Name: Alison Ellis
Business name: Floral Artistry by Alison Bucholz-Ellis
Business description: Boutique floral design.  I specialize in weddings and events with a focus on high quality flowers and superior design technique.
Location: Jericho, Vermont

How long have you been in business: I started my business in 2002 and I am entering my 9th season in business this year. I have a degree in Plant & Soil Science from the University of Vermont and have been working as a floral designer for 16 years.

How did you get started in weddings: I have always worked in the floral industry—I started when I was 16 years old at a flower cart in NJ—but when I worked at a high-end flower shop in 2001 and acted as the lead coordinator for the wedding of the shop owner’s daughter I was hooked.  The shop closed its doors at the end of that year, but I knew that I wanted to pursue my design career with a focus on weddings.  I booked 1 wedding in the summer of 2002 and we worked our way up to over 30 weddings per season a few years ago.  Now, we are booking up to 25 weddings per season in order to maintain a high level of quality, service and personal sanity!

What is your favorite part of working in the wedding industry: I often say that we are “making dreams come true” every weekend and while I say it in jest, there is truth to it.  I love taking basic ideas, color palettes and inspiration that couples have in mind and refining them to represent the best parts of those ideas sprinkled with a bit of my own style & flair.

Why did you get involved with Pink Initiative: Breast cancer is very close to our hearts—my husband’s aunt was diagnosed several years ago.  So many of my clients are women and if I can help raise awareness with my brides by my involvement, then that is something I can feel good about. My husband and I love Vermont, we love weddings and we think it’s important to include philanthropy as part of our business mission.

Favorite use of pink: My favorite use of pink has got to be different shades of raspberry and light pink roses arranged with pink protea.


By Kathleen Doheny

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Breast lumps are common. Can you separate myth from fact?

About 40% of women will discover a breast lump at some point in their lives. Although a lump doesn’t necessarily mean cancer, what women do immediately after that discovery can mean the difference between survival or not.  So what do you need to know if you find a breast lump? Four experts interviewed by WebMD help separate myths from facts.

1. A Breast Lump Is Almost Always Cancer

This is a myth, thankfully, but a widespread one, says Stephen Sener, MD, past president of the American Cancer Society and professor of surgery at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.

Whatever the cause, it’s important to get any lump evaluated. Sener recommends a physical examination, a mammogram, and perhaps an ultrasound. “Most of the time you have a reasonable idea what is happening after that,” he says. Some women will need to get a biopsy.

2. Breast Cancer Is Always Accompanied by a Lump You Can Feel

Not necessarily, says Jennifer Eng-Wong, MD, a medical oncologist at Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C.

“Sometimes you pick up a cancer on a mammogram before you can feel [the lump] she says.

3. A Cancerous Lump Feels Different From a Benign Lump

Not always, says Eng-Wong. Cancerous lumps and noncancerous, or benign, lumps, can overlap. When a lump is cancer, she says, women often assume it will be a single lesion that feels hard and doesn’t move around. That could be, she says, but a cancerous breast lump could also feel smooth and be mobile, she says.

3. A Cancerous Lump Feels Different From a Benign Lump continued…

”You can’t always tell by how it feels,” says Love. ” Cysts, if they are deep, will feel scary. If they are near the surface, they often feel round and smooth. But if they are deep, they can push the breast tissue forward. Something that feels fairly benign and smooth and movable can be a cancer. Something that feels very scary can be benign.”

The best advice? “Anything that feels different to you should get checked out,” Love says.

4. A Small Lump Is Typically Nothing to Worry About

This is definitely not so, says Kruper. “Cancer can be very small when it first presents,” she says. “Size is never a good way to decide whether a lump is something to worry about.”

Kruper says she has seen women whose breast lumps have ranged in size from a pea to a grapefruit. The lumps found on mammograms, she says, can be extremely small. “When women actually feel a mass, it’s usually less than an inch in diameter, the size of a small cherry,” she says.

5. It’s OK to Watch a Lump and Call the Doctor Later

It’s NOT OK, and the older you are, the more this advice applies, doctors say. “You should always be evaluated by a health care practitioner,”  Eng-Wong says. “Sometimes they will recommend watching it for a couple months in women who are still menstruating,” she says. “You can have cysts [that feel like lumps], and they can change with the menses.”

Bottom line for older and younger women: “Get evaluated,” Eng-Wong says.

6. A Lump Can Be Cancer Even in a Woman With No Family History

Absolutely, says Love. “Only 5% or 10% of breast cancer is hereditary. The majority of women who get breast cancer have no risk factors.”

7. A Lump Can’t Be Cancer in Women with a History of Cysts

Not so, but some women are lulled into this false sense of security.  Women who have been told for years they have cysts often assume a new lump is nothing to worry about, Kruper says.

She tells women: “Whenever something new appears, we [physicians] need to know about it.” She cautions them not to assume that just because previous lumps turned out to be cysts — or nothing at all to worry about — that the new lump is the same story.

Click HERE to read the complete WebMD article.

I’m proud to announce a new Pink Initiative blog series titled Pink Facts; a twice a month series written by Pink Initiative board member Megan Clouse, a California based photographer who in 2009 conquered breast cancer at the age of 37.

Topics will range from current breast cancer research, health, prevention, and at times a glimpse into what her journey entailed.  It’s our hope that you will gain more knowledge through these posts, be inspired to make a difference in your personal life and as always we encourage you to join the conversation via our comment section.


p.s.  We also invite you to watch for Megan’s Pink Facts every Monday at

Common Sense Always Prevails
By Megan Clouse

We are reminded on a daily basis by a multitude of media outlets the importance of nutrition, exercise and how overall healthy practices can improve the quality of our lives.  So it came as quite a shock to most everyone when the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force dropped their report stating some very counterintuitive statements.

The first topic was mammography; suggesting that age 50 was a more likely baseline age than the earlier suggested 40.  I’ve heard arguments on both sides and frankly I can appreciate both points of view so I’m leaving this topic up to the experts, however I do feel strongly about the next topic in the report; self-exams.

As a woman who discovered a lump through self-exams I was aghast when the claims started to surface that self-exams don’t necessarily save lives.  That is ludicrous!

My lump was smaller than a pea.  After bringing it to my doctor’s attention, she had no reason to be concerned but ordered a mammogram just to be sure; a mammogram that detected nothing abnormal; what they call a false negative.  To no fault of the machine or technicians, the small tumor was situated in a near impossible location for diagnosis.  Which leads me back to self-exams.

If I had not become familiar with my breast tissue during all of those years of mundane self-exams, I would not have noticed this new foreign object.  But because I did, this brief exam very well may have saved my life because it’s likely that the cancer would not have been detected for another year or two, until it had spread throughout my body.

So when reports come out that red wine is good and eggs are bad, or when self-exams aren’t really that important, please use common sense.  Know your body, be your own advocate and listen to your hunches.

Breast Self-Exam Diagram

Name: Cheryl Ungar
Business name: Cheryl Ungar Weddings
Business description: wedding photographer
Location: Colorado

How long have you been in business: 24 years

How did you get started in weddings: My career began as a photojournalist at a daily newspaper, followed by a foray into the commercial and architectural photography world. By the encouragement of a few people, I photographed a few weddings and felt like I had finally found my calling as a photographer.

What is your favorite part of working in the wedding industry: Getting to know the couples and sharing their special day.

Favorite use of pink: ribbons

Why did you get involved with Pink Initiative: I am at a point in my life and career that it is time to give back to the community. As a 19 year breast cancer survivor, I would like to become an inspiration and role model to all women, particularly younger women, facing breast cancer. In the near future, I will be volunteering with a local breast cancer facility or resource center. Furthermore, I will be launching my own website/blog chronicling this and implementing some very cool things. This is a new venture that I am very excited about.

It’s truly inspiring to see our vendor members take our message to heart and host events on our behalf. Florida vendor sponsor Élan Event Studio recently hosted one such event in Tampa, a networking evening with over 100 attendees!

Owners Monica Varner and Erica Shelton explained the beautifully fun pink photos above:

As guests entered the pink ballroom, they were greeted by pink light ribbons everywhere. There was a giant pink ribbon on one wall, tiny ribbons lit up all over the floor, and a “SAVE THE TATAS” logo on the acrylic bar. The Go-Go dancer was grooving to the beat in her hot pink wig and the guest speaker, Chris Hubbard, a breast cancer survivor and awareness advocate, was the real hit of the evening.

The décor featured three different floral centerpieces ranging from pale pink to hot pink on pink linens.  The room had draped seating areas all around.  There was a lounge area set up for the guests to relax as well as a private VIP area.

The signature pink drinks were flowing.  For food, they offered sushi, Italian, and passed hors d’oeuvres.  For dessert, pink cotton candy and a four-layered cake.  We even had pink strawberry milk shooters that were served with the cake!

Many thanks to the event professionals who donated their services to help make the event a success:

Planner/Coordinator: Élan Event Studio

Decor: MMD Events

Venue: The Quorum Hotel

Photography: Life Long Studios

Video: Voila Cinematic

Chivaris: Signature Event Rentals

DJ: Inspire Entertainment

PR/Event Detail Help: RSBP Events

Linens: BBJ Linens

Cake: Cakes by Nomeda

Brochures: Not From A Box

Sushi: The Venue

Italian: Rigatoni’s

Vodka: Zyr Russian Vodka

Furniture: Cort Furniture

Dancers: Jumpin Bumpin Productions

**And special acknowledgement to Travel By Horizon for donating a free trip for the raffle!**

Name: Glen Goodwin and Vicki Lipstreuer
Business Name: Goodwin Lighting
Location: Lakeside Park, Kentucky
Favorite use of pink: For general knowledge and keeping updated on the fight against breast cancer
Why you got involved: My mother is a 10 year survivor

Welcome to Pink Initiative, Glen. Thank you so much for your recent donation of $180.

Late last year I gave a sneak peek at the mock-ups of the custom tote and wine bags local gem Sea Bags was creating for Pink Initiative featuring the ‘pink’ of our logo. Well, these beauties have arrived and are now available for purchase through emilie inc! You’ll love these stylish, durable, washable (!) recycled sail cloth all-purpose bags to bring to the beach or for everyday use. All proceeds go straight to Pink Initiative! Send an email to photo{at} to request your first edition tote bag or wine bag right away, as they are sure to go fast!

Medium tote bag (14″x 18″): $150
Wine bag (9″ x 13″): $35

Behold the lovely tote bag!

We’re the first Sea Bag ever made with a double color sewn design.

The totes feature hand-spliced rope handles and our custom logo stamped on the inside.

A wine bag makes a perfect hostess gift, and features a sewn patch with our logo ribbon and appropriate message.

Like the tote bags, the wine bags also feature hand-spliced ribbon and stamped logo (on the backside).

Beautiful craftsmanship, a fashion statement and awareness for breast cancer all wrapped up in these two environmentally friendly gifts. Fabulous. Thank you, Sea Bags!