It’s such an inspiration to see the many ways my free printable breast cancer awareness kit is being put to work! I was honored to find out that Vicki of LAUGH loud SMILE big is using my designs to help raise funds for breast cancer research this year. She’s selling a whole variety of pink goodies in her charming cupcake and party shop, which is located in Rockport, Maine. Since I can’t swing by and say hello in person (dangit!) I asked Vicki about her fundraising efforts and got the behind-the-scenes scoop of what it’s like to run her store. Read on!

Breast cancer awareness store display - at LAUGH loud SMILE big

Why did you choose to support breast cancer research?

Vicki: When my daughter was young, I wanted to start teaching her that we could make a difference even if our effort seemed small. When she was a baby, we started walking in the Making Strides for Breast Cancer. I would put her in her stroller and each year we did and each year we raised more and more. She always knew that we were walking for my Grandmother, who luckily, is a Survivor. I did not understand it at the time but when I was 10, my Grandmother had a double mastectomy. My children have learned both from discussions of breast cancer and our fund raising, what my Grandmother went through…and how lucky we are to have her still with us!

Then a ‘few’ years ago, right after my 40th Girls’ Weekend in West Palm Beach, where we all discussed how lucky we were that we were healthy and how wonderful it was to get together for a few laughs…and how we should do it more often…because you just never know. Well, within two months of that, two of the girls found out they had breast cancer. Two double mastectomies and treatment later, I have yet two more Survivors in my life! It was when we knew that they would be okay, that my daughter asked if it was because of her raising money to help them! Yes, it was!

Breast cancer awareness store display - at LAUGH loud SMILE big

What “Think Pink” goodies do you have available in your store?

I have bulk candy, lollipops, poms, tags, gift boxes, and boas. I’ll be donating all proceeds from the Breast Cancer Awareness goodies to Making Strides for Breast Cancer.

Breast cancer awareness store display - at LAUGH loud SMILE big

How long have you been running your storefront?

I have been doing the shop on my own for four months now. I had a blog for a few years before that started as a result of my many girlfriends I was sending paper party goods to, telling me that that is what I should be doing instead of getting back out into the workforce. My daughter was in second grade and my son was starting school…so I had contemplated getting back out ‘there’. One day…on a whim…decided to check out a few places and possibly put my idea of a cupcake/party shop into action. And now, a year later…I am working 17 hour days!!! lol And loving every minute of it!!

Breast cancer awareness store display - at LAUGH loud SMILE big

As a business owner, what’s your average day like?

Insane!!! I come in around 5:30….bake, bake, bake and decorate and get the cupcakes, cookies and cake pops on the bar by 10. Then I start thinking about the banners, toppers, designs I need to be working on and what candy, props need to be ordered to go with those custom parties. And while I am doing that, I am greeting the customers and serving cupcakes!! Pure craziness…and not enough hours in the day! I knew that I could not possibly be the only one in midcoast Maine that was looking for a cupcake/party shop and the reception I have received from the community has just been overwhelmingly positive!! More than I could have ever hoped for!! I have hired a baker and will be looking for additional seasonal help just to help keep up with the orders! Honestly, it has been exhausting but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

LAUGH loud SMILE big - Rockport, Maine

Do you have any special events coming up?

Why, yes I do! An Evening Out For the Girls on Thursday, October 25, 2012. An Open House benefitting Breast Cancer Awareness! And using your amazing printables! I will have a Decorate Your Own Bar Contest…big girls and little girls can donate and decorate their own cupcake (with all pink decorations) and I will be posting pictures for the FB crew to vote on, raffles and of course, a dessert and candy buffet!

LAUGH loud SMILE big - Rockport, Maine

Here’s how to catch up with Vicki of LAUGH loud SMILE big:

• Become a fan on facebook or follow on Twitter
• Check for the latest special events on facebook
• Stop by the shop in person at 4 Strawberry Lane, Suite C, Rockport, ME

Download the free printable breast cancer awareness kit:

In English
In Spanish