Everviolet Chats: Kelsey Bucci, Mother x 4, Breast Cancer Thriver & Entrepreneur
July 2, 2020
You know that saying, "You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé?” Well, this woman really lives up to those standards. Meet Kelsey Bucci––mother of 4, military wife, breast cancer thriver, founder and CEO of Paris Laundry, podcaster of But You Don't Look Sick and editorial stylist located in Savannah, Georgia. Not only is she super fashionable, she’s also real, strong and a true inspiration to female entrepreneurs. We dove in with Kelsey to learn more about her amazing outlook on life and just how she balances family, career and wellness so gracefully. To read more about her experience with breast cancer and her current endeavors in fashion and the clean beauty world, check out our latest Everviolet Chats below.
Where were you in your life when you were diagnosed with breast cancer?
When I was diagnosed, we had just moved to Savannah, GA. My husband is in the military, so we were actually very excited for this new duty station. A couple of weeks after my 30th birthday I found a lump in my left breast. It was such a shock, and being in a new place with no family, friends, or even an established physician was very scary. But as a family, we just banded together and started to put one foot in front of the other.
As a creative in fashion and mother of 4, how did you balance career and family while navigating treatment?
Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had actually been a stay-at-home mom for almost eight years. I have a background in editorial styling and retail merchandising, but being home with my kids was something so important to me, at least until they were all in school. So, my “plan” was to get back into styling or open my own store once my husband retired from the Army, but breast cancer definitely changed all of that…in the best way. So, while I was in treatment, I was very blessed to make fighting cancer my full-time job.
What helped you most along the way? Who were your biggest supporters?
My kids were definitely the driving force behind my mindset and positivity through cancer and treatments. They were all so young at the time that I knew they were looking to me to see how to deal with the changes happening around them. They had no idea the gravity of the situation, they really didn’t know what cancer was. My main focus was to keep everything as normal as possible for them. No matter how sick I was, I pushed myself to show up every day for them. My biggest supporter was and still is, no doubt my husband. He jumped in headfirst to the caregiver role, and really on many occasions the sole parenting role and provider. He sacrificed a lot in order to be present and take care of me and our family and I am forever grateful for him.
What do you wish you knew before cancer that you could share with someone who is newly diagnosed?
I wish I knew how much of a mental game it was. Your mindset and outlook play such a huge role in how you are going to get through treatment, and I never would have understood that before cancer. From the second you hear those words “you have breast cancer” you have to give yourself some time to fall apart but then very quickly decide to choose happiness every day no matter what challenges are ahead of you.
We love how your blog, Pardon My French, covers a little bit of everything, from breast cancer and style to motherhood and beauty. Can you tell us a little more about it?
I started my blog when we had just moved to Alaska which was about seven years ago. I was truly and geographically so far away from family and friends, I was pregnant with my third baby, and I felt so out of place and lonely as a young mom. I loved reading blogs, so I just started documenting our adventures as a family. It quickly turned into incorporating all aspects of my life. When I was first diagnosed, I did not know if I wanted to share that or put that on my blog. I couldn’t wrap my head around it at first, but then I myself was looking for someone to relate to. A young mom fighting breast cancer…with some sarcasm and humor thrown in there. I wasn’t finding what I was looking for, so I decided to share my journey and I am so happy I did, it has brought me closer to a community of women who are simply incredible.
What inspired you to launch Paris Laundry?
I have always loved makeup and skincare, definitely a beauty product junkie, but going through breast cancer had me reevaluating everything I was eating and putting on my body as well. I’ve been a very clean eater for a long time but didn’t realize all the toxins hidden in my beauty products, or home products. I was shocked and appalled! I started to switch everything in my life to nontoxic alternatives and started sharing this process on my blog and my podcast, But You Don’t Look Sick. It seemed that many women were interested in nontoxic beauty products, so the idea of Paris Laundry was born. I vet every single product on the site, so our customers don’t have to second guess the safety and effectiveness. I truly believe that a nontoxic life can and should be glamorous. We also donate 10% of every sale to different organizations supporting breast cancer research.
As a female entrepreneur who wears many hats, what tips do you have for a woman starting her own business?
Really figure out what sets you apart! What makes you different? Think of much of your business from the customer's point of view and what you have to offer them. It’s not what you’re selling, but why! Also, do it your way, drown out the noise around you and focus on creating a business that you can be proud of.
Do you have any exciting projects or collaborations coming up that you’d like to share with us?
We do have a few very exciting things coming up but expanding on our own Paris Laundry skincare line is probably the one at the top of my list right now.
How did having breast cancer change your outlook on life?
Getting diagnosed with breast cancer changed my entire life. Before cancer, I poured my energy into my family, which I do not regret for a second, but I left very little for myself. I always put my wants and needs on the back burner, and that included my health. Breast cancer forced me to make myself a priority! It made me reevaluate what made me happy and gave me the no-fear attitude to make it happen.
What is your favorite mantra or quote?
“Falling down is an accident. Staying down is a choice.” – Rosemary Nonny Knight