Phyllis Keith is the owner and founder of Wear Ease. Wear Ease designs and supplies post-surgical and therapeutic compression garments with an emphasis on style and comfort. We got the chance to chat with Phyllis about her journey with Wear Ease and the role that companies like Pretty in Pink Boutique play in the treatment process.
What inspired you to start Wear Ease?
Phyllis Keith: I was raised on a farm, the oldest daughter of a farm family, and creativity was the backbone to getting things done. I developed my sewing skills at an early age and always wanted to be a fashion designer but instead, I got my degree in finance as a CPA and went to work for “corporate America”. I worked at Boise Cascade and Hewlett-Packard in finance, marketing, and usability. After 20 years, I wanted to go on and do something a little more creative. My sister, who is an occupational therapist, and I decided we would develop a bra for women with limited mobility. At the time she was working with stroke patients and we knew that bras were the first item of clothing that a woman gives up when she’s had a stroke because of the inability to dress herself. We worked a long time on that product and it was not very successful but it led me down the road of learning more about the special needs of women after post-mastectomy surgery.
What role do companies like Wear Ease and Pretty in Pink play in the treatment process?
PK: There’s so much more to treatment than the surgery. As far as Wear Ease is concerned, we want to provide products for people who are going through surgery and the side effects that will provide them with quality of life and day-to-day comfort. People like Pam (Pretty in Pink Boutique),her process, her fitters, and business are there to offer solutions but also that empathy and guidance through the process. They have been through that with so many different patients and they’re very good at it. In addition to providing a solution with garments and fittings, they’re providing a lot more of that day-to-day support.
How have you noticed the industry/treatment changing since you started your company versus today? What’s better? What’s the same?
PK: I think that there are so many more options for women that are going through surgery and treatment. There’s much more awareness. There’s much more openness about that treatment, and side effects. I think the survival rate is so much higher now than when we started. There’s much more known about the side effects and the longevity of those side effects. As far as the same, there’s always been great support from post-surgical specialty boutiques but the one thing that depresses me is the statistic that 1 in every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer is still the same.
Is there any advice that you would give to someone going through treatment right now?
PK: I would say find a local support group in your area and a local shop like Pretty in Pink Boutique. Get to know the owner and the fitters in that facility because they can provide you with that ongoing support and guidance.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
PK: I think if a person suspects that they have breast cancer they definitely need to seek treatment and get that support that is available out there. What I’d like to say about Wear Ease is that we have developed our product line over the years with the help of patients, medical professionals, fitters, and business owners like Pam and Steven at Pretty in Pink Boutique. As a result, we’ve designed a product line that works well for women and men who are suffering post-surgical distress and side effects like lymphedema. We have a product line that’s focused on providing compression for the torso too.
Pretty in Pink Boutique
Stop by any Pretty in Pink Boutique location to check out Wear Ease and their products!
If you or a loved one is battling breast cancer, know that Pretty In Pink Boutique provides support through it all. If you are looking for a compassionate ear that will listen or if you have questions, please reach out. Pretty In Pink Boutique is committed to your well-being the whole way through and may be able to assist or provide resources to help you or a loved one.
Please contact us via phone or email us and let us know how we can help. Call (615) 777-PINK.