By Bre Wilson
Josephine “JoJo” White recognizes that when a person makes the decision to leave a destructive relationship, they only have a short time to pack up and the last thing they may consider to grab is personal items such as shampoo and conditioner.
Which is why the owner of JoJo’s House of Beauty, located at 1801 44th St. SE, over the past several years has worked with the YWCA to make sure those items are available when people come to stay there.
“The YWCA has always been a great place to just give, they give so much to domestic violence and we wanted to just be a part of that,” White said. “We donate brushes and combs, hair care, whatever we have or whatever clients give to us.”
It is because of White’s dedication to building a better community that she was recently one of nine recipients of the LocalMotion Award presented by LocalFirst of West Michigan. Given out annual, the LocalMotion Awards are designed to recognize businesses, organizations and individuals leading the way in building vibrant, sustainable communities. Each nominee was asked to complete a Quick Impact Assessment, which quantifies their positive impact through business practices such as philanthropic efforts, employee satisfaction and responsible waste management. From there, the LocalMotion Award recipients are determined and were announced at a special event earlier this year.
“I was totally shocked,” White said of being a LocalMotion Award recipient. “There were over 60 people who were nominated, so just to be nominated was a good thing.
“It was amazing to be recognized.”
White open JoJo’s House of Beauty three years ago after taking over her current location. Her goal has been to offer a multi-cultural salon designed to serve both men and women of all hair types. “Opening a salon has been a dream of mine since the age of 16, so it’s just a blessing to see my dreams come true,” she said.
Even before achieving her dream, White was committed to giving back to the community. Through the years, she has been very involved in many organizations from giving scholarship money to Omega Si Phi Fraternity Incorporation and Alpha Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporation to volunteering with Beauty of Zion Fashion ArtPrize hair show. White said she enjoys creating a positive presence in her community.
“LocalFirst is proud of all the busiensses in West Michigan who are making a positive impact in our local community,” said LocalFirst President Elissa Hillary. “The businesses recognized at the LocalMotion Awards are excellent examples of what it means to use business as a force for good and we applaud them for their commitment to positive social and environmental change in Grand Rapids and beyond.”
The other LocalMotion Award recipients are, from Grand Rapids, ACTPhotoMedia, LINC UP, Management Business Solutions, Mindful Vinyasa School of Yoga, and Mixed Staffing and Recruiting; from Grand Haven, C2C Galleries; and from Holland, EcoBuns Baby+Co.