Megan Sullivan’s world was turned upside down when her mother was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer in 2001. Sullivan was just 9 years old when she learned of the diagnosis. Of course, she supported her mother as she underwent treatment, and after many setbacks and a partial mastectomy, she celebrated with her family when her mother won the battle against breast cancer.
Sixteen years later in October of 2017, Sullivan—a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning—launched With Grace B. Bold, a luxury clothing company inspired by her mother’s journey and designed for women who have undergone mastectomies.
“I was thinking about clothing needs related to different medical issues [and] I started talking to my mom,” Sullivan says. “I realized that there was an incredible opportunity in the clothing market to meet the needs women have when they’re going through breast cancer treatment.”
Sullivan’s original collection featured two staple products: The Ann Elizabeth and The Eileen. The Elizabeth is a wrap top with an interior pocket designed to hold surgical drains in place when patients leave the hospital. The Eileen is a sister piece (sans pocket) that allows women who aren’t personally experiencing a diagnosis to buy into the brand and support its cause.
After enormous success with the original products, Sullivan has decided to expand her business to include head wraps for women to wear as they recover from treatment. “As I work on growing the brand, I really wanted to create an accessory item that I can sell at a lower price point, because my tops are $120,” Sullivan says. “I want to be able to offer a product that could compliment these garments, but could also be sold as a standalone piece that I could market to an even wider audience of women.”
The head wraps, which will be manufactured in a New York factory and sold for $58 a piece, will be made with sustainable bamboo material and feature various colors and a pleated design. Sullivan plans to have the new line ready for purchase by early 2020.
“I want them to really stand out and to have features that make women feel really beautiful wearing them,” she says. “This product will be fantastic for women recovering from a multitude of treatments, in which they’re receiving chemotherapy and experiencing hair loss.”
Although With Grace B. Bold is a relatively new company, Sullivan’s products are making a difference in the lives of cancer patients in Cincinnati and across the U.S. As her company continues to grow, she says she looks forward to what the future will bring. “A lot of exciting things are happening,” she says. “The more excitement and engagement I can grow for the brand, the more people I can help.”