Business helps women dealing with hair loss after chemotherapy
Angels have a way of showing in the unlikeliest of places, and in the unlikeliest of times, but sometimes, they need a little push from God.
Most of the ladies who've come into contact with Sherri Stephens would say she falls into that category.
Since 2008, Stephens has owned and operated Crowns of Glory, an establishment that specializes in helping women who are dealing with hair loss after being treated for cancer.
In 2007, Stephens was with a friend who was going through chemotherapy. The friend needed help choosing a wig.
She watched her friend's demeanor change when she found the right wig, and it was then she knew.
"God just made it real clear to me," said the former interior designer. "At that point, I knew what I was supposed to do."
She got a job working in her new chosen field, but seemed to run into difficulties.
Undaunted, she decided to learn more.
She traveled to Chicago where she took classes, and ultimately opened her own business.
"My main goal was to help women with the needs they have as they were going through cancer," Stephens said.
She knew she would need to carry wigs, but she needed also to research the different types of skin moisturizers, and mastectomy wear and mastectomy prosthetics.
"I didn't just want to be a wig shop," she said. "That's not what this was supposed to be."
In a short time, Stephens had opened her first small boutique-style shop in Cypress.
Summer Perkins, 35, was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on March 1, 2011, and within days of beginning chemotherapy, had lost most of her hair.
Through a friend, Perkins learned of Stephens' business, and her one-on-one touch with her clients.
"She was wonderful. She made me feel very comfortable," Perkins said. "She is just all joy. She was not just a sales girl, she was an educator."
Although Perkins admits she was nervous, and even a little scared when she came to Stephens' business, she left that day a lot more confident, and with a smile on her face.
"She has been such a blessing," Perkins said.
Like Perkins, Robbie Bily was also diagnosed with breast cancer and began losing her hair shortly after she began chemotherapy in February.
During her chemotherapy, Bily, 54, saw a woman who was undergoing the same treatment, but had a full head of hair.
"It looked so natural, I had to ask her if she was wearing a wig," Bily said.
When the woman told her it was a wig, Bily had to know where to go.
A few days later, Bily arrived for her first consultation with Stephens.
"It was incredible," Bily said. "She reassured me and told me it was going to be OK."
Even months after her first visit with Stephens, Bily was moved to tears.
"The relief that she gave me …s he made this part of the journey really easy," she said. "It was just one less thing I had to worry about."
Of course, the faith that Stephens demonstrated to Bily made all the difference, which left her believing she had really been touched by an angel.
"She has a faith that walks hand-in-hand with my faith," Bily said. "I am one of those people who gets to go through this journey and how I respond to it, how I react to it, how I embrace it, is going to be a testimony to other people who go through the same thing. Her faith was in line with mine and that made this that much richer."
Stephens said each client who walks through her door takes her back to the very beginning, because it allows her to see the changes that come when these women try on those wigs and regain a bit of their old selves in the process.
It's a tough business to be in, Stephens said, but she can't help but smile when she can take a moment and think of her clients.
"This is an emotionally exhausting job," she said, "but it is the most rewarding thing I could ever imagine doing with my life."
Crowns of Glory
ADDRESS: (2 LOCATIONS) 13611 Skinner Rd., Ste 270, Cypress, TX
6601 Cypresswood Dr., Ste 122, Spring, TX
OWNER: Sherri Stephens
WHAT They ARE SELLING: Quality wigs, Surgical wear, mastectomy bras, and skin care products.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "…a boutique of hope."
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