Changing the Face of Beauty

When my daughter was born 2 and a half years ago I knew she would have Down Syndrome.  I knew there was an extra little chromosome coming along with my fresh bundle of joy, but I had no idea that she was a girl.  My husband and I made the decision that this last baby would be a surprise like all the rest were.  So that day on December 30th, 2009 came and my Doctor held her up and said, “Well Katie, it looks like you have your Daughter!”.  I was shocked to say the least.  I was just as sure as the day is long that she would be my 6th and final boy.


Needless to say there was a pink celebration…..there were flowers and hats.  I really do not think there was a day that went by in her first 12 months of life that she did not have a sweet little pink hat on her head.  Although the fear, sadness and concern for her future were there….I considered myself lucky because I had a daughter.


Family time: Spending time with kids at the park during the summer

In her first 2 years we took trips to the American Girl store and etsy sellers knew us on a first name basis.  I loved and still do love, braiding her hair and dressing her up.  I know my days are limited being the Mom of 5 boys.  My sweet little girlie girl will soon turn against the pink polka dots that I love and ask for one of her brothers baseball jerseys.  Until then I enjoy it!

Family time: Spending time with kids at the park during the summer

During those years the camera was never put away….my Dad bought me my first DSLR shortly after Graces birth and it opened a new world of photography.  The camera went every where we went.  I wanted every moment captured because I knew this was it.  This was the last baby and I wanted to remember.

Down Syndrome: My beautiful Daughter

I decided in early January 2012 that I would branch my photography into a buisiness called 5 boys + 1 girl = 6 and it has been such a blessing.  I have made lasting relationships with independent designers, etsy shop owners and beautiful families.  Grace has been involved in more they 40 advertising campaigns.  I was over whelmed with the open arm responses I received from these awesome individuals.  I love to photograph my daughter and I love pretty things so hand and hand it was a win-win all the way around.

Etsy Modeling: My daughter representing an etsy product

Etsy Modeling: My daughter representing an etsy product

As time went on my friend Steve English of Blossom Boys approached me to photograph his products on not only my daughter but anyone else I could find that had a disability or a special need.  He wanted to honor these individuals with a beautiful facebook advertising campaign.  So from that moment on my photography turned into something bigger, something so much more meaningful, and something very close to my heart.  We decided to call The Blossom Boys advertising, “Changing the Face of Beauty” and over the past 2 months we have been able to photograph 12 gorgeous boys and girls.  Honestly our hearts are bursting with happiness.  It feels so good to do good for other people.

Changing the face of Beauty model

Changing the face of Beauty model

We have decided that we would both like to continue volunteering our time to growing this number of models.  We would love to have 100 models by the end of the year!  In order to do that we need help.

Changing the face of Beauty model

Changing the face of Beauty model


We have all read about the big box stores choosing to include individuals with disabilities in their advertising campaigns.  It is exciting to see all people represented in the Sunday newspaper because that is just the way it is supposed to be.  We want to make the same impact on privately owned independent businesses.   Wouldn’t it be great to browse etsy and see all types of children represented?  Wouldn’t you love to walk into your local boutique and see individuals with disabilities on the wall or in their brochure.  We want to help you do that!

Changing the face of Beauty model

Right now I am offering to assist businesses with their facebook or in-store advertising campaigns for no charge, and Steve will donate his time to assist me in the organization of this project.  All it takes is a product, you provide the product for my models and I provide you with pictures and printing rights.  We hope to help support your advertising by creating a facebook page for “Changing the Face of Beauty” as well as posting your business here on this blog.  People want to know who is supporting all walks of people.  I am a Mom with children who happen to have disabilities and I want to shop where I know they are accepted.  Lets work together to do something good…..lets lift people up…..lets accept everyone.

Changing the face of Beauty model

We am sooo excited about this and we hope you are to!  If you know someone who might be interested in advertising please forward this on.  I currently work with people all over the world so click the share button at the top of this post and share!  If you are reading this and want to participate or want to be a model for “Changing the Face of Beauty” contact us (Pictures are taking here in Chicago, IL)…..We want to hear from you!  Katie or Steve at

Changing the face of Beauty model

I am sure you will agree these individuals are BEAUTIFUL!  Inside and out!

Changing the face of Beauty model

CHEERS my friends…..Happy hump day!  Lets make a difference in this great big world of ours!  Lets make a difference for ourselves, for our children and for our children’s, children!



21 thoughts on “Changing the Face of Beauty

  1. We would like to talk more about this, we have a Beautiful 2 year old daughter with Downs syndrome and would like to know more….pls e mail a contact #…, thanks, rau

  2. I have son with Aspergers, and I am a hairstylist. I am in the process of trying to have a night at our salon for children on the spectrum. A night when we are closed, so there are no other noises, lights at a minimum no chemicals being done so no aromas. When I am able to get this going I would love to have photographs.

    • Hi Dawn,

      I, too, have a son with Asperger`s who struggles with the experience of having his hair cut. I now have a fantastic hairdresser who understands, but it can still be very stressful for him ( and me!)
      Your idea struck a cord with me… it is fantastic. My hairdresser rents a chair in a nail salon, so the smell of chemicals can be overwhelming at times. There are also tanning booths there, and all manner of products to mess with!. I think my hairdresser would be up for your idea if enough people booked to make it worth her while. Please let me know how it goes for you. Love Clare :))x

  3. How awesome!! To think…how all this happened for you! What an amazing thing! You are doing INCREDIBLE work and your calling has truly been found! Kudos to you! I’d volunteer my son any day, but I’ll have to find him a cause to advertise for!! Great job and you should be SO proud of your AWESOME work!!

  4. Keep going Katie! LOVE it! And I don’t think I ever saw the picture of Grace in the green tutu! Seriously cannot take it! xoxox

  5. I love the pictures!! I love when I see these beautiful individuals in advertisements because I too have a daughter with Down Syndrome. My Violet is 8 now and just such a joy, we would love to participate if you need a brown-eyed beauty for any future work!

      • I think that is so wonderful and such a blessing what you guys are doing. Some people don’t realize it but these kids are such a gift and a blessing. My son has downs he is four years old. I tell everybody he is a blessing and i thank God for him and his brothers everyday. He is the fifth of my five son, and he is love so much by his father,mother, and brothers. I wish i was there because you take beautiful pictures and i would love for you to take some pictures of him. I may try to send to some. And once agin Thank you all for what you are doing and be blessed.

  6. What a cool thing to do!! What area are you shooting in? We live by Peoria. I have two special needs children with CP in wheelchairs and my grandson has CP also.

  7. I have Baby Jude, 2 1/2 with Ds and would love to have him involved. Your pictures of Bobby G are beautiful!!


  8. Katie, the pictures of your beautiful Grace just make my day. I love that you are capturing the kids with special needs….the beauty, silliness, the every day joy of family life. Keep going!!!

  9. I have a nephew eith downsyndrome. They are precious children. I have been sewing for many years. I started at the age of 18 and am now 55. I started out in the factorys and sewed my childrens clothes and do the same for my grandbabies. Everyone kept telling me that I needed to start making them and saleing them, so I finally gave in. What you have seen on Etsy is just a little of what I do. Getting the word out there has been very difficult. People love my outfits and talk about how supurb they are.I can not even began to tell you all the comments I have had. I also top stitch mine which a lot of them do not it makes them look so much better. I have 56 out fits of the coverall short style that I am making now for a lady to put on and she does not want them topped stitched because it takes to much time and expense she said. I do all my work from my home and would love to get it into store or anywhere to get it saling better. I can not afford to do much advertising right now and I know that is not good. I know that the lord gave me this gift and I have spent the last 2 days sheading a lots of tears over this.I had to close a website that I was getting started because everytime I turned around they wanted money to add this and money to add that. I love what I do and to me it is not a job. Please contact me as to more info. Thank you so much and God Bless You and Your Family.

  10. I think what you are doing is wonderful! I wish everyone could see the beauty EVERY child possesses. My teenage son Rory was born with Williams Syndrome and he is the greatest joy in my life and i wouldn’t change him for all the money in the world. I know he would love to be part of your project and we wish you nothing but success going forward and many blessings!

  11. I adore the name of your campaign! I am a photographer who also specializes in people with disabilities (for about 5years now) but I love the idea of incorporating the advertisement aspect as well! I may need to look into that in my area!

  12. Hi there! My name is Dawn Aiello and I live in Athens, GA. I think this project is amazing! My cousin Luca had Down Syndrome and it certainly changed all of our lives. Unfortunately, he passed away this January, just a few months shy of 4 years old, from Leukemia. I know that you’re taking pictures up there in Chicago, but if you have models who live in the Athens or Atlanta areas, I’d be happy to step in and take their photos to contribute to the project. Just let me know how I can help!

  13. What a lovely idea! I would love to speak to you about this further, please can you email me.
    The Autumn 2012 issue of the Mum and Me magazine does include a couple of pictures of children with Downs. Not to illustrate an article about Downs, but as beautiful children illustrating an article.

  14. Hola! I’ve been following your web site for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

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