Archive for September, 2012

A Tale of Entrepreneurial Business Success
September 25, 2012

10 years ago I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. I was 48 and had a clean mammogram the year before. I was healthy, fit, working and busy. My life changed at a glance of a mammogram. I had a textbook perfect mammogram showing breast cancer.


The breast cancer treatments threw me into menopause. While my cancer was being treated with surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, my quality of life was miserable. I was tired from the treatments and side effects of menopause. A light bulb went off when I realized that all women go through menopause, usually more naturally and gradual than my experience but the end results were still the side effects of night sweats and hot flashes!


I knew about wicking clothes from the slopes and trails. Somehow I knew there had to be something more comfortable than wearing my bike shorts and a skiing first layer top to sleep. I made a prototype using my old sewing machine I bought from babysitting money when I was 13 and it worked! I found some lightweight wicking fabric and made another prototype and showed it to my breast cancer support group. These women went crazy with enthusiasm, and I knew I was filling a need, so I started my company, Haralee.Com Sleepwear.


I did not know anything about clothing manufacturing, selling on line or design and pattern making.  I did know that I could help women get a better night sleep and there was a need and desire for our product.


Being a naïve entrepreneur, I never thought my company would not be successful. We had a mission, a focus and a great product. I implemented my values so our product is made in the USA. I wanted to show that those who survived cancer or touched by cancer are vibrant women so I use friends for models who filled those criteria. I wanted to employ other small business so I sought out other entrepreneurs for their services and skills.


8 years later we are a successful business. 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer I never thought it would lead to a career change. No one is more surprised than me that my cancer diagnosis would make me into a successful entrepreneurial businesswoman.  I am lucky and grateful.


Have you been surprised how your life has taken an uncharted or unforeseen turn?


Could You Become a Lingerie Model?
September 9, 2012

Who are our Fantastic Models?

There are friends and then there are friends willing to model sleepwear for your company! I am very fortunate to have friends brave enough to put on pajamas and nightgowns for my photo shoots.  The last big shoot we had Mothers and Daughters, and Sisters modeling. I use the photos on the web site, in print ads, emails, postcards and brochures. Truly hundreds of thousands of people have seen my friends!Image

Not only are these beautiful women friends but they have a close association to cancer. Our objective is to show that you can be a cancer survivor and still look fantastic. The chemistry is visible in our Mother Daughter photos. We like to have fun with the photo shoot and our photographer is one of those genuinely sweet people who can put everyone at ease while getting the best possible shot!Image

It is an organizational achievement to get models and photographer to one day and time in the lives of all these very busy women. Some of our former models have been vacationing or busy when we are having a shoot so I have to solicit new talent! Our goal is to use real women, not professional models so our customers can see how our products look on someone like themselves.Image

On the walls of my office I have pictures of every photo shoot. We are starting our 8th year and I have to say my models have not aged a bit. Of course now they are all more experienced they know how to stand, what is their best side and what looks best on their body type and for their coloring.Image

Could you ever be as brave as my friends to model nighties? Would you dare to become a model? Are you ready to add fashion or lingerie model to your resume?

Saying Good-Bye
September 4, 2012

An interesting phenomenon is among baby boomers as we die off.  Good chance if you are over 50 you have had a co-worker, friend or sibling die not suddenly.


If the terminal person has a husband, wife or partner that is managing the dying person’s daily life, this is the person you have to honor. If the dying person is relying on friends or adult children to manage their demise, this becomes a very sensitive landscape to traverse. .

Saying good-bye to the terminally ill doesn’t have exact etiquette but I would like to give some tips.


1. Who is benefiting from your visit?

If you have not seen this person in years, don’t start now at the end. Send a card, an email or a phone call. If you call, do not insist on talking to the dying person but express your wishes to the person who answers the phone.


2. Do not just drop over to the dying person’s home.

You want to leave a casserole, great call ahead. You want to bring a book or music, great, call ahead. You may be asked to leave it at the door, but do not just leave stuff at the door!


3. Do not insist on talking or seeing the dying person with the ruse of  “I’ll just be a minute”.

Some days are better than others for the dying. Sometimes the care managers are exhausted. Sometimes the care manager or the dying person is not assertive. Don’t force yourself in the door. If they say ‘Today’s not a good day’, that is final. Re-read tip #!!


4. Do not voice or second-guess the choices or decisions of the dying person.

Often the terminally ill have chose to die rather than take additional treatments. Honor their choice. Do not put your own values on their decisions or voice your opinions to their family.


5. Respect the choices of the funeral or memorial services.

Many terminal ill people will plan their funeral or memorial service down to the music, invitations and food served. If they expressed everyone to wear Hawaiian dress, you better wear a lei and mu-mu or Hawaiian shirt! If you just cannot comply with their funeral or memorial wishes, don’t go!

Have you noticed a change in funerals, memorial services or saying good-bye to the terminally ill?