The Makeover Is In The News!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Cinderella story: Single mom receives free makeover at North Andover spa


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Zena Silva shows off a new outfit after her free makeover this week with wardrobe stylist Susan Kanoff of A Great New Look.

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By Katherine Reilly /
Posted Mar 04, 2010 @ 12:59 PM
With help from local wardrobe stylist Susan Kanoff and Applaud magazine publisher Susan Caldwell, single-mom Zena Silva of Methuen has been starring in her very own “Cinderella Story.” After losing 220 pounds in just two years, Silva was selected to be the recipient of a complete makeover provided by businesses in North Andover and the surrounding area.
Kanoff, who has a background as both a social worker and wardrobe stylist, wanted to organize a makeover for a low-income family. Coincidentally, Caldwell decided to expand Applaud magazine’s annual makeover project to help a woman from Massachusetts instead of the usual recipient, a woman from New Hampshire. Zena Silva has since become the beneficiary of their efforts.
“It’s been phenomenal,” said Silva. “I feel like a diva.”
The single mom has been working nights and wants to return to school to obtain a nursing degree.
“One of my goals was to live a healthier lifestyle,” said Silva, who found her motivation in her 9-year-old son.
Her determination did not go unnoticed. When Kannoff approached Ellen Weinhold at the Methuen Housing Authority — where Silva is enrolled in a program — Weinhold recommended Silva as a deserving candidate for the makeover.
“I think it’s going to be life-changing for her,” said Kanoff, who has helped Silva with making improvements to her wardrobe.
Kanoff said she has been showing Silva how to assemble stylish outfits and accessories while also teaching her about her body shape. Kanoff donated clothing from her own wardrobe, helped Silva get rid of clothing that didn’t flatter her new, slimmer figure and assisted her in choosing clothing during a shopping spree to Macy’s and to Night and Day in Andover.
“This project is my dream,” said Kanoff, who plans to coordinate new makeover projects for other Massachusetts women. “I can’t tell you how much I love doing this.”
Funding for the makeover budget came from anonymous donors, who contributed Kohl’s and Macy’s gift cards, and from Merit Tukiainen, owner of Night and Day in Andover, who donated apparel from her store as well as $500 worth of shoes. Other contributions have included four life-coaching sessions from Ginny Williams, a handbag and earrings from Coco Collection in Andover, and services from Skin Serenity Medispa in Haverhill.
The makeover concluded at Bella Vita Salon and Day Spa in North Andover on March 3, when Silva received a complimentary haircut and new hairstyle.
“We thought it would be a great way to help,” said Jill Cunha, manager at Bella Vita. “I hope she will want to keep up with it and build her confidence with a new style.”
 With that new hairstyle, Silva will be the center of attention during a professional photo shoot at Beabe Gallery, which is adjacent to Bella Vita.
“I really think it’ll inspire her to take the next steps in her life,” said Heather Rogers, the photographer at Beabe, who said she was immediately willing to help the makeover process and to help Silva “jump-start her life.”
Applaud magazine will cover Silva’s transformation and will feature her in its April issue.
“This is the best makeover that we’ve ever done,” said Caldwell, adding that Applaud has been providing makeovers to deserving women for five years.
The magazine, which is published quarterly online as a resource for women of New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts, will organize another makeover next year and would like to follow Silva further and continue to write about the changes she makes in her life, said Caldwell.
“She is just such an inspiring person,” said Kanoff of Silva. “You meet her; you love her.”

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