Unapologetic Awareness & Empowerment
In 2017, less than a month after I turned 31, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer called “Triple Negative”. I spent the next 1.5 years in treatment - chemo, mastectomy, radiation, more chemo - and am currently "NED" (no evidence of disease).
Because I've always been a "creative" - when I was diagnosed I started sharing my experience on Instagram and Facebook. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I knew that being a young mom who "went flat" (aka: no breast reconstruction) set me apart. As I went through treatment, I began to notice gaps in the system and the same repeated messages, many of which I didn't resonate with - and I also became very aware that 1 in 8 women would join the "sisterhood"... because cancer doesn't give a damn what age you are.
I wanted something bold that matched my spirit. Something funny because I was sad. Something that spoke to real issues breast cancer patients face. Something that made me feel like a badass because I did not want to go to chemo (who does?) I needed something that empowered me to get my ass out of bed and go to treatment - and I just wasn't finding it.
So, I created it.
I began jotting down my ideas during my chemotherapy treatments. At some point I had a fundraiser among friends and family for a few t-shirts and it did really well; I had several people suggest I open a shop. Then one day after my double mastectomy, I woke up and looked in the mirror for the first time since having my breasts removed.
Even though I knew my breasts were gone and I was looking in the mirror for the exact purpose of looking at my new scars: I didn't even notice for a few seconds that they were gone...
Emily, Empower, Powerhouse = EMPOWERHAUS
For the first time in my life, I realized that I was beautiful and that my breasts had absolutely nothing to do with that. I was still a woman. And, on top of everything I was feeling and the ideas I had created and the things I had experienced and things I wanted to share, I knew I was called to share that message. Those messages. To bring light to real issues via my art.