Posted on December 3, 2013
Ellen Patton, longtime Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) community member and mesothelioma patient, is taking asbestos and mesothelioma awareness to new heights with her upcoming company, Breathe Products. With the holidays coming up, handcrafted soap from Breathe Products can be a luxurious treat for yourself, or a special, thoughtful gift for friends and family. Thanks to Ellen, Breathe Products will donate 10% of all sales to ADAO and she has designed a beautiful educational tag to accompany each bar of soap.
This week, I had the opportunity to interview Ellen about her new company:
What made you decide to start the Breathe Products line?
Ellen: My sister-in-law, Sara, who is a beautiful artist, and I have talked for many years about opening a business together. The goal was to utilize and satisfy our creativity. It was also very important to me that the business would offer a product that would be good for people as well as giving me the ability to support myself and have the means to give back.
I have been battling mesothelioma for 13 years and have been unable to work a regular job, outside of my home. People who are familiar with mesothelioma know I am very fortunate to still be alive so long after diagnoses. My dream to start a business seemed impossible after I was diagnosed. Throughout my battle with meso, learning to make soap and perfecting the quality was kind of a therapy for me. The process was really relaxing to me. After the soap was made I had the benefit of giving it to friends and family, as well as using it myself. Many times I was so tempted to take the steps to become a business owner. Yet, the uncertainty of my future always stopped me from taking that first step.
What inspired you to come up with the product and logo?
Ellen: Before the decision was made to move forward with opening our company, my personal mission was to donate to ADAO (Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization). When we started the whole process, it was a given that the company’s logo would reflect that mission. The evolution of our company’s name and logo was a team project between Sara, our niece, Allison Dobyns and myself.
What are the different “scents” that you offer and what is your favorite?
Ellen: We have a wide variety of scents, everything from floral scents to citrusy scents. We use pure essential and fragrant oils in our soaps. Our soaps are a form of aromatherapy. The principal of aromatherapy is that different scents affect you in different ways. For example a citrus scent, like Lemon, Lime and Grapefruit are stimulating. Floral scents like Lavender, Rose or Violet evoke more of a calming effect. It’s hard to say which one is my favorite because it depends on my mood. However, I will say that our Lavender is really special. We get the essential oils and the blooms that we use in our soaps from the Ali”I Kula Lavender Farm on Maui. I visited their farm in March of this year and was so impressed. When I make our Maui Lavender soap the benefits of the aromatherapy kick in. The scent always brings me back to that beautiful day that I visited the farm and the warm feeling of friendship, because of the special people I was there with.
What do you hope to achieve with Breathe Products? Where do you see the future of your business going?
Ellen: What we hope to achieve with Breathe Products, LLC. is to offer a high quality product to as many people as possible for a very long time. Because we offer a great product for a reasonable price, our hopes for Sara for her to be able to leave the corporate world and work with Breathe full time. For myself, I hope to live a long and happy life and to continue my battle with mesothelioma. As a company, we hope to donate a lot of money to ADAO.
We are honored that 10% of every sale of Ellen’s homemade soaps will be donated to ADAO and business cards will feature a “BAN ASBESTOS” graphic to further asbestos education, advocacy, and community. Fantastic work, Ellen – can’t wait to receive my batch!
To place orders and learn more about Breathe Products, visit www.breathesoaps.com. I can’t wait to buy my holiday gifts from Ellen!