interview: survivor cathy williamson relaunches microfiber outerwear line, she reigns

Photo 4 from blog_CathyLaunched in 2012, She Reigns – a microfiber outerwear line designed by Dallas native Cathy Williamson – hit the streets of the same city with timeless designs aimed at appealing to the fashion-forward, confident woman of all age spectrums and walks of life.

With the help of Richard Solodky, of U.S.-based women’s bridal and ready-to-wear line SOLODKY, Williamson was able to bring her visions to life as she released a soft launch of her new designs – four different styles: The Jenica, The Alex, The Catherine and The Patricia.

One year after Williamson brought the She Reigns collection to life, an aggressive triple negative breast cancer diagnosis would try to take hers. It took a hiatus from her new venture and three major treatments to bravely battle the disease that threatened to take her away everything she loved.

As a survivor of triple negative breast cancer, Williamson is pleased to relaunch her jacket line this year.

L-R: The Jenica, The Catherine, The Patricia

L-R: The Jenica, The Catherine, The Patricia

Recently Williamson spent a few moments with me sharing what lead to the creation of She Reigns, her battle to beat triple negative breast cancer and how she is giving back and encouraging others to get informed on this horrible disease.

Pop Goes the City: Tell me about what lead to the creation of She Reigns?

Cathy Williamson: About seven years ago, my son was playing high school football in Birmingham, Alabama (we lived there for a while)…It was an extremely rainy week, and the forecast was for rain the Friday night of his football game. I did not have a raincoat at the time, and went on a search for one. I was picky and didn’t see one that was the least bit cute, or one that had a hood (for an outdoor activity)! I was so aggravated that I couldn’t find one, so I got on-line and tried to search for the perfect jacket. The cutest ones I found were either too expensive, or didn’t have a hood…I thought to myself, “What’s the point?” That is what inspired me! I sat on the idea for about five years before I started the process and launched the line in 2012.

alex-gallery

The Alex

PGTC: I first saw your beautiful jackets over a year ago at a private event. I fell in love with The Alex, your moto-style jacket. Moto-style jackets are at the top of outerwear trends list for fall. What inspired you to create this design?

CW: Thank you for saying they are beautiful! The Alex is the one that was really “my” baby! I wanted a jacket in the collection that was short. The moto-style was perfect for that. I am usually in jeans, so for me, I wanted something that would cover the top part of my body and my hair!

PGTC: One year after launching She Reigns, you received a diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer. After aggressive treatment, you beat the disease. Tell me about your partnership with The Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) Foundation and what it means to you to give back.

CW: I had never heard of TNBC before I was diagnosed. I thought all types of breast cancer were the same. Now I am so passionate about raising money and awareness for this aggressive type of breast cancer. Supporting TNBC Foundation lets me know where the money is going…straight to find a cure or even an answer to where this is coming from. Triple negative breast cancer is not affected by hormones, and no one is quite sure what causes it. More and more young women are being diagnosed with this form. I want to help bring awareness to TNBC and with the re-launch of the She Reigns line, I hope to do this.

PGTC: What is the one thing you want individuals hearing your story to walk away with?

CW: I want women to walk away with knowledge, plain and simple! You don’t have to buy a coat (although that would be great!), I want women to conduct monthly checks for themselves and get to the doctor if they notice something different in their breasts. Just because you are in your twenties and thirties, doesn’t mean you won’t get cancer.

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, Williamson will begin donating 25 percent of all sales from the entire She Reigns collection to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. Proceeds will continue going to the charity every month.

For more information on Cathy Williamson and She Reigns, please visit shereigns.com.

For more information on the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, please visit tnbcfoundation.org.

Lead image courtesy of Cathy Williamson via culture-hype.com. Additional images via shereigns.com.
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