Simply Zoë celebrates their first year!

Wow, it’s already been one year! How time flies! It’s been a year of challenges both exciting and difficult. Not with-standing some unexpected painful and arduous personal circumstances as well as health issues after some unwelcome progression of the illness which resulted in a surgery and two sets of radiotherapy, there has also been plenty of positives!

Having launched the Simply Zoë website on 1st October 2018 to coincide with International Breast Cancer Awareness Month with sexy post-mastectomy bras - which was the initial inspiration for creating Simply Zoë - and pretty surgical drain bags, we were so excited to add more products to the Simply Zoë range in 2019.

In March we added a gorgeous range of head scarves. Losing your hair is such an awful experience. It feels as if you are wearing your illness for all to see, so there is a lot of comfort to be found in a beautiful head scarf providing some welcome confidence.

In June we introduced post-mastectomy swimwear and temporary bra tattoos. Most women I know have a fear of dread come bikini season! This is only made worse when your body has been ravaged by strong cancer medication and brutal body altering surgery. To know there are practical but stunning options goes a long way to feeling comfortable at the pool or beach. The temporary bra tattoos are a bit of fun. Lots of women cover their scars with tattoos and what a great way to test if a permanent tattoo is right for you!

In June I was interviewed by The Wellbeing Consultant about my journey of living with breast cancer and how it inspired me to create Simply Zoë and a few weeks later my story was featured on Against Breast Cancer, which is based in the UK and funds pioneering research into new treatments and tools for earlier diagnosis and to reduce the risk of recurrence and secondary spread. I am so proud that I was not only nominated but shortlisted for the Bradley Lowery Courage Award. What an honour! 2019 also saw the launch of this “My Life with Breast Cancer” blog. Sharing so much of my personal life in the public arena definitely doesn’t come naturally to me, but it is such a positive outlet and I find getting my feelings down on paper (yep, I’m old school, everything is handwritten first) really helps me unscramble busy thoughts and feelings.

I’ve also had the great pleasure of meeting with several breast centres across Switzerland and am so inspired by the support that is given to women living with this awful illness.

When I look back, I can’t quite believe how much we have already achieved but how much more there is still to be done. We are working on bringing new products to our range with emphasis on what is nice to have rather than need and working on a fantastic project with Vachement Suisse producing a unique range of products where a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to a breast cancer association here in Switzerland. This really is a thrilling collaboration and will culminate in a pop-up store event in Geneva at the end of November. We are currently finalising the details and will announce our exciting news very soon!

I am still living with cancer and feeling the physical effects of medication and recent treatments but working on Simply Zoë is so rewarding and fills me with such positive energy and it’s wonderful to be able to work in a calm and pretty environment I specifically created in order to keep feeling inspired. I’m looking forward to what the next 12 months bring!

Since October is International Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I encourage you all to support any local events in your area. It’s a great way to get involved and raise funds and awareness.

And ladies, let’s not forget, Feel it on the First!!! Early detection saves lives xoxo

Zoe Zenklusen Payne