Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Anniversary To Us ~ Our Second Year

It is hard to believe that another year has passed here at Annie & Isabel designer hospital gowns!

We want to thank each and every one of you for your support, love, and encouragement in our second year!

We have grown more than we could have ever imagined. Our gowns have been spotted in hospitals all over the United States and even in countries like Poland, Dubai, Norway, Australia, The United Kingdom and Canada to name a few! We've even unexpectedly seen our hospital gowns being worn by patients in the hospitals we both work in! Those sightings provided us with surreal moments where we have definitely pinched ourselves with excitement.

A few highlights from our second year...

Our Isabel designer hospital gown went to Hollywood and was a mainstay on abc's hit show Private Practice! How amazing it was to see our beautiful Isabel gown in high definition and on actors such as Kate Walsh. 

We loved the excitement that surrounded our celebrity status gown sightings on primetime television, but anyone who knows us really well, knows that we cherish more the "real life" celebrities, or warriors, as we call them, that we honor through our Feel Better Campaign nominations. This past year, we recognized Brianne with cystic fibrosis with her beautiful outlook and attitude. We recognized Pricilla the "Wheelchair Mommy", who doesn't let a wheelchair slow her down. Lastly, we recognized Julie, who, after falling victim in a devastating car accident, not only survived, but has become an inspiration to so many far and near! We want to thank our readers for all the support you have sent to our FBC recipients.

We shared in the joy of so many women as they welcomed babies in style! Several of our original customers have even worn our gowns for a second birth like Ardeep, who welcomed her daughter in our Annie gown and then welcomed her son in our Isabel gown. Such a beautiful family and precious moments captured by the talented Brenda Bisharat Photography.

Our designer hospital gowns have always been popular for pregnancies but, over this last year, we have seen a huge growth in sales for people dealing with all types of medical conditions and also from family members buying them for a loved one in hospice care. We have received positive feedback from customers telling us that their Annie & Isabel hospital gowns made them feel special during a difficult time. It fills our hearts with joy knowing that our gowns can provide comfort and dignity to these patients.  

Some obstacles...

Selena lost her beloved mother-in-law Arlene to cancer. She was one of Annie & Isabel's biggest cheer leaders and always had a brochure in her purse. It was only fitting that she wore all of our gowns in the last weeks of her life. Her 5 year old grandson, George, enjoyed picking out Grandma's hospital gowns {this Anita was his favorite} and loved to stay close to her in her final days. 

Anna was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in January and just finished her treatments. She has been overwhelmed with the love and support of our Annie & Isabel community and will forever treasure all the emails, messages on Facebook, and tweets of encouragement. Thank you.

 On the horizon...

We are about to launch our men's hospital gown line!!! We have two fabrics and have perfected the design. It's going to be a little different, but don't worry men, we've still got you covered!

We are excited to introduce our new Elizabeth hospital gown! We discontinued our original Elizabeth due to fabric unavailability and are in LOVE with our replacement. As always, we donate a portion of each Elizabeth gown sale to the The Navigator Program which directly supports local women and men with breast cancer. We chose this program because our Grandmother, Elizabeth, succumbed to breast cancer and we wanted to honor her in this way.

Thank you again to all our fans and customers who have supported us. What we love most about our company is making connections with all of you. You are the faces of our company and we value every relationship we make. We are inspired on a daily basis by the people we meet through Annie & Isabel and that is what keeps us going so THANK YOU!!!

For our anniversary, we are offering 15% off this week only, Monday - Friday! Please use the checkout code "anniversary" and pass it on to anyone who might need a hospital gown. We still believe everyone should at least have one tucked away in their drawer. Hospital trips are not always planned and you don't want to be caught flapping in the wind! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Yes….Good Bye Cancer!!! I am officially done with treatment and isolation and boy does that feel good. I have been waiting for this day for over three months and I can’t tell you how good it feels to have my surgeries and treatment behind me. The radioactive iodine treatment that I received will continue to do its job for several months but I’m going to go ahead and say that I have kicked cancer’s butt!! I am still working on gaining all my energy back and that will take weeks, if not a few months, to feel completely back to normal but, with all the bad stuff behind me, I can deal with being tired and achy a little while longer. Yes, there is always a chance of a recurrence, but that is not something I am going to think about. I believe that it is so important to be positive so that is how I plan to live from here on out.

I could never have gotten through this journey without so many special people in my life. One of the most special of these is my husband, Joe. Cancer can cause a lot of stress in a family and Joe took on the reigns of our household without complaint and he did it well!! Not many husbands could switch gears and single handedly take on four active kid’s schedules, assume housekeeping 101, while also working their day job. He did just that and, in addition, provided me with so much love, support and encouragement through every step of this long journey. He is amazing and I love him so much.

I’ve already talked in previous posts about my wonderful parents, sister and family. They have helped me immensely and mean the world to me. I have always known I have the best parents and I realize it even more after going through cancer. I am also lucky to have THE best sister ever. My sister, Selena, is my best friend and I love her dearly. She also had to run Annie & Isabel by herself and we had our best month in sales to date during that she was a good way!!!

I want to thank each and every one of you for joining me on this journey and especially for helping me get through each step from surgery #1 ~ to surgery #2 ~ to treatment and isolation. You have all been my biggest cheerleaders and have helped both me and my family tremendously in remaining positive and recognizing the good things that have come from this experience. We were so blessed by all of you in so many different ways:

• We have had dinners brought to our home from friends from the week I was diagnosed until now and that has been a huge blessing. It’s been one BIG thing that we haven’t had to worry about.

• I have received so many beautiful cards in the mail. I never realized how much a card received via snail mail could lift my spirits and make me smile until going through this cancer diagnosis.

• I had one dear friend, Anne, invite me over for a girls chick flick day when I was too tired to do much else but lay on the couch.  She treated me to a lunch that met my special diet guidelines and made my day!
The two of us on a more energetic day!
·   One of my co-workers baked me three loaves of bread that met my special diet restrictions to get me through the period of time that I was required to be on a strict diet. 

• I had numerous families take my children out to do fun things like bowling and going to dinner and plays.

• While I was in isolation, I had several surrogate moms to give my little ones hugs! I know they appreciated that.

·  I received this beautiful quilt made by my mother-in-law to comfort me during my recoveries and this banner, made by a friend, to remind me what my job Kick Cancer's Butt!

• I was blessed by two friends who are teachers that had their children write me notes of encouragement. I cried both times because of how wonderful it felt to hear from children who were so thoughtful to reach out and write to me.

• Several times I found fun gifts left on our doorstep to brighten our family’s day (and to fatten me up after losing some weight after surgery).

• My three best friends from high school all got together to come see me. Two of them had to fly in from out of state. We hadn’t been together at one time in over 8 years and while I felt so tired that day….they gave me more energy and laughter than I had had in a long time!

• I received several small little gifts that I wore and used throughout my journey that reminded me to keep up the good fight with a smile on my face.

• I received a prayer blanket from a dear relative who I hadn’t corresponded with in years. It was a special blanket that was prayed on while being made and given a special blessing by the monsignor of their church. I used this on my bed while I was in isolation and it was so comforting.

• We had several families provide rides for our children to and from school and sporting activities

• I'm so amazed at the friendships that we've made through Annie & Isabel from far and near. This gorgeous painting was left on my doorstep, while in isolation, by local realtor and artist Tim Collom. It brought tears to my eyes because it's my family's favorite vacation spot and I've only just met Tim this year. He shared something so precious with me...his gift of art. It will remind me of the love and support of friends as I look at this painting for years to come.

• I had several friends who knew exactly what to do to make me laugh, including this special gift from my friend Amy when I was about to become radioactive. Only from a good nurse friend like Amy can you get a gift in "biohazard wrapping" to lift your spirits.
· Another great friend researched and explained the low iodine diet I was required to do prior to treatment. She helped me get organized and prepare ahead of time which took a huge weight off my shoulders!!

• I received hundreds of notes of encouragement via email and twitter and each and every note boosted me tremendously. Even Real Housewife of New Jersey Teresa Giudice read my story and sent out this thoughtful tweet!
·  I received an abundance of flowers to brighten up my days.

These are only a few of the beautiful arrangements I received
• Thank you to Facebook and all my friends on Facebook too! I know some people think Facebook is a waste of time but I have to say that the notes, likes and comments I received via Facebook kept my spirits up and made me smile so much. Facebook was my savior during my isolation period. I have been in awe and humbled by the amount of support I have received through this social network.

I don’t share all this with you to brag about all the neat things that were sent our way or were done for me and our family. I share all these things with you to show you how much of an integral part of this journey you all were in helping me win this battle. I have always felt so blessed and lucky to have so many people standing alongside me in this fight against cancer.

When I first blogged about my thyroid cancer diagnosis I said that cancer didn’t stand a chance against me and that I was going to “Kick Cancer’s Butt”. I did Kick Cancer’s Butt but the support that you all provided to me made it so much easier that I would now say that I didn’t kick cancer’s butt but, rather, WE Kicked Cancer’s Butt!!! Thank YOU so much!

So Here Are My Parting Words To You Cancer:

1. Thank you for making me a better person.

2. It has NOT been fun.

3. I have, indeed, Kicked Your Butt!!

4. Now stay away because I have an amazing life to go live.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ellen's "Baby Meets City" in The Annie Designer Hospital Gown!

New York City mom blogger Ellen welcomes her second daughter in the Annie designer hospital gown!  

Here is what Ellen said about wearing an Annie & Isabel hospital gown for such a special occasion, 

"I absolutely loved wearing my "Annie" hospital gown as we welcomed our new daughter, Vivian Ella, into the world. And not just because it was pink!  So much of the hospital experience is uncomfortable -- from the gowns given upon arrival to the bed you're expected to sleep in.  It was such a pleasure to wear something bright and beautiful (yet comfy!) as I shared our precious daughter with friends and family who came to visit."

You can learn more about Ellen on her blog "baby meets city" where she writes about juggling motherhood and her darling daughters in New York City. 

Thank you to Ellen for the beautiful picture and testimonial! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lisa Wears "The Anita" Hospital Gown to Welcome Baby Tabitha

We are so happy to share this lovely testimonial from Lisa wearing our Anita designer hospital gown for the birth of her fourth child. She was so gracious to share these special hospital moments with us and about her experience in an Annie & Isabel gown.  


This is what Lisa said about her special day,  

"I am pleased to let you know baby #4 joined our family on Jan. 3, 2012. Tabitha Mercy met us around 4:30pm weighing in at 6lbs 15oz and 19.5in. I was so excited to have a nice clean gown to change into after my shower. It was super comfy, beautiful and modest. The best compliment came from the massage therapist. She was so excited about it, I was fully covered, she loved the colors and the feel of the fabric, direct quote being "It's alot better then the things they (the hospital) give you. I wish we had more of these."

It made me feel so good to be able to get out of bed and not worry about showing off something I didn't want to. With being on hemorrage watch it was very nice to have on still for my routine checks. Thank you so much for creating such a useful and blessing filled product. I am in love with it and am glad to know I will be able to use it again.  

Thanks you again for blessing me with the Anita gown. It really helped to boost my spirits! May God bless you for blessing women in this way."

If you have worn an Annie & Isabel designer hospital gown and want to share your story, We appreciate hearing back from every single Annie & Isabel woman out there SO much! Thank you all for your support.