When Gina Silverman-Smith’s mother’s progression of Alzheimer’s worsened, she knew she wanted to do something to help keep her mom’s spirits up.
Her mom loved weekly trips to the salon to get her hair styled and for manicures and pedicures. But the Alzheimer’s made it harder for her to get out of the house and into a salon.
“My grandmother and my mom, it was a weekly thing where they’d go get their hair done and their nails done,” Silverman-Smith said. “They felt complete and great.”
Silverman-Smith’s mom died in June 2017. After that, she spent a year researching an idea for a business. She knew there were others who could benefit from in-home styling services and found a gap in the market in El Paso.
In December, she launched Snazzy On Call, a personalized styling service that sends trained and licensed stylists to customers’ homes or care facilities for services like haircuts, manicures, perms and blowouts.
“Everybody wants to feel clean and have that dignity. Even men feel the same way, if they don’t feel taken care of or clean. I wanted to bring that dignity to people,” Silverman-Smith said.
Silverman-Smith and her husband, Howard Smith, used about $25,000 of their savings to launch Snazzy On Call. The two are no strangers to running successful businesses, but Snazzy On Call was Silverman-Smith’s first experience with the beauty industry.
She grew up working at Silverman’s Jewelers, the family business, which later became J. Edwards Diamonds. Smith is vice president of marketing at Pizza Properties, which manages the city’s Peter Piper Pizza, Applebee’s and Boss Tenders, Dogs & Custard restaurants.
Silverman-Smith said she wanted to keep her prices on the lower end because she’s looking to provide a service for people who need it most. Hair coloring services, which include cut, shampoo and styling, run for $70. A new set of acrylic nails runs for $50.
“I started understanding other people that were out there who had debilitating diseases, or they were pregnant and couldn’t bend over, or there were men in wheelchairs who couldn’t lift their hands to comb their hair,” Silverman-Smith said. “There are all kinds of situations out there.”
Snazzy On Call makes visits to homes, assisted living facilities, rehab centers, nursing homes and hospices. Silverman-Smith said it’s often the caretakers who contact Snazzy On Call.
Silverman-Smith also cares for her son, who she said is autistic. She said she knows firsthand the challenges and frustrations that caretaking can bring, and wanted Snazzy On Call to be part of a strong web of care for patients.
So far, Snazzy On Call has about 25 clients and 13 stylists, Silverman-Smith said. Stylists are all over El Paso and get sent to clients based on which part of town they’re in.
“All the patients we have, I think of my mom or my son,” Silverman-Smith said. “All the stylists we’ve hired are the kind of people who are tender, sensitive and very understanding. They’re the kinds of people I’d put with my mom.”
As baby boomers age, the need for assisted care services is going up.
Jobs in the home health and personal care industry are surging, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment in the industry is on track to grow by 36% from 2018 to 2028.
Snazzy on Call can be reached at 915-701-2421.
Email El Paso Inc. reporter Sara Sanchez at email@example.com or call (915) 534-4422, ext. 105.