For women losing their hair due to chemo, alopecia, or for any other reason, it can be very daunting and emotional time. However, this needn’t be a time to feel alone.

Julie Booker, founded I’m Still Me with an aim to make women feel as comfortable and supported as possible, whilst choosing their new look in the privacy and comfort of their own home, surrounded by loved ones.

We, here at RfR had the pleasure to chat with the Julie Booker on what inspired her to start her own business and more. Read the entire interview below.

RfR: Can you tell us about I’m Still Me?

Julie: All through my cancer experience, I was told that I was not normal in the way I handled it. For some reason I didn’t concentrate on the cancer, but carried on with my normal life with my 4 children and husband, treating cancer as if it was just another run of the mill occurrence. To this day I don’t know why I had this attitude, but I guess it simply never occurred to me to do things any different. People certainly commented frequently about their surprise in my attitude, but I would respond in equal surprise as to why it should be any different. As time went by I realized that maybe not everyone was able to cope in the same manner as I was, and I began to think of how I could help people on their own journey.

RfR: You are taking a very terrible situation that can be filled with anger, fear and fraught with insecurity and asking women to find some fun in the process. How did you make this mental transition?

Julie: I mulled over many ideas, at last settling on the idea that there was a void in the market-place for women who have lost their hair during chemo. It is very intimidating for some, if not most women to lose their hair during this stage of the cancer process. What could be worse than having to go to a salon and pick out a wig? With only one, maybe two at most companions, served by people who haven’t had cancer and don’t need to wear a wig themselves?
And there was born my idea….cancer patients have enough to cope with, the diagnosis, the appointments, the treatments, the unyielding stress. Wigs should come to them, and it should be FUN! It should be a reminder that they are still themselves, not cancer! They are NOT the diagnosis, they own their own name! Therefore IMSTILLME seemed an obvious name choice, I didn’t even have to think about it!

RfR: Each woman is unique but is there a common thread among them?

Julie: I encourage every single lady going through chemo who has lost her hair to wear a wig! Don’t wear a scarf! When you see your reflection in a mirror, glasses, shop window, car window, you name it….your brain receives a subliminal message that you are sick if you have a scarf on!! If you have hair it says you are healthy. You don’t want pitying looks from people… they will make you feel down, even if you feel good. It’s all about tricking yourself to feel great! It makes such a difference! We may be all unique and different, but we all want to get through this journey and we need to be as strong as we can be!

RfR: What is your vision for I’m Still Me?

Julie: My vision for IMSTILLME is to help women across Canada feel good about themselves during treatment for cancer.

RfR: Tell us one thing about you that we would be surprised to know?

Julie: People would be very surprised to know that I was extremely shy until I had my third child! I distinctly remember making a conscious decision to talk to people so that my kids had play dates!

RfR: We couldn’t help but notice your great sense of style. Where does that come from and what is your best fashion tip?

Sense of style! LOL! Sometimes I hit lucky and sometimes……hahaha!! I do like to dress nicely and since I have 4 teenagers who are very quick with their opinions….well say no more! My best fashion tip is to purchase from an age-appropriate store and ask for help! The store associates are a wealth of knowledge!

RfR: Does entrepreneurship run in your family? 

Julie: Entrepreneurship does indeed run in my family on both my and my husband’s side. However, that did not in the least bit have any influence on me setting up this business. I set up this business ONLY because I want to help people going through cancer.

To learn more about Julie Booker or IMSTILLME, visit imstillme.ca.