The MNY Spotlight

Mestiza's Heirloom Project in Partnership with Pink Ribbon Good

In 2020, Louisa and Alessandra launched the Mestiza Heirloom Project as a way to empower communities of women who are leaving a legacy. This past April, we met with 12 women across all 6 regions of the Pink Ribbon Good community (previously known as Pink Ribbon Girls), to gift them each a Mestiza piece to empower them on the next step of their journey. 

Pink Ribbon Good is a non-profit organization that exists to serve every person and family affected by breast and gynecological cancer. They provide free healthy meals, rides to treatment, housecleaning essentials, and peer support so no one is alone in the fight.

Today, we're sharing where each of these women will be wearing their Mestiza pieces. Read more below! 

Jennifer Van Schoonhoven

"My sister gives everything for everyone. She has dropped everything in her life to help care for me in my sickness. Seeing my sister wear this dress will help me feel like in some small way I was able to do something for her. She is so beautiful and has never felt that way. I want her to see herself the way I see her as a beautiful woman to be proud of."

Pink Ribbon Good

Pictured: Sarah Wade, sister of patient Jennifer Van Schoonhoven wearing the Millie Mini Dress in Canary Sequin

Rosa Juarez

"I recently became engaged and we are planning a vacation to Mexico this summer after I complete my treatment and we plan on taking engagement pictures during this this trip to share with our friends and family. The experience of receiving a stage 4 cancer diagnosis last year and going through chemo and losing all my hair has been incredibly difficult and I think putting on a beautiful dress after completing my treatment will definitely make be feel beautiful and empowered."

Rosa of Pink Ribbon Good

Rosa wears the Puff Puff Midi Dress in porcelain jacquard, shop more chinoiserie styles here

Valerie Grant

"I finished treatment and I am slowly beginning to plan and attend more events.This is a chance for me to move forward and embrace my own style! While undergoing treatment and surgeries, I was limited in what I wore because I tried to appear “normal” to everyone. That meant I wore higher neck shirts, to cover up and camouflage any scars or imperfections. My choices were also often comfort first, and when I was fatigued, I would just try to make it through the day. Now that I am getting a little more energy back, I have dipped my toe into buying new clothes, but while it is fun, it’s also intimidating. This dress would help me get back out there!"

Pink Ribbon Good Partners

Valeria wears the Flora Mini Dress

Jeannette Manger

"I'm a photographer and I've dreamed of doing a photoshoot in a gorgeous dress somewhere beautiful. We recently took a hiking trip to the Grand Canyon/Zion/Death Valley areas while I was between chemo treatments and part of me wished I planned a really fun self portrait for that trip, but I thought I would feel self conscious of my bald head and changed body. As it turned out, it felt so powerful to hike those landscapes with a baby on my back and a scarf on my head because I DID IT. I am LIVING. And I am strong AND beautiful regardless of how my body looks. So even though I wouldn't have a fancy occasion to wear a beautiful Mestiza dress, being alive is always an occasion to celebrate."

Pink Ribbon Good partners

Jeannette wears the Elodie Midi Dress

Betsy Gauthier

"When I got my breast cancer diagnosis, I was getting ready to start another round of IVF. The diagnosis broke my heart because instead of getting ready to embark on a joyous journey, my world came crashing down. I am also in medical school so the stress of everything was devastating. Throughout it all, I have persevered. I decided to stay in school and I am doing well. My goal is to become a breast radiologist. I recently finished chemo and the next step in my breast cancer journey is my mastectomy next month. Next year, when I am completely healed, I hope that I can continue with IVF and finally get to start a family. I am hoping that dressing up and doing a photo shoot in one of the beautiful Mestiza pieces will help me feel beautiful again."

Betsy of Pink Ribbon Good

Betsy wears the Remy Midi Dress

Parish Gordon-Fernandez

"I believe in showing my beauty outside cancer. Every woman has a reason to shine, every woman has beauty inside out, including me. Wearing Mestiza will empower the beauty inside me that I tried so hard to hide, and it will give me the beautiful look I've been longing for these past 4 months." 

Parish of Pink Ribbon Good

Parish wears the Natalia Sequin Midi Dress

Carmelina Mattera

"I started my second go around with chemo recently and my grown children will be shaving my head again on April 8, which happens to be my 63rd birthday. Not having any hair for the second birthday in a row is the least of my worries. Having the courage to get all dressed up for a special event and showing up has its challenges, but, I consider it a test of my strength and courage to not let cancer get me down. Knowing the good your company does would make anyone wearing one, feel better."

Carmelina wears the Rosalie Midi Dress

Claudia Green

"I'll be wearing my Mestiza dress to my best friend's wedding reception. She has been my right hand gal through all of my treatments. I have never been able to wear a gown outside of a prom dress, so this will be a unique experience for me."

Claudia wears the Rosalie Midi Dress

Masi Hasheminia

"I always enjoy having new dresses and this summer we are going to vacation with my family and we are planning to go to fancy restaurants. I am also planning on having a survivor party with my friends. Since my hair is growing back well, I think it's the perfect occasion to wear a new fancy dress! Also, after going through all the medical procedures, I respect my body more. I care about how I’m styled which makes me feel better about myself."

Masi wears the Elliana Barong Mini Dress in Ivory 

Promila Agarwal

"Currently I am doing radiation for 6 weeks, and since I did not have a complete response after my surgery this year, I'll be on IV for chemo conjugate every three weeks. I have been in pajamas for the longest time, so being dressed up will make me feel empowered over my body and give me more confidence in myself."

Promila wears the Remy Midi Dress

Stephanie Snipes
"I would like to wear this dress when I meet my in-laws for the first time since Covid and since I was diagnosed in July of last year with stage 4 breast cancer. In the spring before I was diagnosed, my then-boyfriend (now-husband!) and I had talked about getting married. We had so many plans! But then my diagnosis changed everything very suddenly, and we decided to tie the knot while we knew I was still here. It was a courthouse ceremony without any family and I was very sick at the time. It was bittersweet... I was of course so happy to be married to him, but so sad about the circumstances. We vowed we would have a proper ceremony with both our families when things got better. It's been about 10 months since then and we've been through so much as a couple. Luckily, my ongoing chemotherapy seems to be working so far, and we've been talking about finally having his family visit us from Toronto. We haven't seen them since 2019 because of Covid, visas, and my diagnosis, and it will be so, so wonderful to see them."

"My diagnosis has taken a lot away of my womanhood. My hair, my ability to bear children, one day possibly parts of my body. Having to stay home all the time due to a weakened immune system has driven me to wear a lot of "home clothes" and forget how to do my makeup. Wearing an elegant, vibrant Mestiza piece would, I imagine, empower me to remember that even if I've lost those particular things, I am no less of a strong, independent, successful woman."

Stephanie wears the Puff Puff Midi Dress

NaKeisha McDonald
"I'll wear my Mestiza piece to my 5 year survivor party next year! I have never had a party for just me & having one for cancer is not ideal, but it is a part of my journey. My Grandmother and I both had breast cancer at the same time in 2019, unfortunately she passed 2 weeks before I finished radiation. My developmentally disabled Aunt also had cancer during this time & passed as well. Yes, I am the only survivor of this challenging time for our family & I think I deserve to look & feel beautiful while celebrating life!"

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