We are SO excited to share with you Part II of our interview with Leslie Haywood, creator of Grill Charms™. For those of you who have not yet read Part I of this interview, Leslie shared her story as a breast cancer survivor and explained how she started a successful company while undergoing treatments.
We absolutely love how Leslie can be so inspirational and funny at the same time!
If you missed Part I of this interview, click here.
See below for Part II of our exclusive and highly inspirational (not to mention, hilarious!) interview with Leslie Haywood:
1. Your first Grill Charms™ sale was somewhat unexpected! Tell us where you were and how you sold your first Grill Charms™.
Oh yes! My most memorable sale to date! I was in the office for my final “procedure,” if you will. I was in The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction office for my nice pinkish brown tattoo. As you can imagine, I have known all the folks at Dr. Craigie’s office for over a year by then (and pretty intimately I must say), so in an effort to help me think about anything other than what she was doing, the nurse asked about how my brand new business was going. Her distraction technique worked! I instantly forgot the discomfort and gave her the complete rundown of Grill Charms™, ending with: “I have a set to show you in my purse over there!”
By the time the nurse was done waving her buzzing magic wand all over my reconstructed girl parts, she said “I need 5!” I immediately jumped off the table (still half dressed), showed her the set out of my purse, and right then and there, with my cell phone calculator (yep, still topless) I totaled up everything plus tax and she wrote the check on the spot. After our business transaction was done, she helped me with the bandage / pad etc. and I put my clothes back on. I can’t imagine any other sale being quite as “interesting” as this one. Obviously I’m not opposed to be doing business topless, but thankfully I have not had to resort to that since!
5. How did you decide which type of breast reconstruction surgery you wanted?
Because of my family history, I feel like I was at an “advantage” (if you can call it that!). I have had YEARS to consider and decide how I would handle a breast cancer diagnosis. Back when my mother had her treatment and reconstruction, there were very few options and she pretty much did what she was told (mastectomy and implant).
I saw what 20 years had done to her reconstruction and had always wanted better for myself. I didn’t like the idea of an implant being in me for all eternity and also knew that I wanted “symmetry” for the rest of my life, so both boobs would HAVE TO GO! The fact that my “baby pooch” would be used to make my new breasts and the fact that I’d have the stomach I used to have in my 20’s, was a BONUS!
Oh, another little story about the surgery (**For those of you who know me, you know I’m the queen of TMI, so you’ll have to excuse my “frankness” when it comes to what some might view as sensitive topics. I apologize if my candor and tone offends anyone.). Okay… so when the decision was made and we knew that “natural breast reconstruction” was the way to go, and that “belly fat” was where my new breasts were going to come from, I talked to my husband about “size.” He said “porn star, please” and I said “NO WAY,” but I did want something to show off. I really wanted to make sure that Dr. Craigie had enough “material” to work with, so I went on an 8-week eating FRENZY!
My family would watch me getting 2nds and 3rds of my favorite food, STEAK! They’d say “Leslie . . . slow down there girl!” and my reply was always the same, “Shut up! I’M MAKING BOOBIES!” For those 8 weeks, food and I had a magical relationship! Ahhh…. I miss those days!
Now what I DID NOT take into account with natural breast reconstruction was how my breasts would look after the surgery. With my tummy flat and my new natural breasts a fabulous B+ maybe C, I wanted do right by my “second chance” and eat right and exercise to keep it. I have never been more fit in all my life! BUT, because the new breasts are “all natural,” when I started to lose all that “boobie making weight” and toned everything up, my new breasts acted exactly like my old ones. There was a little shrinkage factor! So now I’m more like an A+ to a B-, but I have never been happier with my body and I have never been more in shape in my entire life! Just look how awesome they are! THANKS Dr. Baron for saving my life and thanks Dr.Craigie for making me look and feel better than ever!
6. What would you tell women who have had a mastectomy or are planning on undergoing one about natural breast reconstruction?
You owe it to yourself to at least learn about natural breast reconstruction and fully understand this option. Knowledge is power and you will never regret finding out about what you don’t know. There has not been a single SECOND that I wish that I had done things any differently. Natural breast reconstruction was the absolute best option for me, NO QUESTION!
About Leslie Haywood and Grill Charms™:
Leslie Haywood is founder and President of Charmed Life Products, LLC, and inventor of Grill Charms™. Leslie was a stay-at-home mom when a very spicy light bulb moment thrust her into the entrepreneurial ring. During the start up phase of her company, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but still managed to launch her product on store shelves within 18 months and is now sold in over 400 stores internationally. She has been featured numerous times on CNBC, various local and regional news programs, as well as ABC’s prime time reality TV show Shark Tank seasons I and II. Her story and product have publicized in such magazines as Everyday with Rachael Ray, Parenting magazine, Health magazine, Inventors Digest, and was also featured on The Today Show. All the while she is mindful of “the cause,” whether it’s giving back through “The Pink Collection” of her gift and grilling accessory Grill Charms™, or her work as Honorary Chair for The Race for the Cure .
Leslie’s Special Offer:
***Put “natural” in the coupon code of www.grillcharms.com for 10% off!***
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