Studio’s Picture Has Inspiring Story Line

by Bella English —Boston Globe: Names & Faces
Saturday August 4, 2001

Sandy Gradman had always been partial to her dark pageboy, bangs and all. After all, the ‘do had been with her for the past 40 years. But longtime customers of her popular Brookline clothing store, The Studio, got a jolt recently when Gradman and her business partners sent out the annual postcard announcing their summer sale. There’s Gradman sporting a half-inch gray buzz, the result of chemotherapy she recently completed for cancer of the fallopian tubes. Also in the shot are her partners–her identical twin sister Ilene Epstein, and Marcie Brawer.

The sale, which ends today, is about more than tank tops and capri pants. Ten percent of each purchase will go to a new program for survivors of women’s cancers, scheduled to open in the early fall at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It will offer a variety of services for women who have completed cancer treatment, from reproductive counseling to long-term health needs to psychosocial issues.

Gradman, 62, says she had a “fabulous wig” that looked just like her real hair. “It was like having a good hair day everyday,” she says. “I got all sorts of compliments. No one knew.” Then she saw a documentary on bald women with cancer called “The No Hair Day.” She thought they looked beautiful. So she called her partners and floated the idea of her appearing sans wig on the postcard.

When the shots came back, they made such a powerful statement about cancer treatment and women supporting women that the threesome knew they had to do it. “It made me feel wonderful to be an inspiration for other women and to raise the money,” says Gradman, who was treated at Dana-Farber.

The Studio partners have also added a book corner where books written by their customers can be purchased, with the proceeds going to the new clinic. Look for a story about the store and its cause in the October [sic] issue of the Oprah Winfrey magazine, O.

And what of that gorgeous wig? “I went to the Cape two weeks ago, and I left the wig at home. It was incredibly liberating,” Says Gradman. “I’ve told myself I’ll never wear it again.”