April's Visiting Artist: Grow Beautiful my Darling

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Alyssa- I am a local philly gal. I am a nurse in my professional life- I work in critical care at Penn Medicine and truly love helping and caring for others. I have learned a lot about life and the world by caring for others at such a vulnerable time in their lives- I am thankful for this experience. As I have grown my outlet and passion for creating and designing has also grown. I am drawn to art, vibrant colors, positivity, gardening, exploring the city, sunsets and quality time with the people I love. I feel most fulfilled when giving back and doing something that may help others and make a difference in the world. Grow beautiful, my darling has been a beautiful combination of all the things I love. 

How did you start making?

I started making art and designing clothing when I found a statement my mom wrote to me a few years ago after she had passed-the note was dated from when I was just an infant and it stated ‘grow beautiful, my darling- live a wonderful life’. When I found this- I felt inspired and I have made it my goal to continue sharing her positive bright light with others and the world. My hope is her words help others and they have helped me- or at the very least bring a smile to a stranger's face:)

What do you derive your inspiration from?

As I mentioned my mom is my main inspiration, as gbmd grows and I feel the support from my family, friends and even my community- my inspiration grows larger. I am inspired by my nieces and nephews, my growing baby and the thought of creating a kinder world and future. I believe we all play a small role in contributing to a kinder world and I find comfort in keeping my mothers legacy and love alive by sharing her words and guidance with others.

I also would like to mention this because it is one of my main goals as my children's clothing grows. My mother was a victim of gun violence and I would like a percentage of all sales help fund gun violence research. I am working with trauma surgeons at Penn medicine to make this possible. I know we have a lot of work to do as a community, society and within our country in general but I know every small effort makes a difference and I hope others feel encouraged and know they are helping just by investing in my clothing line. ‘Clothing for a cause’. ‘Together we are creating a kinder world’. 

Are there any stand-out designs you’ve made in the past?

Some of my favorite designs are the ones Ive created without intention, like while sitting in a park and watching the sun set- drawing a sunflower; not knowing until after this would be the core of my growing business and inspiration. My other favorite designs are positive sayings and designs I have put effort into creating for little ones to proudly share with the rest of the world just by being their innocent sweet selves.

What is it like being a maker in Philadelphia?

I have so much love for the city of Philadelphia and my love has grown as my passion for art and design (specifically with my children's clothing line) has blossomed. I feel so much support within my community- its really what keeps me going. Starting to partner up with Moon & Arrow and sell in this beautiful boutique is a perfect example of that love and support. 

What do you listen to while you're creating?

I love music and it is a constant in my life. Music picks me up when I am down, inspires me when I need it, quiets my mind when it is busy, music brings me peace and brings back memories, I also love creating new memories with the ones I love with music involved. I think I have a song for every person I love ha. Anyway- that love for music also happens to come from my mother- she lit that fire inside of me at a very young age and because of that I have an old soul when it comes to music. I am listening to anything from oldies like Eric Clapton, to disco with the Bee Gees and often blues & folky music. Live music has a special place in my world. My love for live music is right up there with my love for sunsets. 

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