After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]


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Giving the gift of style

By |2009-04-23T09:00:00-04:00April 23rd, 2009|News|

BIRMINGHAM – Many workers have been forced to “take a haircut” on pay and benefits in these tough times. But last weekend, unemployed workers were thrilled to get a haircut and lots more at Azenza Salon and Spa in Birmingham.
On Sunday, the upscale salon launched “Project: Beyond Beauty” to provide free beauty makeovers to people who have lost their jobs. Azenza’s owners have also enlisted other salons in greater Detroit to join them in providing a self esteem boost to people looking for work. The launch attracted a “sold out” event and the attention of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, both of whom attended the launch.
“This is so wonderful. People are looking for big things from Washington,” said Stabenow. “But it is this simple acts of kindness that really make a difference.”
“Getting laid off and looking for work is tough on the ego,” said Daniel Zavala, Azenza’s co-owner.
“We want to be able to help in the best way we know how – by pampering people and making them look great. And when someone looks their best, then they feel more confident and empowered, and hopefully they will be more successful in their job hunt,” he said of the project that is a collaboration with Michigan Works, the agency that provided the referrals of people from their job search program.
“This is so fantastic. I could never afford a professional haircut. I am so grateful!” said Nancy, an automotive worker who was laid off Feb. 27 and who was getting a cut and color treatment from stylist Melissa LeMay. “I have an interview this week, and I’m really glad I can walk in looking this good. I love it.”
Courtney, 28, is a single mother of three who lost her job last July. She’s hoping to find a job in customer service. She received a new hairstyle and full facial make up. “I am so excited and I feel great. It’s been hard,” she said. “We’ll all be OK, I know. But this really helps.”
With the unemployment rate in Michigan in double digits, Zavala and his staff felt they needed to give back to the community. “When you see so many people hurting, it is impossible to not try to do something,” said Zavala, who got his beauty products provider, Goldwell USA, and their local distributor BeautyCraft to donate the hair products for Project: Beyond Beauty. “Everyone I’ve asked has jumped at the chance to help,” said Zavala.
“This is an incredible effort to actually do something for people,” said Peters, a freshman congressman. “This is what we do in Detroit: We come together and rise to the occasion.”
Evolutions Salon and Spa in Berkley joined Azenza right away when Zavala called and asked them to help. “We wanted to do something, and now we can help women look the part and make them feel good about themselves,” said Nikeeta Williams, owner of Evolutions who was working a chair at Azenza beside several of her staff from Evolutions.
Zavala was clearly energized by the response to Project: Beyond Beauty. “This is just the beginning,” he said. “I’m just getting started – you watch.”

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