In 2010, I lost my only sister to cancer. I’m trying to turn that difficult time into something positive.
My sister’s story began with a breast cancer diagnosis in 2002. In that single moment her entire life changed. She went from being strong and successful to scared and very confused. After some soul searching, she decided to embrace the fight. With that change in focus, she became an inspiration to women in the same situation. Julia was featured, along with others, in the book Turning Heads by Jackson Hunsicker. Her photo (on page 51) depicted her as a true warrior. It was impactful and strong. It did wonders for her psyche. The shoot was done in New York with famed photographer Eddie Adams. That notoriety led to television appearances on her local Delaware morning show and on Good Morning America where she got to meet fellow cancer warrior Robin Roberts. She raised money for cancer charities with Strides of Hope by doing Rock-n-Roll Half Marathons in Montreal and San Antonio. These were highlights in a battle that saw low points too. By 2009, Julia’s breast cancer had spread to her brain. She wanted to be closer to family so she sweet-talked her way into being treated at Moffitt Cancer Center here in Tampa. She went from traveling the world to moving back in with my mom who was now living St Petersburg, Florida. We were blessed to have her here for the final year and a half of her life. She passed in early 2010 at the age of 43.
Inspired by my sister’s memory, I’ve created Umi Shave Club for Women. The product line includes shaving and skincare products that do not contain dangerous chemicals. They’re are all-natural and they contain a majority of certified organic ingredients. That satisfies our primary mission; to create healthier products that improve the shaving and skincare experience for women.
Our secondary mission is to honor my sister by donating 10% of all net-proceeds to women’s cancer charities and those causes closest to her heart. This includes Breast Cancer Awareness charities, Strides of Hope, Moffitt Cancer Center and others.
As a brand, we promise to do good things always. As a reminder of that goal, I’ve placed a butterfly in the logo. That’s my sister watching over us and (hopefully) guiding Umi in the right direction.