08 Nov Day 29: Chiq and Bela Salon

“Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” 

Proverbs 16:3

Eduarda and Tamires

Have you ever dreamed about opening your own business, only to give up before you start? That’s why I am so impressed with Eduarda, 21 and Tamires, 18. They did not give up, and they are operating in the black.
Their salon is at the top of the road that leads to Hope Mountain. Location, location, location. They have an inviting glass front door that says “Chiq & Bela,” and if they’re not busy with clients, one will greet you personally and offer you coffee when you walk in. Tamires’s and Eduarda’s warm smiles and matching pink t-shirts make you feel welcome, and the soft pink walls and clean décor somehow give you confidence in their professionalism, despite their youth.
Eduarda grew up in the boca, the most dangerous part of the slum. Her fiancé persuaded her to sign up for courses at “The Mountain” to help them achieve their dream of escaping poverty. Over the next two years, Eduarda took every available course in cosmetology, and she dreamt of the day she would have her own salon.

She met Tamires at Hope, another cosmetology student. Initially rivals, they grew to respect each other’s abilities and ambition. Instead of seeking jobs when they graduated, they decided to join forces and start their own salon. With one styling chair, a mirror, and a hair washing station bought secondhand, they opened their doors last summer.
Today they have a full complement of equipment and attractive sofa chairs in the waiting room. It costs about 8 bucks for a mani and pedi, and a haircut will cost you about $5. Their rent is about $75. Utilities another $75. Their steady client base has enabled them to support their parents and the entire household.

Both are incredibly grateful to have had the chance to take these life-transforming professional courses which they could never have afforded. Their salon’s location provides steady client traffic, including ladies on mission teams visiting Hope, who love the chance to escape painting to get pampered for an hour or so! The girls invariably ask for prayer before they leave, and it’s always a special time.
We’re proud of all our graduates, especially those brave enough to start their own businesses. And we’re so grateful for all who’ve believed in them, whose investments in the courses—less than $2 a day per student—make it possible to transform so many lives

Father, thank you for the courage of Eduarda and Tamires and their testimonies to their families and community. Let this little salon, at the top of our road, be a beacon of hope to others in distress, guiding them our way. Thank you for entrusting us with this task and letting us take part in so many stories of transformation.