“Hello, Beautiful,” an affirming voice answered her phone call. Amused by the unexpected greeting, Nikki Lee, calling to complete a competency call with a Lactation Counselor Training Course (LCTC) participant, laughed for a while.
Lee soon learned that the woman on the line, Jamie Washington, MS, BBA, BA, runs a wellness spa in Little Rock, Ark. that caters to women who have undergone a mastectomy due to breast cancer. When clients call or enter the building, they’re always greeted with “Hello, Beautiful”, the beginning of their “all-inclusive experience that uplifts and nurtures the spirit.”
“I think pregnancy is beautiful and amazing,” she says. “As a teenager and young adult, I used to sit and watch Discovery Health for hours. My mom used to say I missed my calling. I should have been a doctor, because I was so fascinated by maternal health. When my cousins and/or friends would get pregnant, I would ask so many questions and I would go to doctors’ appointments [as well.]”
Washington has been fulfilling her calling by serving women at Hello Beautiful Wellness Spa for the past four years. While there are other businesses across the nation that offer mastectomy fittings, hair loss services, overall holistic health care, and the like, Washington points out that there are no other centers like Hello Beautiful offering a one-stop-shop.
Every client’s experience at the spa will be different in terms of what services they choose, but Washington’s goal is to restore all of her clients’ confidence and educate women about overall health, ignite the beauty within, as she puts it.
Over the course of her career, Washington has noticed that the breast cancer survivors she is working with are getting younger and younger. Recently, she worked with an 18-year-old woman who had a mastectomy. With this in mind, Washington chooses inventory with a variety of colors and patterns that might be more appealing to women, different from most mastectomy products.
Already a trusted resource for feminine health in her community, Washington envisions lactation and breastfeeding care as an obvious addition to her services. In fact, she says family and friends have been coming to her for years for breastfeeding advice, ever since she persevered breastfeeding her now 13-year-old daughter for 18 months after a c-section with very little support.
Becoming a CLC, she says, will help shift her counseling from personal experience to evidence-based practice and also reframe what she’s learned about breastfeeding during her nutrition studies.
“I am excited about getting ready to offer this service,” Washington comments. “Especially helping Black women– we have a history of distaste for breastfeeding. Just to be in the community and be an advocate is going to be great.”
Visit Hello Beautiful Wellness Spa online here.