Discovering Life’s Purpose

October 2014
Written By: 
Harold Rohrback
Photographs by: 
Mac Kilduff
A friend in need leads a local woman to The Wig Shop
Growing older usually means growing smarter. But in growing older, a great many people start to ask themselves “What is really my purpose in life?” Some find the answer in the multitudes of books, articles and websites devoted to the subject. Some find it through spiritual awakenings. Or some, like Karen Houghton, find it through tragedy.

The year was 2009 and Karen was enjoying life as a successful businesswoman, owning and operating a full-service salon. She had arrived home from work that evening much like any other day, unaware that her life was about to be changed. Sitting at her computer, she began checking her personal emails and then she saw it. Her close friend, Rachel DiAndre, had been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. “I was in shock,” said Karen. She quickly made arrangements to cover her business and headed to Pennsylvania to be with her friend. When she arrived, she was met with the news that Rachel had just been rushed to the emergency room with a high fever. Rachel would make it through that crisis, and many more over the next years, with Karen close by.

“Throughout, I was helping her with makeup, but I felt I needed to do more,” Karen said. Then the moment came. Rachel would always wear a hat or bandana to cover her head and when Karen asked her why, she replied, “because I don’t feel comfortable when I shop for a wig.” The statement had such a profound impact on Karen that it became her mission to use her beauty skills to offer a service that would provide a comfortable, caring environment for women going through difficult stages of life. Karen has been able to transition to a full-service wig/makeup business, The Wig Shop in Murrells Inlet, which had been owned and operated by Glenda Stark for more than 17 years. More than 75 percent of the business consists of customers who have lost their hair due to illness.

Rachel has been in remission for the past two years and Karen now devotes all of her energy to helping others who are traveling that same road feel beautiful.

The Wig Shop is located at 4650 U.S. 17 Bypass in Murrells Inlet. For more information, call (843) 651-4504.