This past weekend I had the opportunity to do one of the things I love doing most (giving back) in one of my favorite places (the mall)….Bloomingdale’s to be exact. I was invited by my friend Candice who works in the cosmetics department in Tyson’s Corner, VA to join in on one of their Saturday events, and host a health and wellness table representing Lupus Awareness. I thought it was a little odd at first, you know, setting up a table to talk about Lupus in the middle of Bloomies in the busiest mall in the area, but when I got there I realized this cosmetics department was not like most others. There was a music DJ booth, a dance floor, a belly dancer, and several other tables set up representing something and giving away stuff or providing some free service. So basically, me and my purple Lupus awareness table fit right on in! It was so much fun interacting with the public and sharing some of my story. I didn’t speak to anyone who had Lupus personally, but many family members and friends of loved ones with the disease came by to ask for more information on what someone they know with Lupus is going through. I realized that although people may know someone who is going through something, they may not feel comfortable asking the person questions that would make them understand such a situation as Lupus. It’s not talked about like Cancer or other common diseases (although it affects one out of every 185 Americans), and unless you’ve been touched by it personally, you may have never heard of it before. I spoke with a daughter, aunts, sister-in-laws, a sister who’s sister with Lupus lives in Africa, and even a neighbor of someone with Lupus. One man caught me off guard by asking me “Where do I sign up to donate?” I’d never been asked that question before, so I fumbled around through my documents to get him the answer which gave him the time to ask me if Lupus shortens the life-span…which made me fumble just a little bit more, since I’d never been asked that question before either! At least I had some really good music playing in the background and a pair of my favorite shoes on which helped me to smile through all of the questions I received that day.
I try to wear purple when I’m working a Lupus table since the purple ribbon is the symbol for Lupus (as well as the butterfly). Purple represents courage and endurance which is needed when facing Lupus or any illness that stands to complicate your health and your life, for that matter. I never realize how hard it is to find something purple until I’m looking for it! You would think finding a purple tee would be easy, but it’s not. The purple shades I find are never the right color or the shirts are just not Style Stamped. But to the retailers’ defense, I never start looking for shirts until the night before an event. But still…purple should be easier to find! I found the tee I wore in the children’s section of Target, and I got compliments on it all day. It was $9.99, size 14-16. I told my daughter she could have it when I was done. Fashion Fact: You never know where you’ll find what you’re looking for..so turn over some stones and go in sections of the store that you may not normally choose to look!
The tee alone was quite juvenile, so I matured the look with a pearl and diamond necklace, a darker purple sweater, destroyed denim boyfriend jeans, bright orange heels and purple lipstick from MAC (Heroine). A quick bantu knot-out gave me some texture for my fro.
All in all it was a great day of mixing health, fashion, and fun!
For more information on Lupus visit the Lupus Foundation of America or if you’d like to reach out to me personally drop me a line!