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15-year-old starts Bea’s Unique Designs

Beatris Blanco turns ordinary items into beautiful designs. Much like her life story, she has transformed hardships into beauty.

July 22, 2018
Jennifer Astello - Correspondent , Estherville News

A teenager in Estherville starts Bea's Unique Designs. Beatris Blanco, a 15-year-old girl from Estherville, has vowed to take ordinary objects and transform them into something unique. She uses items like bottles, then customizes with lace, beads, lettering and flowers. She has no limit to the items she can turn into a masterpiece and no project is too big or too small.

Blanco speaks with a soft voice and her humble attitude is evident. Blanco says as she matures, she is beginning to see beauty in ordinary things.

Blanco's attitude in her business reflects the attitude she has about life. Through hardship and the pressures of life came the start of Bea's Unique Designs.

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A series of bad health diagnoses has changed Beatris' and her family's lives forever. Despite the hardships, the entire family has held onto faith in God, taken the problem by the horns and taught Beatris to embrace her creative side.

Blanco's time spent indoors used to mean playing with dolls when she was younger, coloring or watching television. But as she got older, she got bored with those things and started looking forward to going to school just so she could be around her friends.

Her time indoors has evolved into creating unique creations.

Fact Box

About Beatris Blanco

My name is Beatris Blanco. I'm 15 years old and I'm from Estherville, Iowa. I'm an ordinary girl that decided to be creative. But before I tell you my creative side, I would like to let you know what got me to strive for this small business.

When I was five, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of certain important hormones.

At age seven, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is a type of arthritis that causes joint inflammation and stiffness and often diagnosed in children under the age of 16.

In 2011, I had open-heart surgery.

The most recent diagnoses (Lupus, Uveitis, and Antiphospholipid Antibodies/Syndrome) keep me from all sorts of light (sunlight, UV light, and artificial light...etc.) It keeps me indoors most of the time. As the years go by I just get diagnosed with several things, but it's nothing new to me.

Many of these diagnoses don't allow me to be outdoors, play sports, or even stay in front of a computer screen. All these things might be negative, but in a way, it helped me find this creative side of me. This is how it started.

"During this time, I made several different crafts," said Blanco. "Either making clothes and houses for my dolls, to making a scrapbook, or just decorative pieces of art to add to my room. This gave me several ideas about having a clothing or arts and crafts business. As the years go by, my experiences have helped me brainstorm several unique designs that allow me to feel a sense of fulfillment when I am finished. It's really hard to try and start a project because I have so many ideas running through my head. I do have different sized projects, big and small. For example, they can be as big as a doll staircase or even a small piggy bank."

Blanco's parents have been very supportive of her creativity. Blanco said her mother, Yesenia Blanco, has always been very creative and is known for her own beautiful creations.

"Like most parents, it's really hard to see your own daughter going through a lot," said Blanco's mother, Yesenia. "We are thankful to have her. We are so proud of how she's handled every situation. We support and love her creativity with this new chapter in her life. If you see her, you will never know how much pain or illnesses she has, because she always has a smile on her face. We love her to the moon and back."

Blanco stated that although she believes she got a lot of her creativity from her mother, she also believes she got some from her father Luis. Luis supports the family and stands as a rock of faith during the hardships. Both parents display hopeful and positive outlooks.

"They both helped me find this business and have helped me think of what project to do next and how to start one." Said Blanco.

Blanco has been creating unique designs for about five years now and has included her younger brother Luis Jr. as well.

"My brother Luis is also part of this small business," said Blanco. "He helps paint and sketch out stencils for the bottles. He started drawing when he was six-years old and is very artistic. He also helps me think of new ideas and tells me when my decorations don't look the best here or there."

Luis Jr. states, "I am excited for the new business and the days of work that will come."

Blanco's older sister, Vanessa, is away at college but gives her full support to the new business and all her love to her younger sister.

Bea's Unique Designs focuses on customizing for the customer.

"We do use a lot of different varieties of beads, lace, stencils and artificial flowers," said Blanco. "We have not yet been able to get more paint other than black and white, but I am sure we will be able to get most of the colors soon. We don't have a lot of bottles made yet because the business is still at its adolescence and we want it to be more of what the customer would want on the bottle. Turning something ugly into something beautiful is definitely what we try to do. Not saying that Starbucks bottles are ugly, but we transformed one into a painted flat black with white painted beading around the neck-part of the bottle. Before painting the bottle, we stenciled a B for the business name. After we painted over the stencil, the B was see-through and the rest was black. We topped it off with a white rose and finished it with putting white sand inside."

Blanco chose Bea's Unique Designs because of her name, but also because the doctors call her Unique.

"I got the name Bea's Unique Designs because Bea stands for my name and almost every single time I get diagnosed with something, the doctors can't figure out why its happening, they always say, I'm unique and so I wanted to incorporate it into the name."

Just like her creative designs, Blanco has taken these bad diagnoses and used them to display beauty.

Any donations of glass bottles, jars or any products that can help support Beatris' creativity would be great. For more information about the business or to contact Beatris directly visit Bea's Unique Designs on Facebook.



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