Posts tagged small business
Lending a Hand: Shady Strong

When a friend of ours needed help during a rough time, it was our pleasure to get to use our talents to contribute in some small way.

We worked closely with our friend Becca and her sister-in-law, Kristen to help design “Shady Strong” tees to support her dad’s battle with ALS. We talked to them about the exact design and style they wanted. I ordered all kinds of tee shirt samples and colors, they chose their favorite, and we ordered them. Then Matt created the design based on what they wanted and they loved it!

We printed everything here in Nashville and shipped it all to NY. This was such a rewarding experience for us, and an important one for the Shadys. We wanted to share the story in the hopes that it would touch you, too:


There are certain days that are ingrained in my memory; graduations, weddings, births of children, because they are such amazing memories and then there are those that hurt so deeply that they too are ingrained - just differently. One of those days was when the letters ALS became a reality for our family. We prayed that it could be Lyme disease or a stroke, anything else. Second opinions and countless tests only confirmed the worst possibility on the table, ALS. We all went through the grief/acceptance process differently, and at different times. But one thing we all did was join together and choose to support my dad in anyway that we knew how.

My dad, Bob Shady, is a veteran, served his country proudly, only to find out 60 years later, that he now has a veterans disease and has no chance of survival and a prognosis of 2-5 years. The Paralyzed Veterans Association was one of our first calls, and from that point forward, the VA and everyone we have worked with has been a blessing to our family. The amount of physical and emotional support, equipment and medical care we have received from the VA is beyond amazing. So when it was time for our family to participate in our first ALS Walk we knew we wanted to honor both my dad‘s time serving our country and this organization that has been truly a godsend. Our goal was to raise $8000 for our first ALS fundraiser and we knew we wanted to go into it looking like a solid team. We wanted a spin off of Army Strong, something that my dad vowed to be. My dad IS strong and his family and friends are now Shady strong and we will support him through every step of this terrible disease. Shady strong will continue to sell T-shirts, hold fundraisers and raise awareness for ALS research because without the research, we will continue to be held hostage by these three letters.

unnamed-2 (1).jpg
unnamed-4 (1).jpg

On August 18, the Upstate New York ALS Association raised over $75,000 with Shady strong being able to donate nearly $10,000 to honor such an amazing man. These funds will go to support ALS research as well as support the families of others with this diagnosis. And it is so needed. ALS makes the brain stop talking to the muscles, until you can't move or breathe. Right now, it's a guaranteed killer. And it works fast - usually under 5 years. Sometimes ALS runs in families. Sometimes it's random. Research has recently uncovered the protein that acts up and starts ALS. Now that we know the protein that causes the disease, we can begin to figure out how to stop it from acting up or removing it! Our family has been fortunate enough to receive medical care and support from the Paralyzed Veteran's Association. But many families don't. On average, an ALS patient will require $250,000 per year in medical care. Insurance benefits and other funds often do not cover these costs.

Shady Strong T-shirts can be purchased at $30 each, with 100% of the proceeds being donated back to ALS research

(check back soon for a link to purchase!)

unnamed (3).jpg
unnamed-3 (1).jpg

Need custom tees for your cause or organization? Let us know!

Our tips + Picks for Back to School!


new pencil pouch.jpg

When I was young, one of my most favorite things about the Summertime coming to a close, was going with my parents to buy my school supplies, getting my new uniforms {I wore one my whole life!}, a new backpack and just getting ready of the new school year. It made me excited to see all my friends everyday again, find out who my teachers were and get back into the after school activities.

But, I like really really loved getting fresh new school supplies and then regaining them all in my new backpack. Theres noting better then brand new pencils, they smell good and they write so great!

I still love office supplies so much! I just do.

My littles are headed to second grade and kindergarten! They are super excited to be at the same school and our son said he is going to walk his little sitter to her classroom every morning. He melted my heart!

I can not believe it and I always get so weepy when the school year starts. I get super sentimental and the time flies thing is just so true. I love the so much and I love spending the days with them. But I am so excited for them to learn new things, have fun & grow even more into who they are.

Anyhow, I picked a few things I love for my littles as some good back to school ideas.

  • The Sticky Lemon Backpacks are made so well and in my opinion, just adorable. they are made from recycled materials and the perfect sizes.

  • The Sugarbooger Bento Boxes are BPA free and the perfect size for almost every lunchbox. And my kids love the little sections. It makes packing much easy.

  • I also adore the utensil sets by January Moon because they are easy to pop in everyday and not have to use something disposable. {Plus, they are so cute!}

  • I love good old school pencils. I am always buying my kiddos pencils because I always want them to write!! Not just use a computer. It is extremely important to me. And they love it!

  • I had Hemming Birds make us a pencil pouch. I sent her the dimensions and style I wanted and she did great! I want one of our patches to be with our kids every day so it gives a great reminder to be the good.


Here on Hilton Head Island back-to-school is about a month away. Its crazy how fast Summer blasts by. Although I love SUMMER, I've always loved the change of seasons. The beginning of the school year is refreshing and exciting.

This year is especially exciting for us because my eldest, Ella Grace will be starting 1st grade at a new school. She is really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, Ella Grace (6yrs) and Rose (3yr) will be at different schools for the first time. For the past couple of years they've attended our local Montessori Preschool together. We've been having lots of conversations about how this Fall will be a little different but that's okay. Ella Grace has loads of adorable questions: "Do you think Rose will be sad we're not at the same school", "Will I have homework", "Will some of my friends be there?". I'm trying to keep her excited about 1st grade and her new school without creating too much anxiety. One big change for me will be our morning routine. I will be doing TWO separate drop-offs and both schools are on completely opposite ends of the island. I've already started thinking about how our morning routine needs to efficient and full of LOADS of coffee.

Here are some of my picks to make those morning and afternoon routines a little easier.

  • Lunch Ideas: My "go-to" website for lunch ideas for my kiddos is "My Lovely Little Lunchbox". I started following this BLOG when Ella Grace was a baby. There are tons of amazing recipes to get your children eating more than just chicken fingers. I revisited this site to get ideas for their lunches. The FRITTERS are my absolute favorite and you can freeze them. Nothing could be easier. Bonus: the recipes are really tasty and adult approved which comes in handy when I'm on the go too! You should totally check it out:

  • Do you ever find yourself saying "please Lord, I hope I don't have to get out of my car in the carpool lane this morning". ha! We've all been there. I'm definitely the mom with a top knot, no make-up, a HUGE coffee and basically wearing my PJ's. Our "Be the Good" adult sweatshirt is perfect for those, "I don't really want to get dressed to drive carpool" days. Its super comfortable and looks adorable with anything. This is my CARPOOL UNIFORM for sure!

  • The Morning Commute: So...most of us Moms become "taxi drivers" at some point. Right? This year I will be driving to two different schools that are pretty far in distance plus all the after school activities. I love Podcasts and have found that my kids do too! There are bunch of really great Podcasts for kids out there. "Ear Snacks" is one of our favorites. My girls really enjoy it and I find it keeps the "peace" in the car. To find kid friendly Podcasts, visit: commonsense and download Ear Snacks anywhere you get your Podcats (

  • Car Snacks: My kids are literally asking for snacks 24/7. During the week, we will be spending a ton of time in the car. I love my Bogg Bag (we use it at the beach, boat, pool...literally everywhere) and I'm obsessed with cooler insert. Its absolutely perfect for the car! I keep healthy snacks within arms reach and it makes the afternoon commute a lot easier. Locally I grabbed my Bogg Bag from Island Child Boutique located on the south end of Hilton Head Island.

  • Coffee: Let's talk about mornings. I love, love, love coffee. I'm an afternoon tea drinker but must of my caffeine fix in the morning. A few years ago, my little baby Rose was literally never sleeping. One day I was literally in tears from lack of sleep and our coffee maker had broken. Luckily, my husband had just gotten some gift cards from a client and we totally SPURLGED on this ridiculously amazing coffee maker from Jura. Please note, we don't usually "go big" on appliances like this but we were desperate. It is literally the best coffee maker ever and makes those early school mornings a lot easier. Don't worry, my kids are left out. I make a mean hot chocolate for them! Besides my kids and my husband, I might love this coffee maker the most. ha! Check it out here:

Lastly, cheers to a NEW school year! It always brings back the best memories. Last year we hosted a "Be the Good" patch party for some of our pals. All the kids put Heartward patches on their backpacks and it was so fun to see them all lined up walking into school together. We're looking forward to spreading the word this school year and giving our "Be the Good" Patches to some new faces. Happy Back to school, Mamas! You've got this.