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Lisa Carlin

263 | Lisa Carlin: Founder of Poppies with Purpose 

Poppies with Purpose is more than a shoe line.  It is something that is going to bring courage, joy, and connection whether you have cancer or not.  -Lisa Carlin


When bad things happen, you have two choices: you can give up or give it all you’ve got.  Lisa Carlin decided to use her breast cancer diagnosis as a catalyst for comfort through the creation of her shoe line, Poppies with Purpose www.poppieswithpurpose.com.  At only 38, with two daughters, ages 3 and 5, at home, she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.  Lisa’s road to survivorship included a double mastectomy, breast reconstruction, eight rounds of chemotherapy, and 6 weeks of daily radiation treatments.  During this dark time in her life, she discovered a worn pair of pink ballet flats in the back of her closet.  Slipping them on one morning before her treatment, Lisa discovered that these simple pink shoes gave her a dose of bravery.  Today, Poppies with Purpose is thriving with three shoe colors:  pink for breast cancer, blue for colorectal cancer, and tangerine for kidney cancer and leukemia, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting researcHERS, a group that supports grants to female cancer scientists. Lisa also handpicks local charities to support including Runway for Recovery.   Every detail of Lisa’s brand is inspired by love. The duster bag that holds each pair of shoes was inspired by her beloved grandmother’s poppy-patterned house coat, and inside every pair of shoes is a reminder to “live each day with a pop of color.”  When I asked Lisa how she got through her diagnosis, she said, “It was baby steps.  Just a little bit every day is gonna get you to where you want to go. The key is to surround yourself with people who lift you up.”  The next time you need a gift for a newly diagnosed friend, think of Lisa and Poppies with Purpose. For 24 minutes of inspiration, hit that download button. #breastcancer #colorectalcancer #kidneycancer#leukemia #survivorship #entrepreneurship #anxietyawareness




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