Hey beautiful! Have you ever had a time in your life where it felt like literally, every single thing was falling apart around and within you? What light at the end of the tunnel? I had two dads and I share a sister with each. Tia and I lost our dad to suicide and that is a pain I could never put into words. My family and I never saw it coming. We were devastated and had so many unanswered questions. I went through all the stages of grief and came back for a second round on some. It just felt like I was constantly trying to find the ground under my feet.
Shortly afterward I had to put my beloved 15-year-old dog, Punch, down. If you are a true pet lover you know our pets are like our kids. I still miss her. And, just when I thought there was no way things could get worse...they did. Jana and I lost our dad to a heart attack. I can still hear her scream when I called to tell her daddy was gone. I know. I know. Just trust me, the story gets better. Just not right away.
What is your go-to coping skill when you are hurting or stressed? I found out mine was scratching the same spot in the back of my head. I wasn’t even aware of the new and constant itching or the fact that I was scratching it continually, until the day I reached back to scratch and all I felt was skin! I remember thinking, “No way!” But, when I looked in the mirror, “Yes way!” Can you believe I literally scratched the hair out of my head? The inflammation I caused prompted my dermatologist to do a biopsy. Lupus? No. Alopecia? Nope. After some testing, I was diagnosed with Folliculitis. The doctor made it clear, the hair would never grow back because I had caused scar tissue to form which blocked the hair follicles. I needed the itching to stop but nothing was working. I knew part of it was the grief and stress but I couldn’t just turn it off. I also wondered if I could create something. That was the moment everything changed!
Picture me at the library with books about natural remedies, extracts, and essential oils stacked so high you couldn’t see me. I took my pain and what I learned and retreated to my basement. That basement was my personal laboratory and became my escape from my sadness and grief. After some trial and error, I created a product for my scalp that minimized the itching and helped the skin start to heal. Today that product is known as Crown . My nephew was my inspiration for creating, Mercy. He suffered from eczema all over his body. Mercy is one of our most popular products today. I was leaning hard on faith and this new hobby. I was ready to try something else. Forgiving Face Oil was the product that had family and friends urging me to sell my creations and they began asking me to create products for their specific issues. So, my time in the basement became purposeful. It was for every person whose skin and hair challenges were a symptom or cause of their grief or stress.
So now you know how 826 & Co. came to be, let me quickly tell you how we got our name. Isabella Grace is the little girl behind the name. In the midst of my chaos, I received a call about a young lady who was pregnant with a baby that she just could not keep for heartbreaking reasons. I didn’t need to hear another word. YES, I said! Bella’s birthday is August 26th (826) and we have been abundantly blessed by her! She has given new purpose to this journey and one day this company will be hers to continue to create wonderful products for you. The & Co., well that’s the rest of us.
Tragedy birthed this company, and a beautiful birth gave it even more purpose! We are always searching for the most relevant natural information to bring your way and we will also feature guest’s posts dealing with grief and suicide. We care about your hair and skin, and your entire well-being. We believe you are beautifully and wonderfully made. We want you to believe that about yourself.
Welcome again and please share our story with others.