This week's transformation Tuesday comes from one of our own. Melissa, our founder of Cabana Life, was always careful when it came to sun exposure. She has fair, freckled skin and strawberry-blonde hair, so a “healthy” tan was never an option for her. (Now we know that there’s no such thing as a healthy tan). In fact, Melissa either stayed out of the sun completely or slathered herself with sunscreen for most of her life.
When she was 25, she noticed a tiny freckle on her arm. It wasn’t large, it wasn’t irregular and it certainly didn’t look like a warning sign for skin cancer. Even her dermatologist almost glossed over it. When she pushed him to double check the spot, Melissa found out that it was malignant melanoma.
All of a sudden, her world changed. A large area of skin was cut off of her arm, leaving her with a 5-inch scar. And because she had always been careful about sun exposure, now she was faced with a scary predicament: Would she have to live in a dark cave for the rest of her life?
The answer was no. She couldn’t, and she wouldn’t.
That’s when she started do to some research. What else could she do to help protect herself from the sun? When she found out that wearing sun protective clothing is one of the best ways to protect your skin from UV rays, she was all about it.
Except that she couldn’t find anything she wanted to wear.
At the time, Melissa worked in the fashion industry. And that’s when the lightbulb went off in her head. After a great deal of research and a good dose of courage, Melissa launched Cabana Life. It began as a company that sold children’s playwear and women’s hats. Today, it offers sun protective clothing for everyone in the family. What’s even better is that it’s a blend of styles, silhouettes and prints that you actually want to wear.
Now that she has access to stylish sun protective clothing, Melissa has done something that she didn’t think was possible when she was 26: she moved to sunny Florida, where she and her family can enjoy the beach.