Readers nominated women who, for one reason or another, they thought deserved to win a complete pampering makeover. They sent in stories of women who are weathering adversity, contributing to their communities, and caring for their families. We heard about local women who are good friends, great moms, and many, many women who are generous in spirit, giving to everyone around them, often instead of giving to themselves. From these many worthy nominees, the Beyond staff had the daunting task of choosing a single winner.
Cricket Sjodin, 38, of Simi Valley. Mom of 7 children aged 2 months to 12 years. Married to Sven Sjodin. Chanda Touchette, who nominated Cricket, says she is always delivering food to friends’ doorsteps or helping out at the Community Pregnancy Center of Simi Valley. It’s not unusual to find Cricket helping a single mother with childcare or transporting friends’ kids to school so their parents can get to work on time, all while raising her family and home-schooling five of her own children. Cricket’s kids, always in tow, pitch in when she serves at the Samaritan Center of Simi Valley, helping the homeless, and at the Children’s Hunger Fund. Having overcome rough times prior to her marriage, today Cricket is a devoted family person. Chanda says she nominated Cricket because of, among other things, “her overwhelming love for others in the community and her example of what each of us should do regardless of how many children, how many past mistakes or how much money we make.”
Deborah Yahner has a unique business helping women find clothes that bring out their best. She both sells new pieces and repurposes clothes from some of the best closets in the area. But for Deborah the process is about much more than just finding something that fits—she makes a point of listening to each of her clients, hearing who they are and who they want to be, then helping them express that through clothing that is stylish, comfortable and uniquely them. She has recently launched the jewelry line Predestine, designing pieces with hand-cast beads from Africa, both beautiful and beneficial to the village of their origin. But the heart and soul of Deborah’s business is bringing women together just for the joy of it. It’s not unusual for Thursday evening store hours to turn into chatty gatherings where women sip wine, discuss life and find fabulous outfits. Cricket's final outfit was the result of a back-and-forth process that took into account both Deborah’s expertise and Cricket’s personal style.
Sandra treated Cricket to four skin treatments. The SilkPeel Dermal Infusion is a noninvasive skin rejuvenation procedure that exfoliates and infuses treatments specific to each person’s skin needs. The Lipocell treatment drains the lymph nodes and tightens skin while infusing vitamins and serums. Cricket also had a Bioptron Light therapy treatment to regenerate her skin cells. During the treatments, she rested on a BioMat Professional, a 17-layer mat that uses infrared rays, negative ion therapy and the super-conducting properties of pure amethyst to detoxify the body. Sandra explains that these therapies are medical grade and based on scientific research. For Cricket, it was a luscious two hours of feel-good.
Billy brought Cricket’s natural beauty center stage, utilizing methods he has honed on his many television appearances and red carpet clients. He added highlights and lowlights to Cricket’s hair which, he says, adds dimension. He kept her length as he felt it suited her face, and added subtle curls to her locks.
Cricket is decked out in a vintage Palm Springs look. She is dressed in pants by Trina Turk and a sweater by Crea Concept. Her necklace is by Predestine, and her bracelet is by From Ocean to Earth by Jeannine Hoyte.