The Ubuntu Hair Studio is a salon where the stylists pool their tips and donate them to five charities. It’s a small shop with a big mission.
The salon name comes from an African term that means: “I am because you are… you are, therefore we are.” Ellenwood has taken a hands-on approach to this philosophy.
“I wanted to share with clients that a small choice can make a big difference,” Ellenwood said.
In lieu of tips, clients can make donations to charities like Feeding America, Girls on the Run, Kiva, Care and Hope for Hossana.
This also gives stylists a chance to educate clients about the charities and it’s a two way street.
Serena Jenichs was giving a haircut when she learned about the non-profit Hug It Forward.
That organization improves education and infrastructure in Guatemala by building schools out of bottles filled with trash.
Jenichs was so inspired, she enlisted the help of the studio and after nine months of saving they were able to send her on a service trip.
They also use products that benefit charitable causes.
“I’m constantly reminded that I’m part of a bigger picture,” Jenichs said. “All this giving and community is automatic for us… this is just what we do.”