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Bellezza Salon gives back to area students

By Deirdre Ryan | Marion Times | September 3rd, 2015 |

For many families with school-age children, the cost of back-to-school clothing, supplies, lunches and everything else can really add up. Let’s not forget the sports physicals, eye doctor visits and hair cuts.

In order to help out area families in need, Marion’s own Bellezza Salon and Spa stepped up to the plate with a creative way to benefit kids, as well as the cutting-edge business.

On Saturday, August 22, while some area residents were out ‘Quilt Walkin,’ others were lining up at the Bellezza Salon and Spa, located at 915 8th Avenue in Marion, with books in their hands.

Owners of Bellezza, Jill Woodring and her husband, Mike, hosted their first ever “Book Your Appointment.” That day, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., school-aged kids could donate a book to the salon and get a free haircut for the back-to-school season.

This fun and fulfilling idea was presented to Jill and Mike by a friend only four days before the actual event. The plan originated from a story about a barber in Dubuque, IA who had children read to him as payment for a haircut. The Woodrings decided to put their own spin on things though; they announced their event on Facebook, and word spread like wildfire, noted Jill.

In order to be prepared for the additional ‘young’ clients, Jill had her co-worker and stylist, Jenna Thornton, as well as her sister, Shauna Whitaker, of Fannie Fun Dos, assist behind the chair that Saturday.

Not only were there over 25 free haircuts given that day, but over 50 books were donated to the salon. These books will soon go to Families Helping Families, a non-profit organization that helps foster care families in need.

Bellezza Salon and Spa even gave out cupcakes to customers during the “Book Your Appointment” event, courtesy of Amber Nelson with Collione’s Custom Cakes. Solar Beauty Products also donated a gift basket full of all-natural salon products.

“This really made us feel so successful,” commented Jill Woodring. “We jumped into this idea last minute, but it was nice to see that it helped out. It’s been the biggest thing to happen for us. The day was encouraging and rewarding. We want to get our name out there and help the community.”

“It would have been nice if someone did this when we were younger,” said Mike Woodring. “Being a part of something like this is what small business is about.”

Since September of 2013, the Woodrings have owned the Bellezza Salon and Spa at its current location in Marion, and they are loving it.

“Marion is big on small businesses,” noted Mike. “There is support and learning … everyone works together.”

“The small businesses, the creativity here – Marion is one of the best places to be in business,” said Jill. “I love the fact that I’m in a community where I can express myself … we feel blessed to be here.”

At the Bellezza Salon and Spa, everyone is welcome – that is the message that the Woodrings definitely want to stress! Their prices are reasonable, they offer full hair services, manicures and pedicures, all organic and natural products and wonderful customer service – that is the key, noted Jill.

“We pride ourselves in detail here,” said Jill. “It’s quality, not quantity … this business truly means so much to us.”

After the success of their first ‘giving-back’ goal, Jill and Mike are excited to participate in future events in and around the Marion Community. The couple plans on being a part of the Chocolate Walk on Friday, October 2, as well as other upcoming things hosted by the city.

Mike and Jill may also host a haunted house on Halloween, and they are planning on holding another ‘giving-back’ day sometime in November, where they accept toys as a haircut payment. The gifts that are received will then be donated to Toys for Tots for the upcoming holiday season.

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