Business Spotlight – Sharon Gilbert of Crowning Alternatives

When I met with Sharon to learn about her business, I was overwhelmed by her level of compassion and commitment towards helping her clients navigate through the journey of cancer treatment and recovery.

The idea of Sharon’s business, Crowning Alternatives came to her over a decade ago.  Sharon has been a hairstylist for 26 years.  A dear client asked her to help with selecting a wig when she was diagnosed with cancer.  She was honored that the friend chose her and knew then that this was the direction that she wanted her career to go.  At that time Sharon was a single Mom with a young son, she registered the name Crowning Alternatives and continued to dream of the day when she was able to open for business.  Now, Sharon is married with two more children and a wonderful supportive husband, so she decided there was no time like the present.  I have since met so many strong and courageous women, as well as children, fighting and beating this awful disease.

In the beginning Sharon was mostly a mobile service, now she splits her time between the Linthicum location, various hospitals in Maryland, mobile appointments and in Studio You within the Wellness Boutique at Carroll Hospital Center. Sharon began offering her Crowning Alternative services as a vendor with Carroll Hospital in the fall after the new Cancer Center opened.   At Carroll Hospital Cancer Center, it is a full team approach.  Sharon is introduced to patients most of the time before they even start to lose their hair at the beginning of treatment.  Sharon said, “She enjoys the full team approach that the hospital offers patients from the diagnosis, during treatment, and through the recovery.  A patient can receive acupuncture, have their chemotherapy treatment, and stop in for help with their wig all in one place.”

Sharon is with her clients every step of the way through their treatment and recovery process.  “There have been many advancements in the choices available with wigs and maintenance products, making the right selection can mean a world of difference when the patient looks in the mirror.  My 26 years of cosmetology experience allows me to offer a unique customized service to my clients.  Clients can choose to have their wig cut specifically to fit their face structure, even have highlights and lowlights included in the human hair wigs.”

If a patient has a wig that they have purchased somewhere else that needs trimming, often a little tweaking of the style will make the difference.

Sharon takes the time to educate her clients on how to care for and maintain their wig.  Supplies can be purchased from Crowning Alternatives also.  It’s never just a one-time meeting with clients.

Crowning Alternatives was chosen as one of the Top 100 Minority Businesses for 2012 for the Mid-Atlantic region.  It’s not a surprise that Sharon would receive this honor from speaking with her. “I believe I was truly meant to do this for my career I am very passionate about giving each client the guidance and service they deserve, this is my wheelhouse,” said Sharon.

If you would like to schedule a consultation with Sharon, she can be reached at 410-691-2251 or email sgilbert@crowningalternatives.com.  For additional information on Crowning Alternatives, please visit www.crowningalternatives.com.

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