Beauty by Jill salon empowers women

LIMA — Jill Bakies invites at-risk girls to her salon each summer for a day-long beauty bootcamp.

To-go bags filled with beauty products await the girls, who spend the day at Beauty by Jill Salon and Spa learning how to style their hair and makeup and practice applying their own manicures.

The bootcamp teaches girls the basics of etiquette, personal hygiene and self-care through journaling or yoga — and the early signs of domestic violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

“I teach them how to give themselves a manicure and pedicure. We do a full makeup tutorial. They get to try different hair products and hair tools — some of them have never used a flat iron,” Bakies said.

“But the real part is that these are the girls that are typically targeted or vulnerable to (abuse).”

Representatives from the Lima Police Department and Crime Victim Services visit the South Main Street salon each June to talk to the girls, who often come from foster homes, about how to stay safe on social media, identify abusive relationships or help a friend who confides in them that she’s been abused.

The bootcamp is a passion project for Bakies, who founded Beauty by Jill Salon and Spa in 2014.

Bakies first drafted plans for a salon and spa on Main Street while she was a senior in high school.

She made good on those plans a decade later when she opened Beauty by Jill in a formerly vacant storefront on Main Street, joining downtown Lima’s revitalization with the help of a loan from Downtown Lima, Inc. when she was only 27 years old.

The full-service salon and spa, now located at 233 S. Main St. next to Fresh ‘N’ Faded and Old City Prime, specializes in everything from hair care, makeup, manicures and pedicures to massages, lash extension, waxing and ancient lineage healing.

The work earned Bakies a spot on several boards, including Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce, which honored her with its Women in Business award in 2019, but it also provided her a path to independence.

Bakies takes pride in passing that privilege along to the single mothers and women she employs, many of whom “come from nothing” but are able to work their way out of poverty and break out on their own with her help.

“That’s rewarding to me,” Bakies said.


Many businesses and organizations started right here in the Lima region, with the goal of making an impact in the region. This year’s Celebrating Our Spirit looks at those trailblazers. Read more stories at