Stacey Ellis, is a successful owner of her own salon, Ellis Salon. With 18 years of experience as a hairstylist and makeup artist, she has provided her skills as a Beauty Professional at the foundation and has helped made our clients feel as special as they are.
“All I need is that smile from ear to ear at the end and I know my job is done.”
Q: How did you hear about Beauty Bus Foundation?
A: I saw Beauty Bus on the show, Secret Millionaire and my salon owner at that time had been to an event and told us about it in a staff meeting. I was hooked!
Q: How long have you been with the foundation?
A: About 4 years. I offer hair and makeup services.
Q: What inspired you to volunteer?
A: Like too many people, I lost a dear friend to cancer at 21 years of age in which I understand the importance of giving that loved one a little day to day normality. Feeling beautiful on the outside may only be a temporary relief from how they are feeling inside, but it’s a relief and a distraction at the same time. Over the years, I have also helped clients of my own going through treatments with home haircuts and other services so I felt I would be able to help at Beauty Bus.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue cosmetology?
A: I was interested in hair, makeup and fashion as a teenager so my parents encouraged me to pursue something creative. I left high school and went straight to hair school, and then makeup school at the age of 17.
Q: What was your first In-Home Visit or Pop-Up Salon like?
A: There have been so many, that I can’t really remember the first ever visit, it’s all a blur of smiling faces. I tend to go in happy and up beat and everyone seems so happy to see the Beauty Bus team. They are always so grateful and you can see that it’s a great distraction for them, we always have a wonderful time!
Q: Is there something you walk away with from these visits and Pop-ups?
A: It’s just like when I do someone’s hair or makeup in the salon and see how pleased they are, it’s just as rewarding to see that on the In-Home Visits or Pop-ups, also.
Q: Has volunteering for Beauty Bus Foundation changed your perspective on beauty?
A: No, not really. I treat everyone the same when it comes to what I do. I see past [the] illness and wheel chairs and look straight to the people which is why I do this. All I need to see is that smile from ear to ear at the end and I know my job is done.
Beauty Bus joined hands with No Worries Now Prom event held on June 12, 2014. No Worries Now Prom is an annual charity prom held for teens living with chronic and terminal illnesses and the nonprofit organizes it to be a special night for them to remember. BBF worked their magic on these lovely teens and provided pop-up salons for people to get ready with hair and make-up services done by our Beauty Professionals. For this event, social media intern, Julie was able to conduct quick interviews of our amazing Beauty Professionals and Beauty Buddies to show the magic behind the scenes.
Dianna, Beauty Bus Professional
J: Is this the first time you had volunteered at a No Worries Now Prom event?
J: If not, how many times have you volunteered in the past?
D: “I also volunteered last year.”
J: What services did you provide for the event?
J: What did you enjoy the most about volunteering at the event?
D: “Meeting the clients and hearing their stories and sharing it in their excitement.”
Every year Beauty Bus Foundation recognizes the best beauty volunteers in Los Angeles – our volunteers who give their time, talent and dedication to our clients and their caregivers. To provide beauty services throughout Los Angeles and surrounding counties to clients who often cannot leave their homes to travel to salons or spas is a special gift to Beauty Bus’ volunteer program. The gift given by our beauty volunteers not only comes through beauty services, it also is seen in our buddies and ambassadors – beautiful volunteers who show their passion through companionship and assistance both In-Home and at events in Los Angeles. Many of our recognized volunteers bring our mission into their neighborhoods, schools and education programs. We are so grateful to have such wonderful people throughout Los Angeles as part of our volunteer program.
2013 Award Winners
2013 Volunteer of the Year – The Melissa Award: Given to the Beauty Bus volunteer who most embodies the spirit of the Beauty Bus Foundation, founded in memory of Melissa Marantz Nealy. Melissa was a spunky red-head who lit up a room and loved a good day at the spa. Melissa Award recipients bring the same passion to Beauty Bus that Melissa brought to living every day to the fullest.
Letrice Lopez: Letrice has been a beauty volunteer with Beauty Bus since the beginning – she joined our volunteer program as a nail tech in August 2010 – and is one of our longest running Beauty Professional volunteers. This year Letrice has been the Beauty Professional on 88 visits in Los Angeles! Additionally Letrice volunteers at Pop-Up Salons, comes into the office, helps with Beauty Drive and is our go-to person when we have questions about nail services. Letrice is patient and flexible with our client base. Working with patients who shake uncontrollably to those who have clenched fists, Letrice brings a relaxed element which results in beautifully polished nails. Letrice embraces the spirit of Beauty Bus and we are humbled by her continued dedication to our clients.
The 2013 Rosenson Family Beauty Buddy of the Year: Given to the non-beauty professional who attends home visits, Pop-Up Salons and events, and does so with passion and compassion for Beauty Bus’ clients.
Patti Amaral: Patti has been part of our volunteer program since March 2011. She came to us through the Los Angeles Caregiver Resource Center. Patti volunteers in the office, sits on the Beauty Drive committee and acts as Beauty Buddy on numerous in-home visits throughout Los Angeles. This calendar year alone Patti has been the Beauty Buddy for 83 visits – an average of 8 visits a month! We get special requests for Patti from our clients all the time because she brings such a light and lift to their lives. Patti has a friendly presence and ability to talk to everyone, representing the beauty in our volunteer program. We are so grateful to her as part of the Beauty Bus family.
The 2013 Aloxxi Salon/School of the Year: Given to the salon or school that has provided unique support to the Beauty Bus Foundation throughout the year.
Paul Mitchell The School- Sherman Oaks: Paul Mitchell The School – Sherman Oaks has signed up to volunteer with Beauty Bus at numerous events such as the Ronald McDonald House and No Worries Now Prom, providing a number of student beauty volunteers. The students from Paul Mitchell Sherman Oaks are professional, compassionate and kind to anyone who sits down to get a service. The method of teaching, the curriculum and the staff at PMTS are doing something right to develop such wonderful future beauty professionals. Even our licensed beauty professional volunteers have noticed how composed the students are with our clients. They are open and willing to help out where needed. We look forward to working with PMTS’s future beauty professionals on many more events!
2013 Beauty Ambassador of the Year: Given to the Beauty Bus volunteerwho is a bold representative of the Beauty Bus Foundation in his/her everyday life. The Beauty Ambassador assists the foundation in thriving by using their unique talents to help sustain and promote the growth of Beauty Bus.
Kim Hudson: Kim has been an amazing addition to the Beauty Bus volunteer program and team. She is a compassionate individual who joined our volunteer program in November 2011. Although she’s done a little bit of everything, what stands out most is how she helped transform our volunteer training. Kim worked with program staff to refine and help lead the second half of the training covering the diseases that we serve, how to communicate with our clients and what to expect on visits throughout Los Angeles. Kim’s enthusiasm for helping others has positively impacted Beauty Bus.
2013 Barbara’s Butterflies – Kids Award: Given to young people who have contributed to the work of Beauty Bus and shared our mission in their community.These awards are presented in memory of Barbara Bresnan by her daughters, Mary and Maureen.
Maggie Smith (pictured): Maggie chose Beauty Bus Foundation as her Bat Mitzvah project this year. She came into the office to prepare packets for volunteer training and held a product drive at her house. We are grateful to Maggie for selecting Beauty Bus as her charity!
Carly Ackerman-Canning: Carly has been volunteering with Beauty Bus for the last few years. This year she volunteered at Beauty Drive and took on multiple in–home projects. As she prepares for life in college, we look forward to Carly’s future with Beauty Bus!
Sydney Walley: Sydney chose Beauty Bus as her Bat Mitzvah charity last year and took initiative with another product drive this year to benefit our clients!
2013 Richard and Roberta Marantz Family Beauty Professional of the Year: Given to the volunteer Beauty Professional who shares his or her talent at home visits, Pop-Up Salons and events, and does so with passion and compassion for Beauty Bus’ clients.
Stacey Ellis: Stacey joined the beauty volunteer program as a hair stylist with Beauty Bus in May 2011. She learned about Beauty Bus through her boss Natasha who is friends with Ann Mincey, our 2011 Beauty Drive Honoree. Stacey has gone on 18 visits in Los Angeles this year alone. She has a kind, compassionate touch with our clients and we are grateful for her service.
More than 34 million unpaid caregivers provide care to someone age 18 and older who is ill or has a disability – the majority (83%) being family caregivers or friends, and neighbors of all ages who are providing care for a relative. Caregivers report having difficulty finding time for one’s self (35%), managing emotional and physical stress (29%), and balancing work and family responsibilities (29%). More than half (51%) said they do not have time to take care of themselves and almost half (49%) said they are too tired to do so. With such a large population of people in the country caring for a loved one, you may be reading this and seeing yourself in these statistics. For one of our client’s caregivers, the statistics tell her story as well. But what about the good? These numbers haven’t touched on the beauty of caring for another. What are the benefits of becoming a caregiver, giving up a bit of your life to make another life full of quality and joy?
Shelley had been a caregiver for some time before her elderly mother passed away, and with an ending marriage on the horizon, it was time for Shelley to move on to a new life. She began to look for a new place to live, finding an ad for a roommate that seemed like a great fit. Shelley and James hit it off, and agreed to become roommates.
Two days before Shelley moved in, James suffered a stroke. Because of her situation, the agreement to live at James’ house, and her familiarity with basic medical care procedures, Shelley agreed to take care of James. What was simply a place to live, had turned into a new, albeit familiar, role – taking care of another person. Shelley embraced her new role as caregiver.
“James seems to be very calm and cool about life. He does not panic; he is a “let it be” kind of person, and despite his condition, is almost never stressed. He handles stressful situations differently than most people.”
As a result of being James’ caregiver, Shelley’s respect for the elderly has deepened and she has taken the opportunity to learn from James.
“Taking care of James has been great but the toughest part was when someone else moved into the house with us, and I had to adjust to living with this new person. It was tough because on top of all the responsibilities I had for James and myself, I now have someone else that I’m looking after as well.”
Shelley has taken from James a lesson in letting things go and not complaining as much. The experience has also taught her how to be more disciplined, thinking through what she wants to say more carefully in order to best convey what she wants to express. Shelley says she now goes the extra mile for other people when she wouldn’t have before. She is more compassionate and does more things out of love.
As a caregiver, what are the unseen benefits you experience? How has your life changed, for the better, through your attention and care towards another who cannot care for himself?
Having ALS is an expected death sentence. From diagnosis, the average life expectancy is 2-5 years. 2-5 years.
What would you do with 5 years to live? With 2? And that’s not taking into account what you COULD do.
One of our female clients, Debbie, is 42 and living with ALS. We met her for the first time in November of 2012 for a haircut visit. With advanced stage ALS, Debbie sits in a wheelchair, communicates with slurred speech, and offers her company a bubbly and sweet disposition that would put anyone in a good mood upon meeting. She is always happy to have people in her home and looks forward to her in-home visits.
Imagine communicating your needs via computer, every word created by your eye movement from letter to letter. A practice in patience, indeed, as wit, charm and love are communicated by a robotic voice unfamiliar from your own. Contrary to the affects on the physical body, a person living with ALS has full control over their cognition, memory and ability to communicate however limited. The journey through this disease is not an easy one – countless stories float the internet gracefully detailing the trip beginning to end.
So, what would you do if you COULD with 2-5 years left to live?
In early 2013, Debbie scheduled her second in-home visit yet had to cancel due to hospitalization, a common occurrence for our clients as their needs are always changing and immediate medical attention is often necessary. Two months passed and we had heard no word from Debbie about rescheduling.
When staff contacted Debbie’s family at home, we learned that she would be returning from the hospital the next day and had verbalized her strong desire to get pampered right away. It is the first thing she wants to do, her mother told us. All services possible, she said. As soon as possible, she emphasizes. We were happy to oblige, but due to the busy schedules of our volunteers – who not only offer their limited free time, but often work a full schedule as well – we were only able to provide services one full month later.
Here in lies the dilemma: Nothing is guaranteed, our days are short, and our clients want to live a life as big as possible. How do we help to make our clients’ lives everything it could be, while they navigate the things that cannot be control? It’s an all too familiar desire.
Our clients rely on us to assist them in their big lives; to live a beautiful life full of every possibility imagined, which they may not be able to fulfill on their own. Our organization relies on volunteers – you – to assist us in our big mission. Beauty professionals offer an opportunity for all of us to feel pampered, and, for our clients, an additional opportunity to ignore their illness and embrace their beauty as they fight the challenges of disease.
Make your life big, so that our clients can live big, too. Join our team; become a volunteer. Allow our clients to feel beautiful in their own skin, their own home, in the moments after they’ve spent two months in the hospital braving the challenges of terminal illness. We need you, as much as our clients need you to make our mission complete. Do not wait. We are looking for hairstylists, nail techs, estheticians, cosmetologists and barbers to provide the generous lift and gift of beauty, of normalcy, to our waiting clients who only want to feel like themselves before they became ill.
So, how big will you make your life? So big that you make another life that much bigger? How long are you willing to wait?
Do you know a licensed beauty professional who loves what he/she does and knows how important beauty and grooming services are for a person’s self-esteem?
Are you a licensed beauty professional who believes you have one of the most meaningful jobs around because you allow people to feel good about themselves?
Have you been searching for manicurist jobs, hair styling jobs, cosmetologist jobs or aesthetician jobs in Los Angeles?
Receive compensation while making an impact in the life of a terminally or chronically ill person and their caregiver!
We are seeking beauty professionals to provide a community service in Los Angeles. Use your talent and passion to bring beauty and grooming services to people living with terminal or chronic illness and their caregivers. Throughout the month of March, we are recruiting nail technicians, cosmetologists, hair stylists, barbers and aestheticians to join Beauty Bus for a job that makes a difference in the life of a person living with terminal or chronic illness. Help us reach our goal of recruiting 100 new beauty professionals!
Although jobs in Los Angeles are difficult to find, in between searches you can practice your skills as a compensated professional volunteer for Beauty Bus. Working with our clients and their caregivers is an easy way to make a difference in your community by positively impacting the self esteem of people who are not able to receive beauty and grooming services at a salon or spa. Our clients are in need of your nail services, hair care and facial services at home. We are looking for you!
What a wonderful group volunteer opportunity for friends to impact their community as well! Get your friends together and consider group volunteering. Our program will allow you to volunteer as a group and make a difference for your community, both close to home and wide spread.
In March, if you refer a beauty professional and he/she mentions your name in the application and RSVPs for a training, you can receive the following:
Still, Sarah maintained her beauty, both inside and out through modeling classes and attending galas to raise money for charity, caring about her appearance each and every day. Then, in 1997, my young niece lost her battle with a terminal illness. Without knowing it, through her continual self-care, Sarah had paved the way for me to help others feel good about themselves regardless of how they felt physically.
As a retired psychotherapist, I know the value of interpersonal connections. I understand that isolation can cause depression and a loss of self-esteem. Being a part of Beauty Bus’ In-Home Visit program offers an opportunity for me to interact with home-bound clients and their caregivers, and in that I am doing something extremely worthwhile. As a Beauty Buddy for Beauty Bus Foundation, I look forward to meeting the client, their caregiver and family. I see people cope with the most challenging experiences – probably experiences they never thought they could manage – and I see many of the clients loved by those close to them. Read more