Martina Maina happened to listen to talk radio in her car a few weeks ago on her way to lunch, two things she rarely does.
The founder, hair designer and make-up artist at TBirds Hair and Nail Salon in Burbank is usually so busy she skips lunch — but on Oct. 12, she was “just devastated” by the news of the Salon Meritage shooting in Seal Beach that left eight people dead.
On Monday, she kicked off a fundraiser at her own salon for the families of the Seal Beach victims.
“We wanted to do our part,” Maina said.
Haircuts and manicures were offered at $50 and $20, respectively, along with $20 blow dries.
But only small donations were made Monday and it was an extremely slow day, Maina said.
“It was not the success we anticipated, but we wanted to honor the families,” she said.
Blue heart-shaped Mylar balloons were strung outside the storefront on Olive Avenue as Maina stood on the sidewalk with a sign, motioning at cars.
A high school student walked by and donated $1. A few other people did the same after reading the handmade sign.
Maina said that, unfortunately, she cannot afford to continue the special prices — she had initially considered running the special through Halloween — but she and her staff will continue collecting donations for a victims assistance trust set up by the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce.
“Oftentimes, hairstylists are the matriarch of a family, they are the glue that keeps the family together,” she said.
A salon is a safety zone for people where they can get their spirits lifted and feel good when they are there, Maina said.
“For someone to come in and shatter that safety zone — it’s such a tragedy,” she said.
Passerby Victor Cohen, an attorney who lives and works in the area, chatted with salon workers Monday as they sat on a small bench outside the storefront. He opened his wallet a few seconds later.
“I know what happened [in Seal Beach] and hope that if something like that happened in our community, that people would help,” Cohen said.
Checks should be made out to the Seal Beach Victims Fund and information can be obtained by calling the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce at (562) 799-0179, said Esther Kenyon, chief executive of the chamber.
Online donations can be made at www.sealbeachchamber.org by clicking on the blue heart. The trust fund is being held at the Bank of America in Seal Beach at 208 Main Street.
More than $80,000 has been received through various fundraisers for the families so far, according to information presented at the Seal Beach City Council meeting Monday.
TBirds Hair and Nail Salon is located at 1808 W. Olive Ave. The salon can be reached at (818) 842-0916 or tbirdsimage.com.