Ahhhhh!!!!! Beep…..beep…. BEEP….. BEEEEEEEEEP!!! There it is. Your morning entrance into the world. That alarm woke you up, again! You were so soundly dreaming of just sitting still long enough to relax and remember what it might be like to sit down and do that. Right? Ha! “relax”. What exactly is that you ask as you slam-dunk your snoozed alarm for the 3rd time. Great! Now you have exactly 11 minutes to pee, brush your teeth, throw on your gym clothes, grab your shoes, a hat, an apple, and sneak out before the child-guest-invader in your bed wakes up and knows that you are trying to have some “me” time. Again, what the heck is THAT? Who has time for themselves anymore?! Certainly, not you. Between the job, the kid’s school, the holidays, birthdays, carpools, your school, your spouse…. Am I hitting a nerve yet?
Sorry, not sorry. We really live like this, ladies! You are awake now. Again, sorry. That alarm is already set to repeat this same scenario for you tomorrow. Ready? You’re going to wake up, yell profanities at the alarm clock sounding (quietly so you don’t wake the kid) and you are going thrust your fist in the air and swear that something MUST give…. And that is all before you even enter the bathroom, look in the mirror and start over analyzing every little nook and cranny of what’s wrong. Your clothes, your make-up (IF you took the time), your hair, the momentary belly bloat and that just woke-up-puffy right under your eyes. There is not a shred of salvation in this 5am reflection for you. It’s quite a heaping pile of yuk to carry with us through the day, isn’t it? But we do, don’t we? And how do we “deal” with it? We hide behind it and use it all as the very excuse to NOT take care of ourselves. Want to know a way to stop ALL of this in its tracks?
It’s called a #take30. This is what you can do for yourself to prevent the overload, overwhelm, jammed pack with excuses mindset that we all fall prey to when we are taking care of everyone except ourselves. I want to share one of my own moments with you and give a huge shout out to a local business that is literally IN the business of taking care of women, making them feel and look incredible and truly embracing the power they have to uplift and validate the badassary in every woman that crosses their threshold! When we take the time to take care of ourselves that should be acknowledged and honored. It’s not easy to break out of our everyday routines. But it is possible. I was given that opportunity and was completely enamored!
I have seriously driven past it hundreds of times. I had seen it. It was always busy (rightfully so). I had even used its name as a girl’s option when I was pregnant with my 7th kid (yeah, that’s a whole other blog) but this one Tuesday afternoon invite from the Salon’s Director opened my eyes to a whole new world of what it means to truly take time for myself! This was not just a stop and smell the coffee moment but a stop and hold the press type moment! I pulled up in front of Bella Salon & Spa, located at 1691 Langely Drive in Hagerstown and began what would be an absolutely incredible afternoon. I knew of their reputation for giving quality service like no other. Their name is always the buzz in our city, whether it’s one of their award-winning stylist, a community project they are giving back to, or winning another award for excellence in service. It is no wonder that they have achieved such rankings as 4.7 out of 5 on Facebook, a 5/5 from Demand Force, 5/5 from the BBB, have been awarded the Going Green Award from the Washington County of Commerce, and have been given the Circle of Excellence 3 years in row?!
When I had the opportunity of meeting the Director of the Salon, Christy Marks-Turner and the owner, Tammy Marks Shindle as well as their power-house crew of incredible women, who make it their daily goal to uplift everyone that enters their doors and release the beauty from within, I had no idea how truly stunning it is to catch women doing what they love most. The passion and drive in that building was tangible. As I walked in for my own appointment that Tuesday, there was a hum of happy hustle everywhere I turned. It wasn’t crowded with people, it was complete with creation and joy. To my left, I could see the other women sitting in their color bar chairs, waiting for their transformation as they carried on conversations with their intently listening stylists. To my right I saw beautiful nail bars, and Make-Up tables. Disbursed throughout the salon were individual stations, perfectly organized, with each woman’s eclectic vibe and style.
That day I was given the treat of being placed in the hands of Jessica Pando, Hair Stylist and Make-Up Artist. She is known for her bold approaches and out of the box style. Christy and Tammy knew that I am someone who loves an adventure and loves everything that is spontaneous, and so they matched me with a stylist that shared my passion. This woman is leaps and bounds past incredible. I felt completely at home from the moment I entered the salon and was directed towards my chair. Aromatics of tea and oils, tangible positive vibrations, and an unbelievable calm drifted through the air, everywhere in the salon. It was unlike the busy, noisy, and factory feeling of other salons. What set everything off for me was the sisterhood that you could FEEL inside those amazing walls. This was much more than a cut and color. I was having an experience every woman deserves to treat themselves to!
Be Amazing. Be Bold. Be You. That is what the entire afternoon kept reaffirming. My stylist for the afternoon stood there next to me with pen and paper. I filled out a detailed questionnaire on my hair’s history!? From what previous and current products, I used, to the colors and specific treatments that have been done, it was a health questionnaire for my hair!! This really made me intrigued as it made perfect sense and made the whole event that much more involved. Jessica began asking my questions about what my vision for my hair was, if I had any pictures, and that’s when we began to dive into the art of creating my cut, style, and color.
We agreed upon a picture that held darker tones for the under shaved areas and playful blues, teals, greens, and a tease of purple for the top. I wanted playful and bold with the ability to be both chic and punk. I work out daily and need something that is not going to be in constant need of fixing or adjusting but I also have daily meetings that require a quick clean look. She began to work on my hair and it was truly like watching an artist go at a canvas. The colors were made and brought out. The blues and teals literally were painted on and the colors shined. It looked as though she were painting the two colors on opposite sides of the same strands of hair, which is EXACTLY what she did?!?
As I sat there continuing to sip on my tea, scrolling through Facebook, I looked up. I could hear my timer tick-tocking away. I could see all the other women that were coming in, sitting in a chair, and those getting ready to leave. Every single woman in Bella Salon and Spa was beaming! I found myself asking, “What is this place”?! I felt like I had stumbled onto the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and we all were sharing the warmth, richness, and joy that was beaming in COLOR out of it!
My timer dinged and back came Jessica to rinse, shampoo, cut, and the best part… STYLE! I watched as she angled, hair by hair, a gorgeous cut and style. She even awesome with my stubborn cowlicks too! I felt incredible, just watching as she brought the colors alive while blow-drying and explained the different products she was using to style my new doo! I sat there in the chair, in front of the mirror, and when it was all finished I couldn’t believe my eyes! I came in with a head full of gray and blue hair, looking older than my 39 years and staring back at me was this punk rocker, Pink-lookin, woman who felt 10 years younger than just a moment ago!! Complete and utter astonishment were two of the emotions circling me but the one that sticks out the most… the one that will make me go back, again and again? I felt and looked sexy, confident and happy! THAT is what taking time for myself resulted in. THAT is what Bella Salon & Spa orchestrates every single day for hundreds of women (and men)!
This new look was me. It was bold and made a statement. The stylist was skilled, educated and savvy to the styles of today. She made me feel important, cared for, and alive the entire time. That takes a certain level of finesse and that is exactly what every stylist at Bella Salon and Spa gives you. It makes a difference, when you know you are in capable hands, you can truly appreciate the time you are giving yourself to be pampered or cared for in this way. I believe that is what Bella Salon and Spa strives to give everyone that walks through their door… that feeling of sexy, confident, and happy. I carried that with me right out the door and into my truck as I drove home to start dinner. It didn’t matter that I had a hundred errands still to run, practices to race to with one kid, guitar lessons for another, and a workout yet to do. I felt fabulous and was ready to conquer my afternoon because I took the time to refill my own cup. So, when I walked in the front door at home and was bombarded with my afternoon reality, I was still smiling.
As I stood in my kitchen, putting on my “mommy hat”, “taxi driver hat”, and “chef hat”, over top of my beautiful peacock colored hair, it was something my 6-year-old daughter, Bella, said to me that made my heart burst with joy and helped me realize how important it was to write this review of my experience. For one, the salon nor my daughter have any idea how involved they indirectly were in convincing my husband to name our daughter Isabella and secondly, they are so much more than a salon!! Amid everything circling around, my little one looked up at me and asked if “Did you go to art class today”. I giggled and said, “no, Mommy went to get a haircut”. Bella looked up at me and said, “but who painted your hair pretty”?
Kids have a way of pointing out the obvious. Just as I had felt it when I watched Jessica labor over each strand of my hair, I felt very lucky to have been able to enjoy such a pivotal experience. I wanted this for all my girls. I want this for all my girl-friends! What better way to really embrace and accept who we are, than to go to someone whose main focus every day is to release the inner badass in people, create fun and fabulous looks that are versatile for today’s active woman?
I highly recommend both the salon and this stylist! Both blew my mind!!