Press & Features

April 29, 2009 - Komen Race for the Cure® Sleep In pillowcase

Not a walker? Sleep in and help the Komen foundation
By Sara Busse


CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Racing for the Cure doesn't appeal to your sense of community service? Maybe sleeping in for the cure is a better fit.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation of West Virginia will hold its annual "Race for the Cure" Saturday at the Capitol Complex. Rebecca Newhouse of the West Virginia Komen affiliate said some people just can't be at the walk.

"There are people who can't be here, for some reason or another," Newhouse said. "Some told us that Saturday is their only day to sleep in. So we got a sponsor, Mattress Warehouse, that will underwrite the cost of 'Sleep In' goody bags. We can give these to people who just want to donate."

That's where West Virginia native Peggy Shafer Vincent gets involved. Vincent owns Comfy Cozy, a business she runs from her home in eastern Pennsylvania. The company creates screen-printed pillowcases that glow in the dark. Typically, they are sold as gifts for children, a tool for helping scared sleepers conquer their fear of the dark.

"My sister, Jeanine Olian, called me from Charleston more than a year ago," Vincent said. Olian was involved with a team that was participating in the race, and she saw the natural fit for the pillowcases and the "sleep in" part of the event. It took months to get the product into its final stage.

"I immediately started designing in my head, and sent my ideas to Rebecca," Vincent said. "She loved it. We sent a promo to the Komen organization and they loved it, but the design had to go through the rigors of the Komen main office in Texas. They are very careful about how their logo is used.

"They call it the 'running ribbon' and you can't just slap it on and call it a product," Vincent said. "There are contractual agreements, etc., involved in using any of their logos."

After getting the colors and fonts just right, Vincent was able to sign a contract with the West Virginia organization and they bought 500 pillowcases to be put into the goody bags for all participants of the race and the "Sleep In."

Vincent sold the idea to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Komen group, and they are buying the pink-ribbon emblazoned cases for their giveaways, as well. She has the pillowcases available on her Web site, www.comfycozy.com, and will donate 10 percent of her profits to the Komen Foundation. She's also including a coupon in each goody bag offering to donate 10 percent of any Comfy Cozy sale to the Komen Foundation for walk participants who purchase from her site.

"Larger companies, like Coke, have national contracts with Komen. Smaller businesses, like mine, are encouraged to work with the local affiliates," Vincent said.

Vincent started her company in 1994 after her hand-painted, glow-in-the-dark pillowcases became a hit with her many nieces and nephews. She was pursuing a career as a children's clothing buyer for Dillard's Department Store in Little Rock, Ark., and then in St. Louis as national sales manager for Wee Ones, a children's accessories company. She would work on the pillowcases while she wasn't on her "day job," as she says on her Web site.

"I didn't have any obligations, quit my job, moved home to West Virginia and moved in with my parents at 30 years old. I basically threw caution to the wind," Vincent said. She married Scott Vincent and had two boys, Jake, who is now 11, and Luke, now 9, and continued working with Comfy Cozy as an at-home mom. The business is mainly Web-based, with some items sold by Femail Creations, a mail-order catalog of small businesses owned by women.

The pillowcases are made and printed in the United States.

The Susan G. Komen West Virginia Race for the Cure will be held in Charleston at 9 a.m. Saturday with registration from 7 to 9 a.m. To donate or to register, visit www.komenwv.com or call 304-556-4808.

Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.

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