Survivor's fringe benefit for cancer patients
A DUBLIN cancer survivor has set up an international company to sell headscarves with clip-on fringes for women who lose their hair through chemotherapy.
Catherine O'Sullivan, from Blackrock, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007.
The mum-of-one received chemotherapy treatment the following year and desperately searched to find something to disguise her hair loss.
"I was wondering why there wasn't something that you can put on your head, without having to mess around with yourself," she said.
"It was a devastating experience at the time and totally shook my confidence."
"If you pick up a square silky scarf, it's hard to keep on your head but these are pre-tied and you can just put it on and forget about it," she added.
Catherine went on a quest to find suitable headwear but found that there was very little available online for Irish patients.
"Having trawled the internet, I was disappointed with the range of headwear available," she said. "There was a limited range of styles and fabrics."
So she set up the company, Feelgood Scarves, which produces hats, turbans and scarves in Ireland.
The scarves are designed to look like you the wearer is just having a bad hair day or has it on for fashion reasons.
"There has been a great reaction so far," Catherine said. "A lot of former patients have come up to me and said that they wished there was something out there for them at the time they were going through chemo."
An added accessory, which can be purchased online for €15, is the clip on fringe.
When attached to a scarf or turban, the fringe gives the impression that the wearer has simply tied back their hair.
"I wanted to make sure that it was fashionable, not just utilitarian," Catherine explained. "The scarves are made from silk, cotton, jersey and a range of colours."
"I thought it would be lovely to have headwear that, apart from being comfortable, looked elegant too," she noted.
Catherine (48) is looking to expand the company internationally. "We've definitely had a lot of interest from other European countries and the UK," she said. "I'm starting an online marketing campaign to branch out further into the UK. I've looked at other European countries, and there really isn't a lot out there," she added.
Further information is available on feelgoodscarves.com.