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A Visit to Grow Appalachia

A Visit to Grow Appalachia

Dec 30th 2014

Amanda Goodsell is a Regional Color Coordinator for John Paul Mitchell Systems and a stylist at M Hair Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. She visits salons around the country to educate the salon stylists on new color and styling techniques on behalf of Paul Mitchell.   Here is a recent blog post about her visit to our partner, Grow Appalachia.

CEO and Co-founder of Paul Mitchell, John Paul DeJoria, funds an incredible organization called Grow Appalachia. They plant the seeds for a sustainable future in an area that has very limited access to healthy, affordable food by supporting thousands of gardens in five states across the Appalachian region. Ever since I took the position of Regional Color Coordinator in that area, I have wanted to participate with the organization in some way. So this fall, I reached out to the directors of Grow Appalachia, gathered a group of local Paul Mitchell educators and hit the road for an unforgettable team building weekend.  

Our first day was spent at Green House 17, a domestic violence shelter that helps women build job and life skills and confidently move into the future. We were welcomed with fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies and started our day by setting up a salon in a common area. We provided hair services for the tenants and employees of the shelter. Later in the day, we attended an open house, which honored their partnership with local organizations (including Grow Appalachia), and saw their new state-of-the-art kitchen that was funded almost entirely by John Paul.  

Our second day was spent at Pine Mountain Settlement School  with some of the families that participate in Grow Appalachia. In the morning we took an herbal gardening workshop followed by a woodland medicinal workshop in the afternoon. We learned some great gardening skills from our instructor, Sunshine, and even came home with our own herb garden.  

But the highlight of day two was the potluck lunch. Not only did we dine on dishes prepared by the families with ingredients from their Grow Appalachia gardens, but we were given the opportunity to really get to know them and hear their stories.

Everyone kept thanking us for being there, but they deserved the gratitude for allowing us to be a part of such amazing events. The experience humbled us, brought us closer as a team and made us even more grateful for what we have. In the words of John Paul, "success unshared is failure," and we were honored to share our skills, time and success with Grow Appalachia.  

Kelsey Williams is our Web Content Manager. When she's not at the Paul Mitchell headquarters strategizing and writing content for our digital channels, you might find her hunting for vintage treasures at local flea markets and thrift shops.

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