Tina Leduc has been through so much in her life, but her hardships have led her to inspire others through kindness and giving back. Leduc always wanted to be a hairdresser, but about five years into owning her own salon, Tina’s youngest son became ill and was told he had a 30% chance to live.
“So, I had to sell everything I had,” said Leduc. “I gave up my salon to bring him to National Jewish Children’s Hospital in Denver.”
Tina’s whole world was turned upside down when she and her son spent months in Denver.
“This is what started my journey on where I am today. They always say, you know, your past makes you who you are today and it defines you,” said Leduc.
Thankfully, Tina’s son recovered. After being in a wheelchair for years, he was able to walk off the plane when they returned home to Dannemora. However, when Tina returned, she found herself back at square one with no job and no place to live.
Tina was eventually able to buy a new salon and she thanks her community for helping her get back on her feet. She also briefly owned a thrift store, but wound up letting the store go when she was giving more than she was taking in
“I love giving, that is just a part of who I am,” said Leduc.
Shortly after opening her new salon, her life took another turn when her then husband unexpectedly passed away. During that time, she found comfort in painting. She didn’t let her circumstances get the best of her. Instead, she offered paint classes in the back of her salon.
“I have been a painter now for 20 years and I share it,” said Leduc.
Tina believes that her circumstances have led her to give back to the community in a variety of ways. Her salon became the hub of the community. She kept her prices low and wouldn’t take tips to ensure her clients could get their haircuts. She has also provided services and donations to other local businesses and events in her area.
“I never wanted anybody to feel alone and I never wanted anybody to feel like they were at a dead end, said Leduc. “I don’t have thousands of dollars to not make people feel that way, but I just felt that there’s always a way no matter what.”
After 37 years as a hairdresser, Tina retired from her salon to teach students with special needs. She currently works at Champlain Valley Educational Services. She continues to teach her students and everyone around her about kindness.
“Ya know, there’s not enough of that that goes around. There’s so many people in need. It’s like what Mother Theresa said, if you can’t feed 100 people, at least feed one. That’s where it starts,” said Leduc.
Tina has six grandchildren and is also a member of Dannemora’s Board of Trustees where she heads the Community Development and Beatification Committees.
No matter what endeavor Tina takes on, she says as long as she’s still here on earth, she hopes to continue inspiring those around her.
And that’s what makes Tina Leduc a remarkable woman!