WILLIAMSBURG — Victorious Images, a little inconspicuous boutique off of Richmond Road, has reached the end of its journey after ten years of providing care for patients in need of fitted garments following their mastectomies.
“I don’t want to give it up, but it’s time,” said Nancy Lewis, owner of the beloved store.
Lewis added that her husband retired back in December, and, between the challenges of COVID-19 and the cost of insurance, the timing seemed perfect for closing this chapter.
Before opening Victorious Images, Lewis worked as a receptionist in the office of Dr. Terryl Times for two years. She said that during her time working there, the hospital would partner with a company out of Richmond, which would come into the office once a week in order to fit patients for their post-operative garments. What made these garments different from their off-the-rack counterparts was that they were made with pockets to hold drains and provide more comfort for the wearer.
Lewis noticed that many patients had trouble making these appointments, and some had to drive as far as Norfolk just to get fitted.
“I said to myself, ‘It’s about time Williamsburg had something for these women’,” she said.
It was then that she founded Victorious Images. This private, homey boutique was a place where customers could have all of their post-operative garment needs met under one roof in Williamsburg. Lewis provided everything from compression stockings, sleeves, gloves, and gauntlets, to post-mastectomy swimwear, bras and breast prosthesis.
She designed her store to feel more like a home, including a private fitting room, couches, and vanities. Lewis said that her goal over the years was to make her clients feel as comfortable as possible during what was the most challenging time of their life.
“I always try to treat my clients like they’re my best friends,” she said. “I want them to feel like they can come in, relax, talk, or cry if they have to. I’m a nurturer.”
And the effect Lewis has had on her clients is evident throughout the store.
One customer gave her a framed drawing of a mandala. Another gifted a casting made before her mastectomy, which is hand decorated in intricate henna artwork. Lewis said that though that customer has since passed away, a piece of her remains in the store. Lewis feels that the cast cheers on other people in their own battles.
Lewis provides an extra touch of care for her clients as a one-woman operation. She has run the shop by herself for the past decade, with it being the only one in the area that offered compression sleeves.
She tried selling the business, but when no buyers were interested, she made the difficult decision to close, with the doors permanently shuttering on April 15.
“I’m not sure where my customers will go now, but I hope something else comes along to fill that need,” she said.
Once Lewis retires, she said that she plans to travel around the country with her husband.
Their first stop will be to visit their son in Colorado.
Victorious Images is located at 7191 Richmond Road, Ste E. It is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturdays by appointment only and closed on Sundays. The final day for the store will be April 15.
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