Boothbay Harbor hairstylist Betsy Wildes is on her way to becoming the $10,000 winner of Life & Style Magazine’s “Ultimate Stylist” if she receives the most votes in the competition. Daily voting for Wildes began May 17 and can be made online via Facebook at https://ultstylist.com/2022/betsy-wildes
Wildes currently has the second highest number of votes in her group of 100 contestants. She hopes to have enough votes to get through the first cut, on June 2. There will be a series of eliminations until the contest ends July 14 and the winner is named.
“I appreciate everyone who votes and who continues to vote,” Wildes told the Boothbay Register. She graduated from Maine State Academy of Hair Design in Brunswick and worked at A Cut Above Salon for 20 years before joining Shear Artistry Family Hair Salon on Townsend Avenue six years ago.
Wildes said she became involved in the competition after seeing a pop-up about it on Instagram. She decided to enter because “I’ve been doing hair for 30 years and if you don’t take the risk you lose the chance.”
Three weeks after entering, she received an email notifying her she had been accepted into the contest. Now, she is hoping votes for her will continue to come in daily.
The Ultimate Stylist competition also supports the Born This Way Foundation, founded by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta. According to its website, the nonprofit “supports the mental health of young people and works with them to build a kinder and braver world.” Those voting for contestants in the Ultimate Stylist competition can make a donation to Born This Way.
Speaking about her profession, Wildes said she gets joy and pride helping people feel better about themselves. She likes the way her clients can “leave everything at the door, like a mini-therapy session.”
“It’s better than a bartender and cheaper than a therapist. You never know what a person has been through.”
If she wins, she said, “I’m looking forward to sharing what I love to do with the world in Life & Style Magazine so people can see my legacy.”
In addition to her work as a stylist, Wildes is activities and events director for the local charity Action for Animals. She is a resident of Boothbay Harbor and has two daughters, Ciara Wildes and Kai Pitcher, both of Boothbay Harbor.
Betsy Wildes is at Shear Artistry Family Hair Salon Wednesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.