This past year has been super challenging – there’s no doubt about it. In a time where we’ve had to be physically distanced, supporting one another has never been more important.
We recently came across an article on Medium that said:
“Imagine your hometown or local community. Go to the Main Street or shopping district in your mind. Now imagine it without any small businesses. Instantly, the area loses everything that makes it unique and brings charm. Small businesses provide character and individuality to a community. It is neighbours helping neighbours ― friends helping friends.” — Medium, 10 Ways Small Businesses Benefit Their Local Communities
As a small business ourselves, we knew that even though we needed support, our community needed support too. For this exact reason, we decided to launch our largest giveaway yet – free hair services for an entire year.
Self-care is more important now than ever before. We’re firm believers that If we don’t maintain our identities on the outside, we won’t feel good on the inside. Providing this service to help one individual show up as their best self every single day felt like a no brainer.
While launching this giveaway was a big deal to us, we didn’t realize how much of a big deal it would be to our community. We received hundreds of entries and the stories that were shared were truly touching. They acted as a simple reminder that we’re all living in this crazy world and going through something but being surrounded by incredible people in this community helps make for much better days.
With the amount of entries we received, we knew it was going to be a difficult decision to pick just one person so we decided to also give away ten prizes of a Free Blowout Service in addition to the grand prize. A small but impactful way that we’d be able to support our community in these trying times.
Our grand prizewinner was Bella Palombo, a first time mother who was pregnant, and delivered and raised her child through the COVID-19 pandemic. During the first 18 days of her son’s life, he experienced some complications and Bella, as a woman who was pretty strong, confident and stable, felt like she had reached a breaking point.
Bella explained, “getting my hair done every month has always been the one consistent thing I would do for me. It’s important to my mental health.”
This story touched our owner Stephanie in such a massive way, selecting Bella as the winner felt right. It’s stories like these that make you realize that everyone is dealing with their own battles and a small act of kindness can go a long way.
Here is Bella’s full story, get a tissue…
On International Women’s Day, I was tagged by my best friend in an Instagram post that introduced a contest posted by Kroma Hair Salon. Usually, I don’t participate in these types of contests but after reading the caption on the post that explained why the owner was doing this, the hard work and dedication that she had put towards making her dream of opening her own salon come true – I wanted to participate. International women’s day has always been a special day for me as it often brings back memories of my mom who has been very successful as a lawyer in her career path and who has also participated in many events around the world to inspire other women in their workplace. My mom has always taught me the importance of resilience and perseverance. That you never know how strong you really are until being strong is the only choice you have. No matter how difficult the situation is, you must always pick yourself up and keep going.
These words have never been more meaningful than this past year. As of October 2020, I am a first time mom who was pregnant, in labour/delivered and raising her first-born child in a global pandemic.
Being a new mom is hard. Being a new mom in a pandemic is even harder. But being a new mom in a pandemic with a child who had birth complications and existing medical conditions is the hardest. The first 18 days of my son’s life was spent in the hospital due to what started off with breathing complications, moved onto having seizures and then eventually being diagnosed with brain damage caused by an unpreventable prenatal stroke. You can only imagine how difficult this has been for us to understand and cope with while being in a pandemic where we were limited to when and where we could see our family and friends when we needed the support. Going through this difficult experience has truly taught me the importance of self-care and the effect it has on your physical, mental and emotional well being.
As a new mom, you must take care of yourself first before you can take care of anyone else. Getting my hair done once a month was the one consistent thing that I would do for myself. With the tough times I have tried to cope with and the constant salon closures this past year due to Covid-19, it had really shown me how important this one thing was to my well-being. Every time I would watch the news and hear that salons were being closed once again, I would instantly become upset because when I needed this form of self-care the most it had been taken away from me. The government seems to not understand that for some people having your hair done once a month is an essential service – essential to your health, confidence, emotions and overall well being. It is an essential component to the happiness and stability for MANY members of our community. From this, I have learned that for many people you aren’t just their hairdresser that we see every so often, but rather, you are part of our support system – someone who is there to listen when we need it most, someone who within an hour or two can transform us into feeling like a brand new, totally different person. For this I thank you, as I look forward to my upcoming appointments and look forward to that feeling of coming into the salon feeling one way and leaving feeling 100 times better.
We’re looking forward to being able to support our community as we move further and further into 2021. If you’d like to learn more about us, visit us at www.kroma-salon.com. If you want to connect with us, we’d love to chat on Instagram at @kromasalon.