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Spoonie Threads Founder Dr. Sanchez works as a Pediatric Surgeon at Austin Pediatric Surgery, where she has been practicing for over two decades. She treats infants, children, and adolescents who have a range of issues, including liver disease, intestinal blockages, congenital abnormalities, and more. Her work has given her vast insight into what sick children and their families really need, and after seeing the lack of adequate and cute clothing with ports for children, Dr. Sanchez launched Spoonie Threads in 2015.
She received a Bachelor of Arts in biology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1989 and a medical doctoral degree from UT Southwestern Medical School at Dallas in 1993. Sanchez completed her general surgery training at the State University of New York in 1998 and completed a pediatric trauma and research fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1999. Upon completing her fellowship, she returned to New York to complete training in pediatric surgery at the State University of New York in 2001. She is board certified in general surgery and pediatric surgery.
Shortly after arriving to Austin, Sanchez established the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Austin and became the lead physician for the Austin Safe Kids Coalition. Her firm belief in injury prevention gave birth to the first Children’s Education and Community Resource Center. In 2006, her “Boost Now! Join the Buckleteers,” a booster seat program to increase the usage of booster seats for children, received national recognition.
She was selected as the "Physician of the Year" representing the state of Texas from the PPP (Patient Preferred Physicians & Practitioners). Learn more about her work and the award here.
Name: Julie Sanchez MD, FACS
Job Title: Pediatric Surgeon, Co-Founder Spoonie Threads
1, What appealed to you about working at Spoonie Threads?
As a Surgeon, I see first hand the complications and needs that patients are faced with and I wanted to make a difference. This was the reason why Spoonie Threads was created. I wanted a way of empowering parents, patients and others to feel confident, inclusive and secure about themselves and their situation. Our mission is to provide a sense of fearlessness and confidence to our customers through fun, bright and functional products that are stylish. (we can add pictures of my patients)
2. What is your favorite Spoonie Thread product?
It is too difficult for me to choose one product. Each product was created with an individual in mind. Each product has a very special story behind it’s creation. For instance, the ostomy cover was inspired by a friend of mine who was diagnosed with rectal cancer. Her ostomy bag would leak while she was at work and made her feel ashamed and embarrassed. The ostomy cover gave her confidence to return to work without the fear that her ostomy bag was going to leak. The freedom, joy and independence that she found through the ostomy cover was priceless.
3. What makes you laugh the most?
Seeing my son laugh and play soccer gives me the most joy. My 16 year old Shitz Su is a grumpy old man. He makes me laugh every day!!
4. What would you sing at Karaoke?
“Girl on Fire”, by Alicia Keys. This song reminds me that I am an unstoppable woman. I have overcome many barriers. I’m a first generation immigrant who was recently named Pediatric Surgeon of 2022. I overcame a divorce, the death of my second husband, infertility and the re-birth of an adaptive clothing company. I am a single mom to an incredible young man. I want to instill in my son that tomorrow is a new day. Life has many joyful moments, but it is not without its sorrow. I want my son to know that there will be times when he will feel lost, but at the end, he will find his path. He too can be unstoppable. The resilience of the human spirit is unmeasurable.
5. What did you want to be when you grew up?
My initial passion was architecture. As an undergraduate at UT-Austin, I volunteered at Brackenridge Hospital. That’s where I discovered my passion for medicine. Pediatric Surgery allows me to care for children, empower parents and be a mentor. I enjoy caring for a newborn and seeing him/her grow into a young adult. I’m blessed to play a small part of their journey.
6. What motivates you?
My mom, who recently passed. She instilled in me strength, faith, independence and courage. Whenever I struggled or doubted myself, she would always say “remember, you are the daughter of a King”. Wow, I never truly understood how powerful those words were until I saw my son struggling. I didn’t know what to say, so I told him “remember, you are the son of a King”.
7. Which Spoonie Threads ostomy bag cover design fits your personality? Peace Out #2 or Sh*t Happens?
Sh*t Happens for sure! I think it’s important to learn to forgive and love yourself. Too often, we feel guilt or shame about life circumstances that we may or may not be able to control. This is a good reminder that “Sh*t Happens”-- laugh and make the
best of it.
8. What three things would we most likely find in the pocket of your Spoonie Threads zipper pocket belt?
I’m a Latina, so lipstick or lip balm!
My phone and airpods.