ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Ahead of Mother’s Day, local salons are making sure every woman feels appreciated and loved. 

On Monday, stylists at numerous different salons across our area spent the day pampering more than 50 survivors of domestic abuse through YWCA. The cause is called “Stylists Giving Smiles.”

“The goal is to create awareness for domestic violence and to help pamper these women and show them that our community is behind them and that we support them, and making them feel good, and feel empowered,” said Kelly Breuer, the Owner of Rochester Woman Online Magazine. 

The event was created by Van Stanley, the owner of People’s Choice Kitchen, in honor of her late sister, Sandra Stanley.

“She’s no longer here, but she suffered decades of abuse at the hands of her boyfriend and I just wish she would have reached out and got help sooner,” Stanley said. “She is definitely smiling down. She would say, ‘Van, thank you, thank you for helping these ladies out and making them feel special.'”

Whether getting their hair or makeup done, the event gave women of all backgrounds a chance to feel relaxed, but it also reminded them that they’re not alone. 

“I was in a domestic violence relationship as well. I got out of that, so for me to be a part of something that close to home … means more to me than a lot of people realize,” said Sheila Young, a local hairstylist.

The cause also gave survivors, like Kelly Hall, the chance to do something they may not always get to do.

“I think it’s a huge thing because there are a lot of women who are surviving out there and they are so broken and torn from their relationships they have been in and they don’t get opportunities to come out, and I’ve noticed I’ve never really seen a community take action for us and to give us opportunities like this,” Hall said. 

Stanley’s hope is that Stylists Giving Smiles will motivate more businesses in the community to come together to support one another. She adds this event couldn’t have happened without the generosity of numerous local stylists, Rochester and Gates Police, and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, who donated flowers to survivors.  

“It really takes a village and I have an awesome village,” Stanley said. “Everyone jump in and help out.”

The salons that took part in the Stylists Giving Smiles event were:

  • Texture Beauty Bar
  • Vision Beauty Salon
  • Elegant Hair
  • Salon Bella Vita
  • Tan Diamond
  • Davine Hair Design
  • Diva Defined Hair Salon
  • Entourage Beauty Bar
  • Maggie Culmone with ImPossible Beauty provided makeovers for the women

If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, you can find resources here. You can also call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 800-799-7233.