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The Spirit of it ALL

This past summer was extraordinary in so many ways. My sister n’law, Chelsa, found out she had breast cancer and I added friend number 6 to my list, Val.  I think it was a mere week after Chelsa got the news that I met Val while she, Jami and Cat all came to 435.  It was almost fate. Val’s husband, Wayne, also has cancer so it was almost as though she was supposed to be here as Chelsa got her news.  It was not as though we all sat and chatted about sad things….it was more the genuine feeling of girls that just love taking care of one another for no other reason than we are all in this world together.Why not do whatever we can do to make it a better place. It can be as simple as smiling at the lady next to you in the grocery, helping someone carry out their bags, or just saying hello. Helping does not have to be a huge thing. All it takes is to let someone know you care.

So when Lidia told me about the Tiny Sparrow Foundation my mind went straight to Chelsa, Val, Jami and Cat. The girls who sat at the round table on my patio table this summer smiling and laughing and just being there for one another. And I knew Lidia and I could totally brew something up to help out so many  and let them know we are all in this together. Lidia suggested making a knot dress in honor of Tiny Sparrow and we at Matilda Jane suggested that the Matilda Jane Foundation donate $30 for each “Chelsa Knot Dress” we sell, and $10 for each “Claire Bear hat” we sell to the Tiny Sparrow Foundation.

The Tiny Sparrow Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing lasting memories through the beautiful art of photography to the families with children who are facing life threatening illnesses.  With the help of photographers worldwide, they are able to give a beautiful album that will carry the love, joy and everlasting memory of each individual family. Please see their blog here…

So for our love for Chelsa, Val, Jami and Cat we do this for you!  It may seem odd I know, but just seeing you 4 sitting at that table laughing and sharing remains in my thoughts. I know that if we here at MJC can bring that to Tiny Sparrow Foundation and help them bring the memory to so many more we’ll do whatever it takes.

The Chelsa Dress and Claire Bear Hat will be on sale at Matilda Jane Platinum while supplies last.

Show Hide 26 comments

Cat - December 6, 2010 - 9:45 pm

PS – Denise, Jami, Val and Chelsa (whom I loved meeting at 435 with your brave smile) – you are big, beating hearts of friendship and kindness. 435 was something that touched my heart and will always be paid forward and never forgotten. xo

Cat - December 6, 2010 - 9:33 pm

You do so much good Denise. It only inspires everyone around you to do the same, including me. Thank you, thank you!

christine - December 6, 2010 - 4:21 pm

As we just recently found out my mom has breast cancer. This touches close to my heart. As she is the silent strength that holds our family together. They were able to find it early and believe they caught it before it spread.

My mom told me she almost feels like a “poser” because she knows of the others out there that are going through a bigger battle then she is.

Thank you for doing such a wonderful thing for all those tiny little angels…I am glad to be a part of this wonderful act.

God Bless all that are going through their own personal battle. Watch over the ones that we have lost.

Kari - December 6, 2010 - 3:58 pm

Val’s daughter…Claire Bear 🙂 I get the connection! So glad I purchased both!

Pamela - December 6, 2010 - 9:41 am

Will you be including anything about the Tiny Sparrow Foundation with the purchase of the dress? I am buying one for a gift and would like them to know how special this dress really is!

Janella - December 6, 2010 - 9:21 am

WOW!! You continue to amaze and inspire me!! You have really out done yourself with the Chelsa dress it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, it’s my new favorite!! It sounds like it’s a true fit for your friend Chelsa.

Sue - December 6, 2010 - 6:15 am

You are an amazing person.

Gran - December 5, 2010 - 9:38 pm

What a beautiful way to honor Chelsea and others. The caring spirit at MJC is an inspiration and also a motivation to us to spread this love, warmth, and kindness. Someone who is much better than I am with words will surely write a book about Matilda Jane Clothing Company.

K Squared Mommy - December 5, 2010 - 9:32 pm

Our first child passed away at 11 days old. She had a congenital heart defect–Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. She passed away due to complications after having open heart surgery at 4 days old. My second child, Kellee, will wear her Chelsa Dress in honor of her big sister. Thanks so much for donating to the Tiny Sparrow Foundation. What a blessing those photographs will be to all of the familes that the Foundation will work with. 🙂

Lidia Boicu - December 5, 2010 - 9:29 pm

I am just in tears reading all the comments and seeing all the amazing support… I’ve been in tears pretty much all day… Once touched by cancer you are never the same they say and that’s how I am never the same, living every day as it’s my last. That’s how Tiny Sparrow was born even though there are times when I think it will be impossible to reach families across the nation and help create those lasting memories for their children that might not make it one more Christmas, There are days like today when Denise and her whole team made this whole thing possible!!! Thank you again everybody!!! Tiny Sparrow can spread it’s wings because of you!!!

Chelsa - December 5, 2010 - 8:11 pm

Denise – just sent you a text but I have to say again how honored and touched I am. What an amazing foundation to support. You continue to inspire me more than you could possibly know.

Amber - December 5, 2010 - 7:25 pm

Yeah – just ordered two dresses for my four year old for Christmas – what a great cause…you really are such a generous woman Denise!

jami - December 5, 2010 - 7:12 pm

I remember the laughs and even a few tears that weekend. Truly one of the most magical weekends of my life that I know I will never be able to recreate. But who would want to with a perfect memory like that? Thank you for blessing my life a hundred times over and know that I’ve always got the backs of you MJ girls. Always!

Valerie Koop - December 5, 2010 - 6:48 pm

My cup runneth over. Humbled and honored and so incredibly lucky.
Love to you always.

Starstruck - December 5, 2010 - 6:20 pm

Crying and Speechless! I just wish I could get my cart to load more than one item at a time! :(.
Well done 435!

Julie Templeton - December 5, 2010 - 6:10 pm

I just wanted to say what a great gift photographing kids with terminal illnesses is. My neice was born with trisomy 13 and lived a total of 80 days. Though it was difficult, they had her photograph taken by a local photographer who participates in a similar program. My sister and brother-in-law cherish these photos and are able to share “big sister Reese” to their 2 little brothers. As you know, the photos were all done for free, though my sister would have paid any amount for them.

steph s - December 5, 2010 - 6:08 pm

Denise and Friends,
You are an inspiration to all of us ladies out here. Thank you for your heart and soul for humanity and good will towards all. You embody the Spirit of the season…whichever holiday(s) each family celebrates. Remember, there is a light that burns within each of us. There are days we are tired and worn out from the routine and just doing one good deed, like a gentle smile for your family member, or a stranger can make the difference in their day…and yours too. Never let the light become dampened. Always shine bright, and one smile at a time, we can change the world! I am looking at my children right now, listening to their sweet voices, and I know I am blessed. Prayers to and for the children (and their parents) who are ill Denise, to you and yours, we wish you a joyous season. And many blessings.

Shannon - December 5, 2010 - 5:44 pm

So many have lost a loved one to Cancer. I lost my grandfather to it. His fight was long and he was brave to the very end. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss his smile, his silly jokes, and him singing oldies to me. His favorite was “I’m so Dizzy” ha he was a funny one. I miss his cologne and his advice. I especially miss his bear hugs. I wish I had been able to somehow let him know how much I loved him and how he had touched my life. It has been 3 1/2 years since he lost his battle. Thank you so much Denise for doing something that touches people and lets them know that they are loved. I couldn’t imagine how heartbreaking it must be to have a child with an illness. I only wish that there was more I could do. These children are so beautiful inside and out.

Denise - December 5, 2010 - 5:40 pm

2 friends with breast cancer and one with brain tumor in the last 45 days. I bought with a heavy heart, but it is a great cause. Thanks Denise and MJC for doing this! 🙂

Lil - December 5, 2010 - 5:29 pm

Order placed with tears i might add.
I have lost a grand-dad..4 aunts a BEST friend and have had cells removed 3 times. I am sure Cancer bill be the death of me.
So for all those passed and who has yet to suffer from it. My strongest heart felt love to go you.

Beautifulclothing - December 5, 2010 - 5:18 pm

OH JAMI DAVIS, You blow me away once again with your talent! You are an inspiration as well as Denise.

Isabella's Mom - December 5, 2010 - 4:36 pm


Beautifulclothing - December 5, 2010 - 4:34 pm

Love it!

Rachel - December 5, 2010 - 4:30 pm

How amazing that you are doing this today. 4 years ago 2 very good friends of ours had a baby boy. At 2 months he was diagnosed with leukemia. He died at 16 months. I was looking at pictures of him this week. How I wish that they had been able to have a photographer come in and take pics of him while he was still alive. His story is amazing though. If you go to and search Ethan Powell you can watch his video. His little life touched millions. He was and his parents are amazing people. Even had dinner with his mom Friday night as she prepared to run in his honor at the St. Jude Marathon. Just wanted to share. He’s been on my heart lately.

Hillary - December 5, 2010 - 4:24 pm


Kari - December 5, 2010 - 4:22 pm

What a beautiful heart