Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Pink October

Hello Everyone,

I’m excited to share news that will warm your heart as we head into the colder winter months. October marked the kickoff of our Rise Above with Love (RAWL) Campaign, and I finally have a chance to tell you about all the exciting things we did to celebrate.

We created RAWL to honor the support network around women living with, and through, breast cancer. Here in Great Barrington, we celebrated the launch with a whirlwind of events. Many lips were put to service in finding just the right shade of pink for our newest Sugar&Butter Lip Plumper and Exfoliator, which we named Phoenix in honor of the mythical bird that uses its own strength to overcome misfortune. We hosted an employee day at our home office where we had the chance to listen to three intelligent, inspiring and brave survivors: our own Business Consultant, Elaine Mahmarian; Elyse Spatz Caplan, Director of programs and partnerships at Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Bridget Hughes, Founder of The Pastures Cancer Retreat Center.

Several weeks later, we participated in a Face Forward walk that took place at The Pastures, which is a scenic drive from our home office. It took me longer to figure out how to upload photographs from this event than it took most of the participants to walk the hilly four-mile challenge, but I too, claimed victory. As you can see from the photographs, we had educators on hand to provide makeup tips to beautiful conquerors of all ages. After the walk, participants were invited to inscribe prayer flags with private messages, and share stories over homemade scones and apple cider.

Towards the end of October, accompanied by a serious case of the jitters, I travelled out to Albany to do an interview for NPR’s The Health Show. I had the opportunity to discuss our longstanding partnership with Living Beyond Breast Cancer, and was able to meet many of the people whose voices I’ve been listening to on air for so many years.

Last but not least (I told you it was a whirlwind!), the technological magicians in our digital department set up an inspiring microsite where people can upload their own stories and photographs to show the world how they have risen above, with love. I have no idea how they performed this technological miracle, but I do know you’ll enjoy it, so please do visit

One of my goals for 2011 is to invent a contraption that will allow me to be physically present in three different places in one time, and let me tell you, I really could have used it in October. While we were certainly busy here in Massachusetts, our wonderful partners were even more so, organizing their own Rise Above with Love events all across the country.

Our dear friends at Belfiore and Day Spa in Texas had a turnout of over 150 people for their all-day event. Complimentary makeovers and mini-hair, nails and massage treatments were offered to all attendees to make them feel special and beautiful. The director of the Waypointe Breast Cancer Center for Women came out to speak, a local business sponsored a sassy fashion show, and balloons with handwritten messages were released to the uplifting sounds of a live jazz band. A local chiropractor was even on site to offer free spinal analysis and body composition measurements, and a local caterer donated all the food. You see why I wish I could be in multiple places at one time?

Further north, in Missouri, at the Belladona Salon and Spa, six hundred people turned out for a lively, fun event. Music was provided by a fantastic band, the lead singer of which is a breast cancer survivor herself. Businesses from all over town brought gifts, and the local hospital donated mammograms all day. The creative geniuses at Belladona put together bouquets made out of strawberries as their centerpieces. Pretty as a picture, and mouth watering, too!

Closer to our home office, at C.O Bigelow in Manhattan, our business consultants Elaine Mahmarian and Mary O’Connor were on hand to provide makeup tips and touchups to consumers whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. We had a window display throughout the entire month of October, and as you can see from the attached photo, it was such a lively space, the store’s cat, Allegra, decided to adopt it!

How do you work to raise breast cancer awareness among your family members and friends? I'd love to hear your ideas and feedback.

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