40 Under 40 The Class of 2017

Basia Belz

Owner and President, Vivid Hair Salon & Spa Inc.; Age 35

Basia Belz

Basia Belz

When asked what she does for a living, salon owner Basia Belz will tell you she’s a master color specialist and stylist. But this hairstylist is truly a cut above, modeling more of the Old Masters, using hair as her canvas.

“I love that, in just a few hours, I can miraculously transform someone, and help them see their inner beauty,” said Belz, adding that her salon specializes in hair coloring and hair extensions, and helping brides look their best. But it’s more than beauty that drives Belz. She goes to great lengths to make a difference in her community.

“I’ve volunteered since I was a child, and I love to give back,” she told BusinessWest, adding that helping cancer patients feel and look good is one of her top priorities. “My grandmother had cancer, and I’ve devoted a lot of my time to events and fund-raisers in her honor. I want to make her proud.”

Belz is a longtime supporter of the Rays of Hope Foundation, creating pink pieces (hair extensions) for a cure. She’s also earning certification in wig fitting and maintenance to help cancer patients when they lose their hair. Belz says she wants to make each client feel special and cared for.

She’s been in the business for more than 19 years, graduating from Dean Technical High School’s cosmetology program, and earning business degrees from Holyoke Community College and Western New England University. She started her own salon when she was just 23, and has grown her business from one full-time employee to an expanded, full-service salon with a team of 10.

With her business thriving, she’s become even more active in the community, raising thousands of dollars for various organizations through her Vivid Community Care Projects.

“I enjoy bringing people together for a great cause and great time,” said Belz. She’s hosted numerous fund-raisers, like ‘paint parties,’ and sponsored a girls softball team in Westfield. She’s partnered with Westfield State University at a mental-health fair and was back on campus April 9 for the Buzz Off for Cancer event, shaving heads in honor and support of children who have the disease.

“I want people to see the passion that I have, and show other stylists that they have so much potential,” said Belz. “I love what I do, and I’m grateful I have the opportunity to change people’s lives for the better.”

—Alta Stark