Every Tiny Thing - A Special NICU Store {review}


Normally here on Hello Preemie I'm all about sharing ideas and resources that I believe will help preemie parents in one way or another. Today, I want to tell you about another resource I think you will love. 

Every Tiny Thing makes gifts and accessories for NICU parents and babies, and it was created by yours truly back in 2014 to deliver products that I felt would really bring joy to NICU families. 

Here's how Every Tiny Thing got started....

It all began with the idea of bringing beauty and joy to a baby's NICU bedside.

I've been a NICU nurse for 20 years now. Over the years, when I'd get home from work, I'd dream up ways to bring parents a little joy. About 4 years ago I started taking the ideas in my head and making them into a reality. I started creating art cards to hang near a baby's NICU bed. I wanted NICU parents to have the same joy of surrounding their baby with super cute designs as parents of full-term healthy babies have. I believe NICU parents deserve it even more, actually!

But I know NICU nurses, and we love clean. We love sanitizing. A lot. We're kinda freaks, honestly, but all for good reason. So I created art work that's laminated, which means it can be spilled on, peed on, pooped on or dropped on the floor and it will endure the rigorous sanitizing required in the NICU. NICU Crib Art from Every Tiny Thing withstands the intensity of the NICU in style and brings some much needed cheer at the same time. 

One thing leads to another...

After that, I had another idea. When I went to my cousin's wedding, he and his wife had a super cool alternative to a guest book. It was an illustration of a tree without any leaves. All the guests placed their thumbprints on the print to make the "leaves" of the tree, and then signed their names and added words of support and love. (Have you ever seen these? I love 'em!) 

The original mock-up for the My NICU Family poster, at NANN convention 2014. Those balloons were hand stamped! 

The original mock-up for the My NICU Family poster, at NANN convention 2014. Those balloons were hand stamped! 

I realized that something like this would be a wonderful idea for NICU parents. What if I created a poster like this, but instead of thumbprints (ink pads in the NICU are messy -see above about how much NICU nurses hate messy) I would make a print that's ready to sign.

That way, NICU parents who have spent some pretty intense months of their lives with some pretty awesome nurses and doctors could have a nice memento, a keepsake, to remind them of all the caregivers. So I created the original "My NICU Family" Poster and took it to a convention of NICU nurses. The nurses were super enthusiastic about it, so I went for it. 

Couldn't stop creating

For a few years, I sold NICU Crib Art and My NICU Family posters, and continued with my part time nursing. But this past year, 2017, my creative urge got the better of me again and I just had to see if I could create a couple more of the products that I really felt NICU parents deserved.

I wanted to create a journal, in order to give NICU parents a nice place to keep track of all the stuff they always want to keep track of. And not some cheap flimsy thing - a real book. Professionally designed and illustrated. 

So I decided to give Kickstarter a try. You know Kickstarter? It's a place to crowdfund, and boy did the NICU community amaze me with their support of the project. 

I needed to raise a minimum of $6,000 to have the journals published, but folks were so excited to help make the project happen that we raised over $13,000! 

Our NICU Journey was successfully published both in paperback and hardcover, and it's amazing to hear how it is empowering NICU parents around the world as they document their journey. 

With the additional funding from Kickstarter, I was also able to manufacture one more item I really wanted to make - NICU Milestone Cards.

The super talented designer who does most of the artwork for all of my items agreed to design a set of 24 double-sided NICU milestone cards for a total of 48 unique NICU milestones. 

Milestone Cards for babies are all the rage these days, but most mainstream sets contain cards that say "I sat up today" or "I got my first tooth today," but not "I came off the ventilator today!" So I wanted to create a nice set for the NICU.

Now, when a baby finally reaches 3 pounds? There's a card for that! Snap a photo & celebrate! Or when a preemie finally gets to have his feeding tube out? There's a card for that! Snap a photo & celebrate the big accomplishment!

I'm so proud to be able to say that Every Tiny Thing is now a successful brand with 4 really unique, high-quality NICU products that bring joy to parents everywhere. Who knows? Maybe there will be more products added someday..... if I let my creativity get the better of me! 

If you know anyone with a preemie in the NICU, or if you have one there yourself, you might pop on over to the store to check it out. Here, we offer free shipping and every item is gift wrapped for free! Our products are available on Amazon, too!