By Kristen Wolosonowich
Nicole Medich has always known retail was in her future. She is the owner (and resident fashionista) of the women’s store with the unique and unforgettable name Eclections, and the men’s store Nick and Crew in Fenton, Mich.
The stores are both located at 495 N. Fenway Dr. in Fenton, at the Silver Lake Road exit of US 23, a one-stop fashion location for everyone. Nicole always has had a passion for fashion”… and for people. She grew up in the retail industry, working for her parents who owned 35 retail sports stores. Her brother knew he wanted to be an architect, but Nicole always had an interest in people and retail business, but didn’t always know it would be her destiny.
Her family sold the family business when she was in high school and she left Michigan to pursue an undergraduate degree in Dietetics and a master’s degree in Exercise and Health Studies. This path and line of education was so far from where she thought she was going to end up, that at age 30, she returned to her home state to pursue the original passion with an eye toward a career in retail.
Eleven years ago, Nicole opened the doors of Eclections, and her immediate family were instrumental in the launch, and eventual expansion and massive success of the store. While the success seemed fast and furious, it was not luck; it was dedication to customers, and around-the-clock hard work. Nicole is passionate, and her essence, the beautiful products she carries, and her personal touch, are noticed by customers immediately. The men’s side, Nick and Crew, opened almost two years ago.
Her incredible story has some sad aspects, however. Nicole Medich will tell you that you only have one life to live, and it’s imperative to do what you love and to take time to enjoy what you have. She wears a bracelet that says, “Today is a gift,” and she knows its truth because she lost her husband, Jon, at the young age of 40 years old to melanoma. After burying her beloved husband, she too was diagnosed with cancer… only nine months later. Nicole testifies about her gratitude to have experienced the kind of love with her husband that allowed them to “stop and smell the roses.”
She is a huge believer in being your own health advocate. Her type of breast cancer was lobular and extremely hard to detect. If she had not been adamant with her primary care physician about ordering a mammogram and an ultrasound when she suspected something, they might not have caught the cancer in time. Nicole explains, “It wasn’t found on the mammogram but was found on the ultrasound. This specific type of cancer isn’t found until it gets to stage 3 or 4, because you don’t develop a lump.” She had cancer in four spots (12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock) and elected to have a double bilateral mastectomy.
Nicole’s bravery was unbelievable, but she did not want to give the cancer a chance to come back… enduring the dreaded burden of “Scanxiety” every six months.
After only five weeks of radiation, Nicole received word – on what would have been her wedding anniversary – that there was only a 4% chance that her cancer would ever return, the lowest score the diagnosticians had ever seen. Plus, they said, chemotherapy was not necessary!
Life goes on… and Nicole still loves the retail buzz, and always will. She still works on the floor, and works weekends. She says that she will never give up the retail interactions with customers. “Her customers,” she says, are what fuels her.
What else does Nicole still do? She wakes up at dawn, and takes pictures of the sky. She knows how to appreciate the small things.
When asked about her incredible and sometimes scary journey, Nicole answers swiftly that she would not change a thing. “I am so happy and healthy, and have a great child, a family, and a successful business!”
Every step she has made in life has been pro-active and preventative. Now, six years later, she is a mentor to men and women everywhere. And a beautiful reminder of how precious life truly is.
Nicole Medich’s Foundation of choice is the Hurley Breast Cancer Navigation Fund that directly helps women in Flint, Mich. Oct. 18 is their PINK party. For more information on how to help, visit www.mclaren.org/flint/breast-center.