Life is precious and unpredictable. Sometimes, our best laid plans turn upside down, and a new path must be discovered, step-by-step. Dallas designer Cathy Williamson knows this truth all too well, and her story of stylish survival is one we are proud to share today.
Rewind to 2012. Cathy Williamson (pictured above), Dallas native and social scene regular, experienced a light bulb moment. Or, perhaps, lighting moment is more to the point. The fashionable mom, always turned out impeccably head-to-toe, pinpointed a major washout in her covetable wardrobe – rainwear. Later that year, She Reigns was born.
Collaborating with bridal and ready-to-wear designer Richard Solodky, Williamson created a four jacket capsule collection. She Reigns aimed to combine form and function in women’s outerwear, offering a statement-making solution when rain, wind, or cold weather necessitated an extra layer of protection.
The edited range appealed to women of all ages and styles, from the moto-influenced Alex jacket to the playful Jenica coat (pictured above). Crafted of water-resistant microfiber and accented by thoughtful details – quilting, piping, hidden hoods, peplums – early reviews of She Reigns were overwhelmingly positive. Fashion blog Luella & June, for example, raved, “[The brand] recognized a hole in the market for fashion-forward rainwear, so they decided to make their own. The names of each style are just as chic as the coats themselves!”
And so, with a map to success clearly charted for her budding brand, Williamson set her sights on growing and expanding She Reigns. Unpredictable life, however, had a very different challenge in store.
One year after the launch of She Reigns, Williamson was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). The aggressive disease washed away all immediate plans as she faced three major treatments to restore her health. Prevalent in younger women, TNBC has no hormonal markers, and is believed to be environmental. Once considered a death sentence, advances in treatment now equal a greater chance of recovery from TNBC with early diagnosis.
And recover, Williamson did. Following six months of intensive treatment and focus on recovery, she received a clean bill of health. Today, with a new outlook and mission to empower women through fashion while promoting awareness of triple negative breast cancer, She Reigns celebrates its relaunch.
Online shopping is now fully enabled at SheReigns.com, with Williamson primed to promote her outerwear line after weathering a serious storm. Prices range from $70 – $298, with colors and styles to suit any fashion forecast. What’s more, in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, 25% of all sales will benefit the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. Proceeds will continue going to the charity in months to come.
This reporter is proud to call Cathy Williamson a dear friend. Her journey is one from which we can all take a lesson, and her strength and tenacity are an inspiration. As for She Reigns, we’d rock the Alex without a cloud in the sky, and we predict each style will sell out quickly. Here’s to life in all its unpredictable glory, and to those who remind us to treasure each precious step of the journey.
Lead image and Cathy Williamson headshot, credit Thomas Garza photography. Additional images via SheReigns.com.