So, let’s talk about how we “internet” met. It was just last Monday, the night of the Manchester bombing. Around 10pm, I was on the couch watching CNN and having a good cry and I remember thinking that their is so much darkness in the world… and then I checked my phone and saw the post you tagged me in – about your work cutting hair for the homeless in Denver. And it just gave me so much comfort at that moment to see such good in the world.
Can you tell me how you got started at St. Francis?
I started volunteering at The St. Francis Center 7 years ago with a group of stylists I used to work with. After a few months, they stopped going and I didn’t feel confident enough to go by myself. In May 2016, a 19 year old, homeless boy named Luke approached me and asked if he could borrow my cell phone to call his mom. At first, I hesitated to give him my phone but he seemed harmless. I let him use my phone, bought him some breakfast and gave him a haircut at the salon I worked for at that time. It was incredible! I was able to restore his dignity, confidence and hope, this was more than I every thought I had the capability to do. Luke was my inspiration to get back to volunteering at The St. Francis Center.
We can look past people that are homeless and we’re more concerned if they are going to harm us than how we can help them. We need to stop, look up from our phones and realize they have needs too. They have a story and a journey – just like all of us. Their’s just looks different than ours. Plus, you get an amazing feeling inside when you can give someone something and they can’t pay you back. The reward is so much greater than any amount of money.
A nine month commitment is a long time to give up every Monday, was there a turning point, where you were doing hair cuts that you knew this would be a long term commitment?
Nine months is a long time! I had no idea what this would turn into when I started. I know I have a God given talent, the compassion for people and the time to do it. I make it a priority in my schedule because I’ve created relationships with the people at St. Francis Center and I honestly enjoy doing it. I’ll keep volunteering until my path gets redirected or something changes.
I bet a lot of people would like to lend a hand to a place like St. Francis and just don’t know how. Do you have any advice?
To get involved in any organization that your passionate about, just reach out to them. That’s it. Find the Volunteer Coordinator for the organization, email or call saying you want to help out, and they will plug you in where they can. It’s really easy! Whether you stuff envelopes, sweep a floor, be a chauffeur… it doesn’t matter. All of the little things add up and can make a big difference. If you’re a hairstylist and want to come with me on a Monday, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s talk about your work as a hair stylist for Mauve Salon. I know you’re a balayage and braid expert. What is your favorite of the two?
Yes! I love a good braid. It can show off your highlights / color / balayage really well. It is definitely a skilled art that I love to do whenever I get the chance.
I really want to pull of a braid this summer. I have huge wavy hair that can make me feel so hot when I go out – but I don’t want to feel overdone… what kind of braid would you suggest?
The “Katniss Everdeen” braid is always a go to braid for my clients with your hair texture. Or if you’re feeling a little fancier, tip your head upside down and start french braiding at your nape. Work your way up your head, until most of it is in a braid. Tie it off, take the tail and tuck it inside and under your braid.
Are there any big trends for summer 2017?
Super sleek and straight hair or flat, flatiron waves.
Okay, sell yourself in 20 words or less! Why should people reading here visit you at Mauve Salon.
I LISTEN, I’m HONEST and I LOVE WHAT I DO… it definitely shows in my work.
Bonus round… tell me your…
Favorite place for a cocktail: North County
Favorite patio: Postino’s
Favorite outdoor adventure Anything in RMNP or SUP on Lake Dillon
Lastly, who inspires you?
Mark Bustos. He’s a celebrity hairdresser 6 days a week at a high end salon in NYC. But on every single Sunday, he’s cutting hair for the homeless on the streets… rain or shine. He’s EXTREMELY talented, humble and generous to everyone.
Thank you, Annji!
I was so moved by Annji’s story, that I reached out to Hotel Teatro to see if we could brainstorm about a special way to thank Annji for all she does for our city! I was so thrilled when their Brittney Hemela got back to me and said they would be so pleased to offer Annji a free night at the hotel!
Hotel Teatro is such a gem of a boutique hotel, here in Denver, and the word has spread! Travel + Leisure named Hotel Teatro as “Best Denver Hotel,” and one of America’s top 50 large city hotels and its the only Colorado hotel to be named so.
Don’t wait for a guest to come to town to stay there! You can enjoy the coffee shop in The Study (pictured, above) by day, and by night, champagne and charcuterie (such a great place for a date or girls night!). And its restaurant, The Nickel, is one of my absolute favs – the weekend brunch is not to be missed! Who doesn’t love a bottomless Bloody Mary or White Russian (with ceral infused milk) bar!
Enjoy your next vacation, or staycation (!) at Hotel Teatro. Find out more about the hotel, here.