For some of you who do not know, there is a story and name behind our business. His name is Greg!! As we have been working on some ideas of expanding our business (hopefully details to come soon), I've been reflecting alot on how things all started, where we were, and where we are going.
It all started with this window that is hanging in my living room. Actually before that, with the person who inspired it. My sweet brother Greg. Greg was born December 21, 1983. He came into to this world making sure we all knew he was here and determined to make his markon the world; and that he did. He was absolutely the best Christmas present I could have ever received.
Greg was full of life and himself. Always a ham and very demanding of everyone's attention. Unfortunately by the time Greg was four years old many milestones either hadn't been met or were not where they should be. After seeing many doctors with many different diagnoses, Greg was diagnosed with Leukodystrophy. Leukodystrophy refers to progressive degeneration of the white matter of the brain due to imperfect growth or development of the myelin sheath, the fatty covering that acts as an insulator around nerve fiber. Greg was given a prognosis of a few years to live. At the time we were told not to research the disease and count our blessings. In other words "Cherish Every Moment". That is exactly what we did. Every birthday, every Christmas, and every special occassion was treated as if it could be the last.
Through many struggles and very rough times, Greg astonished the doctors. He survived so many times when they said he would not. Through everything he lost (most of his speech, the ability to walk, the ability to eat and even swollen), he always had that smile that warmed your heart. He always cared how you were doing. From his beautiful blue eyes that lit up when you walked in the room to his thumbs up and down to communicate when speaking was too much, he always managed to make the most of everything.
During the summer of 2009, Greg seemed to hit one hurdle after another. He was very tired and weak and we didn't see that sparkle quite as much as before. I stopped by a store on my way to see him and saw a leather bracelet as I was checking out that stated "Cherish Every Moment". That was the true meaning of Greg's life and how it had been lived. I put the bracelet on his wrist and received his beautiful smile. He never took it off after that.
Unfortunately two weeks later, on August 19, 2009, we had to say goodbye to my sweet brother. He passed away at home with all of us with him. As hard as it was and still is because of how much we miss him, I know that Greg is finally at peace and continuing to "Cherish Every Moment" in Heaven.
A few months after Greg passed, I made myself and family members, windows in his memory. For the first time in awhile, I actually didn't feel empty and sad. It was almost theraputic. I then began to make stuff all the time. I put a few little things in different stores to sell. After about a year, we decided to take the items to a show. It was a hit!! Jeremie and our boys (Nick and Noah) started to get involved helping me make stuff and creating their own. We started going to shows as a family and selling out most of the time. As things were taking off my oldest son, Nicholas, said, "Mom, what should we call ourselves? We really need a name because we are becoming a business." My eyes immediately filled with tears and I know exactly what it should be, "Cherish Every Moment". When I said it out loud, Nicholas immediatly said, "After Uncle Greg."
As we were content going from show to show, the storefront in Churchville presented itself at a time that a different business venture fell through for us. There wasn't any time to really debate or contemplate, just decide whether to take a leap of faith or wonder if we would regret not trying. So we busted butt day and night getting enough things ready and remodeling the storefront, while we both had full time jobs and the boys had school.
Once we opened, we were amazed of how well things were going. After the first few months, I left my job to focus full time on our business. We expanded into interior design and many more upcycled items and custom orders. Two and a half years later, we have moved our store to the historical Downtown Staunton and now Jeremie and myself both focus on the store and interior design as our full time jobs.
We have loved so much working together as a family and meeting so many wonderful people. I can honestly say that most of the time we "Cherish Every Moment". Because of the wonderful ways Greg touched so many people's lives, we try to give back. We currently have different fundraisers through out the year, that we raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation in Greg's memory. It may not be much, but every little bit helps toward granting a wish.
Thank you so much to everyone for all of your support. It is the customers, friends, family, and faith that keep us going. We are so grateful for the opportunity to have a business doing what we love and being able to remember my brother in such an inspiring way.
Thank you so much for reading. Remember to always "Cherish Every Moment"