Warrior, courage, fighter, hero… the new mural at the Kendra Scott flagship store on Austin’s South Congress Avenue is exquisite. But, even more importantly, it has an important message.
“It’s definitely my story,” says Marnie Vollenhals, a 45-year-old breast cancer survivor and Trophy Club, Texas, resident. “The words on the mural represent how I felt, but I think a lot of other people will be able to relate.”
Click the photo to see Marnie Vollenhals creating her Breast Cancer Awareness Month mural. Photo courtesy Kendra Scott
Vollenhals has been painting murals for more than 20 years, but her latest piece of art is personal. A beautiful display, the mural, decorated in around eight shades of pink along with Kendra Scott’s signature yellow, is all about women supporting women through authentic, genuine friendship. Click the photo above to watch a fascinating 25-second time-lapse video of the mural being created.
“When you have cancer, everyone is on your team. Whether it is your family, friends, your doctors, or the people you are getting chemo with, you bond with a lot of people and they all support you,” says Vollenhals, who spent several days working on the SoCo mural. “I loved getting dressed up and going to meet my girlfriends for dinner. Putting on makeup, earrings and a cute outfit was one of my favorite things to do.”
“Marnie has been amazing,” says Mindy Perry, Chief Marketing Officer at Kendra Scott. “For her to share this story around survivors and thrivers, we couldn’t be more grateful.”
Empowering breast cancer survivors, helping patients feel special, and raising money for research is a year-long commitment for Austin-based Kendra Scott, but in October her team goes all-in for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In honor of Kendra’s friend, Holley Rothel Kitchen, who lost her battle to breast cancer in 2016, the brand hosts Holley Day each year, allocating 20% of all purchases to breast cancer research.
The fifth annual event is Tuesday, October 13, and proceeds will be donated to Inheritance of Hope, an organization that funds retreats for families facing a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis.
Two bracelets and a necklace are also a part of a ‘Shop for Good’ BCA jewelry collection, with 20% of sales from those pieces benefitting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), now through October 31. That’s on top of two butterfly charms that raise funds for the foundation year-round, with 50% of sales donated to BCRF.
To date, Kendra Scott has funded close to 12,000 research hours for the BCRF, along with a fully-funded metastatic research grant. The grant works closely with Texas native Dr. Suzanne Fuqua, who is making clinical breakthroughs to help us better understand the vulnerabilities surrounding metastatic cancer cells, which typically result in cancer that spreads throughout the body.
“It’s not one person making a difference – it’s all of us making a difference by doing this together and shopping with intention to make life-saving research possible,” says Perry.
In addition to research, Kendra Scott repeatedly shows commitment to putting immediate joy into breast cancer patients’ lives by donating jewelry pieces made of rose quartz, which is said to have healing powers. This month, hundreds of patients will receive a piece of jewelry along with a handwritten note from someone at Kendra Scott, which the team believes is more important now than ever, as patients are not able to have the same number of visitors during treatments and in hospitals.
“We want to ensure these women know that people they’ve never met love them and we are keeping them in our hearts,” says Perry.
All 108 Kendra Scott stores are following careful guidelines to make sure stores are healthy and safe, but if you would like to shop this year’s Holley Day from the comfort of your home, Kendra is offering a “virtual store experience” where you can sign up to have a store associate personally walk you through the Fall 2020 line.
The 2020 Kendra Scott Holley Day is Tuesday, October 13. Proceeds benefit Inheritance of Hope, an organization that funds retreats for families facing a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis.
For those who plan to shop in-person at the flagship, you’ll likely notice extra décor and art, including one final word painted on the mural – a word that represents hope, awareness and to advocate for action: That word is mammogram.“I made it a priority to include the word mammogram to remind people to schedule their exams,” says Vollenhals, whose stage two triple negative breast cancer was detected during a routine mammogram. “It’s so important. Cancer has its own mind and it can show up any time it wants. My cancer was aggressive and fast-growing. My doctors believe it literally showed up a couple months prior to my yearly exam – you just never know.”
We recommend you consult with your doctor about how often to schedule a mammogram. It’s also important to note that breast cancer can occur in men, though it’s not as common, it does account for around 1 out of every 100 breast cancer cases.
Cover photo courtesy Kendra Scott
Britni Rachal lives in Austin, Texas. She is a freelance journalist and a full-time marketer. In addition to writing, Rachal enjoys traveling, event planning, fashion, fitness and serving the Austin community.