It is with a heavy heart that I share that mini + meep will be closing its doors soon. A few days before Christmas we received the sad news that I have a degenerative neurological disease called RFC1 / Canvas Syndrome. It's an extremely rare genetic disease that effects your movement and balance by causing degeneration to the cerebellum, nervous system (neuropathy) and vestibular system. There is no treatment, and it's been terrifying to watch my body slowly fail me without any doctor to call for help. Over the last few months my neuropathy has worsened to the point where I feel like I don't have feet or calves at times. My hands are purple and shriveled, and it hurts to do almost everything. Every day I take extra time to feel my daughter's hair and hold my husband's hands because I know someday soon I won't get to feel those sweet pleasures anymore. I've begun to have mobility challenges from a mixture of lack of sensation in my legs combined with dizziness/vertigo. I bite my cheeks a lot and at times I struggle with so much pain I want to curl in a ball and give up. I greatly miss my independence and I fear the future, but I also feel intense gratitude for every good day that I get to spend with those I love most. I couldn't ask for a kinder, more supportive husband. I have a sweet, loving daughter who holds my hand and helps guide me while letting me know, "Mommy, I've got you!" when we venture out of the house. She draws pictures of days when "my legs will be better" so we can do things again and is so considerate of my pain, even at 5 years old. I feel immense guilt for what I now lack as a mother and wife, but it doesn't last long because they are always there to remind me, simply with their actions, that the love we share defies any hardship -- that love takes many forms. Thanks to pain management medication I can walk around my house and do basic things (including craft time with Emmie!), but require a walker or wheelchair for activities outside the home. I've accepted that every day from now on will be an enormous challenge, but it will be one that I am grateful to take on so I can experience all the beauty and love there is in my life. After much thought we have decided I will not be able to run my business while taking on this enormous adjustment emotionally and physically. Thank you so much for your support of my small shop and mission to end child hunger over the last 7 years. I’ve poured my heart into my art and this little business of mine. Together we've donated nearly 50K meals to children in need and changed countless lives. We are in the process of buying a wheelchair-accessible home, and I hope for a miracle that with symptom management I will be able to reopen in some capacity in 2023.
With hope and pawsitivity for good days ahead,
If you or someone you love suffers from idiopathic (undiagnosed) neuropathy and/or ataxia, please consider testing for RFC1 expansion at The University of Chicago. I hope to spread awareness about this overlooked, rare disease and provide answers to those suffering from an undiagnosed illness.
Did you know? All of our children's clothing is made using organic cotton that's grown and sewn right here in the USA. The entire manufacturing process is within driving distance of our Asheville home, so we can see firsthand that the people who make them are paid a living wage and work in safe conditions. We cherish the lifelong friendships we've made with the incredible people we work with to create our products.
We are committed to making ethical shopping practicable, adorable and better for the planet, that's why our organic unbleached children's clothing is made without the use of toxic chemicals, dyes and pesticides. All of our packaging is easily recyclable and made of 100% recycled materials. Our hand painted artwork is printed with eco-friendly, water-based inks and made to bring smiles to little ones (and grownups, too)!
Every piece of artwork you see printed on our products is hand painted by our founder at our home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our designs are inspired by our fun-filled journey through parenthood.
This shop of ours has put food on the table of those in need and brought joy to children across the globe for over seven years. Thank you for joining the mini+meep family and supporting our mission to end child hunger.