Unfortunately, 1 in 9 women have a lifetime risk of getting breast cancer. This means, in our lifetime, we will know someone who will be affected by this dreadful cancer which destroys lives and tears families apart.
There are many tales of loss and survival. The tale below is of one inspirational and courageous woman, Chrissy Leighton, jewellery designer, business women, mother and wife. Her story is especially close to my heart and really tells you that positivity can beat anything in the end, and that a terrible thing in life can make good, greatness and success.
Six years ago, Chrissy Leighton had to face something she never thought she’d have to face. Her mother being diagnosed with breast cancer. The news brought down every foundation around her, to the point of almost hitting rock bottom. Chrissy had to find a way of dealing with the potential loss of her mother. She channelled these emotions into designing jewellery.
After much discussion with a variety of people Chrissy decided that she had to remain strong for her mother Maria and a simple hobby of making Jewellery began between the pair – letting them focus on the lighter things in life.
“I was in a dark place when mum fell ill. I had lost the purpose in my life and so I decided that the only way I could get it back was to create my own. I started making jewellery as an escape; it is about feeling the pieces and then living the fantasy,” says Chrissy.
As the Jewellery began to get noticed more and more Chrissy began to think that this could be something that she could make a full time passion for her and in a way an owe to her mother – a way of saying I love you and that your message of love and strength should be shared with the world through the beauty of fashion.
Just as the news that Chrissy’s mother Maria had survived the cancer and her goal of taking her passion to the next level in 2004, Chrissy faced her own breast cancer scare further shattering her life.
This time though nothing was going to bring her down and she looked to her Jewellery (which now was a full time passion) to ease her mind. It was this approach that guided her to the tremendous news – she was given the all clear allowing her to throw herself completely into her label Chrissy L Accessories.
In 2008, Chrissy and husband John welcomed daughter Mia into their world. Inspired to be a great role model to her daughter, she is determined to lead by example that it is possible to find beauty in life’s toughest moments.
Now let’s jump to the present – 2010, and what was once a hobby has now become a legitimate fashion accessories brand, exhibited on the world stage. With appearances on red carpets world-wide including Tina Fey at the 2010 Oscars, Britney Spears, Kristin Cavallari (The Hills), Holly Madison (TV’s Holly’s World), Shenae Grimes (90210), Katie Cassidy (Melrose Place), Teresa Palmer and so many more are lovers of the label.
The label has attracted worldwide attention from fashion Editors (including Anna Wintour who hand- picked the jewellery for Tina Fey!) and continues to pick up pace fast with stylists continually calling in the product for celebrity clients.
Designer Chrissy Leighton brought her line to market in the US aligning with a top sales agent which has seen her Fall 2010 collection picked up by the likes of Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Niemen Marcus CUSP Stores and also an exclusive specialty line for Bebe & Intermix. This expansion is a major coup for the label and has seen in position in Australia re-affirmed with stockists across the country including nationally in Seduce stores.
This story is so much more than about Fashion, it’s about humanity and what is possible when you think life itself is not worth living. Chrissy is a role model for the many women and families who are faced with illness every year and proof that amazing things can stem from tragedy.
Click HERE to read about the recent Chrissy L shoot in Miami.
See www.chrissyl.com for more collection information!
For other stories, help or guidance into anything to do with breast cancer, visit www.bcna.org.au
To my Nona, I love you.