Ready for some serious inspiration? Get REAL with Heather Durcho, AEO’s Front Desk Receptionist. She fearlessly volunteered to share her story with us as we honor breast cancer awareness this month, and we can’t thank her enough! Read on to learn more about the shining face we see every day in our Pittsburgh office.
Hi, Heather! Thanks for chatting with us. Can you give us a brief intro to what you do here at AEO?
I am the front desk Receptionist. I do a little bit of everything. Answer phones, check in guests, and help out with some HR responsibilities. I think I may have one of the best positions in the office because I get to chat with so many different people during the day. There is never a dull moment up here at the front desk. I have been working here since March of this year and absolutely LOVE it!
Do you have a favorite Aerie item?
My favorite go-to Aerie items are definitely the cardigans and dusters. They are so comfy! I love that they are so versatile. I can wear one when I’m just lounging around the house. I can throw one on with a pair of jeans and head out to run some errands. Or I can even dress one up by adding a statement necklace and a cute pair of boots. Confession, I wore my favorite duster to work the other day and then slept in it that night! They are that cozy!
If girls want to see more of your style…where should they find you on Instagram?
My Instagram handle is @heddadurka.
What makes you #AerieREAL?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer (Stage 1 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) in March of this year. The first question I had for my doctor was, “Am I going to lose my hair?” Within just a couple weeks after my first chemotherapy treatment, it was falling out in clumps. I remember one day I went to readjust my ponytail, and when I took out my hair tie, I was literally holding my entire ponytail in my hand. I decided enough was enough and shaved my head that same day. I was just coming to a point in my life where I was really starting to love and appreciate my body, flaws and all. Then cancer swooped in changed everything. My hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes fell out. I became bloated and puffy from some of the chemotherapy drugs they gave me. I didn’t look like myself at all. Literally the only thing that did not change was who I was inside, and that is what I decided to hold on to. I was still the same person I have always been, it was just the outside that was different. It took me a little while but once I finally came to that realization, I felt so much better about everything that was going on. Learning that I am just as beautiful on the outside as I am on the inside is what makes me #AerieREAL.
Amazing. Thank you SO much for sharing. Now onto a lighter note. What book did you least read?
I am addicted to reading! My kindle goes with me everywhere. The last book I read was “Who Do You Love” by Jennifer Weiner. If you haven’t read it yet then go do it right now!
Shop Heather’s Look: Duster Cardigan | Tank (similar here) | Girls Rule Notebook (in store!)
Do you have any favorite fall recipes?
One of my favorite things to do in the fall is cook on our charcoal grill. I don’t have any specific recipes, per se. I just love being outside in the crisp fall air, watching the leaves change and enjoying a delicious home cooked meal. However, this would not be a proper interview without me expressing my deep and undying love for a large, steaming bowl of mac and cheese!
Describe your personal style in 3 words:
Classic, comfortable, girly.
What does #AerieREAL mean to you?
I’m sure being #AerieREAL means something different to everyone. To me, being #AerieREAL is taking what I have learned about myself over the past few months and helping others feel the exact same way. We are all beautiful!
Thank you Heather!
Tune in to our Snapchat today (handle: aerie) as Heather gives us a behind-the-scenes look at her day at Aerie!
Learn more about our partnership with Bright Pink®, a non-profit dedicated to prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer.