When my sister and I made the decision to become nurses it was because we felt called to a profession that allowed us to help those in need......as is the case for most nurses. We can't imagine giving of ourselves in any other way than through our hands and hearts as we care for our patients in the hospital. We feel honored to help others during times when they are most vunerable. Every day we have the privilege of making a difference in someone's life and that, in and of itself, is amazing. But, doing what we do is not always easy and the stress of our jobs can weigh heavily on us. We try not to let our work life interfere with our personal lives but sometimes a particular patient's story or outcome will stick with us for days, years, and sometimes forever. It changes who we are and how we live. We both have had a few rough weeks at work and are so thankful for the support we give to each other. Anna has been dealing with a short staffed ER and barely gets a lunch or bathroom break most days. I recently experienced one of the hardest deaths of my career and have been caring for some patients with heart wrenching circumstances. Through all of this sadness, however, we find strength and inspiration from the men and women fighting the good fight before our eyes. When we come home on days where a person lost their life unexpectedly and we are faced with comforting their heartbroken family, it makes the little everyday stresses so inconsequential. It is on those nights that we hold our families close and remember that each day should be cherished like it is the last. Here are some things we should all remember:
Life is not always fair.
Every day without pain and suffering should be cherished and lived to the fullest.
Appreciate the little and big things each day and try not to sweat the small stuff.
Treat each day like it could be your last and make the most of it.
When we started Annie & Isabel it came from the core of who we are as women and nurses. We obviously didn't choose our career in nursing because we wanted to be recognized for our compassion and care. We chose it because we love to help others feel better. When we started Annie & Isabel as a side business, we based it on that same desire.....to help those in the hospital. Providing comfort and dignity in the small form of having your OWN hospital gown is not a genius idea! Hospital gowns have been around...umm...forever. We just redesigned them from our first hand experience and added features that we know are lacking in the standard gown. We have used our expertise from our professional careers to make what we know to be an amazing direct to consumer hospital gown. What other product can you gift yourself or a loved one that provides comfort, style, and dignity in the hospital?! What other product has the power to bring a smile to someone during a most difficult time?!
We receive so many emails from our customers telling us what a difference having their own gown made during their stay or in the stay of the person they gifted the hospital gown to. We are so touched and honored that people WANT to share their stories with us and especially love that the many testimonials we recieve, come from people wearing them in all stages of one's life.... from bringing a new life into the world to helping someone die comfortably and peacefully.
Amy, a woman welcoming her first child said, "I loved the fact that it closed completely in the back so I could walk the halls without worry and the shoulder snaps allowed me to easily nurse my little one"...
14 year old open heart surgery patient Katie said, "The gowns made my days so much brighter! I felt "dressed" in the gown, which made me feel less like a patient and more like a person. I love my hospital gowns!"
Hearing from these inspirational women is what keeps us going! Like we always say, "When you look great, you feel better!™" and that is not just what we think or what you see on the home page of our website... that is what we know. We know this from our days at work when we can take the extra time out of our busy days to wash our patients hair or soak their tired feet...and now we know this because of all our amazing customers that tell us about it when wearing their Annie & Isabel gowns in the hospital or at home.
"How is selling clothing making a difference in people's lives? I'd love to know!"
Honestly, my first reaction was a feeling of frustration...knowing that he clearly did not understand our product and there was no way he had ever been a patient in a hospital bed. My calm husband, however, chose to look at this as an opportunity and tweeted back to him with a link to our hospital stay testimonial page. His response......
"Cool- I'll try to remember them next time someone I love has a hospital
visit that lasts more than a day"
We really want to thank all of our readers, followers, and friends for all of your support. You are all a part of our Annie & Isabel family. Every time we send out a hospital gown we think about the people that will wear our hospital gowns. Sometimes our thoughts are of excitement as a woman anticipates the arrival of a newborn child. Sometimes our thoughts are of prayer as the woman about to wear their Annie & Isabel hospital gown will be going through surgery, cancer treatments or battling a chronic illness and sometimes they are thoughts of sadness and comfort as a family prepares to say goodbye to a loved one. Just as we carry the stories of our patients from work in our hearts....we also carry the stories of the women who wear our hospital gowns in our hearts. Thank you all for helping Annie & Isabel make a difference.