Like many children, I grew up with stuffed animals, and when I found out my mom donated one here and there I was always devastated. But there was one stuffed animal, a unicorn, that has stayed with me for 30 years. I keep her at my bedside and she wears my hospital birth bracelet around her neck. For me, it’s my daily reminder…

I came to crossroads in my life a couple years ago, I wasn’t satisfied with my career path in real estate and I had an unsettling desire to follow my artistic passions. I started to recall a story my mom told me that gave me some perspective. It wasn’t just any story, it was my birth story.

 

 

My mom was eating dinner around 6pm on April 28, 1986 when she unexpectedly went into labor. Rushed to the nearest hospital, my mom gave birth to twins within 2 hours of her water breaking. My brother was born first, and I came second. We each had our own doctor that was brought in by helicopter for the procedure. Once born, we rode first class in our own ambulance to our main hospital.

Our expected due date was July 3rd, we were born at 28 weeks (around 9 weeks early!). Weighing 3lbs 1 ounce (so tiny), I was unable to go home, so I spent 7 weeks hospitalized in an intensive care unit. My brother stayed in the hospital for 6.

Finally the nurse asked my mom if she was willing to watch my monitor I was connected to, I could come home. My mom, being the caring person she is, agreed (I owe so much to her). With a couple false alarms, I spent two more weeks with the monitor until I was healthy enough to be without it. I have spent the last thirty years healthy with no birth complications. 

 

I decided to share this story because today is my birthday. Each year, I’m reminded of how blessed I am to be able to do what I’m passionate about. My parents not only gave me the gift of birth, but they also gave me the gift to follow my passions.

For as long as I can remember, I loved to draw. My grandmother recalls that I only needed paper and crayons and I was happy. Taking art classes growing up, I cultivated my love for the creative arts. I was fortunate enough to enroll into a creative arts program where I majored in Visual Art in high school. That led to earning my Bachelor of Architecture. And through a long journey of self discovery, trial and error with career choices, I found my way back to creating art. And this time, it holds a purpose.

I’ve been given a chance at life, and a chance to pursue my creative endeavorsI find it only natural to give others a chance of finding their own inner creativity. This is why Phephe Rose is more than just an artist brand. Phephe Rose stands for what I hold dear to my heart and that is inspiring creativity in our next generation. Without the exposure to the arts and the opportunity to explore my own creativity, I would not be where I am today. I want to give that opportunity to other children. In supporting Phephe Rose, you too are giving back to our mission, and for that I’m grateful.

So every time I look over to my unicorn, I’m reminded that I was given a chance. She keeps me motivated to fulfill my purpose.

 

(We had a little fun with the photoshoot)

Xoxo Phe-bl

 

**Please excuse any mistakes, I studied art not grammar**

 

I’m currently raising donations for a creative project, Adventures of Mila  — a series of illustrations, activities and stories capturing the world adventures of a curious little bunny to inspire the creative minds of children everywhere. Learn more HERE.

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