I recently had dinner with a very kind friend who is also an extremely talented graphic designer and marketer. I gave her the link to my early blog posts to get her feedback. Something she pointed out, and that made so much sense, is that I didn’t tell the story of how I got to Bernie & Bo and what the name means to me. And it means a lot!
I was incredibly blessed to have two amazing parents. My Father came to this country from Serbia when he was only 21 years old, escaping a troubled country and refugee camps with nothing more than what he could carry. He was fortunate to come to the U.S. with his Father and slowly began to build a life here. He worked very hard, sometimes multiple jobs at a time, to support himself and help his family back in Serbia and his sister in medical school in Germany.
He obviously had a strong connection to the Serbian church community here and attended many special events and gatherings. It was at a church picnic that he met my Mom. She was born in the U.S. but was also of Serbian heritage. She was hesitant to accept a date request at first but eventually ended up asking my Dad out (how about that in the 1950’s?!?) as he had given up thinking she wasn’t interested. The rest, as they say, is history! A match made in heaven!!
They had tried multiple times to start a small business together, but something always seemed to get in the way. Eventually, my Mom got breast cancer and fought a courageous battle on and off for over 10 years. My Dad fought with her every step of the way. He was only in his 60’s when she passed, but he never had any desire to remarry. He always said she was enough for him. He passed 20 years later, and while it was the worst day of my life to lose him, too, I was comforted that they were finally together again. It is that thought that helps me get through the tough days of missing them both so much.
My Mom’s name was Bernice and my Dad’s name was Boris…hence the name of my company, Bernie & Bo. While they are both gone, I know how excited and happy they would be for me that I am trying to build something, and I feel them with me every step of the way.
I’m anxious to see where this journey takes me, but no matter what happens, feeling their love gives me strength and courage to keep moving forward.