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Hidden Gems: Meet Karen MacDonald-Basile of Wrapped in Love

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen MacDonald-Basile.  

Hi Karen, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My mom was the inspiration behind Wrapped in Love, She had been in the hospital during the Christmas holidays and no longer wanted visitors other than our immediate family. She had non-Hodgkins lymphoma and pulmonary fibrosis. She felt she no longer looked good enough in her illness to see anyone. She had lost all of her dignity. I knew it would be her last Christmas with us, so I went home on Christmas eve and made her a makeshift wrap to put over her patient gown with a flower pin ((she loved flowers and gardening). I put it around her on Christmas day along with a little makeup and I saw that familiar smile again, even though briefly. The nurses saw her and said what a difference it makes to look good and maintain your dignity despite your illness. I decided then that after 30 years in the PR and marketing industry, I was going to do this for others. My mom was my original inspiration, but now I work with patients and survivors, and healthcare workers to design clothing and accessories for women with cancer to provide comfort, style, and dignity from treatment through recovery. I hire cancer patients and survivors to model in my marketing materials and have their hair and make-up done to make them feel like a queen for the day. It does so much for their self-esteem and they forget about their illness and enjoy the experience. The patients, survivors, and healthcare workers are key to the fabrics I select and the styles I create to ensure that they are conducive to the patient’s needs. I have been in business with my online cancer boutique since 2015 and my clothing is made in the USA, primarily in Michigan where I reside. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
As an independent entrepreneur, there have been challenges in learning a new industry, but I have had many people help in the mentoring process– cancer patients. Survivors, healthcare workers, social media experts, and manufacturers. Everyone wants to help others succeed in their dreams and make them a reality, and I couldn’t be more thankful to everyone who has supported me. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Wrapped in Love?
There are other companies that offer some of the items that I do, but I have been able to have an expansive list of clothing and accessory items for different types of cancer, as well as offering gift items for a patient to give to their healthcare provider. I am now starting to expand my offering to men and soon children for their cancer treatment and recovery to help them maintain their comfort and self-esteem. 

What do you like and dislike about the city?
I grew up in Sterling Heights, Michigan, and still reside there today. It’s my roots and I love living there and being proud to tell people that I still live where I grew up. It’s a beautiful city with kind people. 

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