CI Hero: Local woman turns trash into clothing, helps local animal shelter

Ci Heroes
Genevieve Ferrel dresses a model for the 2017 Trash-ion Show held in Peoria.

A Central Illinois woman spends most of her time at a hair salon and spa. She may not have a license for cosmetology, but she sure is certified in creativity and sustainability.

Genevieve Ferrel is this week’s CI Hero.

“She has the best heart,” said Liz Pollack, President of Pets For Seniors, Pets for Saving. “She’s very sweet. She’s very caring.”

Genevieve Ferrel works the front desk of Peoria’s Five Senses Spa, Salon and Barbershop. The Aveda business strives to encourage all it’s employees to go above and beyond.

“We are a team here,” said Paola Hinton, owner of Five Senses Spa, Salon and Barbershop. “So when people go an impact the local community then what better organization or community or business do you have when you have all those things working together?”

She has a creative eye, you see, she takes what others call waste and recycles it into clothing.

“I’d say a lot like paper towels, painted things and stuff like that,” said Ferrel.” We’ve done packing paper, foil.”

She first saw her creations hit the runway in 2017. In honor of Earth Month, Five Senses held a “trash-ion show,” a play on the words “fashion show” of course. The event was in support of Earth Month by Aveda, and clean water projects provided by The Alliance Of The Great Lakes. Now, she’s turned her eye towards using her products to benefit area non profits. The first being Pets For Seniors and Pets For Saving. The non-profit also owns the Forever Home Resale Shop located in Peoria.

“We’ll have 10 models all wearing Genevieve’s designs and their pets,” said Pollack. “So it will be a wonderful tribute to animals and but also to the creativity of Genevieve.”

Ferrel’s boss, Paola Hinton, said Genevieve has grown in her artistic confidence and also in her leadership in living a sustainable life.

“It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do, but whenever you have passion in something you can turn that into something bigger than you ever imagined,” said Hinton.

“We only have one earth,” said Ferrel. “We need to recycle things. We need to reuse things. Think of creative ways to help.”

Even though Genevieve finds her style of art as a way to express herself, she’s thrilled it can have a postive impact on Central Illinois.

Genevieve will have ten brand new outfits to showcase at “Paw-ject Runway.”

It’s a fundraising event to support Pets For Seniors, Pets For Saving, which is a Peoria area non-profit that aims to pair senior animals with senior people. It’s goal it to make $3,000 to help provide animals with medical care and to find their forever homes.

The event will be held on Thursday, October 24 from 5:30-7:30 pm.
It’ll be located at the Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria.

The pets in the show will not be available for adoption; however, applications for shelter animals will be accepted.

There will be a silent auction. The organization has hopes to make this event an annual fundraiser.


Here are some of Ferrel’s past creations:


More on Five Sense Spa, Salon and Barbershop

Five Senses Spa, Salon & Barbershop is open every day to provide you a sensory escape. It’s an Aveda full-service spa, salon and barbershop. It offers hair, makeup, nails, facials, waxing, body and massage services for men and women.
Mon to Fri 9am – 8pm | Sat to Sun 9am – 5pm.

Address: 5035 West American Prairie Drive, Peoria, IL 61615

More on Pets for Seniors, Pets for Saving

The shelter was made possible by a grant from Dara’s Canine Foundation and the generosity of many individual contributors. Because of the support, the lives of many senior citizens will be enriched and the lives of many wonderful older cats and dogs will be saved.

The Pets for Saving program rescues cats and dogs from local animal control facilities that are younger than those eligible for our Pets for Seniors program.
Tues to Fri 10am – 4pm | Sat 11am – 4pm.

Address: 3809 N Sterling Ave, Peoria, IL 61615

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