A Fresh Start: Georgia Basinski

It can be difficult to try new things, but as Neale Donald Walsch says, “Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.” Georgia Basinski has tried her fair share of new things since moving across the country to Rochester — including a first-time makeover.  

Basinski first read RochesterWomen magazine in the veterinarian’s office as a new Rochester resident a couple of years ago. She found the stories of local women inspiring, and they gave her insight on her new community. For 20 years, Basinski lived in western Colorado and homeschooled her kids while working part time restoring antique quilts and night auditing for a hotel. Basinski went through some life changes that left her questioning what her purpose was, so she decided to move to Rochester for a fresh start. While being a mother and grandmother gave her joy, she found a new sense of purpose through volunteering in the community.

Basinski continues to enjoy spending time at Hawthorne Education Center and Bear Creek Services. These two organizations have become very near and dear to her heart and have allowed her to make valuable connections in the Rochester community. When she is not working or volunteering, Basinski stays busy gardening, reading books for her book club, playing pickleball, swimming, attending church activities and spending time with her dog, Champ. 


For her very first makeover, Basinski visited Hair Studio 52. She was greeted by the salon’s friendly staff and her stylist, Kat Kouba. Her afternoon of pampering began with a fresh haircut. Next, Kouba decided to use natural bronze makeup on Basinski. This type of look is versatile and looks great in photos. Basinski wanted to find a way to make her eyes pop. To accomplish that, Kouba applied false lashes and filled in Basinski’s eyebrows. Kouba says that the best way to fill in eyebrows and give them a natural look is to use pomade and powder. 

Basinski wore a new outfit that was put together by Jennelle Stemper, owner of Mainstream Boutique in Rochester. Stemper and Basinski picked out some lightly distressed KanCan denim and plum-colored Madeline shoes. On top, Basinski layered a beaded gray Dex hoodie and royal blue Clara Sun Woo jacket. Stemper says that the pop of color from the jacket complements Basinski’s eyes, and the layers show off her figure. To complete her makeover, Basinski had a photo shoot with local photographer Jennifer Jones. To celebrate her new look, Basinski plans to spend time with her kids and take a trip to the Twin Cities.

“It’s important to take care of yourself,” Basinski says. “It shows that you value yourself.” She believes that if you don’t take care of yourself, you are no good for anyone else. When asked what makes her feel beautiful, she says that helping others is what makes her feel most beautiful. “Doing one small thing for someone else in a day makes that day worthwhile.” 

Instead of making the easy choice to stay where she was, Basinski took a leap of faith and invested in herself with a fresh start. It wasn’t easy to move away from everything that she knew, but by doing so she found new value in her life. She is happier and stronger now because of the decisions she made to make changes in her life. By taking care of herself, she can continue to give back to others.

Basinski enjoyed her experience having her first makeover and found the process to be fun. She loves trying something new and looking different from how she has looked in the past. Basinski would like to express her deep appreciation to Kat and Hair Studio 52, Jennelle and Mainstream Boutique and Jennifer Jones Photography for their contributions to her makeover.


Elizabeth (Liz) Harris works for the American Cancer Society and is a freelance writer.