The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

October 16, 2013

GOTL woman honors friend with Beulah’s Bibs

GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE — A silky pink scarf embroidered with “Rose 1956-2000” is one woman’s way of commemorating a good friend in a useful and fashionable way.

“Rose was very precious and a beautiful dancer, and it’s a shame she lost her life to breast cancer,” said Nancy Mawhinney, creator of Beulah’s Bibs.

Beulah’s Bibs are silk-essence scarves that elegantly protect clothing from drips and spills while eating. The first scarves were pink for breast cancer awareness.

“The original one said ‘I got squooshed’ to encourage mammograms. It was right around the time when Rosie O’Donnell was doing a lot about breast cancer awareness,” Mawhinney said.

“I started it when my boss had a double mastectomy and then I lost a friend to breast cancer and didn’t find out right away,” she said. That friend was a professional ballerina named Rose.

Rose had a battle with breast cancer and survived, but had a reoccurrence 10 years later. She passed away in 2000, Mawhinney said.

“She always wore Tea Rose perfume, so I wanted to start a foundation called the Tea Rose Foundation to support breast cancer research and maybe a scholarship to support dance students. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m in the process,” she said.

For now, Mawhinney sells Beulah’s Bibs for $25 with a portion going to breast cancer research and charitable organizations.

“I made them so when I went to a restaurant I had a pretty scarf and my clothes wouldn’t get ruined. I fold mine up and keep it in my purse,” she said. “They wash very nicely and never stay stained.”

Her breast cancer awareness scarves are pink and embroidered with a choice of “I got squooshed,” “Survivor,” or a personalized memorial of a loved one lost to breast cancer.

In memoriam scarves are embroidered with a name and birth and death years. “If someone wants something I don’t have, they can just tell me and I’ll make it,” she said.

Mawhinney contacted the Star Beacon after seeing the call for breast cancer survivor stories. “I saw the ad and wanted to give in some way. It’s all about helping people.”

She said she would like to donate her “Survivor” scarves to the survivors whose stories have run and will run in the Star Beacon. “They can just give me a call and I’ll make arrangements to get them one.”

Mawhinney can be reached at 440-466-7303 or at her website, www.beulahsbibs.com.  She said she also makes red and white scarves for heart health called Nathan’s Helping Heart.

She said, “My grandson, Nathan, was born with a heart defect and had open heart surgery at eight days old. He had another surgery since, but he is as healthy as can be now.”

Mawhinney added, “I like scarves so it was kind of a natural thing. Scarves are useful in so many ways: for warmth, protection, just to make you feel better. Have a sunny day because you’re wearing a pretty scarf.”

She also makes aprons, banners, wall hangings, sparkly tu-tus for little girls, and super hero capes for children. Mawhinney runs Beulah’s Lakeside Inn Bed and Breakfast at Geneva-on-the-Lake.

The name that adorns all of Mawhinney’s endeavors was given to her, but not by her parents. “About 18 years ago, my daughter started calling me Beulah. It means ‘married’ or ‘the wife’ in Biblical terms.

“Beulah’s the name I can use and know it’s me, but not everyone does. It’s me but it’s not me. Some people think Beulah is an old-fashioned weird name, but I like it,” Mawhinney said.

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