ARLINGTON — Ronda Howard just opened Sadie Lane Vintage Treasures at 301 N. Olympic Ave. in the spring, but she’s already looking to start an annual tradition at her store.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an occasion that’s possessed extra significance for Howard since her mother’s passing 14 years ago, at the age of 50.
To that end, October has been a “Pink Month” for Sadie Lane, as Howard has offered her customers a variety of opportunities to show their support for those who are or have been impacted by breast cancer. Not only can visitors to her store write the names of loved ones who have faced breast cancer — “those who have lost, those who have won, and those who are still in the middle of it” — but those who donate to her jar can tie pink ribbons around the branches of a tree in her storefront window.
“More than anything else, it’s inspired a lot of conversations,” Howard said. “People have just come in to talk and tell me their stories, whether they’re survivors or still fighting or they’ve lost someone.”
Howard’s ambitious plans for future Octobers at her store include trying to schedule a visit from a portable discounted mammography van during the month. She’s been so impressed by the community spirit that’s been demonstrated during the Arlington Relays For Life on behalf of the American Cancer Society that she’s optimistic that October could become just as much a pink month in Arlington as the summer months are purple for the town.
“I’ve got a platform and I’m going to use it,” Howard said. “Losing my mom was my main drive to go pink, and while the money in the jar is still growing, it’s the conversations promoting awareness of breast cancer that have been my main goal.”
Which is not to say that fundraising is not also important, since Howard has credited the generosity of her 15 vendors with allowing her to sell several pink-tagged donated items in the store with 100 percent of those proceeds going toward breast cancer awareness and research. In addition to vintage and antique items that Howard refurbishes and repurposes herself, her vendors’ selection includes a variety of new clothing and old household items, as well as what she calls “fun junk.”
“I have my own work area in the back of the shop,” Howard said. “This business grew out of my garage on Facebook into this. It was named after my Rottweiler, Gracious Sadie Lane.”
For more information on Sadie Lane or their breast cancer awareness promotions, you may contact Howard by phone at 360-403-0760 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.