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.
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.
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.