Thursday, November 27, 2014

Summer is coming.. check these out...

Well although summer doesn't start until this Sunday.. the high temps are here already. A great time to cool off in the pool or at the beach. And this year we again have a very limited supply of German Sunflair mastectomy Swim  Wear.  And they have matching Pareos too!

Aren't these just stunning?

But get in quick.. once they're gone.. well they're gone!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

A special visitor

After last night's meal with Ronnie, today we spent more time with him at Spirit of Life here at Clayfield. And it is interesting that when we gave him feedback he was instantly on the phone to Amoena's factory for comments.

Now that is truly impressive. 2015 will see some brilliant new products from Amoena... and we are really excited to be in a partnership with them that will allow us to offer our special ladies only the best in range and products. Stay tuned!

Debra T

Glenda, Ronnie, Roxanne & Debra.

Good news, better news and a great night out...

For the last 10 years since I purchased Spirit of Life (having previously been the manager) we have built our product range around the Amoena brand. It is my firm belief that Amoena are the front runners in the design and manufacture of prostheses.

The engineering  and design behind every product is amazing.. and put simply, they pass the hug test. Nobody knows you are wearing a prosthesis when they hug you.

Just last august I spent time at Amoena headquarters in Raubling, Germany to see what was new and discuss some ideas that I had re product design. And they are very receptive to feedback.

Moving right along, Ronnie their CEO is currently visiting Australia and we have been to Melbourne to see him. This week, he is in Brisbane to see Spirit of Life for himself. Amoena are the largest player in the market with a share of 52% after nearly 40 years in business. They got to be this way by building a better product and taking a positive approach to women's health, post breast surgery.

Amoena's product line up for the next 2 years is amazing. From 2015 you will see those products being rolled out and.. available at Spirit of Life Boutique. Nowhere else in Australia will you find such a variety of Amoena products than at Spirit of Life Boutique.

So what are you waiting for? Come and visit us and see a wonderful world of colourful, post breast surgery lingerie and swimsuits. Plus.. those amazing breast prostheses!

Last night we played tourist guide and had dinner with Ronnie, Roxanne (Amoena's Melbourne based Australian CEO) and of course Glenda our supportive Amoena rep here in Brisbane. And of course.. Mark was there with a camera .. again!


Roxanne, Ronnie, Glenda and Debra in front of our famous bridge!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Hunt for Pink October

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And October every year, we get involved in a round of fund raising activities to help this important cause. Brisbane North Chamber of Commerce host a Breast Cancer Breakfast every year as do the Lido Restaurant in Ascot run a lunch and a lot of other organisations. The idea behind all of these is fundraising and a lot of fun along the way.

Here at the Boutique, we always make it a point of attending at least one every week during the month when we can .. and always take a gift voucher to the various raffles.

And as usual.. Mark is there with me.. and with his camera. A great month all around!

With Councillor Norm Wyndham at BNCC breakfast.
With Dr Jane Propsting at the Lido lunch.
Dressed in Pink for a fund raiser dinner at Coorparoo College
The lovely Sandy from Cancer Council Qld and her husband Scott at Coorparoo.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sometimes you need to take 5 minutes out of your day.

Hurrying around getting ready for work this morning when I hear Mark calling from the studio. Seems he is trying to set it up for a shoot today and Chloe our dog is in his way. Can I come and remove the pooch?

Well.. yes I can.. but then.. how about a quick photo first.  This is the stuff memories are made of.. and it only took 5 minutes from what will be a busy day...

Chloe after a haircut with me.

Friday, October 10, 2014

It's October again, breast cancer awareness month.

As every October comes around, I always pause to reflect on the women who soldier on with their breast cancer journey. At a breakfast this morning hosted by the Brisbane North Chamber of Commerce (of which I am a member) a speaker from Cancer Council QLD was saying that the 5 year survival rate for breast cancer is now 97%.

An amazing figure. But it still means that 3% will not be here.. and my heart goes out to them and the ones they leave behind! Never mind, I want to be positive.. it is October and we will be attending several fund raisers this month, including one run by Bev from The Lido Restaurant in racecourse Road at Ascot. Check out Lido on Face Book and get yourself along there. It will be lots of fun and is f course, all for a good cause.

Councillor Norm Wyndham at our display this morning.

And my good mate Bev from the Lido in Ascot.

Whichever fundraiser you attend the month (and there are many) dig deep as 1 in 8 women will be affected by breast cancer. We need to nail this disease once and for all! Surely it can be done!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wow! 10 years ago today.....

With September being such a busy month at the Boutique, we nearly forgot today, October 1. You see it was 10 years ago today that Mark and I purchased the shop from its previous owners. Before that I had been managing the boutique and when the opportunity arose.. well Mark said "Go for it girl!"

And as today has rolled along we have had a few special guest drop in to say hello, including our bank manager (the cheque is in the mail Aaron) and councillor David McLachlan, our local government representative in the area. Here's looking forward to another 10 years.. then perhaps retirement. Or perhaps.. not!

Me with Aaron Sayers our Bendigo Bank Manager.

David McLachlan (who opened the Clayfield shop in 2012)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wow.... are we rocking and rolling !

Ladies we just have just 3 days left in our Spring promotion at the boutique. Purchase any 2 Amoena bras and receive a 15%  factory rebate discount.

Glenda from Amoena popped in to see us today!

And have we been busy. More ladies have been through our store this September than any September in the past. And we still gave 3 opening days to go! Make sure you don't miss out... come in ASAP!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Have you had a lumpectomy? Then this is important.

Fresh back from Amoena in Germany I have had a couple of disturbing cases in the boutique. Two ladies who have had lumpectomies, who had visited the discount lingerie shops on Brisbane's north side. Here they had been fitted in underwire bras and these had caused them damage with severe bruising.

When you have had any type of breast surgery, you need to wear a special post operative bra. The specialists at Amoena in Germany understand this and design bras especially for you to wear to provide support and minimise any discomfort to you.

Ordinary bras just will not do this!

And.. because they had been sent to these shops by well meaning (but ill informed non experts who don't understand what is needed) they have missed out on the opportunity to be fitted with a partial prosthesis.

A partial prosthesis? Yes.. depending on the size of the lump or lumps removed by your surgeon, partial prostheses can balance you up again so that you have equal weight for both breasts (stops shoulder pain) and give you that pre surgery look again.

Did you know that all of the partial prosthesis can be claimed 100% refund from Medicare if you have a Medicare card. (Ring us for details)

Once you are past the post operative stage and have recovered, we can provide you with pretty feminine matching sets of the most stunning bras and briefs especially made for women who have had breast surgery. And we are talking quality lingerie here too!

How pretty is this? A sample of our range!

Finally, it is a fact that no other retailer in Australia carries as much of the Amoena post surgery range of prostheses, bras, swimsuits and leisure wear than Spirit of Life Boutique. We have regular clients from as far away as Japan, New Zealand and all corners of Australia who visit us for their post breast surgery range. Why don't you visit the boutique and discover for yourself why these women make us their first stop when they arrive in Brisbane?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's that time of year....

Yes spring is literally days away. And soon you will find your copy of our Spring/Summer newsletter in your mail box. And I hope we get some warm weather to go with spring this year. This August has been most cold.  This edition has some of the most colourful swimwear I have ever seen. And I am just back from Amoena in Germany where I have been discussing textiles and new seasons products with Catarina.

Deb and Catarina at Amoena in Germany

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Some days.. you could walk on air!

Working away on our next newsletter and this email pooped up in my inbox.

Hi I rang yesterday and spoke with Christina - What an asset she is to your business!!!

She talked me through my purchase and helped me along the way - which resulted in my purchase of two prosthesis and one bra!!

Today at 1.35 pm in Adelaide  I recieved my purchase - I was amazed - what great service!!  The fact that I only ordered about 3pm made it even more surprising!! And postage was free for me - although I was aware  that your business paid over $50.00.

In this day & age, good customer service is sadly lacking - but your business should be commended for your staff and your prompt delivery of the goods.

Many thanks

Sharyn M

It just made my day. Our small team try so hard to be good at what we do.. and to get this back from a customer has made our day. Even tonight I am walking on air!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Did you get the latest "Amoena Life"

Amoena have mailed out their "Amoena Life" magazine. You should have a copy now. In their you will find the new Karla and Pauline range of mastectomy bras.

Well we now have the best stocks of these in Australia of these two lines. Order yours now on-line or come into the boutique to be professionally fitted by either Debra or Christina.

Click on the links above to view them!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Breast Prostheses; getting back to being your old self again

There is a wide selection of Breast Prosthesis on the market in all different shapes and sizes.
This is because no two women are  the same shape or size.
 Some women have a lumpectomy and some have full mastectomies; so we have all kinds of breast prosthesis to cater for everyone.
Also the breast prosthesis come in different weights and it depends on each individual as to which one they need.
The breast prosthesis needs to be fitted to you for the first time as we try to match to your own remaining breast.
If you have had a lumpectomy, you will still need to be fitted so that the Partial breast prosthesis can fill in the part that has been removed.
The breast prosthesis is hand made up of a silicone and oil to give a natural look that is soft like your own breast. And we have the latest breast prosthesis that is 30% lighter than the normal breast prosthesis.
Also it Comfort+ temperature -equalizing material absorbs, stores and releases heat to maintain a balance between the breast form and your body.
There is also available a contact Breast Prosthesis. This is a popular one with our ladies as you can wear it attached to your chest wall. The advantage to this is you can wear it also in the pocketed bra so you have a choice.
Once you have been fitted with a breast prosthesis you will feel and look a lot more like your old self again. 



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It made me think...

These past few weeks have been extraordinarily busy at the Boutique. And we have seen a lot of ladies from all over QLD, Australia and a few from New Zealand and South East Asia. The one thing they all tell me in common is that they cannot get any variety in mastectomy bras, prostheses and swimsuits in their own home town. Often they are shown a picture in a catalogue and told their prosthesis or whatever will be in next week. Or.. worse still.. this is what you need (meaning that this is all we have fro sell you!) and these ladies have ended up with a prosthesis that is too big, too small or incorrect in the projection for their particular use.

Now there are times when we get caught short of stock too... but for 95%+ of our customers we have just what they need on the shelf. A common comment is.. "I just cannot believe the variety and quantities you have on offer!" Well I guess that is because we are a 100% mastectomy shop. It's what we do. As I thought about this I had a bit added to our website.. I have reproduced it below.

"And finally, if you are from out of town, remember Debra carries more varieties and stock of mastectomy goods than any other lingerie shop in Queensland. Why should you wait for your item to come in from somewhere, because your local shop doesn't normally stock it? More often than not, you can walk in and walk out with just what you may need at Spirit of Life Boutique.  If you're from out of town, let Debra know you are coming and she will take care of you!  When you do make the journey to her Boutique, you will find as countless others have done before you that it will be worth your while."

Just a small selection of our mastectomy bras!

So if you are reading this in the country ( or another country) .. make the trip. You'll be so glad you did.



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The black Valletta T shirt is back!

Yes girls.. the fabulous Valletta T shirt with bilateral prostheses pockets is back at last. A really well made item.. they were very popular last time around.

Looks good!

A new Valletta mastectomy fashion top in Magenta

Hi ladies.. just in is this stunning new mastectomy top in black or magenta. Dress it up or dress it down you will always look smart in one of these.


Have a look at my video here!

At last.. a strapless mastectomy bra.

After years of asking our manufactures to design and make one.. at last it's here. Yes the new strapless mastectomy bra is now in stock. These are much more popular than even we imagined with a lot of ladies taking them home from our boutique.

No straps! Magic!

These bras are convertible and you can wear them in different ways. have a look at my video here!

Monday, April 7, 2014

New info video

Hi there.. just finished a short video on our new breast prosthesis. This new prosthesis is the most popular we have ever sold. With over 100 going out the doors in March alone. In fact we had to fly extra stocks in fresh from Germany to keep up with the demand. Watch the video and then come and try one for yourself .. you won't believe  the difference!

Have a look.. HERE.



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What a Mastectomy Bra Means to the One Wearing

A mastectomy is partial or total removal of a breast, usually as treatment for breast cancer. This leaves one with a physical scar and an emotional one that may take a while to heal. A mastectomy bra strives to make life as normal as possible for those that successfully went through a mastectomy.
To most people it may look like any other bra and well, nothing to see there, right? Not quite. A mastectomy bra is more than just a part of lingerie. It symbolizes a lot to the wearer than the public realizes.
The bra is a symbol of hope. It reminds you that you have gone through the worst of a great battle and survived it. It shows you that the best is indeed yet to come and you can stand tall looking forward to it.
Women are known to be resilient beings. A woman who survives the cancer treatments is much stronger than your average woman. This is because the treatments are intense and can really drain you. You may have broken down a few times through the journey but the fact that you are able to put on such a bra means that you are a conqueror.
The bra has pockets that allow you to place your prosthesis. Growing up with regular breasts and walking with prosthetic breasts are two very different experiences. With prosthetic breasts you may feel more self-conscious, like the first time your breasts started showing. 

Being able to wear this bra is testament to the fact that you have moved to another level in your life where you are now comfortable in who you are and what you look like. It is evidence enough that you have gathered the courage to face your fears and are well on your way to winning.          

Monday, March 31, 2014

Special Bras for Special Women

Cancer is a disease that takes a lot away from the patient. The battle is usually tough and draining therefore anyone who survives is considered a hero in many ways. Breast cancer is no different. Most breast cancer survivors have had to get a mastectomy.
A mastectomy refers to the removal of all or part of a breast usually with the intention of cutting out cancerous growths or cells in the breast. This is a traumatizing experience for any woman because like most women, you probably took great pride in your breasts as you were growing up.
Getting back to wearing your bra after you have fully recovered from breast surgery may be heartbreaking since you will not be able to wear it anymore and it will serve as a painful reminder of your ordeal.
Lucky for you, there are bras that are made specifically for those women that have undergone a mastectomy. These bras look like your everyday bras. They feature soft padding for added comfort. The best feature is of course the fact that they have pockets where one can place prosthetic breasts. This ensures that they stay in place.  
Mastectomy bras are very hard to come by since they are not used by many people as compared to normal bras. When you do come across one, you may get all excited and forget the important thing which is comfort. Make sure it fits you well at the cup and all round. 
Some can be strapped from the back as usual and some both back and front. They are pretty much like your old bras. It may take a while before you feel comfortable walking around in prosthesis but once you do you will stop feeling self conscious.
New from Spirit of Life is this pretty strapless mastectomy bra

Going through breast surgery is no mean fete and so you deserve all the beautiful things on the earth that could make you happy and feel like a princess. A mastectomy bra is among those things.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Choosing a Mastectomy Bra

Choosing a Mastectomy Bra
 Bras are important to every woman because of their purpose. They have to be able to perform their duty well. Mastectomy bras are no different. If anything, you need to be more careful when choosing this bra. More and more designs are being released, making the selection process a little difficult especially for the newbie.
This process can be made much easier if you visit a certified mastectomy bra fitter. They will know where to start from. Here are a few of the things they will look at.
Band size
This is basically the width of your chest under your breasts. It should fit well but not be too tight. You should be able to fit two fingers between the band and your skin.  
This is very important. An uncomfortable bra can make your day very crappy. Sometimes it could even lead to a backache so be careful. Fit all your bras beforehand and ensure they are a proper fit.
How does it look under your clothes?
Just like any other bra, it should complement your look and not ruin it. You can carry revealing clothes when you go for your fitting so that you get an idea of how it will look if you choose to wear something naughty or an exquisite dinner dress.  
Those that have had a single breast removed will have to ensure that the prosthesis doesn’t move around in the bra. This happens when the cup size is not right. The pockets in the bra keep it in place and also absorb sweat.
One who has had a double mastectomy on the other hand has more leeway. They can choose to transform themselves with a new cup size but within the limits of their body frame. 
These bras come in many different types. Some have lace, plain, halter top, underwire, racer back and even strapless. There is so much variety to get you back to feeling sexy in your clothes again.    


Saturday, March 8, 2014

I have never seen this before...

If you have received one of our latest newsletters then you will know about our new prosthesis from Amoena. In the 12 years of my time at Spirit of Life I have never seen a product that is so popular. This first week of March we have sold over a month's worth of them.

From page 3 of our newsletter.

The ladies just love them... if you want to know more. please ring me on (07) 3511 4222 and arrange to come and try one for yourself. I would advise making an appointment as we are simply over run with ladies wanting them at the moment so you may have a long wait without an appointment.

Take care ladies.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

How sweet it was...

Just off the plane from Melbourne. Great to catch up with Amoena and learn what is new. And also to attend my cousin's wedding. Cathy is a breast cancer survivor of nearly 12 years now.. and one of the main reasons I get so passionate about what we do at Spirit Of Life. On saturday Cathy married her sweetheart Allan at a great family wedding held at her parent's home in Aberfeldie.

It was so good to see this wonderful woman getting on with her life after raising 2 wonderful girls from her first marriage almost on her own. With over 40 years experience shooting weddings under his belt, my other half Mark was the obvious choice to cover the wedding as a wedding present for the happy couple. There is life after breast cancer ladies.. put one foot in front of the other each day and you will get back to a normal and happy life.

Cathy is proof of this!

Debra with Cathy on  her wedding day last Saturday

Thursday, February 20, 2014

On the way to a wedding of someone special

A quick note from the Virgin Lounge at Brisbane airport as I wait for my flight to Melbourne. Tomorrow I have meetings with the good folks from Amoena. But instead of coming home tomorrow night, I am staying over for my cousin's wedding.

A very special wedding as 12 years ago Cathy was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following surgery and all the usual treatments she is a fighting fit mother of two beautiful young ladies. And tomorrow she ties the knot with a  really nice bloke. I wish them much happiness and a long happy and healthy life together.

I persuaded Mark the wedding pro photographer to come out of retirement and cover the day for them. He has been only to happy to oblige .

Got to go... They 're calling my flight

Friday, January 31, 2014

2014.. it's here! And what am I doing?

Well.. here it is a new year just started. As January comes to a close i am still thinking that I need to put way the XMAS decorations. Yes.. they are down.. but on the bed in the guest bedroom. And just another thing to do on the weekend.

At present we are cleaning out our home as we prepare to put it on the market. After all these years in Mark's family.. 56 this Easter… it is time for us to downsize to a newer, more modern home in the local area. It has been a wonderful family home with 4 double and 2 single bedrooms. In fact enough room for Mark to run his studio and gallery from home.

Speaking of Mark.. he is deep in the production of our next newsletter which should be in your letterbox the first week of March. (Good Lord willing and if the creeks don't rise) There is a lot of new product in there and I am sure you will just love what we have to offer in 2014. Looking forward to seeing you at the shop soon!.


P.S. Our new pup Chloe is now about 6 months old and is a real delight to come home to!

Chloe.. giver of unconditional love!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014... a year of promise!

So a hot New Year's Day is upon us. In between staying cool in the air conditioning I am cleaning out my hand bag and brief case for work tomorrow.

Looking back at 2013 it has been a bitter sweet year... but onwards and upwards with 2014. Every year seems to follow a similar pattern especially as we approach the end of the year. What we often call the silly season. Patience can be hard to find as we all go about our daily lives, despite the wonderful celebration of the birth of Christ. We are a Christian country, so I for one will never say "Happy Holiday Season"... political correctness has gone too far.

We have our best smiles on and are feeling refreshed. We look forward to being of service to you at the Boutique.

Happy New Year!