Hello dear readers, 

Three events conspired to bring you this blog post.

The first event is that I had the honor of collaborating with Jessica Valenti, a writer I have long admired.  Jessica commissioned the tattoo above in honor of her daughter. She writes:

My daughter was born under pretty precarious circumstances - I was 28 weeks pregnant when I developed severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome. We had to deliver by emergency c-section to save my life, and my daughter - Layla Sorella Valenti-Golis - was born weighing just 2 pounds. 

We came up with her name in the midst of a lot of confusion and fear, but I wanted 'Sorella' both as a nod to my feminism (it means sister in Italian) and to honor my own sister, Vanessa. 

Layla spent two months in the NICU and continued to have prematurity-related health issues for the first two years of her life. When she turned 3 this past August - healthier and happier than ever - I wanted to get the tattoo to commemorate all my family has been through, and all Layla has overcome. She is truly a wonderful, smart, funny kid and I feel lucky every day to have her in my life.

So I was getting ready to post Jessica's story when is started to think back on all of the incredible women I have worked with on tattoos. Like Jessica they've commemorated transformative, difficult, life-changing experiences. There is Deb who took the leap and overcame her professional fears, Natalie who mustered the courage to start her own business, Stephanie who overcame cancer, Catherine who memorialized her remarkable, in spiring grandmother, Lisa who conceived despite being told she couldn't, Sabine who conquered her fear of heights, Courtney who inked a reminder to walk towards what scares us, not away from it,  Claire who honored the passing of a friend who saved her marriage. Karen who left her job as a corporate lawyer to defend the rights of prisoners on death row. The list goes on. And on. Not to mention the remarkable men who have honored incredible women in their lives, like Sam and Karl.

The final event that brought me to this post is that I turned 34 this weekend. It has been a blessing and honor to work with every brave, inspiring client who has crossed my path. And I wanted to mark the occasion and give thanks. So, inspired by Jessica and all of the like-minded sorelle (and fratelli), I'm offering 10% tattoo orders (just mention the promo code SISTER when you contact me), and I'm donating 10% of proceeds from these commissions to Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. now through February 10. Thank you to Jessica, my muse and collaborator! 

{Tattoo by Stephanie Tamez, Saved Tattoo, Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Vanessa Valenti}