12 Year Cancerversary and what I've learned (and what I haven't learned!)

12 Year Cancerversary and what I've learned (and what I haven't learned!)


     Well, it's that time of year again. April 7th, 2011. the day a routine mammogram changed my life. Isn't it amazing how we forget almost all of our days in the past. What we wore, what we ate, where we went? Yes April 7th, 2011 I remember every single last detail. My shoes, my purse, that cab ride to my appt. Looking at my skirt and hating It had a wrinkle down the front. What would my afternoon client think of me? You can only make a first impression once! Little did I know that that would be the LEAST of my worries that day. And little did I know the first impression my ultrasound tech have on me! This very sweet young lady who had to tell me she saw something. I wonder if she remembers those days that she detects something in someone's breast like we do. Maybe it's become common place. I hope not. 

        I am still here; despite many days I thought I wouldn't be. Not because my doctors or science told me I wouldn't be, by my own mind really took a trip into Scareville. Looking back, I wonder if I use my fear as a protection. That if I am just scared enough, the terrible thing won’t happen. It's when you aren't prepared that thing go wrong. I wasn't scared the day of my mammogram. I normally was. See? I told you...

A rare stress free day!

     I wish I could say that going through cancer taught me not to worry. And all the people who tell me worrying will make my cancer come back, well, that only makes me worry more. I want to not sweat the small stuff; I want to enjoy life with wild abandon. I want to honor the women who did not survive but throwing caution to the wind. The truth is, I think it has become a crutch, or has always been a crutch. I wonder if I am alone in this.

    Being a small business owner is not for the faint of heart. It is not the fun, dancing in the office with your coworkers, going from a small table at a county fair to  Oprah in 6months. It is hard. Long days, sleepless nights, trying to figure out how to rob Peter to pay Paul, How to play the analytics game, the changing algorithms we are all supposed to and know what to do when they change yet again. The Instagram lives, the facebook groups, the "what do you mean you aren't on tik tok, well now you've missed the boat!' The money we need to compete against celebrity brands that have millions of dollars. The packaging requirements constantly changing. The UGC (What is that even?) the "we can grow your ROI in 4 weeks or you pay us nothing (but you have to run 10k worth of ads in the meantime. It all is worrisome. I don't like playing the game. 

    What I do love, is creating products, connecting with those who have purchased and continue to purchase and those who purchase for loved ones. I love hanging with the amazing staff at retail partners and learning about their lives. Investigating new ingredients, drawing up formulas, talking with other small brand founders in my same position. We are a unique bunch in that we all fully support each other through thick and thin. Unlike any other business I have been in. 

   Growing this business is like feeding a growing teenager. The bigger it gets, the more you need to put in. No one told me this when I started!!

   I am afraid of months with quiet sales, fears of retailers moving towards bigger brands, fear of getting lost in the crowd, fear of running out of money, resources and energy. 

    But then, I receive an email or a phone call, and that person's words, how they felt when they received the products, read my story or heard about me in a store. For that moment, I have full clarity on why I am doing this. For each individual person who purchases something I have made. I have created, I have designed. I am validated and able to live off this for weeks. 

   Because of those relationships, this year, I decided to really load my plate up and go back to School and get my Masters of Social work. I am hoping to form a clinic for women who are going through breast cancer, who don't quite know how to move through the world in their new bodies, their new reality and with their changed relationships. Those who want to make changes, and those who just want to back to the way things were. I feel bringing this into the business will only enhance what I am doing, and I am very excited. And yes, worried. I haven't been in school for 35yrs! 

      I truly believe everything has led me to this point since my cancer journey and I am so grateful I was able to see this and take action. I may worry a lot about my company, but I am not going anywhere, just broadening it a little. (Well, first I must actually pass my classes, so wish me luck!) 

     Although I have not learned to stop worrying, I have learned a lot since my

diagnosis. That at the end of the day, people are what matter. Not money or success, or titles, or jobs or even companies. But the people who enrich your life, who help you see a way out, who you want

2 weeks post treatment

to help through a dark time. That is the most important thing I took away from my diagnosis. So I'll be scared from time to time, small price to pay for what I've learned. 

     Thank you to all of you in my life, for being in my life. For supporting me, pushing me, cradling me when I cry, making me laugh and most of all, telling me I can do anything I put my mind to. I actually hear you and sometimes believe this is true. 

      To our customers. I would not be here without you and your emails, and texts and purchases tell me what I am doing is exactly what I should be doing, Every time a sale comes in, or a look at the end of the day to see how we did, my heart beats fast and I get as excited now as I did the day we had our first sale. I don't think that will ever change.

 Thank you to all, from the bottom of my heart.

With gratitude





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