St. Joe Alum Is Changing the World, One Haircut at a Time

Posted on: March 18, 2024

The slogan for Chelsea Wilson’s “RezKutz” business is, “Your satisfaction is my goal,” something she lives out through the satisfaction of giving back to the school she attended from 1st through 8th grade: St. Joseph’s Indian School. Chelsea recently offered two three-hour hair cutting sessions for boys in 1st through 12th grades.

Conversations with 7th-through-8th-Grade Residential Coordinator Frank Whipple were the spark that grew into the haicut clinic. Wilson wanted to have a positive impact on current students and show them they can be anything they want to be.

She set up in the school’s skating rink, laying out a spread of razors, clips, sprays, combs and scissors. A self-taught stylist, she offers a sophisticated range from trims to line-art cuts, twelve different styles in all.

With a little help from the students, the satisfaction speaks for itself. “I liked getting my hair cut. It made it so I’m not so hot.  Chelsea was good to me,” said fourth-grader Kaiden Kirkie. 

Houseparents Stephen and Robbie Chatman vouched for the students in their home who were all happy about their haircuts. “I enjoyed visiting with Chelsea while she cut hair,” said Robbie, who added that Chelsea interacted well with the students.

From a cultural perspective, hair has powerful significance to the Native American students who attend St. Joseph’s Indian School. Some prefer to wear their hair long and in a braid, which, in part, signifies the strength of the intertwined hairs over the single strand. The expression one makes by the way their hair is worn is respected at the school, and students make their own choices about it. Chelsea respectfully asked each student permission to touch their hair before beginning.

Wilson, 26, feels especially connected to the school these days. Her mother passed away in late 2020, and her three siblings currently attend. “This place is a good place with a lot of fun and more activities than home,” she said. Asked if there was a downside, Wilson added, “The only bad this is missing home and family,” explaining her extra effort to be present to her brother and two sisters and to take care of them the best she can.

All involved felt the clinic was a success, and plans are in the works for another clinic sometime in April or May.