dwa's story


Now more than ever we need to feel connected to others. One of the ways I strive to do that is by creating different forms of art, specifically, handcrafting which allows people to smell, touch, and feel.   


Of all our senses, our sense of smell is most closely linked with memory and emotion. That is why for me the scent of sandalwood triggers memories of my little brother, Coco, who always kept his beard sharp and smelling of the woodsy fragrance. After I lost him to gun violence in 2017, I began recreating that scent in organic beard balms to honor his memory. 


Inspired by the positive response I received from users of my beard balms, I experimented with other body products. I spent a lot of time crafting organic goat’s milk soap to treat some of my skin imperfections that I just couldn't seem to find a remedy for on store shelves. I also began making candles to foster tranquility, balance out moods, and create a zen zone to share with others. 


By intentionally creating quality-products with love, I began to cope with my brother’s loss. Through this process, I realized how Depart with Art isn’t just a small business venture. It is a passion for life and a mission to keep creating for others. Before I depart from this world, I want to share pieces of my art and energy to help others.


Depart with Art is specially dedicated to Coco and other victims affected by gun violence. In their honor, we will donate a portion of our annual proceeds to anti-violence organizations.


In 2022, proceeds will go to Get IN Chicago. Get IN Chicago is an organization that supports and funds evidence-based community programs to address systemic issues that lead to youth violence while supporting research efforts. G.I.C is dedicated to better understanding the issue of youth violence, testing new approaches, and identifying solutions with a goal of sustainable change. G.I.C dedicates its efforts to 7 Chicago communities plagued by gun violence. These neighborhoods are Austin, Englewood, Humboldt Park, North Lawndale, Roseland, South Shore, and West Englewood.

If you're interested in supporting DWA's mission, all contributions are gratefully accepted. 

With love,



Maribel for designing DWA's logo based on my abstract painting of Coco. Graphic design is just one of her many creative talents. Maribel offers services such as logo creation, brochure and flyer templates, business card designs, and anything else to meet your branding needs. She has worked in marketing for 14 years and is a self-taught graphic design enthusiast.       


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