Publish October 17, 2023
stories matter


In the fast-paced world of media, it’s a challenge to make your work stand out. But often, what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary is a personal and compelling story. This was a realization I stumbled upon during my time at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH). Let me take you on this transformative journey with me.

Designing with Emotion: The Beginning

As I began working on the charity room at RMH, I wanted it to be more than just a space. I aimed for it to encapsulate emotions, feelings, and memories. The room wasn’t just for anyone – it was specifically for families going through trying times.

Remembering back to a challenging period in my life provided me with the spark. Eighteen years earlier, I had gone through the emotional roller-coaster of trying to get pregnant. The joy of finding out that I was expecting was overwhelming, but the journey was anything but smooth.

Reliving Memories: The Unexpected Arrival

Fast forward to the birth, I was caught off-guard when I went into labor four weeks earlier than expected. My son, Sean, was born healthy at 7 pounds, but concerns about his heart led to his immediate admission to the Neonatal ICU. Those were undoubtedly the longest and most emotionally draining 10 days of my life.

While some memories fade over time, the feelings of exhaustion, stress, and overwhelming emotions remained vivid. It was these memories that fueled my passion while designing the room at RMH.

Incorporating a Message: Details that Matter

I didn’t just want to design a room; I wanted to create a sanctuary. A place where parents could find comfort and solace, reminding them that they weren’t alone. Thus, the room was named “Messages of Hope”, with tiny uplifting notes scattered throughout. From artwork on the walls to tiny notes beside the bed and even in the bathroom, I aimed to bolster the spirits of these parents.

The Unexpected Turn: When Stories Become Newsworthy

After pouring my heart and soul into this room, I moved on, thinking that my personal connection to the project would remain just that – personal. However, life had other plans.

The Marketing Manager of RMH, impressed with the room and its underlying story, shared it with the local TV station. When I was approached by a reporter, I was taken aback. Why would something from 18 years ago matter now?

Her response was simple, yet powerful: “Because it’s a human-interest story and our viewers love that!”

The Power of Authenticity: Human Stories that Resonate

What I learned from this experience is invaluable. People aren’t just interested in the final product; they’re captivated by the journey, the struggles, the triumphs, and the emotions that led to the end result. By sharing our personal stories, we add a human touch to our work, making it relatable and genuine.

That interview not only led to two TV segments but also showcased the strength of a good story. It wasn’t about seeking attention, placing ads, or spending money. It was the authenticity of my journey that resonated with the viewers.

The Takeaway: Share Your Stories

So, whether you’re a designer, an artist, a writer, or in any profession, remember: your experiences and personal stories add depth to your creations. By opening up, you allow others to connect with you and your work on a deeper level.

Today, I urge you to embrace your personal stories, no matter how insignificant they might seem to you. It’s these stories that humanize your creations, making them memorable. And who knows, your story might just be the ticket to your next big break.

In a world saturated with information, it’s the stories we tell that create a lasting impact. So go ahead, share yours, and watch the magic unfold.

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