Reaching the six-year mark is an important milestone in the small business world. It means you have passed that ever crucial five year trial-by-fire that all new businesses must endure.
Maria Brooks of just reached that six-year mark recently and she knows what a treasure community support is when it comes to running a business.
"Oconee citizens have supported this salon since before I owned it, when it was originally Shear Pizzaz," Brooks said. "I bought it from Rita Tweedell, who started it in 1989 and it was already an established business, thanks to customer loyalty and support."
The stories told around the beauticians' chairs by the salon's patrons have revealed tragedies and triumphs.
Brooks and her team have heard it all, from layoffs to foreclosures to families having to pinch pennies. Not to mention the stories of life's challenges that aren’t centered around the economy, such as illness, worry, and fret over family members serving overseas.
But Brooks has also seen something in her clientele. She has witnessed first hand the perseverance of hometown Americans pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and courageously step forward to face whatever the future brings.
"I've thinking about it for about 6 months," she said. " I recently heard a story of a woman whose husband lost his job, their house was being foreclosed, and their son is serving overseas. I said to myself, 'we can make a difference and give --just with our services-- a little bit of love and peace to someone who deserves a break.'"
So she and her staff brainstormed, pulled together a plan and enlisted the help of fellow downtown merchants.
The deserving winner will be pampered at Town Center Salon and Spa with a manicure and pedicure, facial, and personalized hair care. Next door at , the winner with receive a makeup makeover before being treated to lunch at . Next, the winner will head over to to pick out $50 worth of jewelry gifts.
and are also indulging the winner, and a romantic night's stay at completes the day’s dream-come-true events.
“We are always happy to give to local causes," Dave Shearon of Asford Manor said. "We love being able to make a difference to someone in the community who deserves a break."
Nominations for Oconee County residents are being accepted via email through September 12. If you'd like to nominate someone, email Maria Brooks at email@example.com. The makeover will take place on Friday, September 23.
"We will surprise the winner." Brooks said. "The morning of the 23rd, we will pick (her) up from work, home, or wherever," adding that arrangements will be made ahead of time with the person who nominated the chosen individual.
Stay tuned to Oconee Patch and we will share the rest of this Cinderella story with you soon!