Welcome to Designs By Encinas, where passion, family ties, and a shared journey shape our unique venture. As cousins, Eric and I (Gabriel) have been more like brothers, embarking on countless adventures together, building swings and ramps, and even choreographing fight scenes. Our family bond has always centered around our love for movies. However, life took us on separate paths, with Eric moving to Texas while I remained in Illinois.

   Despite the distance, every time we hung out, it felt as if we hadn't been living several states apart. As time went on, we met our girlfriends, who would later become our wives, and life grew busier. Eventually, my wife and I made the decision, with support from our families, to move to Texas and begin a new chapter.

   Like any couple, we dreamed of expanding our family. Unfortunately, after a year of unsuccessful attempts and conversations with our doctor, we embarked on the emotional rollercoaster of the IVF process. Little did we know, Eric and his wife were undergoing the same journey.

   Often, sharing the news of starting a family with loved ones is a joyous occasion, but when faced with challenges, it becomes harder to find the words to describe the struggles that followed. Despite the setbacks, we stood by each other, offering support as we continued on our IVF journey.

   As months turned into years, we witness each other’s own battle with the emotional toll of failed transfers and the heart-wrenching experience of having to navigate the uncertainties of the IVF process. Eric’s and his wife strength and resilience in the face of adversity were truly inspiring.

   Then, a glimmer of hope emerged amidst the chaos. Eric shared the joyous news that their efforts had finally borne fruit—twins were on the way. However, as fate would have it, the world was engulfed by the grip of a pandemic, which cast a shadow over what should have been a joyous time. Restrictions prevented Eric and his wife from holding their babies, and one of them was destined to spend their early days in the NICU, later being diagnosed with Angelman syndrome.

   This trying period tested their spirits, and the depth of their love for their child was truly awe-inspiring. Witnessing their journey, I cannot fathom the pain and difficulty they endured. Yet, throughout it all, Eric and his wife remained pillars of support for my wife and I as we continued to navigate our own challenges with IVF. Our struggles brought us even closer, and as we navigated the painful ups and downs, we found solace in confiding in one another—a rarity among the men in our family.

   The financial burden accompanying fertility treatments weighed heavily upon us. Insurance coverage was limited, leaving us to bear the majority of the expenses. During this time, Eric and his wife provided unwavering emotional support as we continued on our journey. Together, we weathered the storm, embracing the understanding that only shared experiences can bring.

   Finally, after 6yrs the news we had longed for arrived—my wife and I would be blessed with a daughter in July 2023. Amid the joy, thoughts of our children's future and the rising costs of care began to surface in my mind. Reflecting on the countless conversations Eric and I had about the financial strains, I approached him with an idea—an idea that would shape our destiny.

   With excitement pouring out of me, I explained my vision to Eric. Although initially skeptical, our subsequent meeting laid out the plan, and enthusiasm engulfed both of us. That's when we knew it was time to launch Designs By Encinas LLC—an endeavor dedicated not only to securing our children's care and college funds but also to raising awareness about the challenges faced by couples undergoing IVF and families raising children with Angelman syndrome.

   We invite you to join us on this incredible journey. Together, we can make a difference, spreading hope, understanding, and support to those facing similar paths. Through our unique designs, we aspire to inspire and make a positive impact, all while sharing our heartfelt story of resilience and love.