Our Community - Judy Leslie - "'Shear' Style in San Pedro"

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 12, No. 8            February 28, 2002

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Judy Leslie

In the movie "Edward Scissorhands" a fictional character used the numerous scissors he possessed in place of human hands, to create wonderful hairstyles for the residents of a small suburban town. In San Pedro, although she has no physical deformity like Edward, similar tales have been told of a gifted young woman, "enchanting" many with her "shear" style. Enhancing the beauty of locals and visitors alike with her "magic hands" is the talented Mrs. Judy Bremekamp Leslie. 

    On November 21st, 1971 Jeanne and John Bremekamp became the proud parents of baby girl, Judy. Born in New Jersey, USA, Judy relocated to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye with her family in the summer of 1977. The Bremekamps aimed to begin a new life and sought adventure in paradise. Judy enjoyed her childhood days in San Pedro with her two sisters Jill and Jocelyn, growing up at the Barrier Reef Hotel, her parents' business on the front street of town. "I remember swimming in the sea almost everyday," commented Judy.

    An active young "caye girl" Judy was a member of the Leos Club, the youth sector of the San Pedro Lions Club, and was crowned Miss San Pedro Lions Queen in 1987. A dedicated student, Judy received good grades at San Pedro Roman Catholic School and San Pedro High School, graduating with honors in 1988.

    Fresh out of high school, Judy was given the opportunity to move to Burlington, Iowa to attend beauty school. For eighteen months she excelled in all the classes at the Institute of Cosmetology Arts. There she became a "pro" when it came to cutting and styling hair, waxing and manicuring - a wizard of "the works." After receiving her cosmetology license, Judy immediately returned to "La Isla Bonita" to open her own business, "Tropical Waves and Designs." Establishing herself on the second floor of the family's hotel, she achieved almost instant success meeting the demand for beauty services in this expanding tourist destination. Judy's beauty salon was received with open arms and continues to provide professional services and "makeovers" for the women and men of the island.

    On February 15th, 1992 Judy joined her life in marriage to Gerald Leslie. Their union has produced two lovely boys: Gerald Jr. (6) and Joshua (5). Between being a full-time cosmetologist and a mother, Judy seldom has time for anything else. However, when she finds a spare moment she says she enjoys gardening and decorating her home. This, Judy claims, is another excellent way to express herself.   

    After ten years, Judy found that her business needs were outgrowing the space available at the Barrier Reef Hotel. In October of 1999, Judy's relocation to the San Juan Area also made room for her "kid sister" who was "fresh out of aesthetician school". With the addition of Jocelyn's services, Judy renamed the business "Leslie's Salon".

    In order to provide clients with the latest hair styles, Judy makes yearly trips to the States to learn current styling techniques and to expose herself to the world of glamour. She says that her work gives her much pleasure, as it offers so many opportunities to meet new people. Judy explained, "Actually my work is also my means of socializing, as I am blessed with nearly weekly visits from my friends." 

    Today, whether it is a quinceaños, wedding or a cocktail party, Judy Leslie is certain to be called on to work her magic, transforming clients into magnificent "works of art" with her scissors and beauty services. A true professional in every sense, Judy Leslie is "cutting edge" when it comes to her creations - providing a continuous "wave of style" in "Our Community."

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