About Us, The Hair Ladies
Katherine Fagan, The New Hair Lady
When I first met Janise, I felt an immediate connection. I related to her passion for helping people and loved her business model of compassionate care in the privacy of a home-based boutique. The more we talked, the more enthusiastic we both became, and I realized that this opportunity connected all the dots of my life: my career, my personal experiences, and my passions. I first heard about it back in April when a dear friend sent me a link to an article on State College.com: “Looking for the Next Hair Lady”. It struck a chord. I read it over and over -- for a week. I called my friends and family to talk about the possibilities, expecting to meet resistance, yet each one said, “It’s so you!”
What an honor it is to become the next Hair Lady! What big shoes to fill!
In the beginning…
I moved to State College in 1996 with my husband who was a professor in Penn State’s Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies. We originally came to the United States for 10 months, he a native of Dublin, Ireland, and I of Toronto, Canada. We fell in love with the area, had two sons, and made a wonderful life here.
Flair for Hair
Becoming the new Hair Lady and supporting women in a time of need feels like a natural progression of my 30-year career -- not to mention that ever since I was a young girl, I’ve had a desire to be a hairdresser. I was that girl in class braiding everyone’s hair. I had an impressive collection of barbies with questionable haircuts. As a teenager and 20-something, I poured over Vogue, Bazaar, Glamour, and Cosmo, gathering ideas and clipping pictures of hairstyles. I even made my own cut-and-paste beauty magazines. I have sported everything from a bowl cut (Thanks, Mom) to a pageboy, poodle perms, a classic bob, and a pixie. Like many who follow current hairstyles and like to experiment with their look, I spend a considerable amount of time pinning images of great cuts and color on Pinterest.
Despite my leanings toward a career in fashion and beauty, I took a detour. I started my career in the field of oncology as a communications specialist. I worked as a public relations manager at the Ontario Cancer Institute / Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto – one of the world’s foremost cancer treatment and research centers. While many believe oncology must be an emotionally difficult field, I found it incredibly uplifting; everyone from the janitorial staff to the senior scientists had a common mission: to support people navigating the cancer journey. I later worked in corporate communications in the field of organ transplants, and when we moved to State College, I was employed as marketing coordinator at Skills of Central Pennsylvania, Inc., an agency that supports people living with behavioral health, intellectual or developmental challenges. The more I worked with the people that these organizations served, the more I realized I wanted to provide direct service. I thrive on meeting and connecting with people.
In 2010, I decided to pursue my master’s degree in Special Education at Penn State, and then completed a second graduate program to become a certified reading specialist. I was fortunate to find a job after I graduated, and had the privilege of working at Huntingdon Area High School as a learning support teacher. I loved advocating for my students, identifying and nurturing strengths and passions, and supporting them on a path of discovery and independence. In my third year of teaching, however, my sons’ father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I decided to put my career on hold so I could look after him and better support my children.
The world looks entirely different to me today. My sons and I more fully appreciate the amazing community we live in. We’re indebted to my beautiful colleagues in Huntingdon, our friends, neighbors, the medical community, my sons’ incomparable teachers and counselors at SCASD, and to the many complete strangers who showed up on our doorstep to offer help. This community held us in its embrace during an unbearably difficult time. My sons and I have come to realize that in addition to tears, tragedy brings unique gifts: We now have a deeper appreciation for the people in our lives, and we recognize how precious time is. We live (and love) out loud.
I am redefining what it means to live my best life, and a big priority is to give back. When I first called Janise, I was so excited to talk to her about her work. It seemed too good to be true. We talked for a long time over the phone. She and I could both feel each other’s enthusiasm, and she suggested we get together. Our first meeting was casual, just a time of getting to know each other. It was clear we both felt an immediate connection, and our compassion for others is one of many commonalities. We talked a lot about the rewards of working with women in their time of need, supporting those undergoing cancer treatment, and helping people to look and feel like themselves no matter what their circumstance. We agreed this was a good fit for both of us and began the process of my becoming “the new hair lady”.
Coming Full Circle
I feel I have come full circle. This new venture allows me to indulge my flair for hair, and to experience, the joy clients feel when they look in the mirror and feel confident and beautiful. I’m also excited about working with majorettes, cheer teams, and silk teams who need quick and easy hairstyling. Perhaps most importantly, though, I enjoy being a supportive resource for people experiencing hair loss. I understand that hair is more than “just hair”, and I am no stranger to the impact of a cancer diagnosis.
Janise and I are working in partnership to ensure a smooth transition of the Hair Lady wig boutique from her home to mine. She is sharing her expertise to help me earn my stripes as a wig specialist, and I plan to keep things operating as she did; clients will continue to receive professional, compassionate care with a side of positivity and humor. I’m confident that while clients may enter my private wig boutique as strangers, they will leave as friends.
Janise Crow, The Original Hair Lady
I started The Hair Lady wig boutique because of the need for quality wigs and hairpieces with compassionate and understanding service. My heart went out to the many women struggling with self-esteem and dealing with hair loss. Ladies, we all know if we don't feel good about our hair, we are just off. We don't feel confident or beautiful. This became my mission, to encourage and empower women to see themselves differently. I strive to point out many of the beautiful features each person has naturally. Hair is just an accessory to enhance their beauty and it often allows their light to shine more confidently.
Owning my own business has allowed me to love and accept people where they are and for who they are. I have enjoyed working with each client and have made many friends along the way. This business has been a gift and it's time to share this gift with someone else who can be the support to the many women in our community in their time of need.
I am thrilled to have Katherine Fagan to be the Next Hair Lady! I will personally be training Katherine and working closely with her through the transition. I am confident you will enjoy working with her and will receive the same kind of compassionate care as you have received in the past.
What's Next For Janise
I will continue to support Katherine as gains the needed skills she needs to be confident in the wig business. My I will focus on my creative outlets of wearable art, custom sentimental jewelry, photography, chainsaw carving, recycle arts, hair art, and other areas I've wanted to explore. I invite you to keep tabs on me through my new website www.CrowsNestArts.com I have a strong desire to continue to support women through my various outlets and look forward to the possibilities.
How Janise Started The Hair Lady Wig Boutique
With a background in cosmetology and business management, I established “The Hair Lady” wig shop located in State College, Pennsylvania in 2001. I started my business primarily offering hair pieces and a few fashion wigs to busy women needing a great hairstyle quickly. Even teams such as cheerleading, twirl majorettes, silks band and dance teams recognize the benefits of having a coordinated look quickly. In fact, that is how I got my business name. Early on when I visited schools to color match teams for hairpieces, the coaches would announce "Hey girls, The Hair Lady is here to match your hair for a hairpiece". My first name is often difficult to pronounce and even remember, so when began introducing myself as "The Hair Lady" people immediately connected and I think it's fitting.
Meeting the Needs of Our Community
As word spread about my business, it wasn't long before I met many women suffering in silence over hair loss. My heart broke listening to their stories and I could personally relate to their experience. I was on a mission to learn about wigs for hair loss. Back then there wasn't much training available for this industry. So I decided to make a big investment, bought a lot of inventory and started to experiment with various fibers, constructions, and designers. Teaching myself how to style, cut and alter them. I ruined a lot of wigs in the name of research, but it was all worth it, to be able to help someone in need. The needs of our community in despair resulted in me expanding my wig selections to include fashion, medical, theater, costume, and custom. Little did I know what the future held, a rewarding career making a difference in the lives of others; evident by the smiles, notes, and grateful hugs I received from clients.
I Can Relate
I have experienced hair loss myself, I know personally how stressful, isolating and devastating to a woman’s emotional being it can be. Hair is often considered a woman’s crowning glory and it’s no secret that if you are having a bad hair day, you just don’t feel confident, pretty or joyful. I knew I could help.
More than Just Hair
This wonderful world of hair and compassion is a gift many overlook. Not only the gifts, I received by being able to work from home and raise a family, but the way my private wig shop has enabled women to return to work confidently, allowed shut-ins to leave their homes without fear, restored a sense of self, lifts a depressed spirit, builds self-esteem, enables a woman to feel pretty, and makes women smile. To me, this is life-giving and I am honored to be the support that enables the women in our community to go forward and do what they do best at work, school, being a mother, grandmother, volunteer, a leader, and to create.
This is my 17th year in business and is my transition year, I need to care for an elderly parent who lives out of state and plan to grow Crows Nest Arts and my unique jewelry. I will be working alongside Katherine during the transition and teach her all I can about wigs and providing the same great service you are used to.
Honor to Serve You
Since then, I have compassionately served over a thousand men and women in the tri-state are dealing with hair loss. I have been certified by many wig designers and am able to offer a variety of beautiful hair accessories and replacement systems that could quickly help them regain their confidence and self-worth. I take the time to meet personally with clients to listen to their concerns and goals for their hair in private and confidential consultations. I can't give them their own hair back, but my personal goal is to find the most flattering hairstyle for each person that suits their lifestyle. To see you smile and feel confident with the woman in the mirror is why I do what I do.
I am honored to be a beauty resource for you. Clients come in my doors as strangers and leave with a hug from a new friend that understands and offers support when they need it. Call me to request your private appointment or request online. Read testimonies from some of my clients.
I believe you can use whatever gifts and talents you have to help someone else. I also feel it is important to be involved in my community to offer support and build relationships.
In 2005 I began volunteering as a beauty consultant with the American Cancer Society. I facilitated the Look Good Feel Better Program and the wig program offered in the State College area. It is with a full heart and much gratitude to the ACS and all it does, that I say goodbye to my volunteer position there, I retired in 2016. I have met many wonderful women and men through this opportunity and hope I made a positive difference. I believe in the program and know you will be blessed by the many others who are now volunteering.
There was a time it seemed our community was short on hats for chemo patients, being crafty I thought I could try to make them and make use of recycled materials (t-shirts) so I got organized. I
invited women from the community to come together for 2 days and make 375 hats out of t-shirts donated by the ACS for those in need. These were given at no cost to anyone in need in Centre County. Want to learn to make hats for your community? click here
When you come to my shop, you will notice wooden carvings out front, perhaps catch a glimpse of the glass bottle walls out back and see my jewelry creations on the walls on shelves inside evidence of my families creative side.
I am a self-taught jewelry designer and through the encouragement of friends and family, I do offer my jewelry designs for sale. I like to share the blessings others, sometimes as a fundraiser for missions both locally and internationally. My heart is close to an Orphanage in the Dominican Republic and has been able to support the Way's at Way Fruit Farm to minister to the children and staff both personally and financially. Providing food, facilities, equipment, education or whatever is needed at the time Here is a brief video. When the Callao Cafe was open, Dave and I partnered on a cause to support cancer research through the sales of my wire wrapped pendants that they sold in the cafe. I have also had the blessing of being able to support some needs at our local trailer parks. My passion is to use the media of jewelry to celebrate, tell a story, express a sentiment or remember. Sentimental Jewelry Designs was birthed out of this vision. I hope you will take a few minutes to explore the page, listen to the stories and be moved to contact me to make an original design for you.
I'm a relational person and sometimes we just need someone to talk to or discuss spiritual life. I am part of a wonderful network and would be happy to help you connect to a bible study or support group depending on your interests and needs.
My husband and I enjoy being creative. For me, anything goes... I enjoy learning and learning diverse art forms from hair, makeup, photography, jewelry design, chainsaw carving, welding, decorative painting, decorating, organizing or developing my website. I like learning, the challenge of trying something new but, most of all, I like the people I meet through it. My husband, Ed is the real chainsaw carver in the family. He creates beautiful fish, eagles, owls, bears and more.
I don't need to list all the organization I support, the point is when I think of community, I think of people kindly living alongside each other and freely lending a hand to one another. After all, we all know it takes a village to raise a child. So working with local organizations in our community to help meet needs is a joy and opportunity to connect, grow, and learn.