Artist: Cheryl Nall
Until November 2005, I lived a fast-paced stressful life. It was then that I was diagnosed with epilepsy. While trying to get my epilepsy under control, I ended up losing my job with the Department of Motor Vehicles. As I started to gain control of my epilepsy and my seizures decreased, I felt a strong need to make things. I’ll be honest; I was the child who failed art. Back then I couldn’t create anything, nor did I want to! But now, I began envisioning things that I wanted to create. It seemed that the more things I created, the better I got. And the better I got, the stronger the need to create became. I started playing with different crafts and techniques to see what my potential. I went through many different crafts and eventually started beading and making jewelry.
Pink Awareness Anklet Dee Dee
For the past three to four years, I have been giving most of my pieces to family and friends as gifts. Almost everyone that saw my jewelry urged me to try to sell my creations. It took a while for me to get use to the idea that I could make something worth selling.
Eventually, I had the motivation to open my shop, but the shop needed a name. I wanted the name to be something to which I could connect. Earlier this year, I learned that March 26th is “Purple Day.” Wearing purple on that day supports Epilepsy Awareness. Purple has always been my favorite color, so I decided that the name of my shop would include “purple.” Now, I had one word, but I still couldn’t figure out the name. Then one day out of the blue, I remembered a gift I received in junior high from my best friend, Dee Dee. She had given me a purple cow with a poem attached:
“I never saw a purple cow;
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you anyhow:
I’d rather see than be one.”
I had completely forgotten about that purple cow! I began surfing the web looking for a purple cow and found a book titled “Purple Cow” that was based upon this popular poem. The book offers tips to succeed in business by being the purple cow among all the regular cows. The purple cow represents something extraordinary.
Purple Awareness Ribbon Bracelet Donna
CherylsPurpleCow features awareness jewelry and hematite jewelry, as well as items that are completely metal free. In addition to epilepsy awareness, my husband and I support cancer awareness. Both of our mothers survived cancer early in life and were taken by it much later, within six months of each other.
Hematite Bracelet Green and Purple
I support Family TIES of Nevada with my art. Family TIES of Nevada is a statewide nonprofit organization directed by people with disabilities and their family members. My donations are earmarked specifically for families that are dealing with epilepsy. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I will be donating 10% of the sales of any pink item to Family Ties of Nevada to help families affected by breast cancer.
I speak publicly to help support epilepsy awareness. Before each engagement, I have a practice run through with my speaking coach who is in Virginia. We use the web cam so that she can watch my facial expressions and body language.
Non-Metal Delicate Seed Bead Bracelet
I have also volunteered time to help provide transportation for people with epilepsy. As I was unable to drive for two years, I know first-hand how much of a burden that can be. Epilepsy is a condition that affects each person differently. The effect depends on the area of the brain involved in seizures. I have right temporal lobe epilepsy and it affects my memory. Thanks to technology, I have a Palm to jot notes and to keep track of my contacts and appointments. I also have a cell phone that I carry with me so that if I get lost, run into problems or have a seizure, I can call my husband. Living life fully with the daily challenges of disability and chronic health concerns takes courage and endurance.
My best friend Dee Dee was never ordinary, and neither was I. We are both still purple cows. I never realized how wonderful it was to be different. When I located Dee Dee her through the Internet, I found out that she has Lupus. The Awareness Ribbon for both Epilepsy and Lupus is purple. Strange coincidence? I’ll let you decide…
Awareness Ribbon Bracelet Jana
Cheryl’s facebook biz page