Painter turns baby's medical helmets into precious art

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When a teacher asked artist Paula Strawn's for a paint job on a corrective helmet, Strawn's life was changed—along with the lives of countless of children who have used Strawn's talents to deck out their medical gear.

Since that day, Strawn, a painter from Kennewick, Washington, has built business dedicated to painting baby medical cranial helmets used to reshape their heads as they grow.

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Hand-painted baby medical helmets
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Hand-painted baby medical helmets
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"Our younger two daughters had the same fabulous first grade teacher...who I did some art for in the classroom," the artist told Mashable about the genesis of her business, "She showed up at my door a few years later with...granddaughter who was wearing a helmet which I had never seen before."

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The teacher asked Strawn to paint the child's corrective helmet.

"Who says no to an elementary school teacher," she joked. "The orthotist she went to... asked if I wanted to do more, and [if] I would give him some flyers for his office."

"At first it was just a couple helmets a week for [the orthodontist's] office and soon other orthotic offices found out and I sent them flyers and then made a website and then a Facebook page...it just really snowballed fairly quickly," Strawn said.

By now, Strawn has created over 2,800 helmets.

"I used to keep track," she said, "But then it got too crazy."

"I was so surprised the first time i got an email from a mom in Washington DC wanting to find out about the helmet painting...and now it's a full time business," the artist revealed.

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Baby medical helmet graduates
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Baby medical helmet graduates
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"I feel blessed beyond belief that I am able to do what I do," Strawn said. "Babies look...adorable... with a fun and smile-inducing helmet design, while at the same time having a blast myself while I paint them."

"I have had parents in my living room teary because their beautiful baby has to wear this ugly but needed thing. They don't want others to look at their adored and cherished wonder of the world with pity...that is heart breaking," the artist said.

Helping parents and babies, this artist's business is one we can definitely get behind.

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