Speak Up Sponsor Spotlight, Angela & Ed Deiss

Angela & Ed Deiss, Brave Boutique

Chances, they are there for the taking.  What they represent is hope and if we don’t take them, we will never know. 

Ed and Angela Deiss know that well, having met on a first date in Roanoke Rapids, NC, in July 2016, halfway between where each of them lived (Richmond, VA, and Greenville, NC). As they left the parking lot to drive back to their homes that night, Angela jumped out of her car, ran back to Ed,  and said, "I just want two more minutes with you."  It turned into forever. 

Ed got to know Grace and Dave Gallagher by sharing the road through his involvement in SpeakUp training and races, having been introduced to their daughter, Reilly, in June 2014 at Comfort Zone Camp, where he volunteers as a Big Buddy.  He is also a blogger, and believes that there are no ordinary lives.  In a letter he wrote to Cameron on his blog, he was reminded that it is OK to not be OK.  Knowing that the issue of depression and anxiety has no borders, Ed also was honored to represent the CKG Foundation at both the schools he attended in Singapore in April 2016, where he spoke to an audience of over 300 students.  While there, he even ran a 10K with others to SpeakUp. 
As for Angela, she treasures time more than anything, and for a good reason.  She did not think she would be living at this point in her life.  In December 2011, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, was told cancer had much better odds than she, and her time left likely short.  She was planning her own funeral while the painful battle went on for three years; after she got the news in 2014 that she was going to make it after all, Angela had an idea.

"We all have a story, most of which starts with us being brave enough to make a change. Brave enough to believe in ourselves. After years of watching the ones around me being brave at very difficult times in their lives, I decided to start Brave Boutique, and donate 20% of all monthly sales to various nonprofit organizations that help men, women, and children make their dreams come true, or to help them in times when bravery is needed."  

Angela also became a paramedic as a way to pay to forward.    

Starting a small business was a dream, where they saw that pain and setbacks can be rewoven into purpose to encourage others to be brave through their own struggles, and this certainly encourages both Angela and Ed.  Brave Boutique is where fashion and art meet; it is a place where unique products and stories are shared, all while helping others.   
Cameron Gallagher certainly exemplified being brave.  She finished her race, and through her legacy continues to SpeakUp. Her struggles with depression and anxiety made her vulnerable. She fought it, and through her journey, the strength she showed in facing it while being purposeful to help others is an example for all of us. 

Angela and Ed are honored to have Brave Boutique partner with the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation, and be the first store to have Cameron's creations readily available in an area of the store called Cameron's Corner.  100% of all sales of Cameron's items go to her Foundation, which provides FREE mental health education, support, and positive coping skills to teens struggling with mental illness through SpeakUp programming. 

Angela and Ed would love having any and all those connected to SpeakUp visit their store and share their story.  Brave Boutique is located at 10364 Leadbetter Road, Ashland, VA 23005.  You can also find and follow them on Facebookand Instagram. Please feel free to contact them through email, or (804) 299-2995. 

"Bravery never goes out of fashion." ~ William Makepeace Thackeray

Rebecca Shigley