Six-year-old Alexstrasza Slayton of DeKalb’s favorite Disney princess is Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.”
On Friday, just as in a Disney princess story, Grace and about 30 other girls, all members of Americorps Girl Scout Troops 40111, 40112 and 40258 of DeKalb, prepared for a ball together. The girls slipped on fancy shoes and donned sparkly dresses and tiaras for the Royal Children’s Ball at Northern Illinois University’s Altgeld Hall, a fundraiser for the DeKalb County Youth Service Bureau.
In true princess fashion, the girls needed some finishing touches before rushing off to the ball.
That’s when their fairy godmother appeared just in time.
Jametha Owens, owner of My1 Hair Solution Salon, 818 W. Lincoln Highway Store #3 in DeKalb, and an educator at Debutantes School of Cosmetology and Nail Technology, closed her salon for the afternoon while she worked her magic to help the girls get ready for the ball.
Owens, assisted by salon staff and Debutantes students, spent more than two hours transforming the girls so they each looked pretty as a princess. Each girl received a manicure and had their hair styled with braids and curls as they dressed for the ball.
The girls’ dresses, shoes, tiaras and admission to the ball were sponsored through an Americorps grant.
“I’m a girly girl at heart, I love Girl Scouts, and I wanted to help them get ready for the ball,” Owens said. “I wanted to be a part of it all and help out girls in the community. I wanted to make them feel special, like a princess. You need fancy hair and nails to complete the package. Some girls have never been to a hair salon, so this really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hopefully, this will be something they’ll never forget.”
Zara West, a Debutantes student, said that helping the girls get ready for the ball was great practice for her future career.
“Right now, I’m helping girls get ready for a ball, but soon I could be helping with prom or a wedding,” West said. “I love meeting new people and getting to know them. My favorite part is helping them look their best.”
Twelve-year-old Kaylla Weeks said she felt just like Princess Tiana from Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” as she had her hair straightened by Debutantes student Navia Kimble.
“I love dressing up and getting glam,” Weeks said. “I’m excited to wear my dress. It’s my first time attending a ball, and I can’t wait.”
Salon manager and Girl Scout Mom Shavette Felker told Owens about the ball and was surprised that her boss volunteered to help the girls do their hair and nails at the salon – all for free.
“I never expected all of this when I told her about the ball,” Felker said. “She said, ‘Not a problem, we will do it.’ It’s something special to have your hair and nails done, and she did this for the girls free of charge. She’s so open and giving, she has such a kind heart. She’s even helped out people living in their cars, people who have nothing. I just know that she will continue to be blessed because she’s been such a blessing to others.”