In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, our latest spotlight is getting to know Surf City resident and business owner, Jenean Lacorte, of Restorative Tattoos. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, she’s been here since 2004 and was moved to start doing 3D nipple and scar camouflage tattoos. Why? “To help people move past the emotional weight their scars and lack of having nipples can hold over them.”
Like so many other transplants here, she wanted to move from a big city, be closer to the coast, and have the small town feel. She loves the outdoors and our community, including the breathtaking views. She’s been an artist over 20 years, and shares she’s never seen another community that comes together to support one another like this one.
“My whole life I’ve had an interest in art, medicine, and helping people. Now, I can finally do all three in the same job. I want to help as many people as I can.”Jenean LaCorte
”Restorative Tattoos” was born when her brother-in-law’s sister was going through breast cancer. This is also when she learned about 3D nipples and how there are people who offer it, but very few give realistic results. She realized she could make a real difference for people.
She has been open for three years and is a dual graduate of art school and Sauler Institute, out of Penn Medicine for medical tattoo training. She was also nominated for a “Healthcare Hero Award for Innovation” and a “Wilma Woman to Watch” award. She has also been featured on WECT, WWAY, and Spectrum News.
The pandemic presented a challenge in getting the word out that she was here and available. Another unique challenge she’s faced has been presenting to physicians so they can refer her to patients. Pharmaceutical reps have made it to where you cannot get a meeting unless you buy an entire office lunch, and as a small business whose goal is to keep prices affordable, it’s very difficult. Some of these offices have 50 staff members.
She persevered, because “helping people and seeing the smiles on faces when they see the results” is the greatest part of her job. She wants to help breast cancer survivors and anyone with a scar they’d like to camouflage, regain confidence and move past their injuries.
What Does it Feel Like?
She says people that have not already had tattoos before are concerned about pain, but that it’s generally painless for her patients because of the trauma already done to their skin.
“If you see pictures of my work, you’ll know how committed I am to giving my patients the best results possible.”
More Help on the Horizon
She wants to make more connections and help more people. She wants people to know she’s here and she’s committed to making as many people as she can feel better, post cancer or injury. In addition, she is in talks with the Grand Strand Medical Center to be their in-house tattooist and would go there once a month to help their patients.
Not only is it Breast Care Awareness Month, it’s also Domestic Violence Awareness Month and she raises funds for both causes to help cover the costs of corrective tattoos for those that cannot afford it.
Want to get in contact with her? Do you know someone who needs her?
28676 Hwy 17 N., Hampstead, NC, 28443