18 Aug

(Coral Gables, Florida) – Cleber Lopes, Beauty & Life Institute, hosted an event to help raise breast cancer awareness and to celebrate the life of those who have battled off the disease.

Breast cancer is a disease that affects both women and men, and it is anticipated that nearly 200,000 women and 1,700 men will be diagnosed with cancer according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Cleber Lopes is more than a beauty salon.  As its name suggests, the beauty and life institute is a place where one can obtain treatments and alternative therapies to improve their quality of life.  The salon specializes in hair and skin care offering an array of services from body and hair treatments to spa services. 

The Etiquette Girl Nathalia Bogani with Fashion Expert Tere Rullan and her Beautiful Models

The event featured a fashion show by fashion expert, Teresa Rullan, who has been collecting vintage clothes and accessories for over ten years, keeping up to date with the latest fads, trends, and styles.  Her pieces are unique, classic, and timeless.

Guests were able to savor a mouthwatering menu catered by Pasha’s Healthy Mediterranean Cuisine while enjoying the fashion show, and receiving makeovers by Motives’ Stephanny Iglesias and Semyra Diaz, makeup artists and consultants.

I also had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing breast cancer survivor, Vivian Gray, who told her amazing story about her battle with cancer, but first, an interview with David Bialski, Financial Administrator at Cleber Lopes salon, and later, an interview with Teresa “Tere” Rullan. ■


TEG with David Bialski

TEG – What inspired the salon to want to host an event to raise breast cancer awareness?

D.B. – A few months back we did an event called “Day of Caring” which featured breast cancer survivors who are now completely cancer free.  We did hair and makeup to over twenty models of all walks of life who have battled cancer, and it was amazing, a true success.  I wanted to know what else we could do to help them and Vivian Gray came to me and we decided to do this event.

TEG – Are you planning on doing this type of event frequently?

D.B. – We have a few events coming up.  We’ll have an event called “Fashion Day” to help promote a new designer coming to town, and on September 2nd we’ll have an event called “Pretty Hurts” and there will be a fashion show as well.  In October we’ll have another event to help collect pony tails to make wigs.  It takes eight pony tails in order to make one wig so we could really use the support.  Last year we collected 48 pony tails, it was great.

TEG – I have not seen such a dedicated salon that participates in so many great causes and also uses its services to promote other businesses and organizations.  You help raise awareness on important matters such as breast cancer, and make others feel better while improving their quality of life.  I commend the salon for its hard work and generosity.  Thank you for having me here today and I wish you the best of luck on all your future events.


TEG with Vivian Gray

TEG – Hello Vivian.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

V.G. – I am originally from the Atlanta area and I work as one of the mangers for Priscilla of Boston in Coral Gables.  I manage and supervise all the alterations of all the gowns that go out of the store.

TEG – Vivian, you have a special story to share with us today.  Tell us what happened to you.

V.G. – I moved down to Miami three years ago and one Saturday morning, after I took a shower, I noticed a very large lump on my left breast about the size of a golf ball.  After seeing a physician and taking X-Rays, they determined that I had a 3 negative type of cancer that grows very fast and it’s very difficult to treat.  They gave me heavy doses of chemotherapy and were able to get it down to half the size.  The other treatments did not make any difference so that’s when I decided to get it removed.  I have been cancer free for over two years since my surgery, and I am on no medication whatsoever.  I’m as healthy as I can possibly be.  I was able to battle off one of the most difficult types of cancer there is.

TEG – I’m very happy to hear that and what an amazing story this is.  Tell me, when they first diagnosed you with cancer, what went through your mind? 

V.G. – My job was so important to me, and because I worked full time, it occupied my time so that I didn’t have time to think of how sick I was.  After treatment I would come home and spend days curled up and I was afraid to move.  But I was so busy trying to get through the beginning process that working full time saved me.  The girls at work were so supportive and became my family, and even though I did not have my closes friends or family members here, they supported me from a distance.

TEG – What has been the most difficult part of the process?

V.G. – The most horrific experience, during the whole process was shaving my head.  When I started losing all my hair, my doctor told me it was time to shave it.  I had to get up the nerve one Thursday morning before I went to work and I shaved my own head.  I couldn’t imagine going to someone else and letting them do it.  That was the most difficult part of my healing process because I didn’t like being bald.  But one evening I was watching TV and I started rubbing my head and thought, when you get to a point when you are able to accept yourself, even with your bald head, then you will begin to really love yourself, and I did.

TEG – How do you feel now?

V.G. – The process of healing was really slow.  Even though we were able to get it all out, it was still slow.  I had a lot of side effects after the treatment and just now, after two years, it is when I’m beginning to feel like my old self again. I’m very involved in breast cancer awareness groups.  I am on the Board of Directors for “Day of Caring,” which keeps me very busy.  We have an event in May at the Intercontinental Hotel and I’m in charge of a fashion show.  What we do is have all of our models be cancer-free patient survivors and we let them model clothes from different stores in the area.  This helps build their moral and let them know that there is life after cancer. 

TEG – Vivian, thank you so very much for sharing your wonderful story with us.  You are truly amazing and an inspiration to all.  I am happy to be here with you today.


TEG – You are here today to join in the celebration of life, with breast cancer survivors, and to help raise funds for an inspiring organization called “Relay of Life” by the American Cancer Society.  Tell me, how are you collaborating in the event today?

T.R. – I normally come to the salon for services and they mentioned that they host several events a year.  I have my fashion boutique in Puerto Rico, which I am now trying to debut in the Miami market.  When I heard about the “Day of Caring” event, I immediately wanted to cooperate by doing a fashion show to display my collection.

TEG – Are these designs for sale at the event?

T.R. – Yes.  The women will be able to purchase any piece they like or an entire outfit, and proceeds of the sales will go to Relay of Life Foundation.  They may also make a future appointment so we can personalize a style and so that they can see the rest of the collection I have in the boutique.

TEG – What is your style? What kind of pieces do you offer?

T.R. – Not only do I have contemporary pieces that are in style now, but I also offer timeless vintage pieces that I have been collecting for many years.  In addition to these pieces I also offer accessories from purses to belts, to earrings, and more.

TEG – Being this a very select boutique, how do you select your pieces to fit every woman’s size?

T.R. – I do keep this in mind as I am selecting my pieces, and I must say that, a lot of the pieces I have are not model size 0 garments.  The majority of the sizes I offer are a little bigger, for full women in size medium and large, but I do carry other items that can fit a small.  I also offer items for little girls as well as for adults.

TEG – I have a few questions about etiquette and personal image. What do you recommend a person should wear for a job interview? And, what should they not wear?

T.R. – For a job interview you should always wear something traditional.  Never wear a mini skirt, if you wear a skirt, it should knee-length, or no more than two fingers above the knee in order to look professional.  You should wear a beautiful blouse and always a business jacket.  For accessories I would recommend little earrings, I like to suggest the traditional pearls, maybe a ring and that is it, very minimal jewelry.  The colors to keep in mind should be black with white or navy blue.

TEG – Tere, your collection looks spectacular and I can’t wait to stick around for the fashion show.  Thank you very much for your wonderful advice as well and I wish you all the best of luck with your boutique debut in Miami.



Breast Cancer | Pearls

Breast cancer is a serious disease that affects both men and women.  There are many organizations you can check out, join, or support.  I encourage you, as a woman, and as someone who is a true advocate of women empowerment, to please consider supporting a cause in any small way. 

Yoplait Yogurts sometimes comes out with a batch of Susan G. Komen edition, and donates a small portion of the proceeds for every lid received after consumption.  It’s a great way to start getting involved and help do something about finding a cure.

Also, just a quick note to say how amazing pearls are

Pearls are the timeless accessory that you can wear either with a suit or with jeans and a nice shirt on the weekends to keep a sophisticated look.  You can wear them to the mall, to the store, to do groceries, to a reunion, to a meeting, to every occasion and you will always look fabulous. 

So ladies, if you don’t already own a nice pair of pearls, please go get some ASAP!

After you have acquired your first pair of traditional pearls, you may want to opt for colored pearls later.  You can find pearls now in pink, brown, black and more.

- The Etiquette Girl

For more information on Breast Cancer, please visit: | |

For more information on Cleber Lopes, please visit

For more information on Tere’s Boutique, please write to

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