Take a peek inside Judy Mason's heart and you may find a pink surprise. That's because the Centerville business owner is changing lives one person at a time.
Her passion is her store, Color Me Pink, which offers women in the community a place to come for breast forms, custom-fit bras, wigs, hats, swimsuits and accessories. But she admits she tries to give her clients more than just the tangibles.
"It's a ministry to me," said Mason, who has made Warner Robins her home since the mid-1970s. "It's just overwhelming to help somebody."
Many who come to her store are cancer survivors, women who are about to have surgeries or who are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer and other illnesses. Her store is a personal, intimate space where customers can come into a non-medical setting.
Women both young and old, from all walks of life, have entered through her doors since the business began in 2007. Mason had a small storefront on Russell Parkway, but six months later relocated to her current site at the Galleria Pointe.
With a small dressing room at the back of the store, she helps women try on various bras and breast forms. She works to give them back what cancer took away. Often that is a woman's dignity and pride.
There's also a donor closet at the back. It's a place where you can come to find gently used items.
"When people come in, everybody can have something," Mason believes.
Hats are also displayed around the store, and wigs to satisfy those who have lost their hair to disease or the treatment of disease. Pink and silver jewelry, frilly purses, scarves, stickers, and various lines of Save the Tatas T-shirts are everywhere. A tall pink Christmas tree also greets customers near the door.
This past December Mason began offering custom-bra fittings for women of various sizes. One line of bras is located along one wall, with sizes up to 50M. She can also make bra modifications as needed.
The Ohio native, though not a cancer survivor herself, knows how it affects families. And now with her store and word getting out, she stays involved in the community to spread awareness, while at the same time offering a bit of love and compassion.
After donating casseroles to cancer survivors last Thanksgiving and Christmas, she had an idea. Why not compile a cookbook with recipes from cancer survivors across the midstate? And then why not give those proceeds to the American Cancer Society? The book's title - Angels of Life.
Mason doesn't stop there though. She has also founded a support group for cancer survivors called Standing Up for Cancer. The group meets at her store the third Thursday of the month at 11:30 a.m. Lunch is provided.
Many may know Mason from her role as a former president of the Warner Robins Civitan Club, but she had to give up her duties to spend more time at the store. But look for her at Relay for Life functions and various other community events. Be on the lookout as she puts together another fall breast cancer bunko in town.
It's through her faith in God that she admits how she can listen to the powerful stories of the women she comes in contact with every day. The ones from the mouths of young mothers who are scared, the older women who are newly diagnosed, and the ones who need a listening and sympathetic ear.
Her business is more than just a physical place she comes to every day. It is an avenue for her outreach projects and a place to make a difference.
(Editor’s Note: If you'd like to learn more about Color Me Pink, the store is located at 100 N. Houston Lake Blvd., in the Galleria Pointe shopping center across from Galleria Mall. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Friday and Saturday evenings by appointment. Also, you may visit www.colormepink.net
To submit your recipe for the cookbook, please include with your recipe, your name, date you were diagnosed and phone number, and email or mail your information to the store. Recipes may also be faxed to 971-1646.)