Hey all! Danielle here! I've been planning on writing this blog for a couple weeks now and here we are the night before and I am just now finding the words. This one is a special one to say the least and I could probably go on and on but I will try my best to keep it short, sweet and to the point.
We wanted to do something fun and out of the norm so to speak for this month so what better way than to include some amazing women in our content shoot?! Everyone knows October is the month most people call PINKtober so we knew we wanted to recognize it somehow in one of our drops. All 5 of the women we invited to join us in our shoot are breast cancer SURVIVORS so we took the idea and ran with it.
It's weird for me to say that "cancer is near and dear to my heart" because it's such a vicious and horrible disease but I feel like I have had a front row seat for several years now when it comes to cancer. 13 years ago my second mom, as I see her; was diagnosed with breast cancer. I grew up in a horse loving, barrel racing family so when one of our own is hit with a life altering situation we rally together! We put on a benefit barrel race for her that year and decided that it would be really neat to continue doing it every year after and the money that we raised we then donated to individuals who were fighting cancer. Here she is now 13 years later, a survivor who is loving life as Freckles to 4 sweet grandkids, raising horses, drinking lemon drop martinis and being sassy as ever.
Not only have I gotten to see strangers throughout the years fight for their lives but cancer has been especially prevalent in my family this past year. My great aunt just recently was diagnosed and quickly passed away from lung cancer a few short months later. I so wish I had a current picture with her. And my sweet 15 year old brother in law was diagnosed with glioblastoma a little over a year ago and could soon be entering the gates of heaven. We are praying for a miracle.
If you read our first blog and have been around from the start then you probably know a little bit of the meaning behind Valley & Vines but if you don't I will give you a little run down. We want there to be a purpose behind this whole thing, we want to "do good" with this boutique and by that I don't mean personally do well and make money; I mean do good for others somehow in someway. We know in a few peoples eyes that may seem like the silliest thing someone who owns a boutique could say. Why not start a foundation or something?! LOL But this is our passion and we know in our hearts we can accomplish that goal. "You go through a valley to grow with the vines" is our slogan, if you will. We have been wanting to make a custom tee for quite a while so what better time than now?! It fits perfectly for those fighting through one of the hardest valleys in life but then growing with the vines through it and to the full bloom at the end.
When coming up with this idea we knew we had to have some survivors come and take pictures with us in our items to make it more meaningful. We were blown away by how it turned out!
Personally Whitney and I knew Judy Bailey before this shoot, we worked with her for some time and loved her the minute we met her. She is the most precious person and would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. She is a 21 year cancer survivor!
Whitney and I have known Terri for several years! I went to high school with her kids and Whitney knew her through a family connection. She is a firecracker and will light up any room she walks into. She raises yorkies and loves every minute of it. She is a 13 year cancer survivor.
I didn't know Jackie before this shoot but as soon as I met her I felt like I had known her for years. She has THE most welcoming and friendly smile and I just wanted to hang out with her the rest of the day. She's so fun! Whitney knew her from CycleBar and she is SO glad they ran into each other and sparked up the conversation to get her involved. She is a 3 year cancer survivor.
Last but not least we have Tiffany. Neither of us knew Tiffany before Sunday afternoon. She was tagged in our model call post from last week and agreed to come. We are so glad she showed up not knowing any of us or what to expect. Tiffany just finished her treatments at the end of September and you would never even know. She radiates joy and happiness and our lives are better now that we know her. Seriously.
Sunday turned out to be better than we could have imagined. All 5 of these women showed up, not knowing each other and it seemed like they had all been friends for a lifetime. Giving each other hugs, laughing together and sharing their stories with one another will forever be one of my favorite memories. Remember how I mentioned we wanted to "do good" with this boutique? Well, in my eyes; the moments we got to share and witness on Sunday was God showing me that there is in fact a way to do just that with a little thing called a boutique. We are already planning for next year and the years after that because we want this to turn into something HUGE. So without further ado we are launching our Fierce Fighters collection tonight at 8pm. Don't miss it and don't forget that a portion of these proceeds will be donated to a foundation! (We are still determining which one, but don't worry; you all will be the first to know.)