In Easton, Pennsylvania, Suddenly Samantha Salon does more than give local residents a fresh cut. It also gives the community’s neediest members a fresh start. The locally owned salon and its owner, Stephen Flowers, have become known in the community for providing free haircuts and other resources to those in need. In recognition of this great work, Independent We Stand proudly presents Suddenly Samantha Salon and Flowers with this year’s Independent Small Business of the Year, or Indie Award.
During the back-to-school season, Flowers offers free haircuts to school children to get them ready for their first day. For some children, it’s the first professional haircut they’ve received. During this time, Flowers also collects donated school supplies to provide the kids with the tools they need to succeed. The back-to-school program provides more than 150 children with free haircuts and collects more than 300 backpacks filled with school supplies.
The Indie Award honors independent small businesses that go above and beyond for their community. At Suddenly Samantha Salon, Flowers spends each Christmas Day at the salon, welcoming in the community’s homeless residents for a free haircut, a fresh meal and some much-needed warmth. Flowers also comes in on Mondays, his day off, to provide free haircuts for the homeless.
Suddenly Samantha Salon began these charitable traditions after Flowers experienced hardship in his own life. “I got divorced when my son was little and struggled to get him what he needed,” Flowers says. “Family, friends, and clients at the salon shared things with us. So many people cared about us, and I want other kids to have that.”
Flowers has been recognized in the community for his important work, and now, he’ll be recognized nationwide as the Independent Small Business of the Year. The Indie Award, now in its eighth year, offers residents and advocates across the country the opportunity to nominate and vote for their favorite small businesses. Nominations began in September, and the final round of voting closed on Sunday.
As this year’s Indie Award winner, Flowers and his salon will receive a $25,000 branding makeover from the Meridian Group, an independently owned advertising and digital marketing agency, and a $1,000 STIHL, Inc. equipment certificate. The Indie Award is sponsored by STIHL, Do it Best Corp., and PPG Paints.
To learn more about Suddenly Samantha Salon and previous Indie Award recipients, visit www.independentwestand.org/indies.