Many people enjoy treating themselves to a haircut, manicure or other salon services — it's a chance to kick back and be blissfully pampered. But if one is homebound or bedridden, those options are severely limited.
That was before Carmen Crabill, stylist, owner and founder of Gussied Up Home Hair Care, who was the first person in Indiana to obtain a license from the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency to go into clients' homes or living quarters to serve them.
Crabill, a New Haven High School and Four Winds Academy Hair Design graduate who received her in-home license in November, created this extension of her brick-and-mortar business, Carmen & Co. Hair Salon, for clients whose mobility was restricted. Requests are by appointment only and within an hour's drive of Fort Wayne.
“Gussied Up offers haircutting, perming, shampooing, coloring, highlighting and styling,” said Crabill, who drives to the customer's home to perform desired services.
She totes a stylish, hot pink-and-black carryall on wheels with all the tools of the trade tucked inside except for a large white tray she carries for shampooing at the customer's sink.
“I also have an inflatable tub for people who are bed-ridden. It has a drain and inflates like a shampoo bowl, which I can just put in their bed,” said Crabill, who enjoys helping those in the privacy of their homes who would otherwise go without hair care.
Asked how she got into mobile salon services, Crabill gave credit to persistent prayer.
“I knew there was something else I was called to do, so I had been praying for several weeks for God to guide me in the right direction,” recalled Crabill. “I actually woke up from a nap with the thought for a traveling salon. Everything fell into place after that. I was meant to help the homebound.”
Crabill often goes beyond traveling salon services. One lady who was homebound after having a minor stroke has her hair is done, and then the stylist will take the patron's dog for a walk, especially during inclement weather.
“Every three weeks, Acey gets a walk and his owner gets her hair gussied up,” said Crabill. “It is all about having a huge heart and treating people the way you would like to be treated. I always ask before I leave if there is anything else I can do for them. Clients always say no, but I insist. There are plenty of times I've run the sweeper, folded towels or did dishes just to make their life a little easier while I am there.”
According to Marsha Kunasch, a certified interpreter for the deaf and longtime customer, Crabill is, “very professional, has a heart of gold and is a great person whose mother would be very proud of her. Also, some of my dearest friends have mentioned they were so grateful to Carmen for coming to their homes to do their hair.”
When a patient is bedridden, there is always a home aide there to help Crabill if needed.
“We work around TVs, or oxygen cords, and just take our time, so the process isn't hurried,” said Crabill, who includes men and children as clients.
“Also, we just expanded to busy families and new mothers, as well. I love helping people!”