(excerpt from website)
“It started when I was a little girl. While my mother would be making lunch or folding laundry in front of the latest episode of All My Children, I would sneak up into her bedroom, close the door, and open up the special drawer in her armoire. In it was the softest, silkiest, prettiest things I had ever seen. There was lace and chiffon, silk and charmeuse. And each one was as pretty as the next. Sometimes I would lay them all out and wonder what in the world she wore them for (little did I know…), but I would always try one on and dance in front of the mirror. And magically, the second I slipped on that silky little nothing, I felt beautiful. My hair was likely in ratted pigtails, there’s a good chance there was dirt under my nails from the tree I probably climbed earlier that morning, but all those factors didn’t matter because, deep down, I felt pretty.
Somewhere along the way, my definition of beauty changed. I began to be influenced by media and pop culture that told me that being beautiful was not about how I felt about myself, but about how I looked. And in order to look beautiful I had to be tall and thin, not too thin, though, just thin enough…and slightly toned, but still with some curves. And all that could be accentuated by certain things I wore or how I did my hair and makeup. The list went on and on about how I felt I need to look in order to be beautiful. I know you can relate. Because you live in the same world I do. The world of Redbook Magazine, J. Crew catalogs, The Real Housewives, MTV music videos, and reality TV shows that are solely focused transforming how a woman looks. And somehow in the midst of it all, in the name of trying to defend our beauty, many of us have turned to the wrong things.
I’m here to tell you that you are beautiful. Just as you are. Those stretch marks on your belly are proof that you gave life to another human being. The wrinkles on your face are the markings of a life full of lots of laughter. And the extra pounds? They are called love handles for a reason.
I want to help you rediscover your beauty. I want to help you reclaim your femininity. I want you to realize that you can be confident in your own skin, just the way you are. Because I believe in creating a society where women feel confident enough to embrace their femininity without feeling like they have to give up their strength and dignity. I believe in helping women embody a radiance that is undeniable and a beauty that is to be reckoned with. I believe in honoring the struggle of womankind while recognizing the irreplaceable and imperative role of delicacy and strength that she plays in the world. I believe in empowering women to be confident in who God has made them to be. And lastly, I believe in her story. That she has a story to tell. That her story holds incredible value. And that, above all else, her story needs to be heard.”
Over the last year I have teamed up with Erin Infantino from Simply Gorgeous by Erin to document the stories and hearts of some of the most incredible women I’ve met. We’ve heard stories ranging from past abuse and vicious divorces to cancer survivors and those still enduring it. We’ve had women of all shapes, all sizes, and all ages come through our doors. And all of them wanted the same thing – to feel and look beautiful. These stories have changed us. They’ve given us perspective on life, and they’ve caused us to appreciate what we have so much more.
Recently Erin and I came up with the idea to host a charity day where we will be donating our time and services to women who are the over-comers. The ones who have survived. The ones who have remained strong in the face of adversity and sickness. Our charity day will be held Saturday, May 3 from 8:30AM-5PM. We are going to accept 5 women in for a full makeover + shoot and, through video and imagery, will tell their stories.
We are SO EXCITED about this project!!
If you know anyone who has had cancer and overcame it, someone who is currently in the middle of battling it and has a fantastic attitude, or if you yourself have lost a best friend or immediate family member, please send in an “application” here. The way it will work is that we are donating our services of photography, hair, and makeup, and then whatever is purchased in product from her shoot will be donated to After The Storm, Inc. The shoots will take place during the day and then these lovely ladies can go out and enjoy lunch, a trip to the mall, or a little break for some coffee before coming back and viewing all their images, already printed and matted and ready to take home. We will spoil and pamper them and make them feel like an absolute queen for the day because, let’s be honest, they have earned it. We are SO beyond excited about this day and hope that you will help us spread the word through Facebook, Instagram, Email, Twitter, and Pinterest!
Here are some before/afters of recent shoots we’ve done