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"Be a heart...nothing but a heart."
I gazed upon Luis. I couldn’t tear my eyes off of him (and not because of his distracting fidgets or his head nodding in sleepiness). What a mystery he is to me at this time in my mission. After all he puts us through – running from us at rest time, throwing books at us, swearing, climbing out of the window, jumping in mounds of dirt in his Easter clothes five minutes after his shower – I am only filled with love for him. I realized that much of his behavior comes from him testing our love for him. A boy who barely knows his mother, who is moved from house to house his whole life, who has had the people he comes to love turn and leave him, and who now lives in this idea that he is unlovable. In a sense, he rejects our love. Every day I tell him that I love him, and he wants to prove me wrong. Eventually, he thinks we will prove him right: we’ll give up on loving him. I thought about my relationship with God—how many times I've played this game. There is no way He could actually love ME in all of my faults. I did everything to break our relationship thinking that He would eventually give up on me. Thankfully, He hasn’t given up yet.
"Be a heart...nothing but a heart." These words from my leaders echoed inside me there with Luis at Heart's Home in Brazil throughout my missionary year, continued to reverberate in the dark years of my Brooklyn studio, and carried me into healing and resurrection there, when God found me and raised me up, that flowed into the heartfelt mission today. It was all I had to offer when I was overcome to tears by feelings of inadequacy at the sheer poverty I witnessed, my own coping addiction, and in life's surprising and even joyous transitions.
"Oh Erica...can you love through this?" Can you love through calligraphy? Yes. Can you love through teaching? Yes. Can you love through supporting women in living lives of prayer and community? Yes. Can you love through art, textiles, accessories? Can you share this love? Can you grow this love? Yes. Yes. Yes.
If you have ever experienced feelings of smallness in the face of insurmountable issues... dark nights of loneliness, weakness, or even addiction... inner questioning and searching... an overwhelming desire to make a difference but a realization of inadequacy, then this is a safe space for you. Leave behind whatever is holding you back, and just love. That is all and that is enough. Just be a heart, nothing but a heart.
The mission of Be a Heart is to "be a heart" for oneself and others through real life stories, beauty and lifestyle products that model hope and light in the midst of personal and social darkness, leading to the transformative experience of being raised up and loved by God's own Heart.
Founded by Erica Tighe Campbell, Be a Heart's vulnerability, spirituality and artistry consistently overflow into raw, original collections of textiles, apparel, accessories, party goods, art prints and award-winning calligraphy.
Be a Heart invites its community to work toward heartfelt humanism by creating beauty, experiencing beauty and coming together in the midst of beauty, for it is beauty that will resurrect the world.
Be A Heart began as a place to contemplate compassion, generosity and authenticity, which have carried over as its three main values as it grew into a company that specializes in hand lettering, illustration, pattern, textiles and fine art.
We seek to bring beauty into the world because we believe that it is “beauty that will save the world.” Let's make heartfelt beauty together.
Erica Tighe Campbell is the owner and designer of Be A Heart. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from DePaul University in Chicago, moved to Brazil to work for Heart’s Home for a year and a half, then lived and worked in Brooklyn before moving to Los Angeles.
Erica’s Catholic faith and spiritual journey guides much of the work here at Be A Heart. She began teaching herself calligraphy during a dark time of her life in Brooklyn, and soon discovered that not only had she been given an extraordinary gift for fine art, but also love, beauty and healing through it. She has since received many accolades and much press for her work, particularly her past custom calligraphy, lauded by Goop and Elle Decor. Be a Heart is now a heartfelt source of inspiration for a large community and customer base. Erica's devotion to Mary has influenced much of her recent work.
Erica now resides with her new husband, Paul, in San Antonio, Texas where they have just bought their first home and second studio, and where she continues to develop and bring each prayerful experience and inspiration to life for those around her, encouraging everyone she meets to "Be a Heart".