contribute to creative evo-love-ution



Petals Sandcastle
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 News.

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, practical alcehmy, and using khaki to make 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 the 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.


Bubbles Sandcastle
aka Samer Chahine

Co-Founder & Board Advisor

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, 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, 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 is a board advisor to the foundation, works at, produces music, soaks up the sun, writes, experiments with sustainable living practices, studies ux design, and builds websites & apps for creatives, healers, nonprofits, and other arts-centered, socially responsible and environmentally conscious agents.

Past U-M Interns


Elle Schwiderson

BFA, Interarts


Ellie Keessen

BFA, School of Art & Design


Hava Liebowitz

BFA, School of Art & Design


Lea Hall

BFA, Film, Television & Media


Sofia Deler

BFA, Musical Theatre


Tiara Partsch

BFA, Directing


Creative Washtenaw, MEMCO, UMS, SHEI Magazine, RC Review, SMTD, Violin Monster, Michigan Students Against Sexual Assault