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Art With Heart + Method Designed for Good


By now you already know about our love for Method. This fall, they have launched a collection of two limited edition ‘Pink Your Sink‘ hand wash bottles. It’s a small but wonderful gesture, and one we think can go a long way in support of the fight against breast cancer.

It’s a sad truth that I think every woman has a story about Breast Cancer—whether they have had a personal experience, have known someone who has suffered, or simply a story that has touched their lives. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month this October, I wanted to share with you a story about one of my favorite artists: Margaret Kilgallen.

I have always felt a connection to her. I can remember the very first time I saw a piece of her artwork many many years ago. I was immediately drawn to the hand lettering and folky/vintage sensibility of the pieces. I thought she had such a cool and interesting style. I also loved that she was a grafitti artist, because there are so few women out there doing that. I had heard she was married to Barry McGee (aka TWIST) who is also an amazing artist (and graffiti artist ). I thought “Wow, they are the coolest couple EVER!” The two of them quickly rose to fame as leaders of the Mission School art movement that developed here in San Francisco in the late 90s. Both would go on to become pretty major players in the modern-day art world.

Margaret’s shows were often huge installations with massive images painted right onto the walls of the space. If you were lucky you could also spot her work throughout the city—guerilla style. Instead of the usual urban hipster angst, her influences were drawn from rural inspiration: hand-drawn signage, hobo train writing, and Appalachian banjo music:

In 2003 I became pregnant and for my birthday Greg took me to Vancouver for a little getaway. We went to the Vancouver Art Gallery which had a huge installation of her work. Surrounded by the bold, beautiful images, I was once again transfixed. As I sat on a small bench and read her bio, I was startled to realize she had passed away a few years ago. She was only 33. As tragic as it was, the story has an even more bittersweet turn. Margaret learned that she had developed breast cancer. It was at this time she also discovered that she was pregnant. As a result, she had to make the heartbreaking decision—continue with treatment or have the baby. She chose to have a child. Her little girl Asha was born on June 7. A few short weeks later on June 26, Margaret Kilgallen passed away in the arms of her husband Barry. Reading the story I was heartbroken and moved to tears. I can’t imagine having to make such a decision. And I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Barry—to lose your partner so soon after you both bring a chid into the world.

Margaret’s work is still extremely influential and so many artists have been inspired by her. Because of the nature of her work (grafitti-style and murals) there really isn’t a ton of her work flying around. We were really fortunate to purchase a piece of hers back in 2005 from Paulson Press. It was the first real “art” we have ever bought and we really treasure it.

A year ago I had my annual “lady exam” and had a brief scare with a suspicious lump. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office and suddenly felt like my world was about to unravel. We tend to take our health for granted, plowing through life. Thankfully I was fine. But many other women have a different end to their story….which is why I was so happy to hear that Method was joining in the cause to raise awareness for Breast Cancer.

Method believes in design as a force for good. It’s why they make products that are safe for people and the planet. It’s also why they’re using this season’s limited edition Designed For Good hand washes to help promote breast cancer awareness, and donating $10,000 to breast cancer research. Several organizations have been nomicated to receive these research funds, you can vote for them here.

Pop on over to see which organizations have the chance to benefit from a $10,000 gift from Method, and cast your vote! Winners wil be announced on 10/29.

As for the soaps themselve? Well, naturally they are both beautiful. And as always they come in planet friendly bottles and are available in two delicate scents: Botanical Garden and Mimosa Sun. They’re the perfect way for you to add a little sunshine to your sink during these cooler months—and of course show your support!

This post brought to you by 

but all opinions are always our own. To read more on Method’s green practices, ingredients and philosophy, go here.

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13 Responses

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  1. Karen says

    What a moving entry… I just recently discovered Margaret Kilgallen, and I wept at her story, too. What a legacy she left behind. And bravo to Method for the generosity! I already love their products and this makes me love them, more. And, of course, I love Modern Kiddo the most! xoxo

    • Dottie says

      Aw shucks! You are so sweet! And I love Margaret Klgallen too! Such a talented artist!

  2. Jody says

    How lovely! I didn’t know they were doing a pink month. Heading to Target this weekend and you can bet I’ll be stocking up. I lost one of my dearest friends to breast cancer a few years ago–in October, no less!–and another to kidney cancer just a few weeks ago. I love Method’s style and this just clinches it!

    And

  3. Eartha Kitsch says

    Her story is so heartbreaking that I can’t even put it into words – and her art is stunning. And here’s to Method for what they’re doing. That’s great.

  4. Melinda says

    This sorry is heartbreaking…hoping for an end to this horrible disease one day.

  5. Jennye says

    Wow, I had no idea that this had happened to her. What a strong, talented, inspirational woman. Great post, great tie-in to a great company doing great things.

    • Alix says

      Thank you Jennye. She’s pretty great isn’t she?

  6. Sierra Swan says

    Wow, so extremely moving and heartbreaking.

  7. fuzzymama says

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful and oh, so heart breaking story. What a self-less woman she was.

  8. kristin says

    What a great post! Yes, I really like Margaret’s work & her story is so heartbreaking. I actually looked her up & watched the Art 21 documentary after Alix posted a photo of her work on pinterest. Very cool & interesting artist & lady. Love her background as a librarian & book restorer too. You guys are always so clever & smart with your posts- this was truly brilliant & important. Thank you!

  9. Eileen says

    “It’s a sad truth that I think every woman has a story about Breast Cancer—whether they have had a personal experience, have known someone who has suffered, or simply a story that has touched their lives.”

    Beautifully written post, Modern Kiddo, about a terrible disease and the people it affects and leaves behind.

    Thank you, Method. I really liked your products before. I really love them now.

  10. sarah says

    so i found this site looking for info on margaret. your should really watch the documentary pink ribbons inc. I hardly think MK would think this was a good use of money even from a good company like method.

    • Alix says

      Thanks so much for writing Sarah…. I’m not an employee of method—this post was merely intended as a tribute to her and a reminder to keep breast cancer top of mind. We did want to promote the Pink Your Sink soaps as a means of letting people know Method was giving away $10,000 to breast cancer charities, and because we believe in Method as a company. I’ve definitely wanted to watch Pink Ribbons Inc, because I know there are a lot of businesses hopping on the “pink ribbon” bandwagon, with only dollar signs in their eyes. So thank you for reminding me about it! I love Margaret and the beauty of her work & spirit so much, but I would never assume to know what she would think. I imagine none of us will ever know.



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