Emily Hopper, founder of EMPOWERHAUS, the post-mastectomy #FLATAF body positive movement and Facebook group, Flatties Unite and co-founder of patient advocacy organization, Flat Closure NOW. Emily is a mama and artist turned breast cancer survivor and entrepreneur. You can learn more about her at: www.mrsemilyhopper.com

Unapologetic Awareness & Empowerment

 

Hi! I'm Emily. I'm an artist and mama turned breast cancer survivor living in Wisconsin with my husband & our magical little girl.

In 2017, less than a month after I turned 31, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer called ‚ÄúTriple Negative‚ÄĚ. 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. 

 


One thing I saw over and over again - everywhere I would look it seemed, especially in October - was that everything was pink. I mean, everything. And the majority of breast cancer awareness apparel I saw all had the same message: "Hope. Faith. Cure".
And don't get me wrong. I need and believe in all of those things. But all I really wanted was a shirt that said "BADASS" or something...

 


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.
What happened at that moment changed my life:

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...

 

That few seconds of not being phased by my appearance was so strong and empowering, that I opened my Etsy shop later that night and started bringing my ideas to life. In that moment the perfect name came to mind:

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.

the empowerhaus mission, text, selima font,

+ TO HONOR: by creating merchandise that recognizes and celebrates not only breast cancer survivors, but all survivors.

+ TO ADVOCATE: through powerful designs that encourage "real awareness" - which then sparks serious, truthful conversations about the issues from a personal perspective.

+ TO EMPOWER: by encouraging others to share their voice, live their truths and giving them a platform to do so.

Just because we have cancer, or have lost our breasts, or whatever the case may be - does not mean that we suddenly lose our sense of humor, or our beauty, or ourselves. No, it’s just the opposite! Humor is what gets us through the shitshow and often, we become a higher sense of self through the pain and feel called to advocacy.

I don't shy away from the tough stuff. I've been told my shop is "inappropriate" but to me what's inappropriate is turning a blind eye to the seriousness of this disease.

You can feel amazing when you purchase from EMPOWERHAUS because not only are you supporting yourself, or whoever you're buying for, but you're also supporting me: a stay-at-home mama who is trying to do her best to contribute to costs after cancer rendered me disabled. I'm not a corporation, it's just me doing this EMPOWERHAUS thing :)

If you like what you see, please like, follow & share everywhere!

Thank you for your support.

All my love,

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