When Juliet Robinson found a lump in her chest and was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago, she felt something of herself had been taken away from her. But her story inspired her daughter to work on helping other people feel beautiful without using the harmful toxins that could contribute to health issues.
“When they called me at seven o’clock in the evening to tell me I had cancer, I just paused,” Robinson says. “I was frightened. I was like, ‘so, what do I do next?’”
What she ended up doing next was starting chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Juliet used to love getting dressed up, doing her hair, and painting her nails, but while she was going through treatment, she had to give up a lot of her favorite products.
“I watched my mother’s inability to be her flamboyant self,” says Michelle Robinson, Juliet’s daughter.
So Michelle started searching for products that didn’t have the types of chemicals her mother wasn’t allowed to use. It was her way of giving her mother some little bit of normalcy while she was going through so much pain and a variety of symptoms related to her treatment.
“When you go through that chemo and radiation, you don’t feel pretty,” Juliet Robinson said. “Even afterward, you’re so torn down.”
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However, Michelle didn’t find many options to choose from. So she used her background in education and healthcare to develop her own line of nail polish, named after her granddaughter and her favorite color. DEMIblue Natural Nails was created after more than a year of research, product testing, and focus groups.
“I took that information, and I tapped into nail polish because we don’t necessarily talk about the harsh chemicals found in nail polishes,” Michelle says.
DEMIblue Natural Nails, which is not only toxin-free but also vegan, was launched in 2018, after Juliet had been declared cancer-free.
“I wanted to make sure I could offer a solution to those toxins to my mom and then other women who also were going through radiation treatments and chemotherapy and couldn’t wear those traditional products.”
However, Michelle says her products are for anyone looking to live a healthier lifestyle and use fewer harsh chemicals.
“I am so touched that she cared enough to go through the process to come up with this product for all of us, not just black women,” Juliet says. “It’s for women of all nationalities.”
Michelle has sold more than 4,000 bottles of her polish so far and believes the market for similar products is only going to grow as people become more health-conscious.
“Women are seeking healthier alternatives,” she says. “We are in an environment now where were are more health-conscious. We are seeking healthier products.”
Learn more about Juliet and Michelle Robinson’s unique and inspirational story in the video below.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?
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