Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Annie & Isabel Designer Hospital Gown Giveaway with MckMama


I have always loved reading blogs, long before my sister and I started our business selling designer hospital gowns. We have found some inspirational people and amazing stories from people who have allowed us to "read in" on their lives through their blogs. One day I came across a blog written by a mother, Jennifer McKinney, known by readers as MckMama. Her unborn baby and fourth child, Stellan, had a heart condition called supraventricular tachycardia, or SVT. SVT was causing Stellan's heart to beat at an accelerated and dangerous rate. This interested us because of our medical background and because we are mothers ourselves. We prayed as we followed along through the ups and downs of his fight for life. You can read more about Stellan's amazing story here.

MckMama is well known for blogging about her daily life raising her "Many Small Children", as she calls them. She is a talented photographer, and her blog is full of her creative and colorful work documenting her children's lives. As our company was making its' debut, MckMama's sister, Hilary, was getting ready to welcome her first child. We asked Hilary if she wanted to try out our first sample designer hospital gown and so she became the very first person to wear one of our gowns. She was so gracious and had nothing but wonderful things to say about her experience in our "Annie Gown" which you can read about on MckMama's blog here and find those compliments on our testimonial page. We were so excited to hear this feedback from Hilary......for the first time, our dream was beginning to be a reality.


Fast forward a few months and MckMama had exciting news of her own....she was expecting her fifth child! In the short time between Hilary's delivery and MckMama approaching due date, Annie & Isabel was in full swing. Nearing the end of MckMama's recent pregnancy she required several hospitalizations and was able to use both our "Anita" and "Evelyn" hospital gowns. We are glad that our hospital gowns were able to provide her with some comfort and dignity during these stays.


With much anticipation, on August 2, 2010, MckMama donned her "Evelyn" Annie & Isabel designer hospital gown as she prepared to go in for her c-section. She and her family welcomed a new little miracle to the family, baby Lachlan.

This is what MckMama had to say about her experience wearing her Annie & Isabel designer hospital gowns:

"I was hospitalized a few times before actually giving birth to our fifth baby. Each time, I asked my husband to bring me one of my Annie & Isabel gowns to wear. I got compliments from my nurses constantly. Thank you, Annie & Isabel, for allowing me to feel pretty... even in the hospital! My favorite gown is the Evelyn, and I wore that one when I gave birth to our sweet son, Lachlan. Besides how gorgeous the high quality gowns are, I loved the ribbon ties and the fact that the back wraps around to the side, tying on the hip. I was wheeled and walked up to the Special Care Nursery to nurse our new baby many, many times those first days. When wearing my Annie & Isabel gown, I felt lovely and completely covered up! The nurses constantly said they wished that all the gowns on the Labor and Delivery floor were so great. Thank you for beautifying my birthing experience with your gowns!!"


As we congratulate the MckMama family, Jennifer was gracious enough to host a giveaway for us to help spread the word about our company Annie & Isabel. Watch her Facebook and Twitter pages for more details about the giveaway tomorrow, Wednesday, August 25th. You can "like" MckMama on Facebook here and follow her on Twitter here. Good luck!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Support of Sisters During a Difficult Time

When we dreamed up Annie & Isabel together, as nurses, we envisioned bringing happiness to patients in hospitals everywhere. We thought of all the lovely patients we had encountered in the past and knew that having a designer hospital gown would have made a HUGE difference in their hospital stays. It seemed impossible to start a business, being busy mothers to 6 young boys, both working at the hospital, and running all over town juggling our boy's busy schedules. We were determined to make Annie & Isabel a reality because we thought of what good it would bring to people. We went into our nursing careers because we want to help people through tough times... We have discovered that Annie & Isabel has become another way in our lives that is rewarding and doesn't carry the emotional downsides of our stressful jobs. At work in the hospital, we interact with our patients... who have amazing courage and spirit in the face of so many terrible diagnoses. They inspire us on a daily basis and we each carry so many of them in our hearts.... So many days after working a long 12 hours shift, we come home to our sleeping boys and kiss them a little longer because of what we experienced that day. Being nurses forces us to appreciate every day that we are able to wake up with our health and mother our boys, or go to work, or send out gowns to our clients. We see how life can be so hard for so many... and we come into contact with people struggling and fighting the good fight! We feel SO honored to be nurses, and now business owners, who can help those in need of medical care with a beautiful pick-me-up such as an Annie & Isabel designer hospital gown!

That brings us to our excitement that the word is spreading about Annie & Isabel. We have sold so many gowns to beautiful mothers for upcoming births, which we love! Recently we have also been selling gowns to people going in for surgery, at home with hospice, or getting treatment in the hospital. This makes us really happy, because people stuck in the hospital are the ones who really need the benefits of an Annie & Isabel gown. We recently received an e-mail from a beautiful woman who was gifted The Annie gown from her sisters for her stay in the hospital. She said she adored her Annie gown and felt like it made a big difference in her hospital stay. She told us, "Staff and patients are always asking me where I got the gown and how cute and functional it is. What a wonderful concept the gowns are to make patients feel more comfortable, less exposed, and most of all, a little more attractive in a very sterile, unglamorous environment." We have added her full testimonial to our page and you can read it here. She was so sweet to send us this adorable pic of her in the Annie gown with her sisters. Aside from her IV, you would never know which sister was the patient! Like we always say... When you look great... You feel better and recover faster!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Testimonial From A Winner Of Our Annie & Isabel Designer Hospital Gown

We had such a great time at the Bump It Up Event back in June. We raffled off 2 hospital gowns and Smruti was one of the lucky and gracious winners. She chose to wear the Anita for the birth of her daughter and we were thrilled when she recently wrote us to tell us how much she LOVED having her own hospital gown.

Here is the beautiful picture she sent us of her new precious baby girl. Click HERE to read her testimonial.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Live Radio Broadcast About Annie & Isabel!!

We had a wonderful surprise this week. We received an email from world renowned author and lifestyle expert, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman. Kimberly does a daily lifestyle segment on Dallas, Texas radio station 103.7's the Gene and Julie show. This is the #1 morning show in Dallas, Texas and they were nominated as "The Best Morning Show in America" from 2004 to 2008. She found our website and loves our product so much that she is featuring us on her radio show this Monday, August 9th at 8am Central time!!!

Kimberly is the author of four books on entertaining and has made appearances as a style expert on The Tyra Banks Show, CBS The Early Show, Rachael Ray, Fine Living and HGTV, WB In The Morning, to name a few. She was also a featured event planner for Style Network's hit show, "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?". In addition, Kimberly has been a successful entrepreneur in event planning which has landed her in publications such as Vanity Fair, Elle, Vogue, Town & Country, The Wall Street Journal and many, many more.

Needless to say, we are very honored that she has chosen to highlight us! Please tune in Monday to 103.7 the Gene & Julie show at 8am if you are in the Dallas area. For everyone else, you can go to this link -> Gene & Julie website and click on the area at the right upper corner that says "Listen Live". If you can't wake up that early we will post the link once it is up. You can also go to the website and look for the link to the show on Monday.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Introducing The Susan Designer Hospital Gown

Most of you have seen our newest designer hospital gown, The Susan. We FINALLY want to officially introduce the gown to you and give you the story behind the naming of this gown. This is such a hard post to write, because we have so much we want to say!

The Susan gown is a very special gown and named after our beloved mother, Susan. We have honored our loved ones of the past with our 5 other gowns, but the newest addition to our collection is in honor of our best friend and mother, Susan.

Anyone who knows our mother knows what a special person she really is. She always has her family as the center of her being. She loves geneology and researching our roots. She has single handedly kept so many of the memories of our ancestors, who have left this life, ALIVE with her research and stories....stories that we treasure and will share with our children and grandchildren. Maybe that is why we ourselves have incorporated so much of who we are into the naming of these designer hospital gowns and into our business.

We will forever cherish the home videos that our mother took of our Great Grandma Annie telling her stories from the farm... or the love letters she compiled between our Grandmother Elizabeth and Grandpa Jack while he was fighting the war (those could be a best selling book.. so romantic!) It is very important to our mother to document everything about our loved ones so that their legacy will always live on through each generation. How lucky are we that we know the roots from where we came?! We have even had the fortune to visit the homelands of these relatives in the Azores, Portugal and Ireland which was such a blessing because it made us realize how special these people were and the hardships they endured to give us the freedoms we enjoy today in America.

Our Mother Susan

Family is so important to our mother that she also chose to name each of her children after people in our family. We loved this so much that we, too, have kept the tradition going and have named each of our boys after someone in our family. What is so special about this is that our children will always know about the people they were named after which, in turn, keeps their stories and names ALIVE!! We can't wait to tell Jack more about how dapper his Great-Grandpa Jack was and how people called him Gentleman Jack... or tell George that his Great-Grandfather George bravely lived through the Armenian Genocide when many men in his family did not... he was a little boy who was dressed as a girl, as the women and girls were initially spared from execution. Without their bravery we would not be where we are today or who we are today. All of this is important to us because of our amazing mother.

If you have purchased one of our Annie & Isabel gowns, you know that you receive a card with the gown that shares the story of the gowns namesake. We would like to share The Susan Card with you...

Our mother, Susan, has always taught us to be caring women and see the good in everyone. This really helps us in our work as nurses in the hospital. We are frequently challenged with difficult patients and sometimes it is hard not to judge them. We have been taught by our mother to always think about what these patients have gone through that has made them the way they are today. Instead of passing judgement, we often times feel sympathy for them. As nurses it is not our place to judge. We always aim to care for the patient in the best way possible. Many days at work we channel our mother to give us strength to carry on.... and many days we need this strength in a big way!

If you have read our previous posts, you know how hard it was to obtain The Susan Gown material. When we had it reprinted exclusively for Annie & Isabel, we knew it was a special gown for a special person. Mom has a deep love for the past, but also has a fashion sense for the present. Black and white are her favorite colors for clothing and animal prints often find their way into her wardrobe. This gown is definitely THE SUSAN!