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Styling with purpose

October 3, 2012
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Salon Bonifacio gives back to Bangor community

BANGOR - A Washington County man gave himself a 38th birthday present he will never forget. In August, Guy Ortega opened his own business - a hair salon on Ohio Street in Bangor that he's named Salon Bonifacio.

"I wanted to use all my life experience and create my dream come true," Ortega explained. "I wanted to be in a field that made you happy."

That's why Ortega left the banking industry in 1996 and entered hair school, where he excelled. He eventually became a cosmetology instructor and then a cosmetology director. After working at Bernard's School of Hair, Pierre's School of Cosmetology and a JC Penny Salon, he realized it was time to venture out on his own.

"I actually brought three of my students with me," he said. "They see me in a whole new light because I'm on the styling floor with them [now]."

Besides making clients feel and look great, Ortega wants to use his new business to help beautify the community.

"In September, we donated hair services to women at Well Spring [in recognition of recovery month]," Ortega said. "We might not do something every month, but we'll do something ongoing. You may even see us picking up trash on the side of the road."

Salon Bonifacio is also a big supporter of the arts.

"We're an outlet for local artists. Right now, we have Nancy Langlois artwork. I saw her work at the senior center and thought it was beautiful," Ortega explained. "Our waiting room is not even mine; it's sponsored by Azure Dragon [a Chinese retail company in Bangor]."

Ortega said his desire to help others and his community was instilled in him when he was just a student at hair school.

"I had an instructor tell me, 'You have to give a little to appreciate a lot,'" he explained. "When people come to Bangor, we want them to know us for our giving."

Salon Bonifacio is located at 504 Ohio Street and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, including services and pricing, call 947-8364.

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