Richards, a Chapman Intermediate School teacher, was nominated by her peers for a teacher makeover presented by Branch Boutique in Towne Lake.
As part of her unveiling, she strutted for family, friends and co-workers at the reveal event held at the store. On hand were her parents, Tom and Judy Diederich of Towne Lake and sister, Jacquie Diederich, of Acworth.
Her two daughters, Moira, an 18-year-old senior at Etowah High School and Caitlin, a 20-year-old junior at Vanderbilt University, were unable to attend.
Not only did Richards, an Early Intervention Program teacher, receive a $200 shopping spree from the store, she was also given a massage, manicure, pedicure and a new haircut and style from several local businesses.
Also, 10 percent of the purchases made that evening were given back to Chapman.
Jodi Tiberio, owner of Branch Boutique, said she wanted to give a deserving teacher a makeover because teachers are role models for their students.
“Sometimes they need a pick-me-up,” Tiberio said. “We really wanted to do something nice for a great teacher.”
Tiberio said her son previously had Richards as a teacher and she inspired him to do well in his classes. She added she understands the time, effort and dedication it takes to be a teacher, and the impact that teachers have on students’ lives.
“As role models and mentors that inspire our students, teachers deserve to feel good about themselves,” Tiberio said.
Richards, who has worked at Chapman for the last six years and the past nine years in Cherokee County Schools, said she campaigned to win the honor and was overwhelmed by the whole experience.
“It was just fabulous,” she said. “Everyone has been over-the-top accommodating.”
The Towne Lake resident said she hopes the event encourages more people to find and support the local businesses involved. Other businesses donating their services include Justina’s Accessories, A New Creation Salon, Price Permanent Cosmetics and Spa and A Nail Affair.
She added that Tiberio and her staff have helped jump start her foray into fashion with little changes, like adding an accessory to an outfit like a scarf.
“It’s just been great with all of them,” Richards said. “(Tiberio) helped me pick out clothes she knew I’d be comfortable with.”
Principal Susan McCarthy credited Tiberio for making the event a success.
“This unique and positive event was made possible through the vision of a Chapman parent and business owner as well as the support of many of her assistants – parents themselves,” McCarthy said.
Tiberio said she looks forward to doing more makeovers in the future.
“We have already set up meetings with other schools to do similar events,” Tiberio said.