Management Practices

Busted in Bellvue: A Personal Cause

Stacey Soble | July 10, 2011 | 2:41 PM

Like many salons, Paule Attar in Bellvue, Washington, experiences breast cancer in the most personal way-through the trials and triumphs of some of their favorite clients, many of whom were clients long before they  faced a cancer battle. On October 4, the salon's staff marched in the memory of Pauline, Lynn, Sarah, Jackie and Reine, clients who had lost their lives to breast cancer.

Busted in Bellvue: A Personal Cause
The salon team from Paule Attar in Bellevue, Washington, gears up for a 5K walk in honor of five of their clients who lost their lives to breast cancer.

For many women, one of the toughest parts of the breast cancer battle is losing their hair, because it is an outward and visible symbol of the disease living inside their bodies. "My cancer memories are vivid-every one of them. But nothing is as vivid as the feeling that suffocated me the day my hair started falling out, when it washed from my head in the shower and gathered in the drain, wound around my brush and then covered my pillowcase when I woke up the next morning," says Laurie Erickson, breast cancer survivor and author of My Breast Cancer Blog.

By joining forces with the Making Strides against Breast Cancer Society, the salon saw an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of women. Thirty-five salon staff members and their friends or family members formed the fund-raising team "Busted in Bellevue" and completed the 5K walk on an October Sunday in downtown Bellevue.

"I have never solicited our clients for any charity whatsoever, but this time I made an exception," said co-owner Heinz Mikulka. "In the 20 years I have been in the salon business, I have seen many of our female clients lose their fight with this terrible disease. This is our chance to make a difference."

Over the years, Co-owner Paule Attar used her beauty expertise to help her clients cope with their often traumatic and emotionally painful prospect of hair loss. She helped clients choose a wigs before their chemotherapy began so that the hair color and texture could be matched to their natural hair. She also helped locate and source designers who created colorful turbans, hats, head wraps and scarves, and advises clients to, "Be creative and try on many different options until you find the ones you really like."

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