Changing lives one makeover at a time, The Style Me Hired Makeover/Employment Show at the Omni Hotel at Independence Park in Philadelphia gave 100 women a new feeling of confidence today.
Giving makeovers to women who are temporarily out of the workforce and are seeking employment, Style Me Hired celebrated their second anniversary, where they set up participants with a free hair cut, color and make-up consultation from participating East Coast salons. The women also received interviewing training and advice for writing a professional resume. This year, instead of just providing participants with makeovers and job skills, they also gave them the opportunity to network with potential employers right after their makeovers were finished.
So how did such an inspiration event come to be?
The idea for Style Me Hired was born on December 6, 2010 when Marc Voci Salon and Colorbar invited five locally unemployed women to receive a complete head-to-toe makeover complements of the salon. “The event was covered by our local news station, and right after the event, we got word that two of the women were hired instantly,” says Voci. After that, there was an outpouring of interest from e-mails to phone calls from people who wanted to be involved with the event next time—that’s when the Style Me Hired Makeover show was officially created. “As a salon owner, I felt like I needed to go the next step, and that was doing something important for my community,” says Voci. “Style Me Hired allows salons to come together as one, and drive confidence through the streets of America. These are real-life people who we helped out today. I hope our story will convince other salons around the nation to make the same kind of difference in other people’s lives.”
For years now, Marc Voci and his team at The Style Me Hired Makeover Show have been giving away free makeovers to women who are unemployed. He recently gave free makeovers to the laid-off Sunoco refinery workers in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. “Locally it was devastating news, so we wanted to shed a little light there,” says Producer of Style Me Hired, Anita Coppens. “We worked with four of the women who were let go and they all got jobs after their makeovers!” According to Coppens, last year’s event brought in approximately 100 women, and this year the number doubled. The number of salons who participated almost tripled, too—last year there were only nine and this year there were 25!
Elizabeth “Betsy” Stiles was one of the refinery workers who received a makeover; she spoke at the event today. “It was overwhelming to see how many women there were,” she says. “I was down in the dumps after I lost not just one job, but two. I moved to Philadelphia for work, and when I lost both jobs my confidence and self-esteem just plummeted. After I was made over by the Style Me Hired Show last year, I felt like a whole new woman, plus I felt like the Marc Voci team was my second family.”
Styles along with Donna Phillips (styled by Jacqueline Malocu, Beautiful Dream Team and Elaine Cedrone, Marc Voci Salon) officially kicked off today’s event. They were the first out of all the women to get the first “cut and curl” out of the entire group.
So, what was the process like?
Two weeks ago, participants visited their salons and got their official cut and color done along with make-up consultations. Today, the event was split between multiple stations (each salon had its own station) where participants visited their stylists one final time for touch-ups before their big interviews.
Getting the royal treatment, stylists and make-up artists spent anywhere from 60 to 80 minutes fixing up each of the women. “After getting beautified, participants were reminded of job search basics and given one-on-one support,” says Coppens. “Employers got a chance to network with them for a couple hours.”
But that wasn’t all. Participants were also fitted for an official “interview” outfit through Career Wardrobe. Last year’s contestant Andrea M. Blassingame, who spoke today, says that after last year’s makeover and show, she certainly could not help but feel more confident. “The staff, the other winning ladies, and Marc Voci in partnership with the Career Wardrobe worked to make everyone look great,” she says. “I had a few interviews scheduled the weeks following and I certainly did take my ‘new makeover attitude’ to those interviews with me. It made me feel like I could get any job I wanted.”
According to Blassingame, the connections she’s made, the workshops she’s attended, and the networking opportunities have all helped her in her business endeavors. “The relationship I developed with the Career Wardrobe has helped me change things in my personal and professional life, including reevaluating my finances and credit score, and interviewing and resume techniques that I use when I’m networking.”
“I tell the women that even if they don’t get employment, take advantage of your opportunities. Go in with an open mind and take the confidence you feel and compliments you are getting and use it to propel you forward,” says Blassingame.
Voci and his makeover team announced their next show will be in Boston. “To do an event like this it needed a lot of press,” says Coppens. “We needed to get salons involved so it required a lot of reaching out through social media and press opportunities. Last year was simply called the Style Me Hired Makeover Show because it only involved making over clients so they could find work afterwards. From this show forward, we will be partnering with Educational Data Systems Incorporated (EDSI) who provides us with the employer piece for the show. That’s why we have extended its official name to the Style Me Hired Makeover/Employment Show.”
Stylist and owner of L.A. Hair Salon, Laura Angiolillo, who participated last year and this year says, “After the makeovers the difference each women felt moved me to tears. It was rewarding to see how a makeover could build someone’s confidence level—that is why my salon participated this year.”
Cambio Salon, the first salon that sponsored the Style Me Hired Makeover Show, agreed the show was both fun and rewarding. “It’s good for salon owners and hairdressers to get involved with their communities,” says salon owner Mary Rascon. “Being in separate salons can cause that element of competitiveness. I like that when I came here today, it didn’t feel like that at all. I like that we were able to all get together again, network and bounce ideas off each other.” Rascon also says, “It doesn’t take all that much to do a makeover for someone. You could dedicate a few hours out of your career and really make a huge difference in someone’s life. As hairdressers we change lives every day, and the Style Me Hired Show today really gave us an opportunity to do that.”
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