Lucent gift boxes include:
• Tea from Wildflower Tea Shop & Apothecary
• Salves from Wooden Spoon Herbs
• Chocolate truffles from Hot Chocolatier
• A tea mug from Annie Hanks Ceramics
• Candles from The Rustic House
• A loose-fitting jacket from Temperate Clothing that hides silicon tubing
Learn more at lucentgift.com
Missy Luce survived stage-one colorectal cancer in 2005 and breast cancer a decade later.
So the 43-year-old Lookout Valley mother of four knows what sorts of things can help women deal with chemotherapy, radiation and the aftereffects of a mastectomy, or breast removal.
A little more than a year ago she launched a business, Lucent Gifts, that sells gift boxes of locally-sourced, high-end items meant to ease cancer recovery, including salves for dry skin, a candle and teas for nausea and chocolate truffles — just to feel spoiled.
"The way I tend to deal with crisis is I want to take on projects," Luce said of her business launch.
One of the things Luce is proudest of is a cotton-and-hemp blend jacket designed by Ongeleigh Underwood, owner of Chattanooga women's organic clothes-maker, Temperate.
The loose-fitting jacket with interior pockets is meant to hide the silicone drainage tubes that follow mastectomies and reconstructive surgeries — yet is stylish enough to wear anytime.
"The jacket is a lifetime garment. You can wear it forever," Luce said. "I really would like to get the jacket into all the gift stores and all the hospitals around the country."
So far, Luce has sold about 20 of the gift boxes, which start at $139 and go up to $240 for a box that includes the jacket.
That's not a bad price, Luce said, if a group of people pitch in to buy a gift for a woman battling cancer.
"You could get four to six people together, it becomes very affordable," she said.
Other add-on gift certificates available include pre- and post-mastectomy photography by Linda Green or Christina Marie, fresh-cut flowers, when in season, from Southerly Flower Farm and Yoga Landing classes.
"Yoga was really instrumental in getting my strength back, after treatment," she said.
Luce would like to grow her business, ideally until it's nationwide with locally-sourced items for different regions.
She's working with a California business coach and doing market research, including setting up a booth at the recent Mainx24 festival in Chattanooga's Southside neighborhood to survey people about what they'd like to have in a gift box.
A good read from Chattanooga's Starlight Books might be another thing that Luce includes.
"You have so much brain fog during chemotherapy, but it's nice to have a book," she said. "Something episodic. Light reading. Something you could get lost in."
Among those who've purchased Lucent Gift boxes is Amanda Carmichael, the co-owner of Mace+Carmichael Public Relations in Chattanooga.
"I personally sent it to two friends," Carmichael said. "Everything in it is so nice, and it makes people feel so special."
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/MeetsForBusiness or on Twitter @meetforbusiness or 423-757-6651.