Purchased by me.
My Aunt Jeannette isn’t your typical, everyday aunt. She’s much more than that!
My memories of growing up with Aunt Jeannette are about drinking chocolate Coca-Colas, staying up til 11 p.m. at Grandmom’s during sleep overs, and coloring in coloring books together. The three of us would play board games like Parcheesi and card games like Go Fish.
These are some of my fondest childhood memories, with an aunt who was more my BFF growing up than my aunt.
To this day, Jeannette still calls me pumpkin, which sounds a bit more like “pun-kin,” and I call her Jeannette-y. Every now and then, we will still color together.
Like I said, Jeannette isn’t your typical, everyday aunt; she is 10 years older than me but doesn’t age the same way that you and I do. She’s got Down syndrome, and it keeps her forever, wonderfully, young at heart.
(Jeannette and I, circa the late 90s at Christmas)
You have not experienced love until you experience the love of someone with Down syndrome. It is a pure, innocent love. Jeannette gives hugs and smiles and will say things to you with a sweet little smile like “are you getting married?” when you introduce her to your new boyfriend (true story, lol!). She will hug you and tell you she loves you just because she’s so happy to see you, even after she’s already hugged you twice already.
Jeannette lives her life quietly with my grandmother and she is a light in the life of my small maternal side of the family.
(Top left, my grandmom, then me, my mom and Jeannette – Christmas, late ’90s)
But there are others with Down syndrome who live a little bit more out loud, who pursue outside hobbies and interests and even start their own businesses. People like Andrew Banar.
Andrew was recently named as one of Canada’s 2015 Down Syndrome Heroes for the accomplishments he’s made through his business, Group Hug Apparel.
So why am I sharing all this with you?!
Well, the nail polish community is involved in raising money for “Andrew’s Helping Sick Kids One T-Shirt at a Time Campaign” – are you surprised?! Hell no – there are a lot of good people in our world, including Pam Heil of Girly Bits Cosmetics. Pam has collaborated with Andrew on a nail polish called “Julia,” with $3.00 from the sale of each bottle going toward Andrew’s campaign.
Through his campaign, Andrew sends new teddy bears and his Group Hug Apparel T-shirts (or onesies!) to kids around the world who are sick in the hospital or going through treatment for an illness. Andrew sends his love in a personal letter with each shirt.
Julia, named after Andrew’s girlfriend – he’s apparently always trying to find the perfect pink polish for her,,,what a great boyfriend amiright??!! – is a bright bubble gum, hot neon pink shimmery polish with light micro glitter, silver flakes and a smidge of holographic sparkle, according to Girly Bits!
Julia can be purchased/pre-ordered on the Girly Bits website, so we can all support Andrew’s campaign! Julia will start shipping the week of June 22.
And, if you want to buy a Group Hug Apparel T-shirt while you’re ordering your Julia, you can do that from the Group Hug Apparel website: If you plan to order both the polish and something from Group Hug Apparel, use the code “Julia” on that site to get free shipping, AND leave an order note that it is to be combined with the your Girly Bits order. When you place your polish order on Girly Bits, add the polish to your cart, and check off the option that says: * Is this order being combined with a Group Hug Apparel order? * and proceed to check out as usual. Girly Bits will ship your order of polish and items ordered from Group Hug Apparel together. In most cases additional shipping will not be required, but in the off chance that it is (say you order a couple hoodies and a bunch of polish!), Girly Bits will invoice you for shipping.
The polish (and if you buy shirts at the same time!) will ship combined the week of June 22.
So how about some swatches of this polish?! The formula is rich with micro glitter and flakes, so it’s dense. The polish was not hard to apply, and I used three coats for opacity. With top coat, the mani is smooth! Check Julia out:
Here’s a macro shot – a little blurry but you can see the flakes and the micro glitter!:
Finally, check out Pam and Andrew putting together bottles of Julia:
The polish will also be for sale at a pasta dinner/fundraiser event being held on Friday, June 19, in honor of Andrew, in Kingsville, Ontario at Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens. Tickets and more info can be purchased/found here. The proceeds of the event will go toward Andrew’s campaign, and a new Cardinal Carter bursary honoring Andrew.
More about Andrew
Andrew Banar was born with Down Syndrome and has been challenged with many of the associated health issues. Andrew has always been happy and has lived life to its fullest. He is fearless and pursues interests and hobbies with excitement and dedication and he’s a great source of inspiration and love for his large circle of extended family & friends.
Andrew keeps busy and active within the community. He graduated from St. Clair College – Life Skills Program – in June 2014, works part time at Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens in Ruthven, has volunteered at the Leamington Hospital, volunteered at Walmart, and has worked at the Kingsville Golf Course. Andrew takes drum lessons and is also a serious fan of music and movies.
Andrew has also been recognized for his leadership, entrepreneurial success, and his positive role model through many awards. This is his second time receiving the Canadian Down Syndrome Heroes honor.
Andrew, with the help of his mom Karen, also runs Group Hug Apparel. They sell the popular tees, hoodies, and other cool items at a slew of events, festivals, and charity fundraisers (and now worldwide through the GHA web store) with a portion of the proceeds donated to many important charities and community organizations.