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After he was born premature, N.J. teen launches growth chart business

Philly teen, grandmother launch growth chart business
N.J. teen, grandmother launch growth chart business 02:39

NEW JERSEY (CBS) -- Julian Taylor, 14, is all smiles as he stands at a proud 5 feet 6 inches tall. But no one is prouder than his grandmother, Lauretta Taylor-Thompson.

"I knew this wasn't going to be forever, I just knew it. I knew he wasn't going to be sick forever," she said.

Julian was born weighing just over one pound.

"He was in the hospital for a year," Taylor-Thompson said. "He came here with my daughter so I could help her. He was on oxygen and everything."

"I had little toilet paper for diapers, that's how small I was," Julian said. 

"They used tissues for Pampers," his grandmother said.

As an infant and a young child, Julian could only eat through a feeding tube. 

Julian, left, and grandmother Lauretta Taylor-Thompson, right

That wasn't the only battle this fighter faced. As a toddler, he developed a severe case of scoliosis.

Doctors wanted his family to track his growth.

His grandmother had to get creative.

"I went to the lumber yard, I got a stick, a piece of wood," Taylor-Thompson said.

Unable to go to regular schools because of his diet restrictions, Julian attended a special day care where he fell in love with drawing. And one day he started sketching on his own growth chart.

"Garfield I really liked, then I drew basketball," Julian said.

And soon a family business was born: Watch Me Grow charts.


This grandmother-grandson duo has turned these simple drawings into beautiful children's art on customized growth charts.

Julian's grandmother handles the numbers, and he's the artist.

The two have sold more than 500 charts, but Julian is focused on the bigger picture.

"I'm hoping somebody picks this up and maybe they could do it for me. You know it's a lot of work sometimes," he said.

Thanks to his grandmother, this lifesize ruler has documented her grandson's journey.

"I was going to get him where he needed to be. Look at him now."

This weekend, Julian and his grandmother will be at the Melanin Market at the Kennedy Center in Willingboro, New Jersey with their growth charts.

Anyone interested in purchasing a chart can also email

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