Monday, January 29, 2018

How could this possibly happen?

This past week at the Boutique I have seen the most extreme example of rank stupidity when it comes to post breast surgery prosthesis fitting and apparell.

This is the first email that came to me...

Hello, can I please make an appointment to be fitted for a right prosthesis and mastectomy bras please? 

I have had a dreadful experience with another supplier and have a stick on prosthesis that I think is too big, it is uncomfortable and the bras are uncomfortable too, digging into the flesh under my arm on the surgery side.  I wasn’t fitted properly, just had a prosthesis and bras  thrown at me and given no choice in style, shape etc.  After I got home $650 poorer I read that you are not meant to wear stick on prosthesis until 6 months post surgery. My surgery was 24 October. 

Ideally I just want a traditional prosthesis (I can’t be bothered with one I have to scrub every night - I am a busy working parent) that matches my other breast and bras that I can stand wearing for an 8 hour work day,  and possibly swimmers and a swim form. 

I would be looking at possibly late this week (thursday or Friday) if you have anything or the week of the 23rd January. 

Many thanks for your help

Ms B

So from this email a very distressed lady came in and very tearfully asked if I could help her.

Once we were in the fitting room, she removed her top and showed me....

This lady was of small frame and had her breast removed due to cancer.  She went to another retailer (whom we shall not name) and was fitted in a bra several sizes too big for her. The "expert" then supplied her with a breast form to suit the bra. And of course it was too big for her body and much bigger than her remaining breast. So the "answer" was to supply her with a SECOND partial prosthesis to "pad out" her remaining breast, so that the bra now fitted.

If you're old enough to remember the Carry On films, then you will remember Barbara Windsor who was small with a large bust.

This lady looked liked her and cried as she told me she hated lugging all of this weight around and looking out of proportion.

I fitted her in a single prosthesis of the correct size and a bra of the correct size.. she now cried tears of joy and hugged me over and over as she now looked and felt like her old self.

How on earth could a supposedly qualified prosthesis fitter do this to this poor lady?

It's not good enough and the lady suffered for weeks as a consequence.

As I said.. we have never seen this before..  just an awful experience for a woman coming to terms with breast surgery.

We see women every week who have been poorly fitted.. and we get them sorted much to their relief.

But this takes the cake..




And today this email came to us.....

Good afternoon Debra,

I just wanted to thank you for looking after me so well on Tuesday. I wish I had just come to you in the first place! I wore my new prosthetic and bra all day after I left your store and it was comfortable all day long. When I finally took it off that night, my husband could not believe the difference in weight and size compared to the one I was originally sold.
I wore my new singlet top with the prosthetic on Thursday and got nothing but compliments. I will be so much more confident going back to work in a few weeks looking like myself!
I have recommended you to my sister and have let my breast care nurse know of my experience. I will definitely be back to purchase more bras and a swim top later on.
Thank you again for your kindness, understanding and obvious expertise!

Kind regards

Ms B.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

And so this is Christmas....

And so this is Christmas....

Paraphrasing John Lennon's famous verse...

As another year nears its end, I am taking a little time to look back over the last 12 months. It has been an interesting year for us at Spirit of Life. A couple of road trips to the bush to fit ladies who are isolated. (And thank you to all rural Queenslanders for your amazing hospitality) And another 2  -3 planned for 2018. We shall advise where and when in the fullness of time.

Refuelling on the way west!

Talking to ladies at Barcaldine prior to fitting some of them.

The boutique has been busy and is keeping Christina and me on our toes. Lovely to meet a lot of new ladies and take care of them over the year.

We made the decision back in 2012 to specialise in mastectomy and post surgical only and when ladies come in and ask "Which bras are suitable for mastectomy patients?" we simply say.. "All of them!' And they just love it!

Also just unpacked in time for summer are some new Sunmarin mastectomy swimsuits from Sunflair of Germany

Look for these on our website in the next 24 hours. now!

If there are any politicians of any party that ever read my blogs, let me tell you this. The one thing that our customers tell us when they come in.. is how concerned, no make that troubled, worried about their power bills they are. Telling people that their bills will fall by $160 a year or that you are finding ways ways for people to pay their bills off.... is not the answer.

You need to seriously find a way to lower power bills by around 40%. The pensioners use as little as they can.. but they get nailed by the fixed charges.

To ALL politicians of ALL parties.. it isn't good enough!

Families struggle to survive while the power companies vacuum up all of their cash.

On a personal level I have a birthday coming up soon and we are going with some friends on Saturday night to celebrate at a local restaurant with Christina and Mark. Looking forward to that.

And I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of our special ladies for your support this past year, your custom is appreciated.

You know, the very reason that we come to work each day, is to be here for you.

To truly help make a difference in your lives.

Christina and I and our associates are passionate about what Spirit of Life does.

Because we honestly believe that there is Life and Lingerie after Breast Surgery.

And we thank each and every one of you for your kind responses, the emails, the cards and phone calls... and the hugs. Especially the hugs!

Speaking of associates, we are pleased to announce that Glenda Harris, formerly of Amoena is now an associate of ours at the boutique and you will probably see her working here on our busier days.

Welcome on board Glenda!

Glenda and Debra

And so to Christmas... obviously we will not be open on Christmas Day as we will be enjoying the spirit of Christmas with family and friends.

However, unlike past years, we will have Christina here on the non pubic holidays between Christmas and New Year. She will be on her own as I will be out of town. So if you need anything, give her a call. If you get voice mail, it just means she is busy and will call you back. I might suggest you call her and make a booking if your time is important to you. As it stands she already has bookings for fittings during that period now.

And finally... I wish each and everyone of you a magical Christmas with your families. We look forward to seeing you all in 2018.

Take care out there.


Friday, December 8, 2017

This s NOT acceptable! Ever!

This is a note from Mark.. Debra's husband.

To the lady who drove 250 km to Debra's boutique today to buy a small form and then was upset to find we didn't have it in stock.

I would like to say.. 3 of our deliveries from Amoena were lost in transit this week making for very hard retailing for us with low supplies.

Now when you came in Debra herself was on the way to Gympie to see her ailing father, and our daughter Christina was running the shop.

Your outrageous behaviour in abusing Christina (which reduced her to tears and made her physically ill - she thew up after you left)  and throwing your prosthesis at her is totally unacceptable.

Your foul mouth with your ranting and swearing is again totally unacceptable.

Debra does not employ Christina to take such abuse.

She, like Debra is there to be of service, not to be criticised.

Your threats to tell your breast care nurse and your friends about what a terrible shop Spirit of Life is... are welcome.

QLD breast care nurses know what a great service Debra provides and will probably ignore you.

And if your friends are like you.. we don't want them in the shop either.

And so in closing.. you know who you are... from this point on we have a choice too... and our choice is to not have you as a customer.

We don't need your custom, we don't need your money and we certainly don't need your abuse.

If I had of been there I would have ordered you out of the door... on the spot.

Go and find another retailer to abuse.. you are no longer welcome, in fact you are banned for life at Spirit of Life Boutique.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Something new!

One of the great things about having your own business is that you are always working. Even on a Sunday night! Mark is down in the kitchen cooking dinner for me and I have just uploaded our new black nightie to our website. There really are pretty. Stop by and have a look. Got to go... dinner is served... apparently!

Talk soon...


Friday, November 3, 2017

Latest Mastectomy Swimsuit just in time for summer.

Just in yesterday to the store is this wonderful range called "Cairo" mastectomy swimsuits. Range is limited so get in quickly girls as of late with the warmer days our swimsuits are just running out the door.

Cairo Mastectomy Swimsuit

And don't forget your swimform to go with it!



Monday, October 30, 2017

Thank you Rockhampton...

Well back last night from a fabulously successful trip to Rocky. Mark drove us up on Friday in the Holden and on Saturday I was overwhelmed with the support from our customers in Central QLD. To a lady they were so happy to catch up and purchase replacement prostheses and bras. And the always popular Valletta Tops too!

And to all of the new customers who came along for the first time, I thank you as well. Spirit of Life has a lot of costumers in Rockhampton and it was good to bring the Boutique to you for a change.

We will be back early in 2018 if you missed out.

I would like to thank in particular Olwyn Cook who helped me to look after the "Shop" at short notice and also a really big thank you to the Cancer Council Qld, Rockhampton branch who provided the venue.  We could not have done it without you.

Set up time in the morning.

Mark brought his older brother Max along to help set up the display and then they cleared off up to Mt Morgan. Max was born there and he and Mark went around visiting Max's old haunts from his childhood while I looked after my lovely ladies.

Once again, thank you for your support ladies; we do care about those in rural places and are keen to look after you.

Max at Mt Morgan Railway Station.

And finally. a special thank you to the Park Avenue Hotel/Motel. We stayed there and the service was amazing. The meals in the hotel were of the highest quality and served by the most wonderfully friendly staff. Cannot recommend them highly enough. Will be staying there next time we are in Rocky.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

We love these letters....

"Dear Debra,
Thank you so much for the kind attention my request for Amoena products. The breast form you suggested is so comfortable and I love the pretty bras.
You even filled in the Medicare claim form and enclosed an envelope with a stamp on it to make sure I got my refund.
You are outstanding and many customers would echo my words.

Sincerely, Jean S.

One of the great rewards of looking after our special ladies is when they take the time to send us a card thanking us for our service. I truly am passionate about what we do here at Spirit of Life and our customers do appreciate it. 

Debra T