Small Business Saturday: Preventing Cancer à la Women’s Fashion

Line in the Sand, an online brand of women’s active/waterwear and accessories, created by Prevent Cancer Foundation board member Lynne Fletcher O’Brien, serves a community that understands ocean preservation and cancer prevention are essential to living your best life near and on the water. 

In observance of this year’s Small Business Saturday—a day dedicated to strengthening the mutual bonds among local merchants, innovators, entrepreneurs and the communities they serve—the Foundation chatted with O’Brien, herself a water sports enthusiast and cancer survivor, for her take on community-focused commerce and how her brand promotes sun safety.

Q: How does your company, Line in the Sand, help sun-loving women prevent cancer?

A: We have all of the accessories a woman needs to play safely under the sun, including hats, water bottles, tees and sweatshirts. Our products are made from recycled materials with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) fabrics with 50+ sun protection factor (SPF) so you can stay safer in the sun, and 100% of the profits go to ocean and cancer organizations like the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Our line is about feeling great in our bodies and focusing on what really matters – enjoying the time we have on the water and the planet.

Q: An attorney by profession, with no previous experience in either fashion or merchandising, what led you to start this company?

A: When I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), my doctors said I had to stay out of the sun. But my favorite hobbies, like sailing and paddle boarding, are almost all on the water! Despite my diagnosis, I knew I wouldn’t stop those activities, so I literally searched the globe for protective clothing. No outfits excited me, the color choices were limited and I could not find what I wanted all in one place. Since I couldn’t find what I wanted, I decided to make my own.  The company has attracted a global following of women brought together more by their ideals than their geography.

The name Line in the Sand came to me in the middle of the night. I knew we had to take a stand and just hop in the water. I wanted to “draw a line” in the sand to give back to the oceans and to cancer. This company combines all my passions with my favorite causes—it’s invigorating and exciting and I’m constantly learning.

Q: Why is your line of activewear special?

A: We are committed to having the lowest possible impact on the planet, which is why most of our products are made of recycled plastic and fishing nets. We are also committed to sun safety, as skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S. It’s also the most preventable cancer, which is where our clothing comes in.

Our clothes are made for those who are happiest when at the beach (like me) but want extra sun protection. You can one-stop shop with us for a sun-safe outfit. We offer entire outfits as well as the ability to mix and match our items so you can feel good about the way you look while protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays.  Our high-performance waterwear is proudly made with Carvico UPF fabric offering SPF 50+ so you can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about shielding yourself from the sun. Our designs and fabric are very forgiving. They provide comfort, performance and a flattering fit.

Q: What led you to work with the Foundation?

A: I was on the Cancer Moonshot Team under then-Vice President Biden, and quickly learned how well respected and impactful the Foundation is! We spend so much time raising money to fight against so many cancers, but the Foundation is the only organization totally committed to cancer prevention.

Small Business Saturday happens annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and is intended to help local community merchants thrive. For more information, visit Line in the Sand‘s website.