In March, we celebrate women! And today, we’re excited to celebrate with you, by sharing some history on our Breast Cancer Awareness partners, Keep A Breast and The Breasties.

All year long, we will donate, share information, stories and more, with our Yummie community to join together and help raise awareness about breast cancer.

Today, we sat down and spoke to the inspiring women behind it all and asked, what International Women’s Day meant to them and so much more! 

As a founder/co-founder and advocate for women’s health, what does International Women’s Day mean to you? 

Shaney Jo, Founder of Keep A Breast

International women’s day is a beautiful day to reach out to all the women in your life and let them know what they mean to you. It’s also a day to celebrate women's achievements so younger generations can see themselves and imagine opportunities for their futures. 

I believe it’s important to raise awareness against bias and actually take the time to take action for equality. As a health-based organization, we choose to highlight the resources we have available for all womxn.

Allie Brumel, Paige More, Brianna Majsiak, Co-founders of The Breasties

International Women’s Day is a celebration of strong women who move mountains, who turn their dreams into realities, despite all that is against them.

Our mission and greatest passion, especially on International Women’s Day, is for all women to know that they are not alone. There are so many women who are going through similar experiences (cancer-related or not), thinking that they’re isolated in their struggles. The Breasties organization empowers others through community and a sense of belonging.

What’s a challenge that you face in your work and how do you handle it?

Shaney Jo, Founder of Keep A Breast

The hardest time I’ve had with Keep A Breast was when “I love boobies!” bracelets became a global trend and sensation. It was a good time because we were growing and raising funds for our programs. I created the bracelet, similar to the Livestrong bracelets, that were really popular at the time, but I put the KAB twist on it. I made them wide with bold “I love boobies!” letters and in bright colors. I would have never thought that people could get offended by the word boobies! All of the sudden teenagers were getting suspended from school and our bracelets were getting banned across the country. There was even a case where the ACLU represented two girls and their right to wear the bracelets. It went all the way to the supreme court. 

I started to get a tremendous amount of hate mail and messages to my email and personal Facebook. People telling me that I was taking advantage of the youth of America with a get rich marketing scheme, that I was the anti-Christ, that I was sexualizing breast cancer, that I was perverted and offensive. I felt horrible and it really broke me down. I wanted to quit. I was asking myself if I was creating more harm than good. Then the good messages started coming. The messages of love and support from all over the world. Teens educate their peers about breast cancer prevention. I told myself, if two teens can stand up for their rights and go through getting kicked out of school and being taken to court, then I can keep going for them.

What advice do you have to give to younger women and girls out there who want to help + support causes that are meaningful to them but might not know where to start?

Allie Brumel, Paige More, Brianna Majsiak, Co-founders of The Breasties

“Done is better than perfect.” This advice can be applied to any initiative you want to be a part of but don’t know how to get involved in. Start somewhere! Reach out. Make a connection. Ask questions. You don’t know what opportunities lie ahead unless you try!

Shaney Jo, Founder of Keep A Breast

“Choose Love over Fear” is something my mom always told me. I feel like if you take the path of love you can’t go wrong. Sometimes it’s harder, sometimes it hurts and sometimes it takes a lot longer. But most of the time when you choose Love over fear you get that feeling in your gut that you are flowing, and all good things are coming our way.

As an entrepreneur, are there any tips + tricks that you know now that you wish you knew when you started? 

Allie Brumel, Paige More, Brianna Majsiak, Co-founders of The Breasties

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! What is the worst thing someone is going to say? No.
  2. Surround yourself with good people! You will always have others raising their hand to support you.
  3. You don’t have to be an expert to become one! We’ve learned everything through trial and error, dedication and research, and leaning on others within the community for guidance.

      Who is one woman that inspires you and why?

      Shaney Jo, Founder of Keep A Breast

      I was inspired by Frida Kahlo to create the infamous Keep A Breast Cast. I saw old photos of her lying in her bed painting on her very own breast cast, and I thought what a beautiful way to express yourself, literally turning her body that was in so much pain into something so beautiful. 

      I think for Frida, that was the theme of her life in a way, being injured from such a young age and having to deal with injury, disease and heartbreak, I honor her for being able to turn all that into some of the most beautiful and meaningful artwork in history. She had to sustain as many as 35 operations as a result of her accident. Like many breast cancer survivors who have to have multiple surgeries. French poet André Breton, described Kahlo's art as a "ribbon around a bomb". I think that’s a beautiful way to put it. We all only have a limited number of days in these bodies, and we might as well wrap a ribbon on it and seize the day, like Frida did.

      Allie Brumel, Paige More, Brianna Majsiak, Co-founders of The Breasties

      There are so many amazing mountain movers out there, but Betty Ford is a huge inspiration to our community. She was the first woman to speak openly and publicly about her cancer diagnosis and radical mastectomy. At this time (1970’s), people did not openly talk about cancer- especially breast cancer. 

      Betty Ford shared her story to inspire others, to spread awareness about this disease, and truly paved the way for others to feel less alone in their cancer journeys.