Skin Correctives owner Karen Meiring de Gonzalez is a businesswoman who knows the value of giving back to the community.
Mrs Meiring de Gonzalez’s business has thrived since she started it in Shellharbour after arriving in Australia four years ago.
She opened a second salon in Wollongong 18 months later and her team has grown steadily with increased customer demand.
But she has always been keen to support others.
Children with autism and their carers are one of the causes she is most passionate about.
Her annual Care and Share for Autism, Ladies Day at Towradgi Beach Hotel each September, is designed as a special day of indulgence for carers of children with autism.
And Mrs Meiring de Gonzalez is always encouraged by dozens of businesses and businesspeople who help provide a fun and relaxing day in a nurturing environment.
During the day, carers get to experience many things they would not generally get time to, such as a neck massage, foot massage, brow definition, make-up and pampering.
But stories are also shared, voices heard and friendships made.
Mrs Meiring de Gonzalez partnered with Deborah O’Brien, of Aspect South Coast School, to give carers a day involving everything from beauty treatments to meditation and art therapy at Towradgi Beach Hotel.
Leanne McConville is the mother of Riley, 8, and enjoyed the day so much in 2013 she returned for the second event last year and plans to go again.
“It was awesome and so nice to take a day off,” she said.
“It was so lovely to be pampered for the day because you don’t ever get to do that and take that time out for yourself.”
Mrs McConville said she became Facebook friends with some of the new people she met last year. “That is often your only real way to catch up with people,” she said.
Maharnie Happel found out about the day through the Aspect school where her son Makai Burns, 8, goes.
“I think it is really good for so many mothers who have a lot of stress,” she said.
“It is so nice to talk to all the other mothers and just get together and relax.”
This article was originally published by Greg Ellis in Illawarra Mercury, 26th January 2015