The inspiration for EverPresent, a Newton-based media digitizing, organizing, and sharing business, began in 2009 when Brookline resident Eric Niloff found a forgotten photo collection in his grandfather’s closet. Subsequent news coverage of teary victims holding photos from albums ruined in various natural disasters reinforced his sense of the widespread need to safely preserve family memories.
Since Eric launched the company three years ago with his wife, Jennifer Niloff, and their business partner, Chris Acton-Maher , EverPresent has grown to 47 employees at its Newton headquarters and a production facility in Watertown. Eric had this to say:
Q. In which situations do people turn to EverPresent?
A. One-third of our clients call with a specific project — usually a photo book or slide show for a wedding, anniversary, or wake — that they need as fast as possible. Two-thirds want to preserve their family history, but don’t know where to start. Most projects involve media conversion like VHS to DVD, photo scanning, and photo restoration. We work with technologies from every era.
Q. Are clients anxious about turning over photos and other originals?
A. When they realize there’s someone who can take over, they shift from being stressed to extremely happy. They can ship materials, bring them to our Newton headquarters or drop-off locations, or we’ll go to them. Customer service and a friendly touch really matter in this business.
Q. What have been some memorable projects?
A. Last year, we had a husband and wife separately create Christmas gifts for the other — one did a photo book, and the other a slide show of family events. They came in on back-to-back days with the same little guy, but he held it together and didn’t ruin the surprise. We’ve also preserved family recipes, professional drawings from a clothing designer, an audio interview with Robert Kennedy, and letters between parents who were both diplomats all over the world. We hear the most amazing stories.
Q. Does the rewarding aspect of the job make up for its labor-intensive demands?
A. I’m not exaggerating when I say at least once a week, there is a grown man crying in our office. Think about it. You drop off a box of old films and come back and see a video of your dad for the first time in 20 years. How else are you going to react? It’s a beautiful thing.
Cindy Cantrell may be reached at email@example.com.