Birds be free


Zionsville woman helping female inmates at the Boone County Jail

By James Feichtner 

When it comes to women staying in the Boone County Jail, many people turn a blind eye. But one Zionsville business owner has made it her goal to support these women in their path of recovery, and she’s doing it in a “beautiful” way.

Cindy Crowe-Layne is a local hair stylist and owner of As the Crowe Flies in downtown Zionsville, but lately she has had her focus on helping former female inmates, who would otherwise have no one to turn to, feel appreciated.

Starting out as participating in the pen-pal program writing to women at Boone County Jail, she decided she wanted to do something more for them. It was after her experience on a mission trip to Haiti that she decided she should take action.

“I went to Haiti on a mission trip and what I saw there I brought back to Boone County. When I came back I thought, I want to make a difference in my community. I don’t have to go over the ocean to make a change. I can effectively change my community one addict at a time,” she said.

Crowe-Layne decided to put her skills as a beautician to work for the recovering women by making them look and feel beautiful. She has chosen a select few with a history of drug and alcohol abuse to be transformed via a makeover in exchange for them sharing their stories. She refers to this as “uncaging their beauty”.

“This program could be a launching pad that could definitely change their lives,” she said.

In a Vimeo video produced by Birds Be Free Cosmetics, once inmate says that she felt worthless before her makeover with Crowe-Layne and the beauticians.

“I felt kinda worthless, and embarrassed,” Sara, a former cocaine addict, said. “And she’s made me know that that’s just not so, and that I have so much to offer. And I know that now…she makes me know that life is worth living.”

With the help of Poshh Fashion and Home, Birds Be Free Cosmetics, and 1224 Health, Crowe-Layne is organizing a fashion show for the women in hope of sharing their stories and inspiring those also suffering from addiction. The show will feature eight women, their stories, and their makeover transformations. The show is from 6 to 8 p.m., Oct. 2, at 126 W. Washington St., Lebanon. Tickets are $15 in advance. All proceeds will go towards helping women in recovery.

Crowe-Layne hopes to have a special event every few months and maybe even spread the idea to counties throughout Indiana.

“Our goal is every three months to create some type of event for more new women. What we want to do is create awareness. Long-term we’d like to take our program all the counties in Indiana and possibly get salons aligned with us.”

To learn more about the show visit

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