LAINGSBURG — On a hot and rainy day last summer, Dawn Giampa watched as an elderly man stood in line outside a busy hair salon, leaning on his walker.
Giampa, who had recently lost her office job because of the COVID-19 pandemic, suddenly saw a way to turn her 30-plus year sideline of styling hair into a full-time business.
“It was awful for that gentleman,” Giampa, 48, said. “I thought, there’s got to be a huge need for (a stylist) who goes to people’s homes.”
DG Hair Design was born. Focusing on older people and those with disabilities, Giampa — who has gotten both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine — provides hair-styling services for residents in the safety and comfort of their homes, including long-term care facilities, Monday through Friday.
She prefers doing wash-and-sets because they’re quick and easy on a senior citizen while producing a big response.
“The appreciation they have, the way they look at themselves in the mirror when I’m done is amazing,” Giampa said. “I totally pamper them. I want an excellent experience for them. They look forward to it so much, especially with COVID. Some of them are lonely.”
A licensed cosmetologist, Giampa has been picking up a solid roster of clients in Laingsburg, Haslett, Lansing, DeWitt and elsewhere.
“I’m enjoying talking to people and having a rapport with them,” she said. “I’m loving this. This new adventure is very exciting.”
Giampa worked as a staffing coordinator at a health-related business in Lansing for 13 years until the pandemic hit and her department closed. With three children and a fourth “adopted” kid — not to mention a 12-year-old stepson — she knew she needed to work.
Growing up in the Holly area, Giampa had attended cosmetology school after graduating from high school, obtaining her license in 1991 and keeping it up over the years so she could provide hair services at home during her spare time.
She met the “love of my life,” Jim, in high school. They got together later and now share a home in Laingsburg, where Giampa has lived since 2001.
Her office job in Lansing meant a steady income and benefits. After her department closed, her family expected Giampa to be upset. Instead, she said, she was excited by the idea of founding her own business, especially now that her kids were grown.
“I’ve been extremely independent my whole life,” Giampa said. “After I lost my job, I felt a load come off my shoulders. I thought, I can do what I want now.”
Helping her wade through the process of setting up the limited liability corporation (LLC) for DG Hair Design was Cheryl Peterson, business consultant for the Michigan Small Business Development Center in Owosso, under the umbrella of the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“Cheryl has really helped to guide me,” Giampa. “She is amazing. A smart lady. I love her to pieces.”
DG Hair Design services include weekly shampoo sets as well as haircuts, perms and coloring. Giampa supplies the hair products and tools.
“I’m excited to offer my services to our older residents and those of any age who have a disability, making travel away from home difficult,” Giampa said. “I’m so looking forward to growing my business and providing quality services to the wonderful people of the Shiawassee community.”
Giampa can be reached via text or phone at (517) 819-4031 or email at email@example.com.