This project's genesis is about a month after COVID 19 hit the US, and the country began to go into lockdown. This was a particularly dark period for me personally, and if I'm going to be completely honest, I was already in a dark place before COVID - the Virus just added insult to injury. During this cold, depressing, isolated period, I began to think a lot about the human spirit and all it must endure while on this planet. No one escapes some version of hurt, loss, illness, or tragedy - we all face it at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, some (for whatever reason) must deal with a more significant amount or more intense level of it. Two particular women wore heavy on my heart during this time. They were (and still are) going through a tremendously trying time in their lives. Whatever sadness, anxiety, or anger, I was feeling paled in comparison to what these two were going through. With these ladies in mind and the current weight of the world (on everyone's shoulders), I kept searching for a word or a mantra that would represent hope, strength, endurance, and symbolize a light at the end of the tunnel. A word that reminds us that no matter how hard today is, no matter how hard tomorrow is, we will rise up and come out the other end, stronger, wiser, and better.
The word that became so incredibly clear to me was RESILIENT.
I felt it was important to have this word printed on clothing so people could actually wear this word and spread the message of resiliency. I asked the Artist Adam Eron Welch to create the artwork for this project. Adam is not only my favorite living artist; he is also a person I have a tremendous amount of respect for. Adam puts an incredible amount of thought and integrity into every project he takes on. Once the artwork was complete and I had some tanks and dresses printed up, I reached out to the two women who inspired this project and shared it with them. I also nervously asked them if they would be willing to share their stories. They both graciously agreed. In the next couple of weeks, you will hear each of their stories, and I commend these beautiful women for having the courage and willingness to share with all of us because, honestly speaking, I don't know that I would be able to do the same.
I have a small women's boutique in Downtown Atascadero. We sell clothing & jewelry, and it's a lot of fun - but that's not really what it's all about. What it's really about are the customers who have stuck by me from day one, the customers who at this point, feel more like friends and family than they do customers. It's about working with people I truly enjoy and respect. Mostly, it's about being apart of a small but MIGHTY community filled with good people and good businesses.