When Aveda Artist and hair color specialist Jordyn Shipley learned that the limited-edition Light the Way candle featured an aroma of Haitian vetiver, she was pleasantly surprised. ”I thought, ‘That’s amazing!’” she said via phone. It felt like perfect timing — you see, Jordyn had just returned from a weeklong trip to Gressier, Haiti, where she volunteered alongside her grandmother with Team Iowa Missions.
“I love celebrating Earth Month with Aveda every year, but this year hit closer to my heart than before. My grandmother has been going [to Haiti] twice a year for the past eight years,” Jordyn said. “It has been on my to-do list for the last year, so I said this would be the year I’d go.”
Jordyn spent a week in Haiti in February, helping with projects including building beds for the families they worked with, boxing up food for elderly community members, playing with children, and giving families solar lights for their homes.
“I wanted to make sure that my intentions were set straight beforehand and to make sure this was a trip about other people and not about making myself look good, so I checked in and thought, ‘What will I be able to do?’ What I was able to do was be a set of helping hands,” Jordyn said.
Her Aveda training came in handy during the trip. Jordyn spent time giving the gift of touch, something all Aveda Artists are trained in and provide to their guests. “I provided hand massages and mini-manicures for the women who work in the house we stayed in,” she explained. She also met a special six-year-old girl with cerebral palsy and witnessed first-hand how powerful touch can be. “I did a hand massage on her and she got so relaxed – usually if you’d touch her, she’d tense up. But her eyes got droopy and she was really relaxed. We encouraged her mom to massage her arms and legs when she could to help her relax.”
JORDYN MASSAGES A YOUNG GIRL WITH CEREBRAL PALSY AND HER MOTHER
Jordyn also used her styling skills in Haiti, doing braids for young girls. The little girl Jordyn’s grandmother sponsors particularly liked her new braids. “She and her sister were saying ‘belle’ for beautiful. They loved it which I was grateful for! Before I left, a little girl braided MY hair.”
JORDYN HAS HER HAIR BRAIDED
The trip was just a week long, but Jordyn came back with lessons she’ll use every day, both at home and behind the chair.
“It was a constant reminder of the power of touch and what that can mean to people,” she said. “Through scalp and hand massages and washing or braiding hair, I felt connection. I felt love and care for a stranger, not through words, but through touch. It’s something that stylists do behind the chair every day, and we so often forget how powerful it is,” Jordyn explained.
“I reflected back to the holidays and it being a really busy time I the salon, and how everybody needs that 5 min of touch and to slow down and check in, just to make sure you’re taken care of.” She also returned with a desire to give back in her own community. “I think it inspired me to do more where I’m at, and to continue to do what I can for those in Haiti. Ultimately, it inspired me to be grateful for those things that money can’t buy and to take the time to help others.”
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