recitals, it’s all the Christmas concerts, you know from elementary school and church, graduations, weddings. It’s a lot of really precious family moments and people have gotten very, very emotional…and I feel very humbled you know that I’ve been able to give them that back.”
One of her clients says she was excited to see the film of her family that dated back to the 1970s. She said it was heartwarming to see her family together and happy.
The idea for her business came from Stephanie’s own collection of family genealogy and memorabilia sitting in a box in corner of the garage.
Csornok explains, “This is what makes us, all of these moments that we have had recorded in our lives, this is what has made us who we are it’s some of the most precious stuff we have…and if they stay in this state, they are going to wind up on the curb at some point.”
Csornok digitizes most forms of media, including photos, slides, negatives, albums & scrapbooks, audio cassettes, vinyl, any format of video, and reel-to-reel audio. She says the clock is ticking on those outdates types of media. She says her business grew, thanks in part thanks to COVID-19 pandemic and more people downsizing.
“Because they have all been home, they are going through all their boxes, all their bins, they are going through their storage lockers and their basements and they are finding all the old photos, all the old slides, all the old VHS home movies that they had or the eight and 16 mm films that they had and they are like, oh my gosh, we need to watch these, but while they have all the memories, they don’t have the media anymore to watch them on,” adds Csornok.
The digitizing makes everything instantly accessible, on flash drive or the cloud.
Csornok says, “We have gone completely digital – it doesn’t really matter if we are talking post millennials, or baby boomers, everyone is on there computer, everyone is on their phones.”
Csornok says she has digitized some interesting home videos from the 1930s in the Black Hills, like footage of Mount Rushmore being carved.
Csornok’s 20 years of experience in broadcast with the military came in handy for this profession. To convert the media, she turned to computer programs, converters, and other specialized equipment – sometimes having to get creative and making her own – to preserve people’s treasures.
Knudsen says, “It’s always great to have those memories and to be able to relive those memories.”
She also mentions that digitizes can ensure that your hard copy memories are not lost in a natural disaster.
Click here for the Digital Downsizing Facebook page.