Beautiful Lingerie For Survivors
AnaOne was founded by Dana Donofree, a breast cancer survivor. Growing up, Dana would play designer instead of house. She left her hometown near Dayton, Ohio to study Fashion Design at Savannah College of Art and Design. After college, she landed in New York City working with popular and high-end labels, however, two months before her wedding, at 28, she was diagnosed with Infiltrative Ductal Carcinoma, breast cancer. Following a bilateral mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and a grueling regimen of chemotherapy, Dana found that her body no longer fit in traditional intimates which set her on the path to create AnaOno.
W.E. How did you select the materials you use?
D.D. My product line is for women who have undergone breast surgery, often due to a breast cancer diagnosis. So, it is special and unique in the fit and the method of the design. I wanted to make sure I used materials that were soft and comfortable for women after surgery. There is often pain and discomfort from scar tissue or complications, and I want my client to be as comfortable as possible. So touch and feel are crucial, as is the stretch. Women can encounter many issues with unevenness from one breast to the other, so choosing fabrics that have multi-directional stretch is really important so the bra fits to the client, not the other way around. I've also chosen to work with bamboo, which is sustainable, eco-friendly, and incredibly light and gentle on the body.
W.E. You’re based in Philadelphia. What do you love about the city?
D.D. I am very thankful and excited to be a part of the community in Philadelphia. It has a very driven artists community that's incredibly supportive, and the community as a whole is supportive. Philadelphia has a rich textiles and manufacturing history, and the factory I work with has been in business for over 40 years. And, it was passed down to a son from his father who was also in the garment industry in Philadelphia. There is such a rich past here, just as much as the city itself, and it's even more exciting to be part of the emergence of the fashion scene here.
W.E. How are you involved locally?
D.D. Near and dear to my heart is Living Beyond Breast Cancer. Headquartered just outside of Philly, they are a great, supportive foundation that assists with giving trusted and valuable information to women with breast cancer from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. This is so important as getting diagnosed with breast cancer is overwhelming and often times scary. It is great to know there is someone you can reach out to for support. And, it gives me a chance to give back to all of those who helped me on my journey.
W.E. What is your favorite local business?
D.D. I love all local artisans with their pop-up shops and abilities to fend the cold, rain, or heat to attend festivals and bring their wares to Philadelphia. I have gotten to a point where I buy most of my jewelry and art from these fairs and pop-ups, not only to support my local artists, but because I feel like there is a hidden talent here full of beautiful work. And, the galleries that help and host these artists are great local businesses, too. It's all about looking out for one another and supporting one another no matter what your creative contribution or artistry is. It's so important to help and share other artists' missions.
About William Emerson
A Christian and patriot, William Emerson is a small town boy who enjoys football and everything American. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” - Philippians 2:3