OWOSSO — With bad news seemingly all around, some local businesswomen took it upon themselves to do something nice for a woman they didn’t even know.
When Marsha Ladiski received cosmetic improvements at Smile Keepers dental practice, Dr. Lisa Lewis saw how much the procedure lifted up her patient. She wanted to keep it going.
Lewis enlisted help from other business owners to give Ladiski a new haircut, outfit and makeup to complete her transformation. A photographer offered to take pictures.
The volunteers all happened to be women.
“I felt Marsha had a great heart for people, and the love of God and service,” Lewis said. “I felt she had been very shy about her appearance. ‘Women empowering women’ was the mindset: Just pour a little into her and it would spill over into other areas — and other people.”
It did spill over, affecting the hearts of those who selflessly provided services — in the midst of a pandemic and business struggles — to give Ladiski a boost.
They are Lisa Phelps from MiLi’s Boutique; Raemarie Mosciski from Collab Salon; Kendra Matthies from Makeup by Kendra Leigh; and Jaimie VanBuren from JC Photography.
“When I reached out to them, they said it was something they felt they needed in their life,” Lewis said. “They refused any compensation because they wanted to feel more purpose about their passion. Everybody was just, ‘I want to do this.’ A smile brought a community together. I got touched to tears.”
Phelps said she had heard Ladiski was a generous person.
“Marsha is a very giving and sweet. We wanted to draw together a community of women and give back to her,” Phelps said. “It’s been a great experience for me.”
On a single day, after Ladiski finished up her dental work at Smile Keepers, 221 E. North St., Suite 1820, she began making the rounds to get a complete makeover.
First, Mosciski from Collab Salon, 301 W. Main St., transformed Ladiski’s hair, giving her a new cut and style.
Then, Ladiski picked out a new outfit — a tunic top colored blue with a floral design and black pants — at MiLi’s Boutique, 221 N. Washington St.. Ladiski didn’t replace the necklace she wore that day, a cross pendant that means a lot to her.
Finally, she headed over to Makeup by Kendra Leigh, 102 W. Main, for a new cosmetic look.
“The idea of women empowering women is super important to me,” Matthies said. “I try to lift people up when I can, and this was the perfect opportunity.”
VanBuren captured the makeover — before, during and after — with her camera.
“It was a pretty drastic difference,” VanBuren said. “I thought she looked amazing at the end. She looked amazing at the beginning too, but at the end, just to look at her eyes — she looked so much happier.”
“Marsha is just glowing in the photos,” Matthies said. “You can tell she feels so confident.”
Ladiski, a modest soul, didn’t want to be the focus of this article, understanding she was part of a larger story.
“I think everyone gained from the experience, spiritually and emotionally,” Lewis said. “Everybody felt connected with the bigger picture.”
The new connections didn’t end on the day of the makeover. For example, Ladiski has come back to Makeup by Kendra Leigh for advice on makeup products and just to visit.
The final step lies ahead, with arrangements being made for Ladiski to receive permanent eyebrows through micro-blading services in Chesaning.
Phelps put it this way: “Marsha’s become part of our family now.”