Is It Your Turn

Do you see the role that philanthropy plays in your communities? The movement of stylists, barbers, salons and barbershops taking their craft to the streets and getting the job done is compelling for many reasons. The powerful sheroes and heroes in the beauty industry roundup shares the lessons learned through the six interviews of barbers and stylists who decided to do something big in their community.

The beauty industry continues to be one of the fastest growing industries, so it makes sense then that salons and barber shops play a very distinct and commonsense role in your community. When you look out on your streets, it is plain to see the growing numbers of people struggling for whatever reason. Salons and barbershops are a natural hub for people to congregate, and you’ve heard before, in order for your business to make it, you need to be in the forefront and be competitive. The idea for the future you may want to look at, is how you can play a role in the healing of your community. Use your business savvy, and competitive nature and be the first in your area to take a stand about giving back.

All of them talented, all of them with vision, all of them motivated to give back.


[tweetthis]”Follow your heart when it comes to giving back to your community.” REBECCA BEARDSLEY[/tweetthis]


Jazz Limos –

Thoughts of how she longed for a community to support her through her changes when she was younger, and a desire to help LGBT youth in her community surfaced. Limos noticed an increasing awareness of the need in her community, and the disconnect she was feeling about helping businesses make money. She then thought, “I can help non profits get set up.” It wasn’t long before she met up with Raquel of Tendercuts, at the Pop Up Care Village in San Francisco, and came over to the East Bay to help me out, with Haircuts with Heart. The true meaning of offering transformations through haircuts and the powerful feeling of giving back began to take root, of what it meant to give a haircut to someone in need, no money exchanged.

The name represents the dual nature within all of us. Strength to get through what we need to get through, and the part of us that wants to help and give.

SHERO TIP: Listen to the calling or longing inside yourself, only you can hear it.

Abby Anderson –

“We never know what will lead us to our work in the world. For Abby, it was the passing of her father that marked the beginning of her calling. An alcoholic, homeless and abandoned by his family, her father was never the kind of father she longed for. But as she said, “I thank God everyday for him leading me here to this work.” She always wanted to help her dad overcome his addiction, but not until he wanted it.”

SHERO TIP: Your wounding may be where you begin.


Robert Cradle – Rob’s Barbershop Community Foundation

Around year 2000, Robert had a client who was a volunteer coordinator from the homeless shelter down the street from his barbershop. One day the client mentioned that the clients at the shelter didn’t have access to regular grooming services. Robert placed a collection box on the counter and began raising money for haircuts for the homeless. At first the homeless people from the shelter would come into his shop. His staff were predominantly young black male barbers, he wanted to pay his barbers for doing these cuts: “They need the work, too!”

“I want to leave my two girls with the feeling my father left me, that they can become whatever they want to be. I want to give them strength when I am no longer around.”

HERO TIP: Keep the act simple as placing the box on the counter. Don’t overthink it.

Briana Daniels – The Street Team Movement

From the outside looking in, it is easy to assume we know the issues this marginalized part of the population are dealing with, but Briana felt she needed to find out for herself. She did the unthinkable and became homeless for four weeks, in two week intervals. She asked questions and found out for herself what the needs might be. She found out housing was fourth on the list, not first, like you might assume.

One of the major challenges in the beginning was finding a location to host our laundry program. Her organization went through 3 local options until they settled on the present location at Thornton Park Coin Laundry. This laundromat happens to be in an upscale neighborhood where the neighbors felt less excited about her idea. In fact, they didn’t want it. But she didn’t let this stop her, she promised it would be run well, and with respect to all of the community members.

SHERO TIP: Sometimes you have to start where they are, and let go of your assumptions.

Julie Adams – Carestream Inc.

Julie, stylist of 19 years, mother of three kids, co-owner of Suite One Salon, and founder of Carestream Inc., asked her clients what they would have done differently while raising their kids. Repeatedly, the reply was, “I’d expose them more to giving back to our community.” She took this to heart, and three years ago on Thanksgiving, she set out with her three kids to a neighborhood shelter, Catholic Charities, and cooked a meal. She had heard of others doing this, so she thought it would be easy enough, “I’ll cook and bring my kids down and it will be great.” Except Julie doesn’t cook.

“Oh great, now I’m here, I’m trying to do a good thing, and now I’ll give food poisoning to everybody.” She didn’t. But she didn’t love the experience, either. She noticed the storage room was actually set up to be a barbershop, but they weren’t currently using it. They couldn’t find any barbers to staff it. Julie asked if she could clean it out and use it for haircuts. The shelter staff loved the idea, and Julie’s nonprofit work began.

SHERO TIP: You may have not fall in love at first with one organization, try others.

Patrick Lomantini – BarkAid

Drawn to do what no-one does, as a promotion one day Patrick cut hair continuously for 72 hours. He posted about it on Facebook, and raised a little money. But he felt it lacked impact. His girlfriend at this time said he needed to make this about something bigger than himself. They had dogs of their own, so he hooked up with the Kansas Humane Society and made them the beneficiary. He started out with 70 appointments and ended up with over 300, with a waiting list after KHS put out their press release. He finished with 227 haircuts and raising $2,000. He only took 15-minute breaks to eat, drink and use the bathroom and continued on. This was how BarkAID was born.

Consistency is Patrick’s biggest teacher. Fundraising takes consistency. He’s lost a lot of money while learning this lesson.

HERO TIP: “Everything happens for a reason,”

Although these stylists and entrepreneurs are very different, their unique stories impact us in a similar way. Our hearts are touched, and our imagination stirred by the potential in all of us. These visionaries focused their desire to help in a meaningful way, into something huge that impacts their communities. Use this info to let yourself dream and move into action with your compassion.


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