In the world of business ‘Thank you’ goes a long way—pampering session for seniors

A DAY OF PAMPERING—Mary Kay representative Darlene Gilmer prepares to beautify Wood Towers Senior Apartments residents Valerie Brown, Kenda Aloi and Ann Gaines. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels)

A simple “thank you” and showing a sense of gratitude goes a long way if you own or operate a service business. “I love my customers and appreciate you trusting me to provide your hair care and beauty needs,” said Monique Wells, during an appreciation dinner she and state Rep. Ed Gainey recently held at the Wood Towers Senior Apartments in Wilkinsburg.
More than 25 residents participated in the full-course dinner served by family and staff of Heavenly Hair and Body Salon, LLC, and several days prior, numerous residents received complimentary hair wash and sets, haircuts and sew-in services.
Before the dinner, Mary Kay Consultant Darlene Gilmer treated the residents to complimentary makeovers and pampering sessions. Located at 801Wood St., Suite 3, for seven years, Wells says she appreciates the love and support she receives from the residents. “This is my way of saying thank you.”
Several of the residents received an award for their continuous support throughout the seven years.
“This is wonderful. We thank you for the day of beauty and pampering, and all you do for the tenants here,” said Tony Anderson, president of the Wood Towers Senior Apartments Tenant Council.
CONSISTENCY COUNTS—State Rep. Ed Gainey and Heavenly Hair and Body Salon owner Monique Wells present longtime client Ms. Francis with the 7th Year Anniversary & Beauty Day Celebration Award of appreciation. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels)

Along with Rep. Gainey, other Wilkinsburg businesses that contributed and assisted in the endeavor were Hair Land, Dells Market and James Floral. Food was catered by Dolores Mitchell and Taqiyya Hughes of Hughes Bakery provided the baked goods.
Offering what she says is more than just hair care services, Wells considers her business as a ministry providing a life-changing experience. “Our professional team of experts provide quality hair and body services, excellent customer service, great prices, top-of-the-line products and an atmosphere filled with peace and joy just like heaven.”
Services of Heavenly Hair and Body, classified as a full-service hair salon, include wash and sets, hair blowouts, relaxers, braiding, hair weaving, hair extensions, curl reformation, eyebrow waxing and body wraps. As a distributor for Mayvenn hair products, Wells says her services are inclusive of the highest quality beauty products, creating the opportunity to provide products that are affordable, with customer satisfaction, trustworthiness and respect.
Wells always dreamed of owning and operating a beauty salon. A graduate of Empire Beauty School in Monroeville and after receiving her cosmetology degree, she worked at J.C. Penney’s hair salon and other locations in Wilkinsburg. Of course, the dream of owning her own beauty salon has become reality for Wells, who recalls doing hair as early as age 16.
“I encourage everyone that has a dream to become an entrepreneur to follow through on their vision and desires. You don’t know what can happen and you never want to be in the situation of saying or thinking what if,” Wells said.
Reflecting on her journey of getting started, Wells said reaching out to some of the area business assistance organizations and having mentors to toss ideas around with was part of that journey. “Developing a business plan was also helpful. The process helped me think things out, to stay organized and on point.”
Wells now lives in Turtle Creek but was a longtime East Hills resident. She credits her community advocacy work as playing a role in assisting her in accomplishing her goal of becoming an entrepreneur. For many years, she worked in East Hills as a community organizer, a youth director and served as the president of the East Hills Residents Preservation and Development Corporation. “The experience I gained working with people, problem-solving and organizing during my tenure in East Hills was invaluable.”
When asked about the future of Heavenly Hair and Body, Wells said, “I continue to dream but right now my goal is to build a strong clientele of women, men and children and to make sure this salon is running successfully. Maybe within the next couple years I’ll open a few more Heavenly Hair and Body Salons within the Pittsburgh region.”
The long-term goal is opening a beauty camp geared towards young people ages 8 to 13 to provide outreach to assist in building self-esteem and to teach etiquette and style techniques.
“Monique is a hard worker. I have watched her develop and grow her business throughout the years and appreciate everything she has been contributing within the community,” Rep. Gainey said. “I worked with her while she was in East Hills. One thing I can say about her for sure is no matter what community she is involved in she cares about the people.”
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