A Ray of Hope: Introducing the Nancye Belle Hope Scarf

Courtesy Photos

By Laura Ross  |  Fashion

It’s a statement accessory that truly makes a statement. Wrapped in a riot of pastels and fresh inspiration, a new scarf is providing hope in the fight against cancer. Hope Scarves, which provides scarves, stories and hope to people facing cancer, launched its first signature scarf, the Nancye Belle, this month.

Louisvillian Lara MacGregor, founder of Hope Scarves, was 30 years old and seven months pregnant when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. She was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer in 2014. In 2007, a mutual friend mailed MacGregor a box of head scarves with a note saying, “You can do this!”  It was a heartfelt gift that led to the creation of Hope Scarves, a Louisville-based nonprofit serving people facing cancer. To date, Hope Scarves has distributed more than 6,000 scarves and survivor stories to all 50 states, 13 countries and women battling many types of cancer, ranging in age from 5 to 93.

The new, one-of-a-kind Hope Scarves signature scarf was designed by Louisville artist and friend of Hope Scarves Melanie Park. “Melanie wanted to reflect the love and spirit of Hope Scarves,” says MacGregor. “Her design was inspired by the colors in our logo, and she also wove in the words ‘hope, stories, scarves and research’ which are the pillars of our mission.” Sales will benefit Hope Scarves and help provide funding for metastatic breast cancer research.

“We named the scarf in memory of Nancye Belle, who passed away in 2003,” adds MacGregor. “Her family commissioned this scarf in her honor and we are thrilled to see it come to life and help support those like Nancye, who fight cancer every day.”

Hope Scarves partnered with Echo Design of New York, a well-known fashion accessory design house, for exclusive rights to produce the scarves.   

“We are very lucky to connect with Echo,” says MacGregor. “Our relationship began thanks to connections from a friend of a friend. Not only do they bring nearly 100 years of high-end fashion style and knowledge, but they are paying it forward now with support to Hope Scarves. It’s all about the relationships we build along the way to help people face cancer.” Echo Design provided the scarf production and recently donated more than 400 Echo Design scarves of all kinds to Hope Scarves for the organization’s general scarf distribution to cancer patients and families.

Echo Design was founded in New York in the early 1920s and is now a major designer and retailer of high-end fashion accessories, bags, beachwear and home design. Their custom line includes some of the most prestigious names in the retail and museum worlds, including Coach, Brooks Brothers and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Hope Scarves captures the stories of courageous women who have faced cancer, along with the headscarves they wore during treatment. The scarves are then dry-cleaned through a partnership with Highland Cleaners. The scarves, survivor stories and scarf-tying instructions are then passed along to another woman facing cancer, spreading a message of hope.

The Nancye Belle scarves benefiting Hope Scarves are available in 20×72 oblong and 32×32 square versions and retail for $32. The scarves can be purchased online at
hopescarves.org, at Hope Scarves’ St. Matthews office on Sherrin Avenue or at any Nanz & Kraft Florists location.

“Wear and share a little hope for all this spring,” says MacGregor. “Cancer support comes in many forms. Anyone can wear a Nancye Belle scarf, and I’d love to see these Hope Scarves everywhere at Derby time and also throughout the year.” VT