NEWPORT NEWS– In a shopping center off Warwick Boulevard adjacent to Richard T Yates Elementary School, there is a boutique specializing in products and resources for women who are in the process or recovering from a mastectomy.
“I wanted this to be more of a shopping experience instead of medical care,” said Teresa Kelly, manager of Silhouette Mastectomy Boutique.
“Silhouette Boutique is a unique shopping experience in women’s health care. Our goal is to prepare a woman for pre and post surgery by providing education, quality products and exceptional customer service.”
Even though Robb, who is certified in orthotists and prosthetist, and Beach own the boutique, Kelly runs the day-to-day operations.
“I’ve been in the health care for pretty much my whole life,” Kelly said and added her mother had breast answer when she was in elementary school.
Kelly, who has worked at the shop for 11 years said the staff is ‘so swamped all of the time’ from walk ins to appointments. Clients range from in their teens to 100 years old.
The boutique is bright, sunny and has a nice feel to it, with soft, silvery colored walls with pops of teal and hot pink, Kelly said. It has everything from bras, bathrobes and beach bags to wigs, hats and jewelry.
“Most women are kind of over pink when you talk to them about breast cancer,” Kelly said.
Another service the boutique provides? Custom breast forms, an alternative to reconstruction surgery.
“When someone has their breast removed, it’s not always flat,” Kelly said, adding sometimes there is residual tissue or lump and clients can get infection from breast implants.
The boutique uses the latest products to create ultra light and soft breast forms by taking a picture of the client’s chest wall. The forms take about five weeks to arrive at the store and they can even match the client’s skin tone.
While the shop is mainly geared toward women in pre- or post breast removal, Kelly noted the boutique provides bras for all women from sizes 32AA to 52II. Bras costs anywhere from $8-20 with insurance and $42 without insurance.
“Women that don’t have breast cancer have a hard time finding a good fitting bras,” Kelly said.
Next spring, another boutique will open at the Sentara Princess Anne Hospital, right next to the cancer center in Virginia Beach.
Silhouette Mastectomy Boutique, 12715 Warwick Blvd. is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are encouraged. For more information, visit the boutique’s website or call 757-930-0139.