Here we are… my little tribe. My name is Chianne Coffman, but my friends call me Chy (“Shy”). For over 17 years, Mark and I have been working hard to create this beautiful life and these two lovely Minions. I mean that is the most sincere way… next year, I plan to steal the MOOOOON!
Who knew a house warming party could turn into this? Turns out the key to this man’s heart was found over a game of cards.
That’s right, my Dad had taught me to play poker when I was just young, and those skills paid my rent the month I met Mark. HA! I guess you can say that all the right cards fell into place, I left that night winning not only the game, but also his heart.
Back before we had kids, we enjoyed taking trips on his Harley Davidson motorcycle, going to rock concerts, having block parties and traveling. When I met Mark, I was living in Denver and working for WhiteWave Foods on their creative team. Life was good, but I was commuting back and forth from Windsor. As an entrepreneur himself, Mark encouraged me to start my own business as a graphic designer and so shortly after our engagement I took the leap with the blessing from my creative director from WhiteWave Foods.
My first client became Nordy’s BBQ and Grill. And still to this day, I work on their brand. I remember being SO proud to see a logo I designed displayed on a brick and mortar storefront! I LOVED what I accomplished and I was hooked on the feeling of creating something that would bring impact to a family and my community.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.
We were married in Jamaica in 2007 surrounded by family and friends (and dolphins and Red Stripes)! Singing in the background was Bob Marley, “Every little “tings” gonna be alright”. The incredible Clayton Jenkins took our wedding photos and he is also is an amazing artist!
Cale was born in 2009 and changed our entire world (as kids tend to do). I was awestruck by this little human who somehow became the ONLY reason I wasn’t getting my normal 9-hours of sleep each night. Cale has grown up so very fast, but during these years I remember feeling SO overwhelmed as a young mom and entrepreneur. This was the training I’d need to be capable of juggling family life and business. The decision had to be made, FAMILY FIRST. I slowed up on taking on new design clients and decided to purchase a camera and so I could start capturing my son as he grew through these precious years.
If we could only see the world through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything!annonymous
Artwork has an incredible way of healing. In 2012, my Dad passed away of a rare disease called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. This was one of the hardest moments in my life. My Dad and I were close. He taught me to be giving and positive. He taught me to be willing to look silly in order to make someone’s day. And in the final hours of his life, he asked for everyone to leave the room but me. And what he told me, changed the direction of my life. He said, “Is this really the end?” Life brings the most unexpected turns as he continued, “Well, I had one hell of a ride going all in.”
Go All In.
Hours after he passed in the wee hours of the morning, I was getting home and my three-year-old son stood up in his pack-n-play and pointed out the window, “Mama, Papa Wayne is up on the moon with the white owls.” In my brokenness, my son showed me the path toward healing.
This art piece I had commissioned brought me healing in a time of deep grief, I will forever be grateful to the artist who created this piece for me and mentored me through my early years as a photographer. Thank you Noelle Wood.
Take pause to breathe in the hints of wonder that are freely offered to you with great sacrifice.chianne coffman
I was 12-weeks pregnant at the time. My first ultrasound was scheduled for the day after my Dad had passed. I was relieved that he knew a second baby was on the way, but I was sad he’d miss out. With my Dad’s illness, my check-ups were postponed as I was traveling back and forth to Nebraska often. Mark and I walked into this ultrasound with great anticipation. There was a HUGE whole in my heart with the loss of my Dad, but the image of my unborn baby would remind me of the life waiting to be lived inside me.
The technician didn’t say much. Tension began to boil and our palms grew sweaty. I will never forget her leaving the room and the look of terror on my husband’s white face. I suddenly felt like I was a ton of bricks thrown out of a plane and into the deep sea. My doctor came in moments later, “I’m so very sorry for your loss.”
I know what it means to dig deep and persevere…
I would not wish this on anyone. Losing a child is sudden and heartbreaking and… and… there are no words. I had to have an emergency DNC the next day and then two days later speak at my Dad’s funeral. 2012 was the worst year of my life. Later that same year, I had my second miscarriage at a HuHot restaurant on my way to deliver Christmas presents to a family we adopted for the holidays. At the conclusion of that year, I wanted to curl up in a ball and stay in the darkness.
But I couldn’t. I had no choice. I had a little boy who needed me and he deserved to have me present. During these hard years in my life, I met an amazing woman, Darci Larrarte. As my counselor still to this day, Dari found the gems in my life and began to polish them. With each stone she found buried in the dirt, she had the unique ability to present it back to me and bring a flicker of light. Tiny sparks would begin to appear within my heart over the next decade.
Behind every successful woman are the other successful women who have her back.annonymous
I dove into creating! I took time to perfect my skills as a photographer and venture outside my comfort zone with my graphic design work. I began writing a book about my life and mentoring other women in my Bible study. Each day I prayed for healing and wholeness. I always knew I was meant for more.
In 2015, on the very day I lost my dad three years prior, we welcomed our daughter, Collins Grace into the bright lights of this world! She is everything princess and glitter with ambitions of one day living in a castle and ruling her world. She is a miracle and proof that some of God’s greatest gifts really are unanswered prayers.
Life can offer up so many crossroads, the path we choose to take depends on the condition of our heart. That is why I LOVE the saying, “It’s only and forever about HEART work”. I am highly empathetic and invested in learning, healing and growing. I understand that we may all be in the same ocean, but we are definitely not all in the same boat. We each have a story to tell and I hope mine brings you a deeper understanding of the person I am. It is my sincere goal to help each of my clients tell their story through the incredibly power of portrait artwork.