Share this Post — Enter to Win Silver Pearl Eau de Parfum 

Want to be the best smelling partner around? See below for details about how this beautiful bottle of perfume can be yours. 

It’s a generous giveaway thanks to our  blog guests Christine and Gilda at Wink Salon



Christine DiBenedetto and Gilda Santiago of Wink Salon

What comes in all shapes, sizes, and lengths? Friendship and hair! Christine DiBenedetto (left) and Gilda Santiago know all about both as the co-owners of Wink Salon in Asheville, NC for over ten years and friends for even longer. We had the opportunity to interview Christine and Gilda recently about their partnership where they actively encourage each other to shine, take risks and keep on growing. Excerpts from our interview follow – but first we’d like to give a loud shout-out to our summer intern, Miriam Roochvarg, a talented writer and editor, for her valuable contributions to this post.

Betsy: Every partnership story is different. What’s yours?

Gilda: We were friends for several years. I was already a hairdresser and we wanted to open our own business and clothing boutique next to it and it’s been such a great ride! The downs are not that down                                                                                     because we always pick each other up.

Christine: Working as partners we share the same mission: to elevate the hair industry –we have definitely done that!

I knew Gilda was the right fit for 2 reasons. First, she has a great work ethic: She was born and raised in the restaurant business so she is used to a high volume and a fast pace. And, two, she treats her clients with such respect.

We knew we both had what it takes to handle the fast pace while realizing our mission to elevate the industry with love.

Maggie: Do you feel competition between you? If so, how do you handle it?

Gilda: I don’t feel competition. We are different even though we have the same vision. Though, I wish I had the brain she has.

Christine: We keep our roles separate. I am the more dominant partner so people tend to come to me. We both bring different skills and value to the salon and our community: I deal with the business and I keep us moving forward. Gilda does the training and has birthed and trained several other businesses in Asheville.

Betsy: Effective communication is such an important part of successful partnerships. What’s your approach?

Christine: Text, email, and phone calls constantly.

Gilda: We try to use more tools to keep engaged over the week and weekend. We have mastered Google docs, and that keeps us on track. We also pay people to help us stay organized. We have a business consultant – that’s the best thing we’ve ever done.

Maggie: What advice would you offer other women who are thinking about sharing leadership?

Gilda:  When you are partnering you don’t know what you’re getting into at first – you have to trust and respect each other. We joke that we’re in a marriage because we talk more with each other than with our husbands.

Christine: Women need mentors. They need to see that there are so many different ways to lead. Young women are so lucky to have a plethora of resources about how to be an innovative leader. There are so many ups and downs in business and so many things happen, plus young women are dealing with the ups and downs of life today. You never know if you’ll get the call you have breast cancer or something happened with your kid. When you have a partnership you have to discuss these things and not be afraid of getting outside professional help. Read and stay up to date on what’s innovative and interesting in your industry. Tap into what gets you excited and allow your business partner to do the same thing.

The next time you’re in Asheville, stop by Wink Salon 18 Brook Street, Suite 103 or visit them online.

Maggie Ellis Chotas & Betsy Polk, The Partnership People, are the co-presidents of The Mulberry Partners, LLC. They coach and consult with leaders, teams and organizations, using their expertise and know-how to strengthen collaborations. They wrote the book on women leading together. You can find Power Through Partnership: How Women Lead better Together wherever books are sold. Betsy and Maggie currently have a few coaching spots available for leaders and teams who want to take their leadership and collaboration to the next level. You can reach them at


GIVEAWAY Details To Win This Perfume



To win all you have to do is celebrate Powership with us by… 

Sharing this post on your social media network/s AND tagging us, Betsy and Maggie, in each and every post (the more posts, the more entries and the better your chances to be your most sweet smelling you!)

Do it now! Offer ends October 20.