Tag Archives: breast cancer

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

21 Nov

Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving?  I have so much to be grateful for this year…  I don’t even know where to begin.  Without getting too sentimental, I would just like to say that it has been overwhelming, humbling and inspiring to watch my businesses grow.  And I have you all to thank for this!  Without you, my family, friends, fans, followers and supporters, I would not have been able to plow forward through the tough times (when I was literally working 18+ hours a day.)  I’ve learned to simply put one foot in front of the other… Planting lots of little seeds along the way.  The rewards have been priceless.  I am very blessed.  What do you have to be thankful for this year?

Here are a few Intimate Insights and Upcoming Intimate Affairs:

Last Wednesday, November 14th, luxury brand Fleur du Mal celebrated its launch by hosting an Intimate Affair at a trendy downtown NYC loft.  The event featured Parisian DJ Inez Melia and renowned Mixologist Xavier Herit.  Fleur du Mal is a signature collection of ready-to-wear and lingerie by Jennifer Zuccarini.  With years of experience, including time as co-founder of Kiki de Montparnasse and design director at Victoria’s Secret, Jennifer is a natural at creating sensual, seductive pieces that both men and women are drawn to.  Fleur du Mal provides a confidence boosting aspect to any woman’s wardrobe through specialty pieces such as a leather corset created in collaboration with famed Parisian corset maker Cadolle, a sheer tuxedo blazer, and French rose lace intimates. The line is sold exclusively through a uniquely interactive e-commerce website, FleurDuMal.com, and creates a sophisticated, fashionable and innovative way for women to shop online.  The site features highly editorial, shoppable content, where consumers can not only browse and buy the luxurious Fleur du Mal collection, they can also discover and purchase complementary lifestyle items that Jennifer adores.  Additionally, the website utilizes endless scrolling functionality and includes social media integration, making it seamless for customers to share intimate sneak peeks of their most desired wants and needs.  I was most impressed by the leather intimate apparel pieces and the clipped French Leavers lace used in constructing the bra and panty sets is exquisite.  Tres jolie!

The Intimate Affair, GO NAKED AND CHECK YOURSELF, was held on November 18th at Teak Restaurant, Red Bank, New Jersey.  The annual event is a fundraising affair dedicated to bringing awareness / prevention to detectible cancers where you can go naked and check yourself – skin, breast and testicular cancers.  The event was presented by Sugarush (a specialty bakery in Red Bank, NJ) and the award-winning lingerie boutique, Sweetest Sin

Photo Credit: Brandi Grooms Photography

The mission of Go Naked and Check Yourself is to take the stigma of embarrassment out of checking yourself, because early detection can prevent long term issues.  All proceeds from this year’s event will benefit The American Cancer Society, Livestrong, Young Survival Coalition and Move for Hunger.  This year’s event raised over $10,000 for these non-profit organizations.  The event was sponsored in part by The Lingerie Alliance and leading designer brand for intimate lifestyle products, LELO.

On Saturday, December 8th, Bra La Mode presents a Festive Affair Holiday Trunk Show featuring Dirty Dolls Lingerie, Love & Dream Sleepwear and Loungewear and introducing luxury lingerie line Rouge Séduire.  The Intimate Affair will be held at Spa 34 on 34th Street in NYC from 10am-3pm and will feature Spa Specials including a Mani/Pedi for only $22 (reg. $34.) and a ½ Hour Full Body Massage for only $30 (reg. $40.)  Come in from the cold and shop for Holiday Gifts up to 50% off and indulge yourself with a Spa treatment!

On December 18, 2012, The Lingerie Alliance presents A Festive Affair Holiday Networking Social at Legends Loft Lounge, 6 West 33rd Street between 5th Ave & 6th Ave from 6:30-8:30pm.  Two hours open bar, giveaways & gift bags, an Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest and more.  $35/ per person.  RSVP now at www.festiveaffair1.eventbrite.com

Mark your calendars for these additional upcoming Intimate Affairs:

December 4, 2012 – The Underfashion Club’s Holiday Party at The National Arts Club on Gramercy Park South.

December 13, 2012- The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s Holiday Party at the RUSK Institute followed by a Dinner at Trattoria Alba.

Got Insight?  Having an Intimate Affair?  Let us know!  Everyone can be an Intimate Insider!

As seen on LingerieBriefs.com

Intimate Affair: The Lingerie Alliance Sponsors “Go Naked and Check Yourself” Fundraiser

29 Oct

This November ELECT TO CHECK as Red Bank, NJ businesses unite!  A hip charitable event raises the roof and awareness of detectable cancers at Teak Restaurant in Red Bank, NJ on November 18, 2012 from 5pm – 8pm where 100% of proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Young Survival Coalition, Livestrong and The American Cancer Society.

In addition to The Lingerie Alliance (based in New York City,) Wells Fargo, Sugarush, award-winning lingerie store Sweetest Sin Boutique, TEAK Restaurant and a bevy of other local Red Bank businesses have joined forces to help bring awareness to detectable cancers.  The call to action — Elect to Check!  Awareness, education and resources enable individuals to detect cancers before they grow to an unmanageable state.  Angela Courtney of Sweetest Sin and Chris Paseka of Sugarush created this annual event to empower, encourage and remove the embarrassing stigma of  “going naked” to check yourself.  Early detection is key and can save a life.  Last year’s SOLD-OUT event raised almost $9,000 and encouraged more people to “go naked.”

The night will include complimentary champagne, appetizers, and cupcakes along with drink specials, a generous gift bag, fun prizes from local sponsors and auctions to further raise funds.

Experts, such as Lisa Frank, president of the Young Survival Coalition & DonnaLyn Giegerich, motivational speaker & survivor, as well as doctors from Riverview Medical Center will be on hand to share knowledge & answer questions regarding detectable cancers, such as skin, breast and testicular cancers, reinforcing the importance of preventative care.

To make the crowd feel more at ease with the idea of preventative self-checks; lingerie and boxer clad models have volunteered to join the party and campaign to Elect to Check (no nudity of course!)

To purchase tickets, please contact Angie Courtney at Sweetest Sin Boutique- phone (732) 747-3550.  Advance tickets are $35; $50 at the door.  A limited number of VIP tables will be sold for $500 (4 tickets, VIP gift bags, wine and champagne.)  Tickets are going fast, so get yours before they are sold out!

This is a community-wide event for businesses and residents to join together and kick off the holiday season raising money to help those affected in Monmouth and Ocean counties.  At press time, several businesses in Red Bank and beyond have already contributed to the event including: Kathryn Barnett School of Dance, Via 45, Brandi Grooms Photography, Sounds To Go, New Corner, The Red Bicycle, Kravings, Dish, Red Bank Family Eye Center, the Glam Bar, Fragile Earth Stuffed Animals, Ten Thousand Villages, Front Street Trattoria, Red Bank FLAVOUR, Yestercades, The Cheese Cave, Fred Astaire Dance, McKay Imaging, The RiverCenter, The Bistro, Soapmarket, Emilia, Leonardos, Red Ginger, The Molly Pitcher, The Oyster Point and the list continues to grow.

Go Naked and Check Yourself on Facebook

Intimate Insiders, Intimate Affairs and Upcoming Events

17 Oct

Hey there Lingerie Lovers!  I think I’ve finally recovered from my trip to Los Angeles.  It was a whirlwind trip, but very productive.  So it was well worth it…. And I got to hang out with boob and bra expert Elisabeth Dale!  Ya can’t beat that, right?  But you know me… I was back in the saddle as soon as I returned to New York.  And there’s a lot going on in the intimates biz.  Here are a few highlights….

The Underfashion Club has announced the 2013 FEMMY Award Honorees .  Awards will be presented to Bloomingdale’s, Cosabella and Lenzing Fibers; the Innovation Award will go to Hautelook.com and Josie Natori, founder and CEO of The Natori Company will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Carson Kressley

The Intimate Affair is being held on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at Cipriani on 42nd Street and is being hosted by funny guy Carson Kressley.  The theme of the 2013 Student Design Contest is “Midnight Garden” – Seduction of Flowers.  For further details, visit www.underfashionclub.org.

The breast cancer awareness organization PinkChoseMe Foundation is hosting BREAST RECONSTRUCTION AWARENESS (BRA) Day USA 2012, an awareness and fundraising celebration today, Wednesday, October 17th, 2012.  The event is sponsored by the Breast and Plastic Surgeons at the Weill Cornell Breast Center in NYC.  This unique awareness and fundraising Intimate Affair is also sponsored in part by The Lingerie Alliance.  The event is being held at the upscale Martin Lawrence Gallery in New York’s famed downtown neighborhood, SoHo.  RSVP at www.pinkchoseme.eventbrite.com.

Lavette Slater

Contributing along with the PinkChoseMe Foundation for Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day USA 2012, Celebrity Stylist Lavette Slater will be donating her stylish services to Breast Cancer survivor, Susan Blinken.  Susan will be getting a glam makeover by the hands of a beauty master and her glamorous look will be revealed at the end of the night.  Breast Cancer affects the mind, body, and soul of a woman.  What better way than to acknowledge the beauty of a woman after conquering this deadly disease.  With style and grace, 3x Emmy Award Winning Hair and Makeup Stylist, Lavette Slater conveys a vivid quality through her skilled eye and hands when she is with each and every client.  With over 15 years as a celebrity hairstylist and beauty expert; Lavette Slater is known as a trendsetter in the hair and makeup industry. 

Did you know that Wolford’s Shapewear is as fabulous as their Legwear?  The ladies of ILOVEAGOOD are hosting an invite-only Intimate Affair on October 25th.  Guests will be treated to Wolford’s “Shape and Control” experience.  Cocktails and a private shapewear fitting…. PLUS, a Free Gift!  Count me in!

The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s 57th Annual H.U.G. Award Gala is less than a month away.  This year’s Intimate Affair (called “An Enchanted Evening”) honors LuAnn Via, President and CEO of Payless ShoeSource, Inc., as well as Steven Chernoff, chairman of Rago Foundations, LLC and Janet Peters will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to the Club.  The annual event raises funds to support NYU Langone Medical Center’s RUSK Institute and Tisch Hospital.  Join us on Wednesday, November 7th at 230 Fifth Penthouse to celebrate the humanitarian achievements of our honorees and to support the “RUSK Kids.”  Also note, the Club is seeking contributions of merchandise and/or services to include in the SILENT AUCTION, which provides additional and much needed financial support for the Rusk/Tisch Kids.  If you have (or someone you know has,) an item or two that you would like to donate for the auction, please get in touch with me ASAP.

The Lingerie Alliance is proud to be participating in another fundraiser on November 18th at Teak Restaurant, in Red Bank, New Jersey.  The Intimate Affair, GO NAKED AND CHECK YOURSELF, is an evening dedicated to bringing awareness / prevention to detectible cancers where you can go naked and check yourself – skin, breast and testicular cancers.  The event is presented by Sugarush (a specialty bakery in Red Bank, NJ) and the award-winning lingerie boutique, Sweetest Sin.  The mission of Go Naked and Check Yourself is to take the stigma of embarrassment out of checking yourself, because early detection can prevent long term issues.  All proceeds from the event benefit charities such as The American Cancer Society.

Can you believe that the Holidays are right around the corner?  Mark your calendars for these upcoming Intimate Affairs:

December 1, 2012- Bra La Mode presents “A Festive Affair” Holiday Trunk Show featuring Dirty Dolls Lingerie and Love & Dream Sleepwear and Loungewear.  Details to follow.

December 4, 2012 – The Underfashion Club’s Holiday Party at The National Arts Club on Gramercy Park South.

December 13, 2012- The Intimate Apparel Square Club’s Holiday Party at the RUSK Institute followed by a Dinner at Trattoria Alba.

Got Insight?  Having an Intimate Affair?  Let us know!  Everyone can be an Intimate Insider!

As seen on LingerieBriefs.com

You’re Invited: Feel Your Boobies! I’m Doing It….Are You?

11 Apr

The first ever Feel Your Boobies® Flash Mob is coming to Union Square, NYC on April 12th from 12:00pm-2:00pm with plans to create the longest bra chain in history to remind young women about the importance of proactive breast health.  Bring your old bras (gently used) on Thursday or mail them to: Feel Your Boobies, Attn: Jenny Blessenko, 1140 Broadway Ste # 1007, NY, NY 10001.  All bras will be donated to charity following the event.

The Feel Your Boobies Foundation was founded in 2004 after Leigh Hurst was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33.  She found her lump simply by “feeling her boobies,” not through a formal “breast self-exam.”  The lump was unnoticed by doctors and she has no family history of the disease.  She designed a few fun t-shirts to remind her friends about something that saved her life and it has since evolved into a non-profit Foundation and international campaign focused on using unconventional and unexpected methods to reach young women with the provocative reminder “Feel Your Boobies. Are You Doing It?”  To learn more about the “Are You Doing It?”® Reminder Campaign, and to read testimonials, go to FeelYourBoobies.com.

Each year nearly 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 5% of them are under the age of 40.  Knowing your body (feeling your boobies) is one of the primary ways that breast lumps or other changes can be detected.  Since mammograms are generally not recommended until the age of 40, breast awareness is sometimes the only line of defense in finding a lump early.

Join me and other Bra La Mode readers on Thursday afternoon at Union Square Park in NYC to show our support by “Feeling Our Boobies!”  I’m Doing It!  Are You?  And don’t forget to bring your new or gently used bras for donation!

Resources:

www.FeelYourBoobies.com

Follow @FeelYourBoobies & @FYBFflashmob

Intimate Affair: Get Naked with Sweetest Sin Bras

16 Nov

This year’s winner of The Best of Intima’s “Best Shop” Award, Sweetest Sin Boutique in Red Bank, New Jersey is partnering with local “cupcake bar” Sugarush and popular Teak Restaurant to promote awareness of detectable cancers including skin, breast and testicular cancer.  The three local businesses are hosting the Intimate Affair “Go Naked and Check Yourself” on Sunday, November 20, 2011.  The event is being held at Teak Restaurant located at 64 Monmouth Street in Red Bank, NJ from 5-8pm.  Tickets to the charity event are $30 in advance or $40 at the door and all proceeds will benefit the Monmouth & Ocean County American Cancer Society.  Numerous local businesses have joined together to sponsor and/or support the Intimate Affair which promises to be a fun evening of free champagne, cupcakes, door prizes, auctions, raffle prizes and more.  Models wearing boxers and lingerie will be volunteering their time to promote the idea of “checking yourself.”  (Don’t worry… they won’t “get naked.”)

Owner of Sweetest Sin Boutique, Angie Courtney, is no stranger to promoting causes which are important to her and she is an active member in the local community.  Even before she opened the award winning intimate apparel boutique in October of 2009, she showed up at the Red Bank River Center and told them “I want to get involved!”  She walked up and down the town’s bustling streets and personally introduced herself to the local shop owners…. She made herself a part of the community and it has paid off.  Upscale boutique Coco Pari refers her clients on a regular basis and the bridal salon in town, Mustillo’s (which has been in business since 1942) sends their brides to Angie to complete their bridal ensemble.  Red Bank, which happens to be my hometown, has always been an active community and is host to community events at least once a month.  Angie says that she involves herself in everything that happens in town… whether it is the annual Sidewalk Sale or the annual Holiday Tree Lighting event, she and Sweetest Sin participate in any way they can.  Regarding the “Go Naked and Check Yourself” event, Angie said “We want to let people know that they shouldn’t be embarrassed… Go get checked!” 

Angie opened her bra boutique in 2009, however she did her “homework” for years before actually signing the lease.  She researched the industry and did market research, she shopped the stores, familiarized herself with the brands….  She felt that most of the lingerie stores in the market were too old fashioned or (on the opposite end of the spectrum) were too sexy or trashy.  She wanted to open a shop that was sexy yet sophisticated and she wanted to incorporate everyday basic bras.  She honed her skills at bra fitting in the years before opening her own store and discovered she was quite good at it.  Thus, Sweetest Sin was born.  Angie and her husband live in the neighboring town of Aberdeen, NJ.  But when she walked the streets of Red Bank, she knew this was the place to be.  Angie said, “I fell in love with the town.  It’s cute and quaint.  And there’s no lingerie or bra fitting boutique in town.” 

Angie’s boutique Sweetest Sin was open less than two years when she won the Best of Intima’s “Best Shop” Award.  She was nominated by Wacoal America which she considered an honor, but she never expected to actually win!  She attended the awards ceremony which was held at the posh NYC event space 230 Fifth and was literally shocked when they announced the winner!  From my own first-hand experience, I can honestly say that it is well deserved.  Angie is very hands-on and is meticulous.  She says that most women come into her shop saying that they hate bra shopping.  Angie’s approach is that she does the shopping for them.  She said it’s all about customer service.  She is personally in the store every day that the doors are open.  Emphasis is placed on proper bra fitting.  Sweetest Sin carries hard to find sizes in a variety of styles.  She carries traditional styles as well as contemporary, fashion pieces.  Most popular brands include Chantelle, Wacoal and Marie Jo in bras.  For underwear and loungewear, popular brands include Eberjey, Hanky Panky and Between the Sheets. 

Angie Courtney, owner of Sweetest Sin Boutique

For anyone considering opening their own lingerie boutique, Angie suggests that you really think about it because it is a lot of work and she puts in a lot of hours.  She also says “Do your research.”  Is there a market for your product in the location you are considering?  You don’t want to be one of a dozen lingerie shops in town!  But Angie concluded by saying, “If you love it, you will be successful.”

Sweetest Sin Boutique is located at 11 White Street in Red Bank, NJ.  Owner Angie Courtney provides personal bra fittings and isn’t satisfied until her customer finds the perfect bra for her!  Sweetest Sin also offers private “Bra Fitting Parties” for bachelorette parties, birthdays, lingerie bridal showers, mom’s night out, girl’s night out and for charities/ fundraisers.  To read Bra La Mode’s contributing writer Liz’s experience at Sweetest Sin, click here.

Resources:

Angie Courtney at Sweetest Sin

www.SweetestSinBras.com

Follow @SweetestSinBras

Go Naked and Check Yourself

http://www.redbank.com/2011/10/23/go-naked-and-check-yourself-teak

Sugarush

www.ExperienceSugarush.com

Follow @NeedASugarush

Teak Restaurant

www.TeakRestaurant.com

Follow @TeakRestaurant

Intimate Insight: Shower the World in Pink? by Liz

2 Nov

October just came to an end, and that means breast cancer awareness month is now over.  We had pink ribbons, fundraising walks, and merchandise up to our eyeballs.  NFL players wore pink; my hometown of Red Bank, NJ held the “Paint the Town Pink” event and called itself “Pink Bank”.  My daughter’s school had a “dress in pink” fundraiser.  You couldn’t go to the grocery store or diner without a cheery request for a donation and your name on a small piece of pink paper, for all to see your charitableness.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  It’s a cause that unites all of us – breast cancer is easily a woman’s greatest fear, and we all know someone who has had breast cancer.  It’s the one social fundraising cause you can’t object to.

Or can you?

My mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996.  She had a full mastectomy, lymph nodes removed, chemo and radiation.  In 2001 she was diagnosed a second time, in the other, intact breast.  She opted for a mastectomy over the lumpectomy, because she said she didn’t want to be told she had breast cancer a third time.  We joked.  She got reconstruction, and after some minor issues with that, went on with her life.  In 2004, when my daughter was a newborn, my mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.  For the last 7 years (my daughter’s entire life), my mom has been on and off chemo nonstop.  She has had breaks of maybe 3 months at a time.

In the beginning, we did the walks.  We fundraised like mad, we had a great team of walkers and a cute name – Brass Knockers.  We walked with a SURVIVOR.  We felt sad for those people who’d lost their loved ones, but we were grateful, happy.  We were lucky.  We bought a lot of pink, breast cancer themed stuff.  I had t-shirts, I had slogans.  I had the Melissa Etheridge song on my iPod.

By the third diagnosis, the worst one, we were over the pink haze.  My mom, my family and I, we no longer fit it.  We’re not in the “survivors” camp and we’re not in the “lost a loved one” camp.  My mom is literally a breast cancer patient’s worst nightmare.  She is a living horror story, a walking, talking worst case scenario.  This is no recovery.  There is no “all clear” or SURVIVOR emblazoned on the back of her pink t-shirt.  She will never be cancer-free and we will never, as a family, have that sweet feeling of relief again.  There is only sickness and drugs and trials for her to endure, and years of grief and coping for my dad and me.

Liz and her Mom

There is joy, yes, and gratefulness, and thanksgiving.  We thank God every day for every day.  But October is a hard month for us.  With all the pink waving about, the support for women like my mom and our family isn’t there.

I can tell you what I have learned about breast cancer; early detection saves SOME lives.  The “reduce your risks” suggestions don’t significantly reduce your risks.  Family history doesn’t significantly increase your risks.  Being “strong” or “a fighter” doesn’t mean anything where cancer is concerned.  Cancer, unlike everything else, doesn’t discriminate.  A woman who “survives” simply had cancer that responded to treatment.  There is no way to prevent breast cancer from coming back.  These are truths I wish weren’t, because they are hard and sad and make me uncomfortable.  But they are true nonetheless, at least for now.  Cancer “facts” change all the time, as we learn more from the men and women who lose their lives to it.

Now that October has come to a close, I’m asking you to do something a little more extraordinary than a walk or a dollar donation.  I’m asking you to remember the 155,000 women in the United States like my mom.  Remember them and their families.  Educate yourself on metastatic breast cancer, even if it’s only by clicking on this link – the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network.  Spread the word.  Use your Facebook status or Twitter to tell more people about the other side of breast cancer.  After this month of pink ribbons and survivors and courage, please be aware of those who will never be “clear”, who will not triumph in the way of t-shirts and slogans, but who will live day in and day out, hoping to keep this disease at bay, hoping to feel good for a weekend road trip or a child’s wedding.  These stories don’t have a Hollywood ending; they don’t put a happy face on it.  But they are real, and they matter.

My mom and I thank you for taking the time to read this post.  We wish you a long, happy, and cancer-free life.

Resources:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Network

www.mbcn.org

Intimate Affair: Care for the Cause at Linda’s in Murray Hill

31 Oct

Linda Becker hosted a Breast Cancer Awareness event at her Murray Hill NYC store on Thursday, October 27, 2011.  The Care for the Cause event was the first of its kind for Linda’s store.  However, Linda is no stranger to breast health.  In fact, Linda started her career in bra fitting over twenty years ago when the American Cancer Society invited her to a bra and prostheses fitting class.  Linda and her staff are all trained in mastectomy bra and prostheses fittings and she is proud that she has been able to assist many women over the years with post-surgical options.

Linda Becker at her Murray Hill Store

The intimate affair provided free fittings from 1pm-9pm for all of those who have battled breast cancer (or other breast diseases) and require post-surgical solutions.  But, the event was open to all women looking for a bra fitting and some education about breast health.  The event was a great way to support an important cause whether you have been directly affected by breast cancer or not. 

Linda's Care for the Cause Event- Cupcakes, Giveaways, Prizes, Rub-On Nipple Demos

Although breast cancer is a sensitive topic, Linda and her staff turned the Murray Hill store into a festive environment by offering pink lemonade, strawberry ginger ale, and mini cupcakes in vanilla and strawberry vanilla flavors from Buzzed Cupcakes.  Every customer who made a purchase was entered into a drawing to win one of several prizes including gift certificates, OnGossamer thongs, the Romina bra and panty set from Anita, among other fun goodies.  And any customer that made a cash donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure at Linda’s that day received an additional entry into the drawing.

On hand at the event were two special ladies— Elizabeth Vivenzio, founder of the educational sites www.EmbracingMastectomy.com and www.TattooedNipples.com,  and inventor of the U.S. patent pending Rub-On Nipples, and Joyce Rylander, a certified mastectomy fitter and care consultant from Anita, a well-known manufacturer of foundations, swimwear, and accessories including mastectomy bras. 

Elizabeth Vivenzio (left) and Joyce Rylander (right)

Elizabeth was a real inspiration to me.  She has undergone numerous breast surgeries and is now in the final stages of her reconstruction.  She has dedicated herself to providing positive and empowering information for mastectomy patients.  Her websites provide practical and essential recovery information that cannot be found elsewhere.  While researching areola pigmentation for her educational site, www.TattooedNipples.com, Elizabeth realized that temporary nipple tattoos would be a solution for her and the many others who had long periods of reconstruction which ultimately delayed permanent areola pigmentation (which is the final stage of reconstruction).  Oftentimes, the reconstruction surgeries take several years.  During this period of reconstruction, mastectomy patients live with bare mounds (or “Barbie Boobs” as they refer to them.)  Elizabeth offers a temporary solution to help patients feel “normal” again.  One of her customers commented, “After 2 ½ years of my Barbie Boobs—in my thirties—it’s nice to kind of look “normal.”  It has made a huge difference for me… and for my husband.”  Rub-On Nipples are temporary areola tattoos that can last one to two weeks and can be easily removed using rubbing alcohol.  They look amazingly similar to permanent 3-D areola pigmentation and are available in 12 shades to match your skin tone.  Elizabeth proudly pulled down her blouse to show off her very own Rub-On Nipples.  We had a good laugh… Since today is Halloween, we considered rubbing on a few extra nipples just for fun!

I spoke with Joyce Rylander from Anita regarding their innovative products.  The Anita brand and their contemporary sub-brand Rosa Faia are well-known around the world for their core foundations in regular and full-figure sizes (many styles are avail up to an I cup).  The company is celebrating 125 years in business and is still family run.  Anita provides high-quality foundations with exceptional fit and places emphasis on solutions products including mastectomy products, maternity/nursing bras, as well as innovative sports bras for active women.  I am familiar with Anita products, but I guess I didn’t realize just how long Anita has been in business.  I was impressed with their heritage and enjoyed talking to Joyce about the company philosophy.  She is passionate about the products and as a care consultant for Anita, she really enjoys working one-on-one with her wholesale customers and directly with consumers.  I was curious to learn about Anita’s Active line of Sports Bras.  Joyce proudly showed me the Anita Active Sports Bra style # 5529 which recently won Europe’s coveted RedDot Design Award for 2011.  The style is designed to support the bust (including the connective tissue).  The straps relieve pressure on the back and neck.  And the seamless, breathable high-tech “spacer” fabric cups provide moisture management and temperature regulation.  I would highly recommend this style to the active full figure or full busted women as it is a feat in bra engineering.  I was very impressed with the construction and quality of this style.

Moira Nelson (left) and Darlene Campbell (right)

The event wasn’t just about education for me (although that was very important and made a significant impact on me)….  I had a bit of fun too!  How can I go to Linda’s without trying on a few bras for myself???  I attended the event with my friend Darlene Campbell, founder of the clothing company Campbell & Kate which offers a traditional button-down, white, woven dress shirt for full-busted women—“The CEO shirt for DEF women.”  Darlene also writes a blog called Hourglassy for women with “curves on top.”  As we are both full-busted women, we can identify with one another’s struggles and we enjoy sharing our experiences….  She’s one of my favorite “bosom buddies” and shopping at Linda’s with her was a real hoot.  We tried on dozens of bras each and we both walked out with shopping bags overflowing with new, fun styles.  The quest for the perfect bra never ends for me and Darlene….  I walked out with the Freya Nieve longline bra and brief set, the exquisite Fauve Rosa molded underwire plunge bra, and a pair of Simone Perele Invisi’bulles control briefs.  Success!

Kimberly Arce, marketing manager for Linda's

It was at this event that I realized just how very little I know about breast cancer.  In my family, cancer is still considered a dirty word.  The word cancer is always muttered in a hushed tone.  My Aunt Rosemary had breast cancer.  But that’s all I know.  She had breast cancer.  Period.  It has never been talked about.  I have no idea what she went through or how it made her feel.  After attending Linda’s Care for the Cause Event, I feel ashamed that I don’t know more and haven’t educated myself….  Perhaps it is easier to live in denial…  But for someone that makes her living in the “boob business,” it’s unacceptable.  From this point forward, I am making a commitment to better understand breast care and breast related diseases.  I owe it to myself, to my friends, to my family, and to the numerous men and women in other areas of my life—including Bra La Mode readers. 

Later this week, I will be posting an article on metastatic breast cancer written by Bra La Mode contributor Liz.  Please be sure to read it as it is a poignant piece about the realities of living with breast cancer.

Resources:

Linda’s

www.LindasOnline.com

Follow @LindaTheBraLady

To read more about Linda’s, click here

Elizabeth Vivenzio- Rub-On Nipples

www.RubOnNipples.com

www.EmbracingMastectomy.com

www.TattooedNipples.com

Follow @TattooedNipples

Anita Unique Body Wear

www.Anita.com

%d bloggers like this: