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Local businesswomen seek to support other women in Pictou County

Donna Smith, left, Catherine Millen and Andrea MacEachern announced an initiative to help empower and boost the confidence of women staying at Tearmann House.
Donna Smith, left, Catherine Millen and Andrea MacEachern announced an initiative to help empower and boost the confidence of women staying at Tearmann House.

Two local businesswomen have been exemplifying the spirit of feminism in Pictou County.

Andrea MacEachern, owner of Thrive Hair Studio, is collaborating with Catherine Millen, owner of Foxbrook Lipstick, to provide support for women currently in the care of the Tearmann Society for Abused Women.

Together with Tearmann Society executive director Donna Smith, the two businesswomen announced an effort to lift other women in need of support.

Foxbook and Thrive have started an initiative in conjunction with the shelter that they hope will help build the confidence of local women. Thrive will be offering a free shampooing, haircut and styling every month for one woman staying at Tearmann House.
“I bought Thrive in August, 2016, and felt blessed in my life – I wanted to extend this blessing to other people and do something to give back to the community,” said MacEachern, owner of Thrive Hair Studio.  
That something she had in mind turned out to be a blow dry event, at which she and a fellow hairstylist, Kayla MacIsaac, shampooed and styled customers’ hair. They donated the money raised from that event to support Tearmann.

MacEachern decided she could take it a step further, and further empower struggling women. The idea came in the form of a free shampoo, haircut and styling, every month. The women she would provide these to she thought would appreciate such a charitable gesture. This initiative began on Sept. 11, and was announced at Thrive Hair Studio, in Westville.

Catherine Millen, owner of Foxbrook Lipstick, learned of MacEachern’s efforts and decided to join in with the support of local women. Each recipient of the free shampooing, haircut and styling will also receive a free tube of lipstick, courtesy of Foxbrook.

“Catherine came to me, saying she supports women empowering themselves,” said MacEachern. “I thought this is going to help support and rise one another up.”

Smith was very pleased with the idea, saying, “some women never have a chance to get hairstyling done, and some don’t have the means. So, this can be like a care package for them.
“After leaving a bad situation, it can be empowering for women to get this kind of thing, when they don’t feel too good about themselves.”

Smith said the initiative comes at a good time, given the prevalence of women experiencing domestic violence and abuse and seeking the assistance of shelters. She noted the shelter has been working at capacity over the past few months, and that such an initiative is much appreciated.

She said women staying at Tearmann House have been excited about the idea.
“It’s all about women supporting women in the community, raising one another up and recognizing that violence against women is a real issue,” said Smith.
Millen said, “something like lipstick seems small, but it’s meaningful in how you put yourself out into the world, putting time into yourself and your sense of self.
“This is the gift of self-care, and support from the community,” she added.

MacEachern said that if the initiative helps one of the women receiving the hair care and lipstick feel better about herself for just one day, that’s enough to make it worth the effort.
“If everyone could pay it forward, what a better world it could be. Takers may eat better, but givers sleep better,” MacEachern said.

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