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Who We Are

Hello! My name is Monica Irvine and I am the creator of The Etiquette Factory. How did all of this begin? Well, let me tell you about it. It's been a fun journey.

Years ago, I was homeschooling my son Sawyer and at the time, we were studying about the life of George Washington. During this study, we came across a document called, "George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior." From what I read, this was a list of 110 rules that President Washington had copied out of a French book after his tutor at the time had encouraged him to learn and practice chivalry skills. What we do know is that a copy of this list in President Washington's handwriting was found.

So I started reading this list of rules as I was always interested in the art of etiquette.
I was blown away by this beautiful list of chivalry rules.
For instance, I read rule #56 which reads, "Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company," and rule #25 which states, "Superfluous compliments and all affectation of ceremony are to be avoided yet where due, they are not to be neglected."

As I read these precious rules, something pricked my heart and I was so drawn to them. I saw the great beauty in each one and thought to myself, What if I had my son memorize these rules? Surely, that would benefit him in many ways. I could imagine that if our society truly lived by these simple 110 chivalry rules, our world would be such a more kind and more generous place to be. We began to do just that, learn these rules, but while we were learning them, a new idea flooded my mind.
What if there was a more modern version of these rules? Same principles but using circumstances from our day so that children could more easily understand them?
Sometimes, God steps in and just takes you by the hand and leads you down a path where you can use your talents and your gifts to bless his other children. I believe with all my heart that that is exactly what he has done with me.
I began my search for such a program or curriculum and to my disappointment, I could not find what I was looking for. And so, The Etiquette Factory was born and what an adventure it has been. Sometimes, God steps in and just takes you by the hand and leads you down a path where you can use your talents and your gifts to bless his other children. I believe with all my heart that that is exactly what he has done with me.
The first summer I ran manners camps for kids, I scheduled 6 weeks of camp. My purpose in reality was thinking that if I had my son be my camp helper for 6 weeks of manners camp, then surely after hearing these skills taught 6 times in a row, he would learn these skills really well. Poor kid. He had no idea about his mom's ulterior motives. Sure, I thought there would be a little interest from other parents. I knew there had to be moms and dads like me who thought they could use some help in this area. What I didn't know is how many parents would be interested in having help. Within a few weeks, I had waiting list for 5 or my 6 camps. It's then that I knew I had to do more.
I have learned that children love learning manners and social skills when taught with love and outside of the bounds of being corrected.
I have learned many things since that beginning in May of 2009. I have learned that children love learning manners and social skills when taught with love and outside of the bounds of being corrected. I realized that most of the time when parents are teaching their children manners, they are doing it while correcting, because that's when we think of it. Our child starts to do something wrong and we say, "Oh honey. Don't do/say that. It's rude." However, 99% of the time, children are not trying to be rude. They just haven't come to understand why that behavior is indeed rude. But, they want to know. They want to know the right way to do things.

Our goal at The Etiquette Factory is to help parents teach their children these life changing skills; the skills of kindness.
What is Etiquette?
Etiquette is helping those around you to feel valued and comfortable.
Every single skill we teach is based on this definition and principle. I know that when we understand the "why" behind each skill, we then can believe in the purpose of practicing the considerations of kindness. If we don't know why, then it's difficult to stay motivated to remember to practice them.
Each resource we have created, is for the sole purpose of helping children to reach their full potential. We want children to be happy, to have healthy relationships, to feel good about who they are and to have the skills they need to be their best selves. I have been blessed with amazing people who have helped me along this journey and have become an integral part of growing The Etiquette Factory. I thank God for these people.
Although The Etiquette Factory has been created for all children, preschool through high school, families with children who have special needs also have come to appreciate and love The Etiquette Factory due to our approach to learning. Struggling learners who might need a little extra help with understanding social cues and social expectations, really thrive from using all of their senses to learn. At The Etiquette Factory, we use music, games, stories, treats, crafts, and kind discussion mixed with a whole lot of love and encouragement to help children along their journey.
Here is what some of our customers have said:
I just purchased the intermediate and my kids are so conscious of their etiquette now! Thank you! We also purchased the placemats and they are so excited to help set the table now.
~ Allison from Asheboro, NC
My kids love the Etiquette Factory! The songs are a great way to reinforce the lesson we've covered during the week.  They are fun and catchy.  As a music educator, I appreciate the variety of musical genre.  The best part of the program is that it doesn't just teach beginner basics, but that the program grows with you to include many lessons from which most adults could benefit.  Thanks for a fantastic program!
~ Jenny, mother of 6
Our two children had an immediate positive reaction to our Etiquette Factory kit. They especially love the placemats. What was most interesting to me was how they really started to "thank the chef". They are both much more appreciative of how their meals get to the table, assisting setting the table, and it has renewed both of their interest in helping actually prepare the meals!
~ Steve & Joyce from Grove City, OH
Hello I'm a real mom and I just purchased the Etiquette program for my daughter age 6 and triplet boys age 3 1/2 and meal time is such a joy now. Everyone loves the table mats b/c they each have a special job and feel like they play a part in dinner. They didn't always use their manners and now more often than not they are more aware of their manners. I love the program and thank you.
~ KK from Hickory, NC
My kids love The Etiquette Factory. It's amazing what a difference it has made in their behavior. Thanks for the wonderful lessons.
~ John (Dad) from Brandon, FL
We bought The Etiquette Factory Beginners packet last year at the Alabama CHEF Convention. I must say that it was the best set of books we brought home. The kids love listening to the CD's and watching the DVD's. It has made such a big difference in the way they interact with others as well and our family. The kids have more respect for each other and the "No Whining" policy and excepting No gracefully has really worked for us. I will be getting the intermediate Etiquette this year at the convention and can't wait to see what else is in store for us. Watching your kids grow in a well mannered Christian way is the best thing I can offer my kids. Thanks
~ Melissa from Mobile, AL
I just purchased the intermediate and we just started! My son has only had one lesson;however he thoroughly enjoyed it. It was short and to the point. the activity reinforced the lesson. I love this program and I'm so glad I found it. It's affordable and geared to special needs and autistic children without being too immature. My son needs help, but he is still sensitive and doesn't want to be treated like a baby. This was just right. I would love to see videos or some type of visual aides that were for older kids that were affordable.
~ Jennifer, mom of son with autism
I purchased the kit for younger kids just last week and my 3- and 4-year old already have the songs memorized! My son asked me to take him to meet Mary Manners so he could play ring-around-the-rosy with her and take a tour of the etiquette factory! He is constantly noticing "bad manners" in others now (so amazing!). My daughter has been teaching my husband how to not be a "jungle daddy" (a character we made up to mimic the week #1 lesson), and once she teaches daddy how to have good manners then she gets to take him out for ice cream. We're having a blast with our Etiquette Factory lessons! Thanks again!  
~ Traci from Greenwood, IN
I do enjoy "the Etiquette Factory."  I love how it works with multiple children within the same family.  It gives the older children a chance to learn teaching skills and speaking skills by teaching the younger ones.  And it helps the younger ones to think about what they are doing each day.  And it really makes the whole family learn together including Mom and Dad.  We remind each other about our manners.  A great tool to instill character.
~ Michelle, mother of five
I recently purchased Etiquette Factory to use with my preschool students.  They love the program. The parents are so thrilled that we are offering Etiquette in our curriculum. Your program is fun and interesting for the children.  I even purchased the older addition to use with my own boys age Ten and seventeen.  I expected resistance but to my surprise even they were engaged! Thanks for a great program.
~ Robin from York, PA

My Passion

Finally, please allow me to share with you one of my passions that is very near and dear to my heart. I have been sensitive to child abuse of any kind, I guess my whole life. Something in me very early, alerted my senses to any child that was being mistreated in any way. I remember as a 5th grader, I was friends with a little girl whose father taught at my school. She came in too many mornings to school, crying or having been crying because her father would paddle her with a wooden paddle before school for one thing or another. Sometimes, I could tell that it was difficult for her to sit down. One day, I had seen enough. I was mad and someone had to stick up for my friend. I had thought about calling the Department of Human Services. I knew about them because my family had kept foster children. I decided for some reason however, to take matters into my own hands. After school that day, I walked to my friends father's classroom. All the children had left and he was walking around putting papers on his student's desks. I stood in the door and said, "Mr. ___________, my name is Monica Madewell, and I am friends with your daughter _______________. I know that you paddle her a lot and I believe that what you're doing is wrong. I believe it is child abuse and if you do not stop, I am going to call the Department of Human Services and report you." I turned and walked away.
This moment was the beginning of my deep interest in fighting for those most vulnerable. Granted, perhaps I was wrong about his actions being child abuse. I really do not know. I just know that in my child's mind at the time, it felt wrong. Would you please help me today, however, in fighting for those who truly are suffering abuse, who are our most vulnerable? I implore you to choose an organization that helps children who are being abused in any way and find a way to support them. There are so many organizations that are doing much good in our My Passion world. They need our help. They cannot continue their efforts without the support of volunteers both physically and monetarily.
At The Etiquette Factory, we have chosen to support an organization called, Operation Underground Railroad. This amazing organization rescues children from sex trafficking, a plague on our society. Whether you support them through our donation or on your own, I highly recommend that you learn more about the inspired work that they do. They are truly God's army. You can read about the amazing work that they do here. How do we support them? We give a portion of our sales from two of our curriculums directly to them. Etiquette for Beginners Online Curriculum and Life Skills for You Online Curriculum. It is an honor to support this beautiful rescue!
Thank you for taking the time to learn about who we are. I hope you and your children will benefit from participating in one of our amazing programs. I love to see children soar with confidence in their abilities. Help me give children confidence and self respect by teaching children the skills of kindness. Our world needs our children to lead the way in compassion, integrity, humility, generosity and love. It starts with teaching them the skills of kindness.
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