LITTLE ROCK - “Hello, Beautiful!” is not just a greeting. It’s a place. Inside, the walls are lime green, almost a mesmerizing color, in an effort to escape from the pains and toils of your personal sufferings.
Jamie Washington, the owner of the establishment, said she decided to paint the walls green after she realized the energy she receives walking into her daughter’s green room at home.
“Every time I go in [her room], the energy just brightens me up. It doesn’t matter how gloomy it is outside. I just feel so refreshed,” Washington said.
So Washington chose to paint the walls of her business – Hello Beautiful Mastectomy Boutique and J’Nicole Salounge – that same color to provide the same energy for her clients and customers. She created her business for breast cancer patients and survivors.
The establishment opened in October 2017.
“When these ladies come in, I want them to feel good. I just want them to feel a release – a good energy and a good vibe,” she said.
The building is sectioned off to serve as a one-stop shop for breast cancer patients. The north end of the building houses bras and dressing rooms. Washington is a certified mastectomy fitter. The middle portion of the building contains the soon-to-be juice bar and a quiet, relaxing room where clients unwind with a massage therapist. The south end of the building features a salon, where Washington provides cranial prosthetics – or “hair pieces” – for women who have lost their hair due to cancer.
“I actually have some women in my family who had breast cancer. I had a cousin to pass and the other [relative] has been a survivor for 20 years,” Washington said.
But Washington’s budding business success almost did not happen. She survived a horrific car accident a few years back, which resulted in multiple surgeries. Washington’s hand was negatively affected, which, as a licensed barber, is vital to her career. She had to cease services in order to heal properly.
“I’ve been [a barber] for 20 years. This is what I learned to do to establish my own businesses. I was depressed. I went through a grieving process,” Washington said.
Yet it was during that grieving process that she heard about Arkansas Rehabilitation Services. Washington was not only able to get assistive technology to help her as she was working on her Master’s Degree, but she was also able to utilize services through the division’s Small Business Program, which allows clients with entrepreneurial pursuits to realize their dreams for self-employment. Clients have to present effective business plans and undergo a thorough evaluation to receive services.
“I was able to navigate and learn about the services that are provided. I think it’s awesome, and I think more people should learn about it. Without ARS, there would be no ‘Hello Beautiful,’” said Washington.
Washington is still working to expand. She is using social media and word of mouth to let people know that her business exists. She is also working to get accredited for insurance, especially since prosthetics is not cheap, she said.
“This is not about profit. I just want to help,” Washington said.
Hello Beautiful Mastectomy Boutique and J’Nicole Salounge is located at 4701 Westwood Avenue in Little Rock.
(Photo: Former ARS client Jamie Washington)