We had the good fortune of connecting with Isabell Bogosian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Isabell, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
My 12 year old daughter Sasha has been living with Cerebral Palsy (CP) since birth. She is very artistic and loves to draw and paint. Four years ago she started painting a pair of my jeans for therapy and fun and eventually started to paint denim items for donations. 100% of the proceeds support the art therapy program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where Sasha receives treatment. This art therapy program isn’t covered by insurance or medicaid, and is solely funded by philanthropic efforts from the community. Sasha knows this, and wants to continue raising awareness and funds one one painted denim item at a time.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
12 years ago, my husband and I celebrated the birth of our daughter Sasha. Due to complications at birth, Sasha suffered a stroke and has been living with Cerebral Palsy. CP has been a challenge for Sasha but hasn’t stopped her. 4 years ago, Sasha started to raise funds for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (where she receives treatment) by painting peoples jeans. Painting jeans was an activity she grew to love a couple of months before her leg surgery. I work for Levi’s and have quite the inventory of denim in my closet. So one day we thought it would be fun for Sasha to bring an old pair of my levi’s back to life. She LOVED the idea of painting my jeans and kept asking for more. I loved seeing how passionate she was about this crafty project and was excited to see her engaged in an activity that was also bi manual. Sasha needed to use both sides of her body to create her designs. A big plus for a parent who is desperately trying to get her daughter with CP Right Hemiplegia to use her challenged side. When I started to wear her painted jeans, I kept getting asked about them. When I shared this with Sasha, she just kept saying “well Mom, tell them to send me their jeans and I’ll paint them”. And that’s when an idea sparked in our minds. We both agreed that this could be a fun way to raise money for CHLA and could be a project that kept her busy and an activity that would keep her upper body engaged during her leg surgery recovery. For a donation, Sasha would paint your jeans. That’s when Sasha joined the CHLA Junior Ambassador team and started her mission. She named her fundraising page “The Sasha Project LA”. Word quickly spread about Sasha’s mission through social media and the tv news networks, celebrities and sponsors like Levi’s and Blick Art Materials started to support Sasha’s fundraising efforts. It’s been nearly five years now, and The Sasha project LA operates as a non profit organization dedicated to raising funds for CHLA’s Mark Taper-Johnny Mercer art therapy program. This Art Therapy program gives thousands of patients the ability to express themselves through visual arts, music and dance. It has had a huge impact on Sasha, so it’s our mission to do all we can to help keep this program secure so other patients can have the opportunity to heal through art. I am beyond grateful for the career I have had with Levi’s. It has helped me develop a strong work ethic as well as build relationships with the most inspirational people. I’m also very grateful to my family, friends, our contacts at CHLA and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the celebrities and sponsors who have all played a critical role in helping us along this fundraising journey. Thank you for allowing me to share our story. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2021!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take them to all of the tourist spots like Universal Studios, Disneyland, Santa Monica Pier, Malibu Pier, Beverly Hills, museums (LACMA and MOCA), and definitely visit the Grove, We would eat at a few of my favorite restaurants; Angelini Osteria, Mozza, Mastros, for some fine dining. And for lunch we’d enjoy sandwiches at Larchmont Wine and Village and All About the Bread! We’d go see a play at Pantages. And for some dancing we’d definitely go to my favorite spot Pour Vous.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We have been incredibly grateful for all of the love and support that has come our way. We’d love to give a huge shoutout to our family and friends who supported Sasha’s fundraising efforts from the start. We also want to give a shoutout to our sponsors Blick Art Materials (who have provided all of the art supplies and materials from the start) and Levi’s (More specifically the Levi’s Kids and Haus teams) for supplying us with product and booking VIP events. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, have also played an important role in helping us raise awareness and funds through events and celebrity meetings. Speaking of celebrities, another huge shout out to Paris Hilton who has been one of our biggest supporters! Sasha wouldn’t have an amazing art studio if it weren’t for the Home Made Simple cast and crew! So definitely a shout out to them too. We also have had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with a couple of very special people in efforts to raise funds and awareness; Mercer Henderson (who created Sasha Project emojis), Ani Sousamian of Ani Michele Nail Polish Billy Price and Darin Donaldson of BILLY Footwear. It’s truly been an amazing journey!
All photos have been taken with my camera/iPhone.