Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#LoveForLawson :: We Need Your Help {Our latest Feel Better Campaign Recipient}

Annie & Isabel is so much more than a designer hospital gown company. Our hospital gowns are often purchased as special gifts for people fighting tough diagnoses or dealing with unfortunate circumstances and, because of this, we have inevitably met some very special and brave people along the way. We feel truly honored that people take the time to read our posts and think of our company when they are trying to figure out what to do for someone in need. If you are reading this post, chances are you have been here before and we thank you. This is a place where we often share stories of warriors who have worn or are wearing our gowns and call for an outpouring of thoughts and prayers. Time and time again, you have all truly shown us the good in this world with your support for a stranger in need. The thoughtfulness is beyond measure and that, our dear friends, is why Annie & Isabel has been such a special thing that we hold close to our hearts. We are here once again, in a time of need, to ask for your help. 

This is Meghan. She is a mother, a wife to Ryan, a photographer, and now an Annie & Isabel warrior.  Meghan is actually you. She is the one who loyally reads our posts and answers our calls for help. She shares our posts on Facebook and sends healing thoughts to warriors who have come before her. Meghan is a kind and caring woman and we are so excited to say she is about to welcome her fourth son, Lawson!  This unborn child, however, needs a swarm of good thoughts and prayers for the fight he will have when he is born and that is where we hope you will all come in.

Meghan is the mother of 3 beautiful sons, Colton 16, Dylan 8, and Gavin 7. When we saw on Instagram that she was expecting her fouth boy, we were so so so excited for her. As we both know so well, brothers are magical and a fourth boy is pretty special. We recently noticed Meghan posting about "#LoveforLawson" and were saddened to learn that baby Lawson is up against quite a battle as soon as he is born. Meghan shared with us that baby Lawson has a congenital heart defect called Hydroplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), which means Lawson has half a heart. Lawson will have his first open heart surgery within days of his birth and Meghan and her husband Ryan were told that he has a 60% chance of surviving this first sugery. He will then have another surgery around 6 months, a surgery as a toddler, and ultimately will need a heart transplant. 

Meghan, Scott, Colton, Dylan, and Gavin, are anxiously awaiting the arrival of baby Lawson as we write this. We have chosen Meghan as our latest Feel Better Campaign recipient and hope Meghan will feel comfortable, loved, and beautiful when she delivers baby Lawson. Here is a picture of Meghan just minutes ago in her Isabel designer hospital gown! Isn't she gorgeous?!

We need your help and we know you all will help because you have done it before! We would please ask you to do the following so that we can surround this family in love and prayers for Lawson to have a safe delivery and surgery in his first week of life:
  • LIKE our Facebook post to help Meghan, Ryan and her boys feel our love.
  • SHARE our Facebook post and as part of your comment put #LoveForLawson so others can help surround them in love and spread their story.
  • POST A COMMENT on our Facebook post to give Meghan and her family words of encouragement and strength as they prepare for an exciting time of welcoming a new son to their family, yet also a very scary and unpredictable time as to the fate of their son's health.

Meghan, her husband Ryan, who is a police sargent, and 3 sons live in Temecula, California. She is a stay at home mother and has her own photography business, Memories by Meghan Photography.    

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tatsiana Welcomes Baby Girl in Her Annie & Isabel Hospital Gown

We received this beautiful testimonial from Tatsiana, who just welcomed a beautiful baby girl! How adorable is her sweet face? She is wearing our "Annie" Annie & Isabel designer hospital gown enjoying those first newborn snuggles.

I want to thank you for making my hospital stay brighter with one of your beautiful gowns! I was so lucky and excited to receive it as a gift and wear it after delivering my precious baby girl. Everyone who came to visit commented on how fresh and pretty I looked in the gown, as if I didn't just go through labor to deliver an almost 10 pound baby. Not to mention it was a huge hit with the nurses and other hospital staff! Your gown made me feel not only beautiful, but most importantly very comfortable, whether I was breastfeeding or walking the halls. It also made for some beautiful first pictures with my baby! 

I thank you and wish you all the best in your business! 



Sunday, June 8, 2014

What Makes Annie & Isabel Designer Hospital Gowns Special?

A funny card we came across...so true!
Annie & Isabel hospital gowns are far superior to the standard issues hospital gown. We have always believed this, but after 4 years, this is something we know for a fact. We stand behind this statement because we are constantly reminded of this by the amazing women who write to us and tell us what a difference an Annie & Isabel gown made in their hospital stay. We are both registered nurses and started our company after listening to years of our patients complain about the thin thread-bare, skimpy, huge, small, one-size-does-NOT-fit all hospital gowns. It is just astounding how a beautiful hospital gown of your own can make such a big impact on how you feel. 

Here is why our gowns are so special...

  • Our designer hospital gowns are made of high quality 100% cotton and have a beautiful ribbon trim. 
  • We have added an inside side pocket to keep essentials {kleenex, chapstick, phone...}
  • Our gowns wrap around and tie on the side... a simple detail with a HUGE difference {no flashing in the hallways!!}
  • All of our gowns meet hospital standards with snaps on the shoulders to provide easy IV access for medical personnel and makes nursing easy for new mothers.  
  • Gowns fall mid-calf length for most women, providing extra security and comfort
  • Sizes available in XS.S,M,L,XL,2XL ~ our sizing guideline for pregnancy and non-pregnancy
  • Made in San Francisco, CA in the USA!!
Here is what some women had to say about Annie & Isabel,

"I felt "dressed" in the gown, which made me feel less like a patient and more like a person. I love my hospital gown!" ~Katie

"It was usually cold walking the halls with a regular hospital gown, but not with my Annie & Isabel gowns that wrap all the way around." ~Ruth

"Your gowns are wonderful! I wore a different one each day and the doctors and nurses would come in just to see what I was wearing! Wearing such pretty gowns gave me a brighter outlook" ~Anna

"The days I wore my Annie & Isabel gown, I actually felt like the staff treated me different. I felt more like a person and was treated as such! I've let so many friends borrow my gown...it's a good luck charm!" ~Stephanie

Thank you to all of our faithful customers who turn to us when a loved one is dealing with a difficult diagnosis. The gift of a gown is much more meaningful than flowers that do not last. Many of our customers wear their gowns to all of their doctor appointments, MRI's and tests, and subsequent hospital stays.

Thank you to all of our customers that think of Annie & Isabel as their go-to baby shower gift and keep their loved ones wrapped up in love and style as they welcome a new life!

We are so blessed to have each and every one of our A&I "ambassadors" who tell people about our company any chance they get! So many of our orders are from word-of-mouth marketing or from women who were gifted a gown and now want to spoil someone with one in return.

When you look great, you feel better!  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Amanda Welcomes Baby Girl In Her "Evelyn" Designer Hospital Gown

It is always a nice surprise when customers send us pictures in our Annie & Isabel hospital gowns! Amanda sent us a nice testimonial along with these beautiful pictures via our Facebook page. She wore our "Evelyn" gown for the birth of her daughter.

"The gown made me feel normal on a special day. All the nurses loved it and inquired where to get one!" 

"It made me feel special and the first pics with my little one were so much better than the drab hospital gowns."

"Thank you so much again. I was very excited to stumble across your gowns. I also am a registered nurse and know all too well how ugly and non human my patients feel in hospital gowns. I was glad to feel pretty and normal in my gown!"

 ~ Amanda - Toledo, Ohio

Congratulations to you and your family Amanda and thank you for sharing your experience with us!! We LOVE receiving testimonials so if you have worn an Annie & Isabel gown and would like to share some pictures and your story, please email us at wecare@annieandisabel.com or send us a message via Facebook.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

New Testimonial with Photographs from Bisharat Photography :: Chrissy Welcomes Baby Chase Michael!

We have such a loyal and wonderful local fan base here in Sacramento, California. There is nothing better than hearing through the grapevine how much someone enjoyed wearing an Annie & Isabel hospital gown! 

Did you know that if you live in the Sacramento region and you purchase a maternity Annie & Isabel hospital gown, you receive a complimentary newborn photography session from the talented Brenda Bisharat Photography?! 

Brenda is an award winning photographer with a true gift. Not every photographer possesses the talented eye, the patience, and "Brenda magic" as we call it. We are really honored that she offers such a special gift to our customers. 

We are excited to share Chrissy's story. Chrissy gave birth to her first child, sweet baby boy Chase Michael, on March 14th, 2013. She wore our "Isabel" Annie & Isabel hospital gown and also took advantage of the complimentary photo session. Here is what she said about her experience,  

"I was nervous to give birth and stay overnight in the hospital for the first time, to say the least. I didn't want to wear the same old hospital gown that had been worn by so many people before me. I had seen the Annie & Isabel hospital gowns and thought they were such personal and beautiful garments and was so excited when a friend of ours bought one for me as a gift! 

I wore the gown after giving birth to my son Chase and it made me feel pretty and was so comfortable. I can't explain the way the gown made me feel after going through such an emotional and tiring experience. I have a swatch of fabric that was sent with the gown in Chase's baby book and it brings a smile to my face every time I see it! "

"I had an amazing experience with Brenda Bisharat during our newborn photo shoot. I wasn't feeling up to going, since I had just given birth and was wondering how in the world will these photos look?! When we got to the studio, Brenda was so patient with us and had an amazing creative eye. We took breaks so I could nurse or comfort my baby and we would keep taking pics from there. I couldn't believe the end result! I had the most beautiful announcement photo to mail to my family and friends, a portrait of Chase and me for the living room, and now have a canvas of him in our hallway. I highly recommend Brenda for your newborn photo session because she makes both baby and mama feel so welcome and beautiful."

~Chrissy from Sacramento, California 

Congratulations to Chrissy and husband Micky on the birth of Chase! He is so gorgeous and we are so happy you allowed Brenda to capture these "moments in time" to have and hold forever. Thank you for sharing your story.

If you are interested in learning more about our partnership with Bisharat Photography, click HERE.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Prayers for Lidia - #OhSoPoshStrong

There are some people in this world that just make other people better. I found somebody just like this a couple of years ago and have followed her through Facebook and Istagram ever since then. Her name is Lidia and she is a breast cancer survivor and she also has a daughter who has overcome her own health issues. She has taken her own hardships and used them to show others how strength, passion, faith, and love can get you through your darkest moments and even push you to use those life experiences to help others. So, it was extremely heartbreaking when I saw on her Facebook page, Oh So Posh Photography, that she is currently hospitalized and facing a probable recurrence of cancer.
Lidia with sweet daughter, Isadora
{photo credit - Oh So Posh Facebook page}
Lidia has touched the hearts of thousands of people including mine. She uses her talents to give selflessly to others through an organization that she founded, The Tiny Sparrow Foundation, in which she and other photographers photograph children who are facing life threatening illnesses. Through her Facebook page and blog she always looks for ways to help inspire others to be better people…..and she does.

It is her amazing way of touching others that is now working to help bring a huge amount of support her way. She is surrounded with love and prayers by thousands of her followers….most of whom have never met Lidia. We wanted to help bring more love, prayers and support her way.

We are asking all of our Annie & Isabel followers to band together again like we have so many times in the past and show our support for Lidia. Please help us by doing the following:

1. LIKE our Facebook post HERE to help share her story and continue to surround her in our love.

2. Leave a comment of support on our Facebook post to Lidia as she needs as much support as possible right now.

3. Send Lidia a real card. I can tell you from experience that receiving a card in the mail via snail mail can do wonders in lifting a person's spirits!!

Lidia Grigorean
9720 Coit Rd, Suite 220-222
Plano, TX 75025

4. If you use Instagram send her a message with the hashtag #ohsoposhstrong. She is reading all of these and has already said how much every message means to her.

We have made Lidia our latest "Feel Better Campaign" recipient and are sending her our "Evelyn" designer hospital gown in hopes it will bring a smile to her face, comfort while in the hospital, and strength to take on and kick cancer's butt again! We know sweet Isadora will love her Mommy's beautiful hospital gown and that alone is....everything.

To help understand what a special human being Lidia is, please read a post she wrote a year ago which talks about her struggles and how she has used those to make her a better person. It is a pretty powerful post:

"I Made Her Because I Love Her"

Lidia…we want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers and you have the support of all our Annie & Isabel warriors!!  Take in all the support you are receiving and let it help bring you strength as you prepare to fight once again.

Friday, February 21, 2014

New Mother Amy in "The Annie" Annie & Isabel Designer Hospital Gown

A beautiful testimonial from Amy about wearing her Annie designer hospital gown for the birth of her first child.

"I have given Annie & Isabel gowns to a bunch of my friends as gifts, and was thrilled when it was my turn to receive and wear one!  It was comfortable, cute and functional. I gave birth to Charlotte in Switzerland and I was definitely the most stylish new mom during my 5-day hospital stay.  (Yes, 5 days....that's Europe for you!)"

Amy & Charlotte, born May 29, 2012

To read more testimonials from the women who have worn our gowns, click HERE

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mom of 2 Boys Celebrates Birth Of Baby Girl In Her "Annie" Designer Hospital Gown

As we have been reflecting  and collecting pictures of all the beautiful women who wore our hospital gowns in 2013, we stumbled upon this testimonial and had to share it with all of you! 

"Being a mom of two boys, I was sprinkled with everything blue. When we found out we were expecting a baby girl you can only imagine how crazy we went with pink! One of my favorite gifts was from a dear college friend, Jill - it was a designer pink and black polka dot Annie & Isabel gown. I was so excited to wear this on the day I was going to meet my daughter! I felt feminine, comfortable, fashionable and clean. All the nurses at Stanford complimented me on the gown and couldn't believe how darling it was. They kept saying I shouldn't walk around the hallways because all the other moms delivering would get jealous! 

I will never forget those first moments cradling our new daughter, Grace, in my arms wearing the Annie and Isabel gown. Thank you for being a part of the most important day of my life!


Congrats to Barbara and Kevin! It's not too late to send us your 2013 pictures!! Email us at wecare@annieandisabel.com. We are looking forward to sharing our 2013 testimonial video soon.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Living Life After Cancer

It is hard to believe it has been two years since I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It seems like just yesterday that I received that call from my doctor telling me I had cancer. Not a day has gone by since that phone call that I don’t think about my cancer and how it has changed me. It has been a very long, hard, journey and, for the first time in these last two years, I can honestly say that I finally feel good and am happy with where I am at.

It’s interesting with these “cancerversaries” because, on the one hand, I am excited to have another healthy year under my belt and I want to celebrate that milestone. On the other hand, in the weeks prior to my cancer anniversaries, all the emotions and feelings of my diagnosis, and what I went through, start to swirl back, causing a bit of anxiety which, in turn, make me want to just get past that anniversary date.  Last year was much worse because it was all so fresh in my mind and I still wasn’t feeling great.  This year my anxiety is not as intense but it is still lurking in my consciousness. I’m hoping with each year that passes, this anxiousness will ease.

When I was diagnosed with cancer it was quite shocking. I felt like a million bucks at the time and I couldn’t understand how this could happen to me. With the help of my family and friends, however, I became determined to kick the crap out of this cancer.......and I did.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that, for me, going through the surgeries and treatment for thyroid cancer was going to be the easiest part of this journey. The aftermath of cancer and the medications I needed to take, and still need to take, to keep the cancer from coming back, proved to be a much greater challenge for me. I had periods of feeling really angry inside because I started to wonder if I was ever going to feel good again. For over a year and a half, I woke up almost every day feeling achy and tired. It was a struggle going out looking good on the outside but not feeling so great on the inside. I had a huge amount of guilt because I felt that I should be grateful for being cancer free, and don’t get me wrong, because I was.  I was also depressed because I was in a constant state of fatigue. Running errands, figuring out what to make for dinner, going shopping, making dinner, driving my four boys to the gazillions of activities they had going on, and trying to make it through my 12 hour shifts as a nurse in a busy emergency room  all were so overwhelming. The guilt of telling my kids I didn’t want to go outside and play with them, because I felt achy and just needed to sit on the couch, made me feel like such a failure sometimes. Deep down I knew my kids were just fine but I yearned to go out, run and play with them.

In the beginning of this journey, I really felt strongly that cancer was going to make me a better, stronger person. I definitely appreciated my family, friends and health a whole lot more than I did prior to my diagnosis. As the days, weeks, and months passed by, and I still did not feel like my old energetic, fun self, I began to question whether this cancer really was making me a better person. I certainly didn’t feel strong. Frankly, it really pissed me off that I might never feel good again. It angered me that I couldn’t control how I felt. I had to rely on a medication to give me the energy that my thyroid used to do on its own but I was required to take more of that very medication to keep the cancer away. That, in turn, made me feel bad. I started asking myself, is this really making me a better person??

I began to wonder if I just needed to come to terms with the “new me”. I even hoped that I would forget what it felt like to feel good because then maybe I could deal with the fatigue better. Maybe if I could just get used to it, the thoughts of my fatigue would not consume me. The problem was that I couldn’t just get used to feeling achy and feeling like my brain was in a fog all the time. It just all felt frustrating and I came very close to telling my doctor that I didn’t think I could deal with the way I felt for much longer.

Fortunately, a wonderful thing happened to me.  I was given the great news that I was still cancer free after my one year testing and, because of this, my doctor allowed me to back off of my medications a little bit.  Over the next 4 months I began to feel less achy and have a whole lot more energy. I felt like the fog was finally lifting and I was getting glimpses of my old energetic self and what an amazing feeling that was! Now, two years after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, I have days where I hardly think about my cancer because I often feel “normal”.   It is a beautiful feeling and something I definitely do not take for granted.

So am I a better, stronger person because of this cancer diagnosis? This journey continues to teach me a lot about myself. I am much more grateful for each day.....the good, the bad, AND the ugly days. I might complain sometimes but I am always able to put myself in check.....because I had cancer. I am painfully aware that there are so many others diagnosed with cancer traveling much tougher roads which sometimes lead to death. I don’t take life for granted......because I had cancer. I see hundreds of acutely and chronically ill patients every day in my job and I now know what it means to not feel great for a lengthy period of time. I will never take my good health for granted.....because I had cancer. I often see Facebook posts about how sad it is that the weekend is over and it is only the start of the long new week.  I used to feel the same way, but those types of posts really bug me now. I love EVERY day of the week...especially Monday......because I had cancer.  Life is fragile and things can change in an instant.  I know...... because I had cancer. So, YES, I am a better, stronger person who is extremely grateful to be healthy and I feel blessed to wake up each day and find the beauty in each waking hour.....because I had cancer.

Photo by Brenda Bisharat Photography

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Loss Of A Mother, Friend, and Annie & Isabel Warrior

This past July we received a nice note from one of our customers, Maura, whose mother was battling leukemia. Maura purchased four Annie & Isabel hospital gowns for her mother who was in the hospital for two months over the summer due to many complications from her leukemia.

Christine in the ICU in her "Anita" hospital gown with daughter, Maura

Maura wrote the following email to us:

"My mother, Christine, is finally going home. Unfortunately she is not in remission so she will need more chemo but at least when she goes back to the hospital, she will have her four lovely gowns. She's finally up and having her dunkin donuts!"

"Thanks for everything. Seeing her in your gowns while in the ICU helped everyone see her as a person, not just a patient"

That last sentence from Maura really struck us because it is something we have heard from other customers and was one of the reasons why we felt having your own hospital gown was important when we started this business. It is easy for medical staff to treat every patient as just that…..a patient. Doctors get so caught up treating patients and trying to heal them, which is extremely important, however, sometimes doctors forget about the actual person behind that standard hospital gown. That is an easy thing to do when every patient wears the same standard hospital gown. Having your own, cheery, hospital gown not only provides comfort to a patient but it also often helps doctors and nurses pause and take notice of the beautiful person behind that beautiful gown.

Christine was a fighter! After two months in the hospital, fighting leukemia, renal failure, a bleed in her brain, and ICU psychosis, she was discharged just prior to the 4th of July with plans of what she was going to cook for the 4th of July celebration. You can see her fighting spirit in these pictures.

Smiling in her "Anita" gown with her "Isabel" & "Annie" gowns ready at the bedside

Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, Maura wrote to us to let us know her mother passed away December 3rd. Maura wanted us to know that her mother always felt special in her Annie & Isabel gowns. Maura plans to wear her mother's Annie & Isabel gowns if she and her husband have children in the future in order to help keep her mother close to her heart. LOVE THAT!

Christine & Maura celebrating Maura's special wedding day together
Maura, we are so sorry for your incredible loss. It is very evident how much you both loved each other and she will forever remain close to your heart. Big hugs to you and your family.

Photo Credit: Bharat Parmar Photography

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Radiation Treatments…..In Style

A large number of Annie & Isabel gowns are sold to women fighting breast cancer. They help brighten the spirits of women recovering from their mastectomies while in the hospital and at home. They also provide comfort for women having to go through daily radiation treatments. We have had so many women write to us telling us how nice it was to have their own personal Annie & Isabel hospital gown for these treatments. We recently received a testimonial from breast cancer warrior, Lynn, pictured above. She is currently fighting breast cancer and we would love if you could keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she continues receiving radiation treatments.

Here is an email that Lynn sent to us:

"I was diagnosed in September with breast cancer by my yearly mammogram. I had surgery at Stanford Women's Cancer Center in October and began radiation treatment in November at home in San Luis Obispo. The radiation treatments are every day for 7 weeks.

I received the gift of an Annie & Isabel gown from a friend with the message to keep calm and heal strong so every day when I arrive at radiation, I take my "Annie" gown out of my cubicle and wear it with those thoughts, also knowing how fortunate I am to have been diagnosed and that I will be well soon. Have a mammogram and tell a friend to do the same."

~ Lynn