On the eve of her 28th birthday, Dana Donofree was diagnosed with breast cancer. In an instant, her life changed forever.
Although her road to recovery was long and painful, the Philadelphia entrepreneur drew insight from her experience and started a business to help other breast cancer patients and survivors.
“After going through all of the surgeries and treatment,” Donofree says, “it came to a point when I started to realize that my clothes were fitting me differently. Some things just weren’t fitting me.”
When she broached the subject with doctors, they told Donofree to get used to wearing camisoles and sports bras.
“That wasn’t an answer I wanted to hear. I didn’t want to live the rest of my life in a sports bra,” she says. “After I started researching the market, talking to more women, and putting surveys out there, I realized that I’m not the only person whose underwear doesn’t fit them anymore. That’s when I came up with the concept of starting the lingerie line and providing an alternative and a sexy option to women [who] have gone through these surgical procedures.”
In 2013, Donofree launched AnaOno, a practical and stylish line of lingerie made specifically for women who’ve had breast cancer.
“Our bras are unlike anything you will find on the market today,” she explains on the company’s website. “They offer comfort, unique fit, beauty, and allure to make sure you feel your very best.”
From day one, local customers have embraced Donofree’s quality products. “I have a really fantastic base in Philadelphia,” she says. “There are a lot of young survivors in the area. Everyone has been super helpful and supportive in the process.”
“Because we’re a small business and a niche company, we rely on grassroots, word of mouth, and social media marketing to promote our products,” her entry reads. “Small Business Local Buzz will significantly help us kick off our initial launch into the marketplace and spread our message that, with AnaOno, you are never alone.”
Donofree learned today that QuickBooks is awarding her small business a customized marketing package worth $5,000.
“Marketing, to me, is a huge part of the success of the business,” she says. “So I’m really hoping that with the video and the email template and even with the social media — because social media is so big in the breast cancer community — that this will help give me that push out, so that it’s not just a local business. I want to reach women across the nation and, hopefully, worldwide. [I want] to get this product in as many hands as I possibly can.”
Donofree adds that “it would be a natural extension to start sending the product to Europe, Australia, Asia, and wherever women with breast cancer are.”
Check Out the Buzz
QuickBooks’ Small Business Local Buzz campaign is announcing one winner a day through March 28. To learn more about the campaign and those vying for an epic marketing boost courtesy of QuickBooks, click here.