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Where In The World Is Abigale?

You Just Never Know Where She’s Gonna Pop Up

The following pictures document Abigail’s recent whereabouts. I’ve heard rumors that we’ll be receiving photos from Canada, Denver, and Florida in the coming days.

 Reisterstown, MD Image description in body of post.
Reisterstown, MD

Image description: We Are Breaking Down Barriers! (clockwise from top right) shows 1) Susan holding up the Abigale Style mug that says “My Friend is Bold Blind and Beautiful” while relaxing in a pink chair in front of a charming local coffee shop, Java Mammas Cafe. 2) Table with strawberry french toast and Abby mug 3) Abby mug and iced coffee next to order number on a sunny morning.

Baltimore Museum of Art Image description in body of post.
Baltimore Museum of Art

Image description: ‪#‎AbbyOnTheMove‬ She’s cultured and she’s capable and she’s enjoying the masterpieces at the Baltimore Museum of Art! “To improve humanity we must change the way we perceive one another.” Susan is standing with her white cane on stone steps leading to the columned entrance of the Baltimore Museum of Art. White Abby tank modeled says Blind Chicks with Attitude.

Baltimore Museum of Art Image description in body of post.
Baltimore Museum of Art

Image description: (clockwise from top right) shows 1) Standing in a gallery to view Cezanne’s Mont Sainte Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry painting up close with monocular. Can see Abby tank paired with a green cardy and navy capris and holding the white cane. 2) Sitting on a bench to view a Cezanne painting in a modern art gallery. White cane in silhouette next to Susan. 3) Susan in Abby tank posed next to Rodin’s bronze sculpture The Thinker. A wall of windows behind them overlooks a landscaped courtyard.

Greyhound Bus Station Erie, PA Image description in body of post
Greyhound Bus Station Erie, PA

Image description: We’re Breaking Down Barriers! Abigale Style mug “Hey I’m Walkin’ Here” on the dashboard at the Greyhound bus station in Erie, PA.

Working out at the gym. Image description in body of post.
Working out at the gym

Image description: Abigale’s zest for life includes a healthy living where she can be found working out at the gym, walking, running, skiing, and enjoying a multitude of other physical activities! “Hey I’m Walkin’ Here” Abigale Style Coffee Mug sitting atop a stationary bike at the gym.

All Abigale Style products are available at 10% of all profits will be donated to the Employment Services Division of Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh.

Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page on the right panel of the blog. Thanks much!!

Have a nice Sunday!! Steph


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A Lil’ Inspiration #18

Without Light There Is No Sight

Together we are breaking down barriers and revealing common ground!

Literally and metaphorically speaking, none of us “see” the same. I’m sure you’ve heard a number of variations of the phrase “perception is reality.” Broadly speaking, whatever the version, I am reminded of “not knowing what I don’t know.”

Before my vision was corrected I didn’t know I couldn’t see because the eyesight I had was “my normal” and my way of seeing the world reflected only what I knew. Once I received my first pair of eyeglasses my view of the world changed drastically. The miracle of eyeglasses brought my poor eyesight into focus—I could see!

Every year for well over forty years, having my vision corrected allowed me to maintain near perfect eyesight. Then within a blink of an eye I began my journey into sight loss.

We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are. ~Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani, as quoted in the Talmudic tractate Berakhot (55b.)

Even though I was born with poor vision, it wasn’t until my eyesight continued to deteriorate my awareness of issues concerning blindness increased. Losing eyesight opened my eyes to many perspectives on how blind people specifically, and people with disabilities on a broader scale, are viewed.

While hatred and misconceptions abound, it’s way too easy to pass judgement on the other side of any given issue. Unfortunately for many, when it comes to disabilities, being the 3rd largest minority group in the world, we are the only minority group where anyone, at any age, race, religion, educational background, etc. can become a member at any time. Even so, I still believe there is a greater number of people who believe that everyone, with or without disabilities, has value.

Abigail, the white cane icon, is on a trip around the world to shed light on blindness. Yes, she is blind. Yes, she uses a white cane. Yes, she is altogether fabulous!

Abigail says “Together we are breaking down barriers and revealing common ground!”

Image: a picture of me holding a “My Friend is Bold, Blind and Beautiful” Abigail Style coffee mug.

To follow Abby’s movements be sure to connect to Bold Blind Beauty’s Facebook page.


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Mug In A Box

A New Twist On A Message In A Bottle

I'm standing on the platform overlooking Pittsburgh holding a mug that says "My Friend Is Bold Blind & Beautiful". In the background is PPG Place sometimes referred to as the glass castle.
Mug says “My Friend Is Bold Blind & Beautiful” PPG Place is in the background

I’m so ridiculously excited I don’t know what to do with myself. Finally, and I’m ashamed to admit for the first time ever, I went to Mt. Washington to experience one of the most scenic views of Pittsburgh.

Since this was my first time visiting this location in person I couldn’t get over how high we were. As we approached the platform I felt a little light headed but soldiered onward because I was on a mission!

While atop Grandview Lookout my son took pictures of me holding an Abigail Style mug which features Abigail, the white cane icon and mascot of Bold Blind Beauty. These pictures represent the beginning of Abigail’s journey around the world to spread her message of changing perceptions while encouraging unity.

Mug is sitting on top of the box in which it will be shipped.
Here’s the Box!
Clickable live map that shows the Mt. Washington location and website
Clickable live map that shows the Mt. Washington location and website

#AbbyOnTheMove Hashtag Campaign

Sending Abby on a worldwide trip is exciting for several reasons:

  • It’ll be a blast to change perceptions and encourage unity with a hashtag
  • Anyone can join the fun! All you need is a phone & social media accts.
  • Any Abigail Style products can be used to take photos the world over
I'm standing with my white cane, holding the mug with Point State Park fountain (Golden Triangle) in the background
Point State Park fountain (Golden Triangle) is in the background

The campaign is kicking off with a mug being sent from one person to another. Abby will be leaving Pittsburgh headed to New York and then who knows? Each person who receives the mug or purchases product from Abigail Style will forward the following four bullet points to the next person:

  • Put yourself on the map with Abby on the Move & support Abilities!
  • Take a selfie with Abby’s traveling mug and post it on social media with the hashtag #AbbyOnTheMove.
  • After you post your mug selfie, tag (#BoldBlindBeauty) and they’ll pin Abby’s whereabouts on the map!!
  • Let’s see how far around the world we can get, because together we are breaking down barriers and revealing common ground!

The best part of this whole shebang is the live map. Yes, you heard right, a live map will be pinned to the top of Bold Blind Beauty’s Facebook page so you can track Abby’s movements. Isn’t that the coolest thing?

Okay it’s back to work for me. Have a nice weekend everyone!!! ~Steph

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Sight Loss & Solace Through A Little Image

An Icon With A Mission

Image of Abigail in a crosswalk with text: Walking in confidence regardless of the status of our lives--this is beautiful! #AbbyOnTheMove
Walking in confidence regardless of the status of our lives–this is beautiful!

After living with corrected vision for most of my life, if I thought adjusting to sight loss was tough, then several years ago meeting the world on its terms with my new disability was excruciating. Encountering prejudice, inequality, and inaccurate presumptions, though not new, were now based on my disability.

“As she steps forth to face the crowds
Some will stare, some will pass.
Captures attention as she goes
What do they really know?”

You’ve probably heard the phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know,” for example I didn’t know I couldn’t see until I put on my first pair of eyeglasses. Prior to wearing eyeglasses I functioned quite well because I wasn’t aware of what I couldn’t see, so as far as I was concerned there were no limitations to what I could achieve.

“She walks on by, her head held high
Opinions form in minds.
Some only see the stick she holds
What do they really know?”

Likewise, while I knew there was a significant disparity between the abled and disabled communities I was stunned to find myself caught in the middle of two worlds. Many times I felt alienated for not being fully sighted yet also not being fully blind.

“I’m sick of people staring at your cane, it’s 2016 why do people still stare at people who use mobility devices?” My son asked me this question when we were on a recent outing.

“With cane in hand she proves she’s strong.
Breaking through opinions
She’s changing minds, she’s changing views
Shows them what they should know.”

I am grateful I can’t see the gawking yet it happens to many of us who live with low vision on a daily basis. The fully sighted can’t comprehend why a person who appears to see would use a white cane, and on the other end of the spectrum some who are fully blind take offense to those who aren’t, being referred to as such.

Acceptance, the one thing most people yearn for, can seem especially elusive when living with a disability. However once we become confident enough to accept ourselves with our disability this is the point where we can begin to meet the world on our terms.

We are living in an era where people with disabilities are aggressively finding creative solutions to overcome the obstacles we face. Abigail—the poem by Jazmin Ruiz, contained within this article—was inspired by the stylish white cane icon of the same name.

“Strength and beauty is what she holds.
Walking tall, head held high.
And there she goes achieving goals
That’s all they need to know.”

Abigail has sight loss and uses a white cane yet she is fabulously chic as she walks confidently with purpose letting her cane guide the way. The icon was designed with a two-fold mission in mind: to embolden women who are blind or have sight loss to embrace their individual greatness, and to eradicate the stigma on the multitude of visual impairments.

As a society let’s begin with a clean slate operating from a standpoint of “we don’t know what we don’t know” to view people with an open mind. Let’s cease placing people with disabilities in a box of conformity based on what we think they can or cannot do because once we are able to do this we begin the process of breaking barriers.

Please don’t forget to “like” my Facebook page and connect with me on my social media platforms located on the right panel of the blog. Many Thanks ~Steph <3