Jewish business owners support survivors with special sales.
Michigan native Linda Schlesinger-Wagner’s mission has always been to support other women — whether that’s helping them feel confident in their own skin or supporting them through a cancer diagnosis.
With more than 30 years in the fashion industry, in 2009, Schlesinger-Wagner decided to use her experience to fulfill this goal. She founded the women’s clothing line skinnytees — selling one-size-fits-all tops, dresses and leggings that flatter all body shapes and sizes. The styles were designed to fit over anything, including surgical bandages, with just enough stretch to stay in place.
Six years ago, Schlesinger-Wagner took her support for women to the next level — starting a philanthropic branch of her company called For the Love of Women. Through this charitable division, every year she hosts the Breast Sale Ever and partners with organizations to raise funds for breast cancer patients and survivors.
“With about one in eight women in America developing breast cancer in her life, my team and I knew this was a cause we wanted to get involved with. Women’s journeys are incredibly important to us. When that journey includes the difficult diagnosis of cancer, we want to be there for these strong and beautiful women to offer the comfort and convenience that is so needed during this time,” said Schlesinger-Wagner, who was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 5,000 Greatest Entrepreneurs.
Through Oct. 31, skinnytees is hosting this annual event — selling limited-edition tank tops that are bubblegum pink with fuchsia trim. Customers will also enjoy 30% off a variety of styles in various shades of pink in both missy and plus sizes of pink skinnytees throughout the month.
Proceeds from the sale will be donated directly to skinnytees’ 2021 Honored Breast Cancer Fighter. Every year, the company selects one person diagnosed with breast cancer to help with her medical bills, as well as pamper her and give her a fashion makeover. This year’s selected Fighter is Alexis — whose last name is withheld for privacy reasons. Alexis was diagnosed with breast cancer during her second trimester of pregnancy. This summer, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
“We selected Alexis because we know caring for an infant is hard enough. But she has to do this while also going through surgeries and immunotherapy for the next year. We wanted to do what we could to help make things easier for her during this difficult time,” said Schlesinger-Wagner.
A portion of the proceeds will also benefit the Shades of Pink Foundation, a nonprofit which helps alleviate the financial burdens of breast cancer patients during their treatment and recovery. With about 50% of breast cancer patients facing financial hardship as a result of their diagnosis, a group of friends in Ferndale came up with the idea to start an organization to help these women afford their out-of-pocket non-medical expenses. Some of the money raised from the sale of the limited-edition tank tops will go toward the rent/mortgage payments, insurance, food, transportation, childcare, groceries and other essentials of daily life for breast cancer patients living in Southeast Michigan.
Schlesinger-Wagner will also be donating 400 of skinnytees’ limited edition tank tops to Fighting Pretty, a nonprofit helping women during and after cancer treatment to feel fierce and beautiful by sending them mini pink boxing gloves in their Pretty Package on their site. Customers can choose the items that they want to purchase that go inside the box. skinnytees, is proud to donate the limited-edition tank top during October as part of a choice women can make in their Pretty Package.
Kara Skaflestad founded Fighting Pretty after battling stage 3 breast cancer at age 26. She faced a double mastectomy, eight rounds of chemotherapy, four weeks of radiation, fertility treatments, Herceptin treatments and hormone therapy that would last a decade. During treatment, she got the idea to start the nonprofit after a family friend and survivor gifted her with a pair of mini pink boxing gloves.
“Those gloves, along with some bright pink lipstick, became my symbols to stay strong and never give up. After I finished treatment, I boxed up the gloves and some makeup — passing them along to another friend who’d just been diagnosed. Those original gloves traveled to five different women, but their strength and inspiration has gone on to thousands,” she said.
Since the nonprofit began eight years ago, Fighting Pretty has impacted more than 10,000 women battling all types of cancer in 50 U.S. states and 16 countries globally. Through their Strength and Beauty program, Fighting Pretty partners with hospitals, treatment centers and organizations to provide boxing gloves and a card of encouragement to women in active treatment all over the country. Fighting Pretty also offers a Create Your own Pretty Package program, allowing friends and family members to customize care packages for their loved ones, and a Fight Club program, where supporters can donate each month to sponsor a woman battling cancer.
“We are so honored to be part of skinnytees’ annual Breast Sale Ever and celebrate Alexis’ strength during her battle with breast cancer. We want to remind Alexis and other fierce women like her that they are true ‘sheroes’ for fighting and preserving through their days no matter what they are struggling with,” Skaflestad said.
Visit skinnytees and Fighting Pretty’s social media accounts – facebook.com/skinnytees, instagram.com/skinnytees, facebook.com/fightingpretty and instagram.com/fightingpretty – to participate in giveaways throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For more information and to donate to the Shades of Pink Foundation and Fighting Pretty, visit shadesofpinkfoundation.org and fightingpretty.org.
Bags for a Cause!
Sigal Levine, owner of Badassbags-By SIGAL, announced that in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 10% of the proceeds from this beautiful pink bag will be donated to Shades of Pink Foundation.
To order your bag, log on to badassbags.online.