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 & 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, 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 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 Johnson

Development Director

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.



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 Cosmix

Diamond Flitter

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.

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