A few years ago SALON TODAY had a cover feature on growing your own grassroots campaign, and we showcased individual salon and spas who'd taken small, yet mighty ideas, planted them and watched them blossom into success. At the time, I alluded to how political campaigns leveraged the grassroots phenomenon to elevate a candidate to success, but I was hard-pressed to find a large, widespread campaign within the salon and spa industry that was truly grassroots--that grew despite the backing and bankroll of a powerful manufacturer behind it.

This past Tuesday, I not only found that example, I found myself swept up in the excitement despite being thousands of miles away. On November 13, at least 116 salons, spas and other businesses participated in a CUT IT OUT event to raise funds and awareness for the victims of the Azana Salon and Spa shooting in Brookfield, Wisconsin. I say at least 116, because that's the best count the organizers of the event had, but even on the day of, people were calling to see how they could help.

The grassroots organizing literally started the day after the estranged husband of an employee entered Azana October 21, ordered people to the ground and began shooting. When police arrived at the scene, three women had been killed, four more were injured, and the shooter had killed himself. The day after the shooting I talked with Jan Seybold, who owns Carenza Color Cutting Experience located across the street from Azana and she was on the phone with other salon owners in the great Milwaukee area, including Mary Beth Berns, Kitty Tierney, Janet D'Amato, Rosie Steffens and Dawn Panfil. Still in shock, the women were already talking about how this could have happened in any of their businesses, and wondering how they could best help the victims, as well as the owner of the spa and the remaining employees while the spa was closed.

Soon, the women began meeting for coffee, discussing ways they could help. They got in touch with the Professional Beauty Association's CUT IT OUT program, which educates beauty professionals on how to recognize the signs of domestic abuse and counsel clients to seek help. Mary Beth Berns launched a CUT IT OUT community Facebook page and began sending friend requests to every salon and beauty professional in the area. And, they designated November 13 as the first annual CUT IT OUT day when any salon or spa that wanted to participate could donate between 5 to 25 percent of that day's sales to a fund to help families of the victims.

"What was really exciting about the event is each salon or spa adopted the idea and made it their own," says Berns. "Some created and sold Tshirts and purple ribbons, some held drawings for gift baskets, some sold purple hair extensions, others involved surrounding businesses."

"We really wanted to participate, because this was our 'salon neighbor' just 10 minutes away.  It could've happened anywhere. Their staff has been traumatized...you just want to do something positive for them, to try to make things a little better," said Janet D'Amato, owner of Salon Brillare. "Situations like this, make you take a good long look at your life, and realize that you should be grateful for the little things."

To show her appreciation and support, Azana's owner Tami Gemmell visited as many of the salons as possible. "Today was an amazing day of HOPE and UNITY! I am so proud to be a part of this incredible salon community that has wrapped their arms around us all during the most unimaginable of circumstances," said Gemmell. "The women and men of the salon community that I met today are some of the most inspiring people I've met in my life. I wish I could have visited more salons. I simply ran out of time. I will say this... You are ALL welcome at Azana Salon and Spa anytime! I will roll out the red carpet for you any day of the week! You are my extended family, my salon community and for you, I am eternally grateful!

"It was so great to see everyone come together united and embrace this cause," says Jan Seybold. "It brings tears to my eyes every time I talk about it."

Berns, Seybold and the other organizers plan to make the CUT IT OUT day an annual event moving forward. "We care for, encourage, teach and walk alongside of one another even though on any given day we are strong competitors," said Berns. "We had the most fun wearing purple instead of black, working hard all day and selling lots of retail! It is our hope that Azana and its family will be blessed.

HOW CAN YOU HELP? For salons, spas or professionals who are interested, you can contact cutitout.org and designate their your contribution be sent to either the Azana Fund for or for local resources in your area that help victims of domestic abuse.


Art of Hair – Brookfield, WI 

Carenza color.cutting.experience – Brookfield, WI

Clean Slate – Brookfield, WI

East Coast Hair Designs – Brookfield, WI 

Fuga Salons – Brookfield, WI 

Imagine Salon – Brookfield, WI

JZ Designs – Brookfield, WI

Neroli Salon and Spa – Brookfield, WI

Off Broadway – Brookfield, WI

Roots Salon – Brookfield, WI

Salon Image – Brookfield, WI

Salon Medusa – Brookfield, WI 

Salon Orlin – Brookfield, WI

Salon West and Body Works – Brookfield, WI

Skincare by Sara at DE Integro Salons & Spa – Brookfield, WI

Strawberry Fields – Brookfield, WI

Studio 890 Salon – Brookfield, WI

Super Cuts – Brookfield, Beaver Dam, WI

The Colour Tube – Brookfield, WI

Tranquil Spirit Well Spa  – Milwaukee, WI

Tony and Friends Salon – Brookfield, WI 

Urszula and Company Salon – Brookfield, WI

Vici Capilli – Brookfield, WI

Bespoken Salon and Spa – Cedarburg, WI

Antons – Delafield, WI

Craig Berns Salon Spa – Delafield, WI

Creative Flair – Delafield, WI 

Elm Grove Hair Salon – Elm Grove, WI 

Polished Nail Boutique – Elm Grove, WI 

Studio 890 – Elm Grove, WI

Texture Salon – Fond Du Lac, WI

GAIA Micro Spa – Franklin, WI

Hair and Body Shoppe – Franklin, WI 

Roots Salon – Greendale, WI 

Bella Salon – Greenfield, WI

Kirsten Salon – Hartland, WI

Texture Salon – Fond Du Lac, WI

J&A Studio-Johnson Creek

Salon Professional Academy – Kenosha, WI

Jasmine Salon and Spa – Lake Geneva, WI

Shear Elegance Salon – Lake Geneva, WI

Anaala Salon & Spa – Madison, WI

ANiU Salon & Spa – Madison, WI 

Au Fait Hair – Madison, WI

Julia Grace Salon – Madison, WI 

Studio 924 – Madison, WI

Pink Lemonade – Menomonee Falls, WI

Signature Nails – Menomonee Falls, WI

About Face – Mequon, WI

Impressions – Mequon, WI

Erik of Norway – Mequon, WI

Actaea – Milwaukee, WI

Agami Salon – Milwaukee, WI

Beauty – Milwaukee, WI

Capricio Salon and Spa – Milwaukee, WI

Cutting Group – Milwaukee, WI

Erik of Norway – Milwaukee, WI 

Groom – Milwaukee, WI

Institute of Beauty and Wellness – Milwaukee, WI

Kingshead – Milwaukee, WI 


MATC – Milwaukee, WI

Neroli – Milwaukee, WI

Roots Salon – Milwaukee, WI 

Salone – Milwaukee, WI

Splash – Milwaukee, WI

Salon Nova and Lash Boutique – Milwaukee, WI

Ran-Vagaro.com – Milwaukee, WI

Vici Capilli – Bayshore Mall, Milwaukee, WI

Vici Capilli – Milwaukee, WI

Vivid Hair Studio – Milwaukee, WI


Paul Mitchell – The Academy – Monroe, WI

The Hair Care Company – Mukwanago, WI

Fountain of Youth Medical Laser Spa-Muskego


Hair and Body Solutions – New Berlin, WI

His and Hers Family Hair Care – New Berlin, WI

Salon CK and Company – New Berlin, WI 

Steven Edwards Color Group – New Berlin, WI

Ambiance Salon-Oconomowoc, WI

Anton’s – Oconomowoc, WI

Hairbenders Salon – Okauchee, WI

Antons Salon Spa – Pewaukee, WI

Beachcomber Salon – Pewaukee, WI

Creative Flair – Pewaukee, WI

Lago Salon & Suites – Pewaukee, WI

Salon Brillare’ – Pewaukee, WI

Spargo – Pewaukee, WI

Entourage Salon & Spa – Sheboygan, WI

Nouvelle Salon & Day Spa – Sheboygan, WI

Now and Zen Hair Industry – Sheboygan, WI

Robert Laurence Salon – Shorewood, WI

Urban Trend Salon Spa – Sturtevant, WI

Hair Excellence – Sun Prairie, WI

Tres Jolie Solace – Thiensville, WI

Salon Sage Spa & Herbs – Trevor, WI

Hair and Things – Waukesha, WI

Mary’s Design Studio – Waukesha, WI

Signature Salon and Spa – Waukesha, WI

WCTC Style and Class Salon – Waukesha, WI

Domani Salon Spa – Watertown, WI 

Harwood Hair Company – Wauwatosa, WI

Paulina Esthetics Boutique – Wauwatosa, WI 

Transitions – Wauwatosa, WI 

Rose Marie Hair Designers-West Bend

HIS and Hairs, Inc.  – Wind Lake, WI

Out of State Salons:

Anazao Salon – Snellsville, GA

Avalon, an Aveda Salon Spa Shop – Deer Park, IL

Boheme Salon and Spa – Redding, CA

The Platinum Door Salon and Spa – Wilmington, MA

Haircolor Masters and Rejuvenating Day Spa, New York

Paul Mitchell – The School – Schenectedy, NY

Michele Lisa Salon – Cortlandt Manor, NY

Michelle Ferren Salon – San Antonio, TX

Spa 801 – St. Petersburg, FL

Parasol Hair Studio – Charlotte, NC

True, an Aveda Lifestyle Salon & Spa – Marietta, GA

Other Businesses:

Salon Centric - Midwest

Belvedere USA

Vibrance Photography - Vince Padilla – Madison