Full of Faith and Totally Fabulous
Written By: Suzanne Elias
Photos By: Tori Steyne
Jheraldy Hernandez De Pacheco, known to most as Jhely, has been a close friend of mine for nine years. However, Jhely has been an asset to the City of Newberry for much longer. I interviewed her at her home on her day off. While we spoke, Jhely reorganized her cabinet for groceries, sanitized a coffee pot, chopped onions, set a pot of rice to boil on the stove, and washed some dishes. Her three children were in and out for snacks and small talk. Her patient attention to them, while she continued to flit around the kitchen, was impressive. “La belleza esta en el detalle,” she says. This translates to the beauty is in the detail, a philosophy Jhely applies to all aspects of her life. Raised with two brothers by a single mother, she credits her hard-working mother for her attitude toward life. “I am brave, responsible, independent, and persistent,” she says. “My mother showed me how to be that woman, because she was that woman. She taught me to not do a job half-way; to do things right the first time.”
Jhely was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1986 and has lived in Newberry for 23 years. Coming to Newberry as a thirteen-year-old was intimidating. She recalls that not knowing the language was her biggest obstacle. As the younger sister of three, Jhely was used to standing up for herself and, in middle school, she suffered. Not knowing what was happening, being said, or how to defend herself was heart breaking. As an adult, she remembers this lesson and treats everyone equally. "I hate for someone to feel like they don't belong,” she says.
Jhely graduated from Newberry High School in 2004 and earned a cosmetology license at the Newberry County Career Center. She has held her license for 18 years, updating her
certification with continuing education every two years. To keep up to date on trends, she watches webinars, learning new techniques in her free time.
As a young girl, Jhely knew she wanted to be a hairstylist. “I always played with my Barbie’s hair. I wouldn’t cut it, but I styled it!” she says. While still receiving her education, she began her career as an assistant at Leslie’s Hair Salon. In high school, cosmetology became more than just her favorite hobby; it was her passion. Jhely took pride in her talent and enjoyed perfecting her skills. Shortly before graduation, she had a chance to compete with her peers in a state competition. Throughout the competition, she was neck and neck with one of the other girls. In the question portion of the competition, Jhely didn’t word her answer grammatically correct, and this cost her first place. Although she didn’t receive first place, she was proud of herself and felt as if she had won. “I may have been one of the only Hispanic girls there and it felt good to be representing my county. It made me realize that there are opportunities for everyone. It doesn’t matter where you come from,” Jhely says.
Jhely feels a strong connection to her community. She often has the opportunity to be a special part in so many people's lives. Being well known for her talent with hair, makeup, and nails makes her an excellent choice to style for family groups that are celebrating special days, including weddings, baptisms, and quinceañeras. Jhely’s coworker, Rebecca Brandon, who considers Jhely to be more family than coworker, says, “Jhely is an angel. If anyone has a problem, she is always willing to help.”
These days, when she isn’t at 1412 Beauty Bar on Main Street in Newberry, you can find her with her husband of 10 years Jose A. Pacheco, and her three beautiful children, Johnny, Cristopher Santiago, and Saidi. While she continues to be passionate about her career, her priorities in life have changed slightly. Jhely and her family have been members of Iglesia Bautista Buenas Nuevas for nine years, where she is also an active part of the women’s ministry. When asked to describe a moment of life-defining change, she answered confidently, “The day I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It has made me more reflective of who I am, and how I can better myself. Put God first and everything else falls into place.”
“Initially, it wasn’t my decision to come here as a teen of 13 years old,” she says. “I moved back to Mexico City with the intention of staying for a few years and realized Newberry was home. When I thought about how and where I wanted to raise my children, I decided that Newberry was the place. I returned here because I love this town."