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The Haircut 101 Hot Lips Contest Carries on this Year with the Help of the Canvas Beauty Bar

Canvas Beauty Bar owners Heather Rogers and Miah Zimmerman stand in front of the Hot Lips wall where contestant entries are being place.

Two hair salons in Boone are joining together this February to carry on the tradition of Haircut 101’s Hot Lips Contest, an annual fundraiser that has taken place since 1997. 

John Mena, owner of Haircut 101, began the fundraiser as a fun way to raise money and increase awareness of OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Services, Information and Shelter). Founded in 1978, OASIS is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault in Watauga and Avery counties.

The fundraiser lost its home when Mena sold his Haircut 101 building last summer. The owners of Canvas Beauty Bar, Miah Zimmerman and Heather Rogers, reached out to Mena to see if their salon could carry on the tradition.

“I was happy the ladies wanted to carry on the fundraiser,” said Mena. “I always felt it was an important event that brings awareness to the great services OASIS is able to provide women who find themselves in a bad place in their life.”

Both Miah and Heather worked for Mena at Haircut 101 a number of years ago and enjoyed the annual fund raiser. “Heather and I met while working at Haircut 101,” said Miah,“ and I know there are a lot of stylists and salons in the Boone area that are alumni of Haircut 101. John’s salon had a special place in our hearts. So it was great that John thought it was a good idea for us to carry on the Hot Lips Contest tradition. If fact, John will be doing the judging for the Hot Lips contest this year.”

“It’s great Canvas is carrying on the tradition,” said Mena. “You know, an interesting part of being involved in the beauty industry is that, as stylists, we often hear about what’s going on in our clients lives. We’re the ones women open up to while sitting in our chairs. You can get a sense of how people are doing through those conversations. And for me, it was an opportunity to help women who may be going through a bad situation become aware of the services at OASIS and give them hope that there is some help out there.”

“John always did a lot with OASIS,” said Miah. “It’s an amazing organization for this town. I used to volunteer for them. They train you to help on the phones after hours, taking calls from women who are in a crisis situation and pointing them in the right direction. OASIS is there to help women in tough situations ranging from legal problems to fully taking women and children in and providing housing for them.”  

John Mena and a stylist pose in front of the Hot Lips wall in 2015 at the Haircut 101 location on Depot Street

Mena says over the years he has participated in many fundraising projects for various local organizations, and OASIS has always held a special place in his heart. “For women who are trying to start a new life after getting out of bad situations, finding a new identity can start with a new hairstyle and makeup routine that makes them feel better, and that’s what we wanted to help facilitate,” said Mena.

Miah and Heather are inviting everyone who would like to help with the fundraiser to drop by their salon to participate. “The way the contest works,” says Miah, “is people can drop by anytime at their convenience and our receptionist will give them a doily they can pucker up and kiss. We’ll have different lipstick colors to choose from. You can add your name and phone number on the back of the doily, and we’ll hang it up on the wall for John’s judging at the end of February. We ask for a minimum five dollar donation, and it just takes a few minutes!”

The Canvas Beauty Bar will present gifts cards to the winning lips of $100 for first, $50 for second, and $25 for third prize winners. And everybody wins by helping out OASIS! 

Canvas in located in the HB House located at 181 Meadowview Drive in Boone, just around the corner from the Honda dealership. 

Miah and Heather first opened Canvas in Downtown Boone on Howard Street in 2015, and they were there for five years. “We really expanded during that time,” says Miah,“ and we out grew that space for our business model.” The partners found their new location, and with the help of Miah’s dad, who is a contractor, were able to custom design the new location to meet their growing needs. “We really love our new space here,” says Miah. “Everything was custom designed from our front desk and hand painted floors to the wall mural my mom did for us.”

Canvas is really focused on training their staff. “ We focus on making our staff well rounded,” says Miah, “making sure they can do services not only for our clients in Boone, but also for folks visiting from out of state. We try to stay on top of trends, and education has always been important for what we do. It’s really important to us that the people we work with feel empowered and excited about the direction they are going in terms of their career.”

Canvas has 19 employees on staff, and they offer aesthetic services from body and face waxing to hair for all genders. “We’re certainly are a branch off the Haircut 101 tree,” says Miah. “John did such an amazing job, and we learned so much from him!”

The other salon participating in the fundraiser are Sheer Shakti, located on King Street in Downtown Boone. 

The owner of Sheer Shakti, Charlotte Baxter, also got her start at Haircut 101 many years ago. “I’ve always admired John for what he has done for this community,” said Charlotte,“ so I was happy to help him out and join in on the fun, and certainly to help out the folks at OASIS as well. They deserve all the help they can get. They are such a wonderful part of this community. It’s nice to work in a community that respects our industry and each other. That certainly speaks to John, and as we like to say, that’s the way John raised us.”

If you have questions about the fundraiser,  Miah welcomes you to call Canvas Beauty Bar at 828-355-9688.

OASIS provides a 24-hour crisis line, offers crisis intervention counseling, free emergency shelter, referrals, medical and legal advocacy and other means of support. OASIS services are free and confidential.

Learn more about OASIS by visiting their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OASISHighCountry.

Miah shows off their Hot Lips display at Canvas. The public is welcome to stop by for a look.
Miah and Heather with posters promoting the event.
Pictures from the Canvas Beaty Bar with stylists at work.

Pictures from past contest at the Haircut 101 location.
Miah in 2014 showing off the Hot Lips display while she was working at Haircut 101
A couple of entries from past contests.