"Cranston woman’s bout with breast cancer launches new business"
November 22, 2008, By Barbara Polichetti, The Providence Journal in Rhode Island
Note: the website is still under construction, but you can visit to catch a glimpse of the ladies and a few of their designs.
. . . LITTLE MORE than three weeks into chemo, the hair loss had caused Manni to shave her head and to start the frustrating hunt for a way to look good in public.
Nothing –– not even a costly (but itchy) wig –– was suitable, she said, so she called her sister, Lauren Paige, in Sturbridge, Mass., and said, “Teach me to sew.”
The two set out to come up with a head covering that would be as fun as it would be functional.
“I’m sorry — I’m not a biker-style girl,” Manni said of her failed attempts to wear a traditional bandanna. “And they were too small anyway. . . ."
Instead, she and Paige came up with oversized triangular kerchiefs in all sorts of colorful prints, trimmed with sparkling beads or sequins. Manni, who admits to liking a little pizzazz in her wardrobe, ended up with a rainbow of custom kerchiefs that matched every outfit and holiday as she continued in treatment. It wasn’t long, she said, before nurses, doctors and other patients started asking where they could buy the fun head wraps.
Thus KareChiefs, Manni and Paige’s new company, was born. They decided to make it official toward the end of the summer, but were not afforded the luxury of a slow start. In September, Manni was approached by representatives of the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation and asked if she could have an ample supply of the KareChiefs available to sell at the foundation’s third annual “Flames of Hope” WaterFire celebration on Oct. 11.
That mission accomplished, the two sisters are now preparing their Web site, www.karechiefs.com, to handle online ordering. . . .