Adrienne Metz’s path to entrepreneurship began after two of her aunts underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer. Losing their hair as part of the treatment, they said, was one of the most devastating effects.
They felt so vain and so embarrassed to say it, but they said, “The hardest thing was when I lost my hair.” And they just didn’t expect to react that way. They didn’t want to leave their homes.
After Adrienne’s aunt Danielle was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, the family combed shops in hopes of finding just the right head covering for her anticipated hair loss. The problem – they could find no such garment.
Scarves and bandanas were difficult to hold in place, caps left the back of the head and neck exposed, wigs looked unnatural, and other products targeted to chemo patients were uncomfortable and low-quality. As her aunt described what she needed, Adrienne spotted an opportunity.
The result is the Chemo Beanie, a unique design Adrienne developed with guidance from her aunts, Danielle Fournier and Angelle Albright, both breast cancer survivors.
“The motivation was that she have something to wear, because her hair was falling out,” Adrienne says. “But as we developed it, it was pretty clear that there was nothing else like this on the market. Then I realized, I think we have a business here…. It was so clear that if we wanted to sell these, then we could.”
Adrienne incorporated Chemo Beanies LLC soon thereafter. It’s a true family business. Adrienne serves as CEO, with her three aunts and mother as co-owners of the company.
What makes Chemo Beanies different
As Adrienne explains, the Chemo Beanie’s design addresses the shortcomings of other headwear options. Made from soft, breathable fabrics, it’s designed to be both comfortable and secure.
Chemo Beanies are made from the softest fabric and designed to stay in place. Some patients have trouble lifting their arms as a side effect of surgery, so a secure fit ensures they don’t have to constantly readjust it. By building volume into the style, with ruffles on some models and thicker bunching at the back, and by covering the back of the neck, the wearer’s hair loss is not apparent.
It’s not just about comfort and convenience – it’s about confidence, because it allows women suffering from sudden, unwanted hair loss to feel cute and fashionable at a particularly difficult time.