An advocate for her community
Accessory designer Blythe Leonard is using her creative gifts to raise awareness and increase accessibility for breast healthcare.
Blythe Leonard is proof you don’t need a background in healthcare to make a meaningful impact on the health of your community.
In January, she became a member of the board of Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center Foundation. She brings a passion for community growth and her artistic talents to the table, helping lead this month’s Big Pink Chair Project and Pink Day event.
“I am no expert in healthcare, but I am an expert in bringing people together to raise money for a meaningful cause,” Leonard said.
Her passion for Thomasville:
Leonard’s family has lived in Thomasville for generations. After studying fashion and accessory design at The Savannah College of Art Design, Leonard returned to her hometown disenchanted with mass-market fashion and distribution. She saw the opportunity to create one-of-a-kind items manufactured in her hometown of Thomasville. Seven years ago, she opened Blythe Leonard LLC, where she designs and manufactures luxury leather goods.
“My passion is to help more local businesses open and thrive in Thomasville. I always support and encourage artists who have talent and dream of opening a store or business here,” Leonard said.“If people continue to help each other and contribute for the betterment of the community, we will see this town soar. You can already see the impact. Imagining where we’ll be 10, 15 years from now inspires me to keep going.”
Her family is another source of inspiration. Her grandmother and great-grandmother both battled breast cancer, which prompted her to get involved in supporting causes related to breast healthcare.
Now, Leonard is uniting her breast health advocacy and her heart for the community of Thomasville to lead two fundraising events that will improve access to mammograms for women in need.
The Pink Day event
On Oct. 16, Leonard is uniting the Thomasville community to support two important causes: access to breast health screenings and small business ownership. At the Pink Day event, community members can browse handmade pink items from 150 local artists at BL Maker’s Market. All proceeds will increase access to lifesaving breast health screenings through the Novant Health Foundation mammography fund.
The event will also feature food and fun from other local businesses. Attendees can expect music, baked goods, Italian ice and salon-sponsored pink hair extensions.
The Big Pink Chair Project
Leonard is also spearheading The Big Pink Chair Project, which has set a goal of raising $60,000 to provide lifesaving screenings through the Novant Health Foundation mammography fund. The campaign will provide 300 uninsured women in Davidson County with breast health services including mammograms, digital imaging and biopsies.
Business owners who contribute $100 or more will receive a pink chair to place in their business. Those who contribute $500 or more become sponsors of a chair placed in downtown Thomasville. Each chair will feature educational information about mammograms and a QR code to help others in the community support the Novant Health Foundation breast health campaign.
“The educational element of breast health is so important for the community. That’s why I love The Big Pink Chair Project,” Leonard said. “It gets the visual in front of people. The chair provides lifesaving information and offers an opportunity for people to get involved and make an impact.”
The entire community is invited to the BL Maker’s Market Pink Day event. For more information on The Big Pink Chair Project, visit BL Maker's Market.
You can make an impact by making a contribution through Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center Foundation. A gift of $200 is all it takes to provide a lifesaving mammogram to women in need.