Salon Owner’s Kindness Project Honors Beauty Within

Aimee Blanchette
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Last fall, salon owner Katie Steller launched the “Steller Kindness Project” to share the stories of local people who lend a hand to others.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

A beauty salon might seem like an unusual place for community outreach, but not to Katie Steller.

The Minneapolis salon owner has taken it upon herself to make sure everyday acts of kindness don’t go unnoticed.

Last fall, she launched the Steller Kindness Project to share the stories of local people who lend a hand to others.

“It is so easy to be consumed and defeated by the pain and sadness of our world,” Steller wrote in one of her posts. “Changing the world needs to happen on a micro level if we ever want macro results.”

Using her Instagram account as a launching point, Steller asked her followers to nominate people whose small and quiet acts of kindness have helped others in a big way.

The nominations came pouring in: a high school library worker who goes the extra mile for students in need; a Lakeville woman who shows up for her neighbor, a single mom with four kids, and feeds the neighborhood’s stray cats; a compassionate boy with Down syndrome who loves to braid hair.

Though the Steller Kindness Project is still in its infancy, the seed for it was planted long ago.

Steller was age 11 when her autoimmune disease ulcerative colitis was diagnosed. By 18, her illness had progressed beyond remission, and she had her large intestine removed. Then, she began to lose her hair.

“I never cared about hair before,” Steller said. “I didn’t realize how important it was until I started to lose it.”

That’s when Steller’s mom took her for her first professional haircut. Steller remembers how she felt so honored, so cared for, by the stylist. It was a moment that changed her life personally and professionally. She has been on a mission to pay that act of kindness forward ever since.

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