Duluth business sells breast forms for women who've undergone mastectomies
Heide-Wrazidlo grew up in the business. Her parents had several durable medical equipment stores across the country, selling artificial arms and legs and other items, so she was familiar with breast prostheses. But women often didn't get the proper fit and privacy they needed in these outlets.
"They go in there and have to ask anyone who is working," she said. "Oftentimes, it's a man and it's embarrassing for them."
Breast forms were often in boxes on a shelf, among the canes, crutches and other medical items. With no changing rooms, women had to buy the breast forms and take them home to see if they fit, she said.
Seeing a need for proper fits and a private place to shop for post-mastectomy items, Heide-Wrazidlo opened Heide's 25 years ago. About six years later, she opened a second shop in Edina, Minn.
Prices: Post-mastectomy bras starting at $46; silicon prostheses are $325; camisoles cost $50; swimsuits range from $25 to $125.
Many of the store's products are covered by insurance.
"Any woman who has had a breast cancer diagnosis, no matter what the situation, is entitled to products she would need, paid by her insurance for the rest of her life," Regnier said.
What: Heide's Mastectomy Shop
Business: Shop selling swimwear, bras and accessories and breast forms for women who have undergone mastectomies; head ware for people going through chemotherapy; compression garments and garments for burn victims.
"We are the only shop like us north of the Twin Cities," said Joanna Regnier, business office manager. "We serve an area from Michigan to Grand Marais to Ely to Bemidji."
Address: 701½ N. Sixth Ave. E. (storefront faces
Market: Women who have had breast surgery or are undergoing chemotherapy.
People with post-surgery issues of swelling or who have vein problems.
Owner: Kathy Heide-Wrazidlo
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Online: The business also offers online sales. Among its biggest online sellers are the post-mastectomy swimsuits.
"At least 30 to 40 percent of our swimsuit business is online," Heide-Wrazidlo said.
Call: (218) 722-7860 or visit: www.heidesmastectomy.com.