The simple things in life, such as getting a haircut, will cost you money. When nothing in life is free, how do those who cannot financially afford it get by? Here’s a story of a woman who uses her skills to make this tiny happiness accessible for those in need.
A young entrepreneur from Minneapolis, Minnesota named Kate Steller is ready to kick-start her business. She just bought eleven red salon chairs for Steller Hair Company, but she only placed ten chairs inside her salon, leaving one remaining chair in her SUV.
There’s a reason why Kate intentionally left one chair. Once a week, Kate and her assistant, Emily, would drive around their neighborhood and reach out to people that are experiencing homelessness, and also those who also look like he or she could use a fresh cut. The two ask permission first, and when they agree, they pull out their red chair from the SUV and they begin cutting hair out in the open.
Katie has a deeper reason for bringing out that red chair. For her, cutting hair is an easy task. She explained that it’s something she can do anytime and anywhere, but she also believes in giving these people the feeling of being included, and giving them value, so this is how she does it. Katie is also a natural in trying to alleviate homelessness in her own way.
In 2013, she already began with this free haircut project, which she called “Steller Kindness Project.” However, she had to put it on hold to focus on her business. But soon after the salon was going well, she came back to her original plan, and continued using her skills to help those who need it.
“I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when I was 11 years old,” she said. “When I was 18, they actually removed my entire large intestine.” The condition and treatment caused Katie’s hair to fall out, which was traumatic and lead her to her chosen career path.
When you start to lose it, you’re like, wait, I didn’t realize what a big part of my identity that was,” she admitted… That’s probably my main motivator. I mean, I don’t do hair because I’m naturally good at it, I’m good at it because I saw it as a way and a vessel to connect and care for people.”
Katie believes that her initiative won’t necessarily remove the problem of homelessness. In her own words, she said: “I’m not claiming to know all the answers, I’m a hairstylist,” she says. “I’m just using my skills.” She strongly believes in using personal talents and skills to be of service to those who need the most help.
Through the free haircut service that she offers those who cannot afford to go to the salon, she is making people smile even just for a while. She is uplifting the self-esteem of these people, through showcasing their beauty when all their life, they were made to believe that they’re not beautiful.
What Katie has been doing definitely serves as an inspiration, especially to those who have a special gift that could benefit other people in need.
Watch the video below to take a look at the Stellar Kindness Project.