aka Ricky Herbert
Founder & CEO
petals sandcastle, (they/them) is the founder of express your yes foundation and NOW studios & a former inner-city high school teacher in NYC. after leaving the classroom they traveled the world, studying, exploring, witnessing, creating, and renegotiating their Why for being alive.
this prompted them to open lampshade, a pick-your-price, community-meet-commodity cafe, performance venue, bookshop, gallery, and communal incubation space for the love revolution. watch a segment on the project from channel 4.
back when they still believed in the system, petals was a Campaign Coordinator for Organizing For America, a massive mobilizing machine originally designed to get President Obama re-elected.
petals is a queer vegan yogi writer, plus director, producer, performer, dreamer, activist, and multi-modal artist who loves to put on a show. they're a serial entrepreneur addicted to renovating space; and a social spiritual scientist interested in the math of a miracle, as well as practical alcehmy, like taking khaki and making bon fires.
petals is also a freelance photographer, picaro philosopher, radical dreamer, & self-taught painter with over 300 original works which can be found in our shop. they are also a competitive poker player, pool player, and bowler.
petals says, “unzip your spine and step out. recast the movie, edit the script. embody the fantasy & get what you came for. live all the lives in this one in case this is it. midwife your own fairytale & above all, Get Said!”
petals is an alum of The University of Michigan and City College of New York and also has a phd in pleasure pursuit, with a concentration in enjoyment, from The School of Life—and is available for private sessions.
aka Samer Chahine
Co-Founder & CTO
Bubbles Sandcastle (they/them) has a BSE in Computer Science from the University of Michigan. They formerly worked in Big Tech and left that world due to its poor work-life balance and general lack of social consciousness.
After leaving Amazon.com, Bubbles explored the startup scene and eventually founded one of their own, Clover Labs. There, they built a web-based game-making platform and used it to launch Blackjack Genius, an Android game that held a top-20 spot in the Play Store for over a year.
Bubbles ended their time in Silicon Valley working for Iodine.com, a health-tech startup focused on crowdsourcing medication information and helping people with depression find the right medication faster. This was a step in the right direction, yet something still felt off.
Having hip-hop danced their way out of depression, Bubbles decided to take a break from tech and explore the arts. They joined Petals at the tail-end of Lampshade Cafe and years later co-founded Express Your Yes Foundation to amplify marginalized voices and advocate for art as healing.
Now, Bubbles co-runs Express Your Yes Foundation, produces music, soaks up the sun, writes, experiments with sustainable living practices, dabbles in graphic design, and builds websites & apps for creatives, healers, nonprofits, and other arts-centered, socially responsible and environmentally conscious agents.
Nicole (she/her) is an artist, nonprofit teacher and fundraiser. She graduated from the College for Creative Studies with a degree in photography, but quickly found that not-for-profit art education was her passion. She began by working in Southwest Detroit as a Youth Leader and Art Teacher in after-school programs and summer camps. She quickly learned that art teaching was not the end result—art therapy was what was really happening. Art was the catalyst for healing and expression.
Nicole still is an artist in her heart, but social justice and education light her fire. She is a spiritualist that is extremely passionate about helping people find their comfortable frequencies and joining those frequencies together in group form. She has a background in Buddhist study, but takes suggestions from many current thought-leaders such as Eckhart Tolle and Resmaa Menakem. She is also a devout reader and gathers many ideas from some of her favorite authors such as Richard Bach and Kurt Vonnegut.
She is also a mother to a passionate, hilarious individual of a human and wants to make sure they stay that way.
Art, is-ness, collective consciousness, love.
Community Engagement Manager
Erica (she/her) is a lover of humanity, culture, and a perpetual student of life. Having obtained her BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, she also minored in African and African American Studies. She specializes in event production with 10 years of related experience.
Erica enjoys cultivating essential relationships and serving, as both remain pertinent in the development of her interactions and initiatives.
From a creative standpoint, Erica has a deep love and appreciation for all things art and expression. Since the Fall of 2020, she’s had the unique privilege of receiving technical dance training from two renowned Samba instructors in Brazil. And in January of 2021, she began volunteering for a local horse stable in Detroit.
With a growing affinity for Brazilian culture and horses, she intends to one day dance in Brazilian Carnival and compete in her first rodeo!
Resident DJ & Director of Poetry
T (she/her) is a sound-shaper. She loves thinking about the vibrations of beats through language and techno. She was born in the View of Mountains, but her life is that of a wandering gusan. She has been composing music and poetry from a very young age, and has published and performed widely around the world. She also is a well-recognized translator.
Her work is experimental, visual, intertextual, intercultural, queer; and explores themes around movement, subjectivity, symbols and transmission—drawing from the threats imposed on endangered languages such as her native tongue Western Armenian. She finds affinity in the works of African, Indigenous, and SWANA artists who explore themes around cultural oppression, genocide, and colonization. Her work invites cross-cultural dialogue and interrogation with gender and sexuality, especially the prominent role of women and foremothers in her contributions to and around Armenian Futurism.
Prince Luminos Cosmix (he/they/Prince); A philosophical hero, A dreamer who looks to the stars, a writer creating an entire universe around a new identity through the way their imagination warps the world. A poet that speaks from the heart, a musician/dancer, An aspiring artist with a vision, A philanthropist to the less fortunate, a mentor to generations to come, an activist for a green future. A Prince looking to lead the people of this earth to metephorical kingdoms among the stars.