This last week, I found out that CPI (Sears Portrait Studio, and Walmart Portrait Studio) has officially closed their doors. I started photography in high school but as far as professionally, it was CPI that gave me the chance to shine. I was hired in 2003 as just holiday seasonal help and eventually became assistant manager, later to leave and come back as manager. I grew the most during these years. I learned so much about photography, business, customer service. A chunk of my heart is broken knowing that they are no longer in business. At the same time I have mixed feelings because this is an excellent time for all independent photographers (which really, it's about time.) :) I am grateful for all CPI gave and taught me; and believe me, it was a lot. Hands down the best thing I learned from them was outreaching; without this simple idea business cannot grow. It's the sunshine your plant needs. So CPI, this is a goodbye but really this is a Thank You. Thank you for showing a teenage girl that she could be the most amazing photographer. Thank you for telling that same girl that she could be a savvy business-lady. And thank you for allowing me to grow through excellent customer service. It's been the attribute that sets me apart from everyone else. Sears Portrait Studio will always be a part of who I am.