by Evan J. Pretzer
A Sylvester Stallone character famous for boxing once said life is not about how hard you can get hit, but about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. Here in Wausau, Elisia Doonan is a resident who embodies this outlook with her work and latest business endeavor: Big Beauty Boutique.
Since July, the 53-year-old has been the face behind the Big Beauty Boutique on Clark Street. The space opened after Doonan experienced health struggles which led to the closure of her previous barbershop in Wausau. Following an abusive relationship, many of her peers helped build her back up.
“I got depressed, sad, and was gaining weight,” she says. “What helped me get back on my feet and have a different mind was staying in prayer and then my family. My family was a big support for that and it was really hard. My best friends have been amazing and supportive, too. We have a real strong belief in God and we stay in prayer and this is what the outcome’s been.”
Starting Big Beauty Boutique
In Doonan’s shop, people can purchase a variety of items like costume jewelry, sunglasses, and clothing for those needing bigger sizes. The clothing side of the game is new as Doonan has previously just worked with accessories, but she is confident and those in her corner are, too.
“I’m proud of her,” longtime friend Brittany Ippolito adds. “I always knew she was going to do something like this. She always talked about this and I see it expanding with more clothes, also. [Elisia] is just a great person and she is going to be good and just do great at this new business.”
Items on deck for Doonan in the future include expanding to a bigger location and offering more clothes for those who have difficulty finding things to look good in elsewhere. The community welcomed her new business so far. She sees brighter and better things on the horizon, and hopes she can inspire others to overcome difficult odds as well.
“The depression I was in, it was really horrible,” she says. “I just want to be an inspiration to a lot of [big and beautiful women] and people who go through depression. Especially with clothes, hair, and makeup, it really makes a difference. It really helps, it’s a big part of life and I am here, I am a living witness. Trust me, I have been there and know what it is like being overweight.”
The Big Beauty Boutique at 108 Clark St. in Wausau is open from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. depending on how business is going Saturdays, and is closed Sundays and Mondays. Those interested in learning more can email Doonan at [email protected]. A further online presence for the store is coming soon.