Meet Ona Diaz-Santin, celebrity hairstylist and Creative Director of 5 Salon and Spa located in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Ona started doing hair seventeen years ago. Influenced by her great-grandmother in the Dominican Republic who cut hair for friends and family, then by her mother, an immigrant hairdresser who owned four shops in New York City over a period of twenty years, Ona’s destiny was a no brainer.
Ona’s ambition, coupled with hard work, paid off. In addition to becoming the Creative Director of 5 Salon and Spa, Ona counts actors, musical artists and corporate executives among her clientele. She has put her creative talents to use for television, fashion and print, working with celebrities such as Wesley Snipes, Gail King, Dionne Warwick, reporter Harris Faulkner of Fox News, Danny Rivera, Blvd Benny and NYC Fashion Week designer Adrian Alicea, as well as Magazines 201, BC and ENGLEWOOD.
After raising her family, supporting women in the salon business is Ona’s top priority. 5 Salon and Spa is proud to have an in-house education program for future stylists where Ona teaches outstanding technique and proper product usage. And while hairstyling is her passion, so is her Dominican heritage. Ona is the Executive Producer of Pelo! Pelo!, a documentary film that reveals the stories of Latina salon owners and puts the spotlight squarely on the rapidly growing Dominican salon business.
Ona believes in “giving back” and is proud to share her best healthy hair tips, weekly with the LatinoDr.org community. Stay Tuned!
Tee Gee Productions was a direct result of the film I Remain by Tracy Grant (TG) in 2010, winner of the Harlem International Film Festival Mira Nair Rising Female Filmmaker Award. Never intended for public consumption, I Remain began as a personal video journal about Tracy's own journey through breast cancer in 2003. Five years later, realizing the potential to express so much more, Tracy chose to weave her own story with that of her "Family of Matriarchs" and their individual battles with a disease that had made itself at home for over twenty years. In this way, I Remain became a film and Tee Gee Productions was born.
Desiring to tell more stories about individual journeys, Tracy set her sights once again on women, but in a completely different way. Pelo! Pelo! tells the story of entrepreneurial immigrant women from the Dominican Republic as a force to be reckoned with in the beauty industry. Sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts, Pelo! Pelo! is Tee Gee Productions' latest project in development.
Tracy's love of creativity was instilled in her from the very beginning. Born the youngest of three children in Washington, DC, a city bursting with culture and art, her parents made sure she was constantly exposed to it. Creating a sense of self-confidence, stamina and drive by enrolling all three children in sports programs and good schools, Tracy's parents prepared them for a tough, competitive world.It was this very world that would go on to test Tracy's creative character throughout her life. Although her time as an actress was often a brutal process of auditioning for theater, tv and film, she did have her moments: she has appeared on stage, in commercials, on television (you may have caught her on an episode of Law and Order or Dennis Leary's Rescue Me) and in a number of independent films. Her voice has also been heard in numerous commercial radio spots. Tracy found success in the "real world", as well, forging a career as an Account Executive for many major clients in both the legal and marketing sectors.Indeed, it was this wide and varied experience that gave Tracy the tools to build Tee Gee Productions, launching a creative platform to tell stories and educate in her own way. No one said it would be easy. As a self-taught editor, director, producer, web-builder, etc., Tracy wears many hats. Eventually she will be looking for collaborators to fill these positions, but until then nothing has felt so fulfilling."Thank you to God, NYFA, my family and all of my friends who help me, guide me and believe in my talents. I strongly believe in you too…xo"