Volunteers Needed To Help ‘Makeover Burien,’ One Business At A Time…

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At Wednesday night’s South King Media Advertiser and Reader Appreciation Holiday Party, a positive new project called ‘Makeover Burien’ was unveiled by The B-Town Blog’s Scott Schaefer and Serenza Salon & Spa’s Daniel Keane.

“Makeover Burien will be a 12-month long project where we’ll help a different local business every month,” said Keane. “Each month we’ll pick a business that needs some help, then go in, give employees a makeover at our salon while other volunteers help clean up or fix things up at the business location.”

This project was conceived by Keane, and will be produced in association with The B-Town Blog and Serenza Salon & Spa.

Keane and Schaefer are currently seeking volunteers to help with this monthly event, and are looking for local businesses that can contribute in-kind services or products to help fellow local businesspeople. Some of the categories needed are services like handymen, contractors, accountants, business consultants, carpet (and other) cleaners, and just about anything else that can help a business get spruced up.

But it’s not just about helping businesses.

“The ultimate goal at the end of 2012 will be to find a needy local family that could use an extreme makeover,” Keane added. “We’ll then go to their home, give the family a makeover while workers help clean and fix up their house.”

Monthly reports will be posted to The B-Town Blog, including photos of each makeover event as well as lists and links of businesses that helped. In other words, if you or your business volunteers to help this project, you’ll receive free marketing on the blog, which reaches between 50,000 – 60,000 Unique Visitors per month.

In addition, a separate website will be built, and photos and videos will be produced and posted as well.

If you’re interested in helping out, please email [email protected].

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14 Responses to “Volunteers Needed To Help ‘Makeover Burien,’ One Business At A Time…”
  1. Lori Alden says:

    This is a fabulous idea! You can count on Prudential Northwest Realty for support!

  2. skeptical says:

    This may be the worst idea I’ve ever heard of. If it’s a business, why couldn’t they, why wouldn’t they present an image that would attract customers? If I owned a business, I don’t think I would want other business owners telling me how to change the appearance of my store or employees.

    Most of all, dozens of local non-profit organizations need volunteers and assistance to do good, necessary work. If this image polishing service were provided to a struggling non-profit, it would make more sense.

    Of all the things a person could volunteer for, volunteering to help a business make more money is just bizarre.

    • daniel says:

      The idea is to bring the local business community together to strengthen the entire community. It is not about making money, rather, it is about coming together to be stronger.

    • I’m sure you’ve heard worse ideas Skeptical.

      As active members of Discover Burien, we see a lot of local businesses struggling, with many just giving up, so Daniel and I (and many others in the biz community) actually think this is a pretty good idea. And remember, it will culminate in a local, needy family getting help too, so how is that bad?

      We’re just trying to help the local economy one business at a time, which to me is not “bizarre” at all.

      scott schaefer

    • Mike says:

      Not all business are successful or make a profit. Many are struggling and are just trying to keep their doors open and their employees in their jobs. Some are losing money just trying to make it. Many go out of business every day and their employees are out of a job. Why not help those that are trying to help themselves. It amazes me how many like Skeptical just don’t get it and think everyone who owns a business is making so much money, is bad and doesn’t need assistance. There are times everyone can use a helping hand. I think it is a great idea to help those that are trying to help themselves.


    • Shari says:

      I hear your concerns, Skeptical, but am thinking that there’s an awful lot in this to applaud, and then maybe put the concerns in that overall context of support. Non profit organizations really don’t want to “own” a problem or its solution– they really strive to raise the community’s awareness of the needs around them and provide support for the community’s efforts to address them… The only way to get rid of a problem for good is through community involvement . It sounds like this is what the organizers of this initiative are trying to accomplish. And that’s worthy of thanks. Working together on a project of shared significance has benefits that extend well beyond the project in question. And attractive, thriving local businesses in Burien help everyone. While there can be some unintended consequences of a highly publicized “extreme makeover” “charity”-oriented process if it puts the dignity and privacy of the ‘beneficiaries’ at risk, I’m confident that the leaders of this initiative will make sure that the businesses and families that are involved are involved as partners who decide that they want to be involved in the first place and who have the most important voices in decisions about their projects and how the publicity is handled.

  3. Lisa B. says:

    I too think it’s a great idea. Many businesses are doing their best just to get by. Then they have to deal with people out there who are under the misguided notion that just because you have your own business, you must be rolling in the dough. Not so.

    I would love to help in any way I could, maybe with more of the hands on stuff like painting, etc. I also have experience with coffee/tea shop operations.

  4. elizabeth2 says:

    I love this idea! Many of our small (and I mean some are VERY small) businesses in Burien are owned and run by hardworking people who are doing all they can to keep afloat in a tough economy. Most of them have also lived in Burien forever.

    We make an effort to patronize our local companies and avoid trekking down to the malls. We get to know the owners and often they are people who play a role in keeping downtown Burien going.

    The continued existence of their businesses keeps Burien alive and going. Helping them helps our city. As Lisa B. said, these are not big, rich, floating-in-money owners looking to make a dollar any way they can at the expense of the customer.

  5. Skeptical says:

    Obviously, I am in the minority, but I still disagree with this idea. The whole point of business is that some businesses should fail. For example, there are two bookstores in Burien. For decades, there was only one, and that store never made enough money to pay for itself. It was basically a hobby of the owner.

    Now that there are two bookstores in a market that couldn’t even support one, which bookstore would you support with a free makeover? I’m sure the owners of both bookstores are equally nice people with equally good intentions. I mean, you’d have to be a romantic to open a famously unprofitable business during a recession. To be fair, you should give makeovers to both or neither. For any other business, there would also be a competitor. The magic of the marketplace is supposed to be that good businesses thrive while their competitors fail. If a nonprofit group starts picking winners, well, that is bizarre.

    There is a struggling online newspaper called Burien Daily, I think. Are you going to give them advice on how to be more successful?

    I seem to be the only one who thinks this is a bad idea, so I will be interested to see how it all works out. By the way, there is no charge for my insightful analysis of this venture.

    • Coverofnight says:

      Skeptical; I will side with you on this one. I bet most businesses are interested in cash flow rather than employee makeovers at a salon, so I do my best to help local business by patronizing local business. The business owner can then decide how to spend their revenues. You made a good point when you stated, “…The magic of the marketplace is supposed to be that good businesses thrive while their competitors fail. If a nonprofit group starts picking winners, well, that is bizarre…”

      But hey, if these guys want to go through with this idea, go for it – I can also see it as a form of networking for them.

      I, too, always offer my insightful analysis at no charge.

    • Greg Wright says:

      Hey, Skep. To be entirely consistent, you should probably stop offering business advice to B-Town Blog and its partners. After all, if this is a bad idea that sinks everyone involved, so be it. And if it flies and helps everyone, so be it. Sink or swim, it’s their business, right?

      Also, your question about helping the Burien Daily is very on the mark. You’re quite astute. Interestingly, B-Town Blog actually has given the Daily’s proprietor advice on how to be more successful.

      So I guess one’s response to this idea reflects one’s world view: do we all get stronger by helping each other, or do we go with survival of the fittest? It’s possible to be competitive without being cut-throat.

  6. elizabeth2 says:

    I am sure that the organizers of this program are wise enough and know enough about the city of Burien that they will choose carefully and judiciously which businesses they elect to help.

    I doubt, also, that they are looking to give support to people who have been viewed as “romantic to open a famously unprofitable business during a recession”.

    There are many businesses in Burien who have been around a long time and provided tax dollars and been supporters of the city. A boost of added publiticy and a new look to their store or storefront may be all they need to pick up a little business to keep going.

    In this holiday season in a tough economy, let us look upon this as good news, a positive thing, good news and support the program. BAH HUMBUG otherwise!

  7. Karen says:

    This could help Organize your Volunteers. There is a great tool for organizing your volunteers to get together and do good things in the real world and if you download the (free) app in december, you even get entered to win an iPhone 4S! goba.co/win-a-phone. Love this idea!

  8. Jack says:

    I have been really happy a number of times that we have three bookstores in Burien when my kids needed a book for school on short notice. I didn’t have waste gas going to the mall in . I like the idea of making Burien more attractive by helping the business sector get some sprucing up.

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