I wanted to design something that children would love. I wanted to give children something that would bring them joy and happiness, the same way my son and daughter give my happiness.
Markus and Leah were both born premature. Markus was born 2 1/2 months early and weighed 2.9 pounds and Leah was 3 1/2 months premature and only weighed 1.9 pounds.
Sadly, Leah had many complications the first few months. She was born in the main hospital in Oslo, a 5-hour drive from our home. She was bleeding on the brain when she was born, but luckily, the bleeding stopped.
For a couple of weeks everything seemed fine. The doctors and nurses were very pleased with her progress. My husband and I even went home for a few days to be with Markus.
A couple of days after we came back to the hospital, everything seemed to have turned and things started to go wrong.
Poor Leah had to go through several operations. The most critical one was when they had to operate on her stomach. Before the operation, her stomach was very bloated and almost black. The doctors had to rush her into surgery. After four "long" hours, Leah came out of surgery. The surgeon told us that she had 3 large holes in her intestines and that she was bleeding a lot from her liver during the operation. They cut away 8 cm of her intestine. The surgeon told us that she had only 50% chance of making it through the night.
Leah did make it through the night, as she is our little fighter. She showed her strength repeatedly over the coming months. She got a few infections and stopped breathing many times where she had to be revived. We had lots of difficulties and uncertainties during the ensuing weeks. It was also very hard to be away from Markus for such a long period. Thanks to the love and assistance from close family and his nursery school, today, it doesn't seem like Markus has been affected by everything we as a family have been through. Luckily, he did not witness us going through the hardest part.
It was during this difficult time that I started to work on my designs for Tyler Trends. For me, the drawings were my way of focusing on other things. I didn't realize at the time that it would eventually evolve into a brand. For me, the drawings were a natural way for me to distract myself for a moment and bring a happiness and lightness to those around me and to me, creatively. It was my way of focusing on other things when I could not be with Leah or Markus.
Four months had passed before we finally were allowed to take Leah home and be together as a family again. We still had a long road ahead of us and had regular visits to the hospital. Leah was past the worst and she is our little miracle.
We are very grateful for the work that the doctors and nurses have done; they have been exceptional. If they had waited any longer to operate, we do not think Leah would be here today. They have done a brilliant job and have been so supportive.
Starting Tyler Trends is symbolic to me on many levels. Spending long periods of time in the hospital and being surrounded by a lot of sadness made me want to create something happy and enjoyable for kids. Markus and Leah have been my inspiration. They are now two healthy and happy kids who love animals, shapes and colors.
The first design that I created was the Monkey because they can both be cheeky monkeys at times. The giraffe was my second animal face, which soon became the Tyler Trends logo and is one of Markus' favorite animals. The ladybug is dedicated to Leah who has been through a lot, but is now my "cute little bug".
I am sharing my story to show there is always hope and to never give up. These happy creations are my way of sharing with kids the complete joy I now feel in my life.