We recently had the oppotunity to sit down with Kat Mulford, co-founder of Modern Matter Hardware and Addison Week Jewelry. We asked her about everything from her life as an entrepreneur to her journey with breast cancer. Many of us know and love someone who has fought breast cancer. In honor of Breast Cancer awareness month, we are donating a portion of our proceeds from the month of October towards breast cancer research. You can shop a selection of our featured products here including makeup we used on Kat for her Addison Weeks photo shoot.
Swan Beauty: What do you most enjoy about being an entrepreneur and mom of three kids?
Kat: I love being busy, and each day brings a new challenge and a new project, whether with the kids or the business. I love creative thinking and my business is being creative, and it’s perfect for me because I don’t like being bored!
SB: When were you first diagnosed with breast cancer?
KM: I was thirty-nine years old, and that was eight years ago. It was my very first mammogram, and I was really lucky that they had time because they did a biopsy the same day. That was a Friday, and I found out on Monday that I had Stage One breast cancer. About three weeks later, I had a double mastectomy and reconstruction. After that, I had radiation treatments. It was definitely a life-defining moment.
SB: How did finding out you had breast cancer change your life?
KM: Like any bad and scary news, life slowed down a lot. The little moments became much more vivid and important. When I’m busy, especially, I’ll try to go back and remember to slow down and enjoy the time I have with my kids. It’s important to be grateful for the time that we have. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it, but I’m not afraid.
SB: Did you lose your hair or have other side effects from treatment? How did you manage this?
KM: I only experienced the pain from the radiation treatments, thankfully, but no other side effects. I was already an entrepreneur when I was diagnosed. I couldn’t miss a day of radiation treatment, though, so I would go to radiation in the morning, then show my jewelry in Atlanta, then go back to radiation the very next morning. I couldn’t let cancer get in the way of growing my business, working with my business partner, and being there to experience customers’ reactions to my jewelry. It was also a way to maintain a sense of normalcy. Looking back, I should have slowed down and rested, but I also didn’t want to sit in bed all day and be sad. That’s not me!
SB: What is something you would tell someone going through breast cancer? What about their family and friends?
KM: Early on, one surgeon said to me, “This might not be your favorite summer, but you’re going to be okay.” Early detection is everything, because there’s so much they can do to treat it now, and I want all women to know that we can handle anything thrown our way! I also want to say that getting a little pampering like regular blowouts and putting on makeup is a great way to maintain a sense of normalcy and get in some self care, and it was so important to me to have something to look forward to after a long day of recovery. To family and friends, I would say, just show up for anyone going through this. I had a friend who sent flowers every Friday and just kept doing it, and it meant so much to me. And I encourage everyone to go and get their mammogram! Check out the beautiful designs from Modern Matter and Addison Weeks here!
Jewelry and Hardware shown from Modern Matter and Addison Weeks
Photos by Olly Yung www.ollyyung.com