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December 5, 2012

A Woman’s Image opens new Oakland County venue

Store provides products to help during chemotherapy

By Chris Jackett
C & G Staff Writer

» click to enlarge «
A Woman’s Image opens new Oakland County venue
A Woman’s Image co-owner Stacy Ecker sits in one of the waiting areas at the store’s second location in Royal Oak.
A custom dressing room at A Woman’s Image in Royal Oak provides a comfortable, private atmosphere for shoppers.
 

ROYAL OAK — It can be hard for those undergoing cancer treatment to find the products they want with a minimum of effort.

A Woman’s Image simplifies the process by specializing in a wide variety of products for women undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, mastectomy, lumpectomy and reconstruction surgery. Originally opened in Clinton Township in August 2006, the in-demand provider of anything from wigs to skin care products just expanded and opened a second venue at 28966 Woodward Ave. in Royal Oak Nov. 26.

“We just had so many people coming in asking if we had a second store,” said Nancy Przeklas, co-owner and mastectomy fitter. “We just really wanted to reach out and help people going through treatment. We have a lot of Karmanos patients, and then Providence and Beaumont doctors and nurses have expressed interest.”

Przeklas and Stacy Ecker, co-owner and wig cosmetologist, met in 2001 while working with cancer patients. They formed a common bond in their desire to help those struggling with cancer, as well as each having lost one parent along the way.

“I started in this because my father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer about 12 years ago,” Ecker said. “We get women from all over the area. Gals know they’re going to get high value with us. … I’ve also been seeing quite a few men over the past year or so.”

A Woman’s Image provides high-end wigs from about 14 different manufacturers and mastectomy bras from 10-12 manufacturers, providing such a variety that customers come from as far as Georgia when they need such products. Przeklas said hair-loss patients make up 25-30 percent of customers, while cancer patients consist of the majority at about 75 percent.

“We have customers who have been coming to us since 2006 when we opened our doors,” Przeklas said. “The fact that I’ve been doing it so long, I really know my products.”

Most patrons are serviced by appointment, which provides one-on-one care with Przeklas, Ecker or another associate. Another major highlight of the store is a private room where customers can try on wigs without any scrutiny from strangers watching.

“A woman could go into a room and privately remove their wigs and try on turbans and hats,” Przeklas said. “They’re made to exclusively stay secure to a woman’s head. (Ecker) can actually do a mold of someone’s head and do a headpiece.”

Despite the 1,475-square-foot Royal Oak location near 12 Mile being 825-square-feet smaller than the original Clinton Township store, the co-owners expect it to find success along Woodward Avenue. It carries all of the same products and offers the same services as the other store, just at a more convenient location for many customers. It is also just a mile south of Beaumont Hospital, about two miles north of I-696.

“I think we’re in a very good location for people to get to,” Przeklas said. “We’ve been so fortunate. Ladies will consistently just give us the kindest words they have.”

In addition to wigs and mastectomy bras, A Woman’s Image also sells hats, turbans, scarves, scalp and hair-thinning products, hot flash pajamas and mastectomy swimsuits in sizes up to 24.

“We’re more of like a one-stop shop,” Ecker said. “Just by word of mouth, I’ve been making bookings before we officially opened our doors.”

For more information, visit www.awomansimage.net or call the new venue at (248) 565-8467.

To contact the Clinton Township location at 43205 Garfield, call (586) 286-1277.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Chris Jackett at cjackett@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1110.