We are two sisters that have been through one crazy year! This last year has led us down a path of love, inspiration, courage and the founding of a new business. Our story comes from two points of view and that is how we wanted to share it with all of you.
Sarah: I had just turned 36, I had a 14-month-old son, had gotten married 4 months earlier, was 8 months pregnant with my daughter Anna and was told I had stage 3 breast cancer. I was scared, I was angry, I was in disbelief, but I knew I was strong, I was loved and I was supported and we would get through this journey. March –September are still a bit of a blur; during this time, I navigated through giving birth, raising kids, being a newlywed, going through treatment, and living life. This is not the main story, this is not the good part of the story, but it is the part of the story that inspired my next chapter…
Leah: As an oncology nurse, I, for some reason, had this thought in my head that my family would be untouchable to cancer. I know, it doesn’t really make sense. My thinking was I’m around it ALL day, talking about cancer, helping people deal and live with their cancer; therefore, my family would get a hall pass. On March 6, 2015, I was hit by a bullet straight into my heart. I remember sitting around the table with my family as my oldest sister was talking to her doctor on the phone. The lump she felt in her breast wasn’t just her breast changing for future breast feeding as she had initially thought being 32 weeks pregnant, but, instead, it was breast cancer. I sat there stunned, scared, sad, angry and confused. How is this happening to MY family? The next couple of months were a roller coaster, but we ALL got through it with a little thing called LOVE.
Sarah gave birth to Anna and two days later, received Chemotherapy. Three months later, she had surgery and pathology came back showing no evidence of cancer. All that needed to be completed was 6 weeks of radiation Monday through Friday. Around this time was when SaltyGirl Boutique was created. After a couple glasses of wine and a passion for health, wellness and life, we knew we wanted to give back in some way. Our vision was beginning to form…
I remember seeing a post on Facebook about W.E.L.L Summit. Let’s just say, “You had me at hello….” Wellness. Empowerment. Learning. Luxury is what WELL Summit stands for. Four powerful words that made me want to do a little more research. Because Sarah was in the middle of her radiation treatment, she was unable to attend, but told me to definitely go as she also thought this could give us some good insight into the path we wanted SaltyGirl Boutique to lead. I remember meeting Gianne for the first time. Her kindness and confidence shaped the energy for the weekend. I honestly didn’t know what to expect at first but quickly gathered from the opening remarks from Gianne that I was surrounded by some strong, successful women and men that were EAGER to share their wealth of knowledge and success with people like me! After hearing guest speakers like Rachel Winard talk about her life as a Julliard professional violinist to law school to now the founder of the very successful Soapwalla Kitchen, I knew that there is no such thing as impossible. But it was after listening to Tara Foley, Founder and CEO of Follain, talk about all the unsafe ingredients in U.S. beauty products and the relation they have to some cancers that gave me the idea of SaltyGirl Boutique's main purpose.
Sarah: About 6 years ago, I graduated with my MBA in sustainable business from Simmons College in Boston, and I knew one day I wanted to have my own company. I have constantly been that person around the dinner table coming up with different ideas for good businesses!
After a few glasses of wine, I was finally able to talk my little sister into joining me. The business concept has changed a few times. But after Leah came home from the W.E.L.L. Summit, the passion and motivation she shared with me was contagious and our business concept was finally decided—a boutique selling Natural and Organic products, that give back to the community in some way. After I had worked for companies like Tom’s of Maine and Dancing Deer Baking Company, natural products and corporate social responsibility was second nature! This was the beginning of SaltyGirl as well as our foundation in which a percentage of all sales is dedicated. The Foundation is called Foundation4Love inspired by Leah, myself and our two other siblings, Kristen and Teddy. As a newlywed and a new mom for the second time, staying connected to my husband during treatment was very important to me, and through Foundation4Love, we hope to give families dealing with cancer or similar treatments a much needed time to connect, enjoy and love through a night out.
We are both grateful and thankful for both Gianne and all the W.E.L.L Summit mentors that Leah was able to meet and learn from. We never thought 7 months later we would have a business that we were able to create from pure LOVE.
Sarah’s Motto: Today is a Good Day for a Good Day
Leah's motto : Stop talking about it and just DO IT
Leah and Sarah