The health struggles of Kathy Vegh's daughter helped inspire the Ohio executive to launch her latest venture: customized wallpaper whose sales will help benefit healthcare charities.
Vegh, who runs her family's home entertainment business in a Cleveland suburb, covered one wall of her home with a dramatic wallpaper featuring a collage of family pictures.
“It has become the heart of our home,” Vegh told Crain's Cleveland Business. “When people come over for the first time, they literally gasp and stop. There are a million stories on this one wall.”
The wall has become the physical manifestation of Vegh's commitment to her family—in particular to her 3-year-old daughter, who was born with a congenital heart defect.
“Frankly, because of our struggles with our daughter, I really wanted to do something for her and our family that was this unified wall that told a story and was more of a celebration of her life,” said Vegh, who preferred her daughter not be named in print but called Baby O. “There are lots of pictures of her on there, but only one of her in the hospital. It's more of a celebration of every day, rather than focusing on all of the hardship.”
So Vegh late last year launched My Heart Wall—a customizable wallpaper company that allows consumers to upload photos through a web portal and transform their memories into wallpaper. Five percent of My Heart Wall's sales will support charities such as the Children's Heart Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House. It also will support the Heart Center at Texas Children's Hospital, which Vegh credits with saving her daughter's life, and the pediatric cardiology department at Cleveland Clinic Children's.
Vegh said she has met other moms whose children have had the same issues as Baby O—heart warriors, they call them—and she's told them the inspiration for her business. “It was so meaningful. It was real. This is my heart,” she said. “This is my daughter.”