Virtue Customer Spotlight: The Unstoppable Aimee Elsner
From treatment for breast cancer, to starting her own business, she’s always kept her eyes forward and her plate full.
What does it mean to be confident? One Virtue customer is, in our eyes, the embodiment of the word. Eight years ago, Aimee Elsner underwent treatment for breast cancer, including a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction, plus chemo. Today, she’s an occupational therapist with two children (and a new puppy) who recently opened her own Power Yoga studio in Stamford, CT. She brings balance to her life, she says, “by adding even more to my plate.” She’s a do-er, a giver, a leader. And the last thing she has time to worry about is her hair.
Unfortunately, for those who undergo chemo, hair loss and the regrowing process that follows can bring up some intense emotions and unexpected challenges. When Aimee started going through treatment and doctors confirmed that she would lose her hair, she took matters into her own hands. First, she chopped her shoulder-length hair short, then took the plunge and fully buzzed it. As her close-cropped hair and eyebrows started to fall out, Aimee said it was hard, but she took it in stride. “Honestly, for me, the hair wasn’t a big deal. I’m not a fancy person, I just like my hair to look decent.”
But afterwards, when her hair started to grow back post-treatment, things were markedly different. It was coarse, curly, and incredibly thick, where before chemo, her hair was straight and easily manageable. The hair she’d always known and had grown accustomed to styling was gone, leaving her with a mane she didn’t quite know what to do with. Over time, it thinned out a bit, making it even more confusing to style, even for Aimee’s unfussy hair minimalism.
So what’s an incredibly busy woman to do when her hair’s gone rogue? We stepped in to help. While we were in the early stages of developing Virtue, Aimee received product samples containing Alpha Keratin 60ku™, our patented keratin technology (full transparency: she’s a good friend of our Product Development lead, Debby). “I love it,” she says. “It made my hair feel full and smooth, less work to do on it. Definitely was more manageable!” And spending less time and energy on her hair, while making it look and feel healthier, is exactly what Aimee was looking for.
She’s also a big fan of the Volumizing Whip to add more structure and definition to her hair, which works with her low maintenance routine. “I put the whip in my hair before I go to bed with my hair still wet and then when it’s dry in the morning I straighten it.” That kind of time saving makes a huge difference for someone who fits as much as she can into one day.
In addition to everything she’s already juggling, she and her husband take in people who are in transitional times in their life and help them get back on their feet, something they’d like to turn into a more formal nonprofit someday. And since Stamford is a hub for cancer treatment, Aimee works with a lot of other women at her studio going through the familiar struggles of chemo and radiation.
For Aimee, that kind of hard work and community building is just part of living life to its fullest. “When you’re gone,” she says, “you want to be known more for giving rather than getting.”
To learn more about Aimee’s studio, Connecticut Power Yoga, visit http://www.ctpoweryoga.com.