Makeover for Mom
Pleasanton woman 'bungee jumps' into beauty
The five daughters didn't just wave their magic wand to make their mother beautiful, but that has been the end result of their efforts.
What they did was to write a letter March 31 to the owner of La Di Da Beauty Lounge, Nadine Gemma, extolling their appreciation for their mother and asking about a treatment.
"She has been through and overcome so many obstacles this past year, and just recently celebrated her 55th birthday, a new beginning," they wrote about their mom, Kathy Bellitt Zolfarelli. "However, my sisters and I cannot give her what she deserves, so I thought I would come to you for help."
"Can you help her feel and look like the beautiful woman she is as we continue to celebrate her new beginning?" continued the letter. "We find her to be the most beautiful woman, but we know she does not 'feel' like the woman she knows she is deep down.... She has always been the kind of woman who works to help those around her, rather than taking her own needs into consideration."
The daughters - Jaklyn, Danielle, Erika, Gina and Lisa - who range in age from 18 to 31, noted that Mother's Day was quickly approaching and "we are just too limited to give her what she deserves - a complete makeover."
Gemma took it from there, offering her own services plus contacting other beauty businesses downtown to ask if they wanted to help.
Zolfarelli's life became a whirlwind of appointments to receive a facial, two power peels and permanent eyebrows by Gemma; eyelash extensions and a makeover by Tiffany Kowalski; a haircut and highlighting by Aimee Juarez with Elle Salon; and a spa treatment, manicure and pedicure by Robin Sweetman at Calipso's.
"I'm overwhelmed by their generosity," said Zolfarelli.
This was not all. Zolfarelli also met with a personal trainer, William White, who led her in a workout at Veterans Plaza on Peters Avenue.
"He's been coming from San Francisco three days a week or so, getting me back into a routine," Zolfarelli said. "And he talks about nutrition."
There's more: Dr. Jerry Sanchez with Miranda Garcia volunteered a "zoom" teeth whitening.
And Drs. Radbert Chin and Gregory Tom with Kami Rana worked together to provide an extensive eye exam, which resulted in soft contact lenses. Zolfarelli thought she was going to get more stylish glasses but once she was in their office, they began to talk to her about contacts.
"They were so cool. They said, 'What do you want?'" she recalled.
She began to consider the advantage of contacts although she'd worn glasses all her life.
"Recently the grandbabies have been grabbing at my glasses," she said with a laugh.
Then on Wednesday she was presented with a full makeover at the Paul Mitchell School, plus went shopping at Savvy Seconds and Lotus Consignment boutiques for new clothes. The results were documented with a photo shoot by Don and Diane Corning of Corning Photography.
"I'm sure I'm not the only story of people taking care of people - that's what I think is so cool," said Zolfarelli. "Just watching the hearts of the people involved is precious."
She works as an administrative assistant at Windowology and said everyone has been great about her absence as she attends all her beauty appointments.
At first Zolfarelli thought a makeover meant a facial.
"I thought, 'Wow, I can pause for 45 minutes and close my eyes,'" she remembered.
When the other beauty offers began to pour in, Zolfarelli compared the experience to being encouraged to make a bungee jump. She went for it, working with them and trusting they would provide the best.
She said she is a bit of an introvert until she gets to know someone, and she has a strong Christian faith and spiritual life. "I love to walk, love to be outdoors working in the flowers, gardening," she said. "And I love being out with the kids."
"I'm going to just keep doing what I do," she remarked, "and it's kind of cool because it did give me a little more confidence. I enjoyed the different people I met and having conversations with people, talking about how things look."
Now she is a walking advertisement for their services, she remarked, and she carries all their cards.
It also speaks about the Pleasanton community, Zolfarelli pointed out, as the businesses came together to help her.