To build the mobile app we worked with Very Nice, They are based across the street from us in LA and have a very unique business model where they donate 50% of their services and have gained some major accolades for the founders book, how to give away 1/2 of your work for free. We are very fortunate to be supported by our global affiliates in Chile, Europe, Japan and Canada and have some wonderful brands supporting us like Forever 21, Harvey's, Spy, DC shoes, Bare Minerals, 100% Pure, Pacifica, STANCE, The Tata Top, nippies, 31 bits and more
The Keep A Breast Foundation (http://www.keep-a-breast.org/) was founded in response to the growing need for breast cancer awareness programs that focus on educating young people. My friends were being diagnosed in their 20s, and I had no prior comprehension of how early in life breast cancer could strike. It flipped a switch in my brain and I realized that it was my purpose to start this conversation with young people about breast cancer prevention. I wanted to do something that spoke to my peers. I use art and artistic expression to inform young people about methods of prevention, early detection and support. Through our programs, Keep A Breast exists to change the global conversation around breast cancer among young people by empowering them with breast health education, which we hope will ultimately to inspire them to adopt healthier habits
Q. You also came up with a very innovative self check application as well as the #checkyourselfie campaign built around its use. How are things shaping up and what influential stakeholders are you working with?
You're right! We are in full swing of October, my busiest time of year, which is breast cancer prevention month. On October first we are launching our biggest movement to date, the #CHECKYOURSELFIE global campaign to directly engage young people to check themselves on a monthly basis. We are asking participants to upload a photo of themselves via social media, with three fingers placed across their chest, and hashtagging #CHECKYOURSELFIE .
We hope to create a viral movement that will result in education and action. See more information about the campaign here - www.checkyourselfie.org
We are also celebrating the relaunch of our Check Yourself! app, which is now available in 5 different countries and in English, Spanish French and Japanese. You can download it for free in the iTunes and Android store. It’s a super simple, cool app that shows you how to do your breast self-check, and allows you to set a push notification as a monthly reminder.
Q. With October in the near future,aka Breast Cancer Awareness month, what major projects do you have upcoming?
Q. What was the main catalyst for deciding to create the Keep A Breast Foundation?
"..l realized that it was my purpose to start this
I have a little side project going on right now. I have inherited an old cookbook from 1972 that my family put together. It's a surfers cookbook from San Onofre beach. I'm archiving it and searching for images of that time to re-release it. It's something special of my family history that I want to learn more about and preserve
Q. Which figures have really inspired you to do such great things with your life and career?
Q. Leave us with some words of inspiration
One of my heros is Yvon Chouinader form Patagonia. My life totally changed when I read his book, let my people go surfing. It was at a time when I was struggling with how to balance work and life and how to manage such a quickly growing non profit. He helped me see that I could use all my passion and creativity and create a culture within KAB that not only supported our audience but that was unique in supporting the personal development of my staff and offering them the freedom to explore and grow within their jobs. Working for a non profit organization that is focused on a disease can be very hard sometimes, It's important to me to have an environment that supports self care for my staff and I so we can continue to give to others.
Interview by Keran Look Loy
Q. “I Love Boobies” is your trademark campaign which has been very well promoted and merchandised. I’m sure the wording received some backlash early on. How did you manage to deal with some of the negative feedback?
I am a fashion designer by trade and I always appreciate iconic graphic design. I lived in NY for a while, and I was inspired by seeing I love NY everywhere. At the time the LIVESTRONG bracelets were huge, everyone was wearing them. I thought that was a simple and wonderful way to get the message out to teens. I flipped the idea and created a wide and bright colored bracelet stating “I love boobies”! Inside the bracelet is screen-printed our mantra; Art. Education. Awareness. Action. And our website URL. I felt it was a way to engage young people in a conversation about breast cancer. Little did I know this little bracelet would become such a HUGE thing!
Photo: Kaitlin Christy
Q. What other major directions do you plan to take the Keep A Breast Foundation in the next few years?
We also have a program called Non Toxic Revolution that is all about educating young people about the toxins that are in your everyday life that are linked to cancer, that will likely be our focus for 2015. This campaign had a different look for KAB, as all the design was done by Shepard Fairey and his agency Studio Number One. We have broken down something that is really complex and scary to simply digestible, bullet point information so you can be empowered to make simple changes in your life that will help reduce your risk of breast cancer. Only 10% of new cancer diagnoses is linked to family history, so we have to continue to ask ourselves why this is happening, and direct more research funds to proving the link of carcinogens to cancer.
Oh goodness yes! I'm heading to Chile in early October for the launch of Keep A Breast in South America, and I have to pinch myself all the time. I'm so grateful that the work we do can translate to other countries and really turn awareness into action. I never would have thought in a million years that this would be my life. I get to use my creativity and passion to help people, It's really the best! I think if you just always remain open to life and opportunities and realize that your life matters and you are here to give and do good. When I changed my perspective about my life and doing what I wanted, to being open to grace and using my life to be of service all the opportunities and signs pointed to Keep A Breast.
Q. Over the last several years we’ve seen the Keep A Breast Foundation as well as the “I Love Boobies” campaign reach a worldwide audience with several international partners and affiliates. Does it still come as a shock to you of how far you’ve come?
Q. Tell us a fun fact about Shaney Jo Darden
Please participate in our campaign this October. We are asking people to take the #checkyourselfie pledge for Breast Cancer Prevention Month and to make a commitment to check their boobies once a month. Head to checkyourselfie.org for more info.Young people can and do get breast cancer, and as they say, knowledge is power!