Jill Vozza of Heaven on Wheels Spa and Wellness
An Orange County resident pampers troops with her mobile spa and salon
Jill Vozza, at left, established a mobile spa called Heaven on Wheels that caters to soldiers in her free time
Jill Vozza is all about pampering; after all, it’s her job. As the founder and owner of Heaven on Wheels Spa & Wellness, a mobile spa and salon service that has been traipsing across the Valley since November 2013, Vozza says her business is “all about beauty from the inside out. We want to make people feel good, so not only do we do hair and makeup, facials, and massages, but I also put together nutritional programs.”
Vozza and her daughter and business partner, Sarah, are personal trainers. “I am also a licensed aesthetician, and an insurance broker. I wear multiple hats.” On top of that, the mom of four created her own skincare line, Nea Naturals, which is sold at the Nature’s Pantry chain in the Hudson Valley. But it was Vozza’s passion for volunteering that made her drive her funky yellow box truck-turned mobile spa more than four hours north to Fort Drum in upstate Jefferson County. There, she treated more than 40 soldiers — both men and women — to a free day of rest and relaxation.
Vozza’s high school buddy, Melissa Kevlahan, first focused Vozza’s attention on the Fort Drum soldiers. “I was telling Melissa about how much I wanted to do more volunteer work with Heaven on Wheels,” says Vozza. “Melissa’s daughter is stationed up at the Fort so she suggested I help out some of the soldiers there.”
Vozza and her team took the mobile spa, equipped with electricity and a 50-gallon water tank, to a nearby hotel outside the Fort, where they transformed an ordinary conference room into a Zen oasis. “We hung curtains, got little trees with lights, and some candles for aromatherapy,” Vozza says. “Some of these soldiers were only 18 or 19 years old, coming from rural areas in the States. They’ve never been to a spa before so it was nice to see how surprised they were when they came in.”
The Heaven on Wheels team was even able to secure a second room just for food and socializing. “It was nothing short of fabulous!” Kevlahan says. “The soldiers had such a wonderful time, and needed the pampering.”
Tears well up in Vozza’s eyes every time she thinks about the experience. “I get emotional talking about it. These men and women don’t get that kind of break. Some of them were getting ready to deploy or had just gotten back. You hear the stories and what they did, it’s incredible.”
Vozza is inspired by the time she spent with the soldiers, some of whom she has kept in touch with, and now plans to visit the airmen at Griffis Air Force Base in Rome, NY. “My hope is that Heaven on Wheels will do volunteer events at least twice a year; It’s great. They were so thankful, we were like ‘Please, you guys, this is nothing compared to what you do for our country.’ We will have to go up there again soon.”
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