Beauty LaunchPad - November 2013 - (Page 48)

Conversations/Giving Back Secret Strength Empowering Through Beauty Founder Tanisha Akinloye helps victims find the inner beauty needed to achieve outward success. -FRANCESCA MOISIN S he was once a victim of abuse. She remembers being told she was ugly and fat; cruel words meant to tear her spirit. Yet Tanisha Akinloye found strength to see her inner grace and overcome numerous obstacles-including junior-year expulsion from North Carolina's Livingstone College when administrators learned she was pregnant. Indomitable, she enrolled instead at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte while simultaneously attending cosmetology school. "My baby would sleep in my small dorm bed with me, so I was always tired, but I still styled friends' tresses to earn a little income!" recalls Akinloye. Entering and winning her first hair competition further infused confidence, and she soon graduated to the role of successful Connecticut-based salon owner. "That's when I realized many of my clients were plagued by low self-esteem due to illness, homelessness or domestic violence," explains the 38-year-old Tanisha Akinloye entrepreneur. "Their pain reminded me of my own experiences and inspired me to act." Enter Empowering Through Beauty (, a nonprofit organization that for the past three years has provided cosmetology services to disadvantaged women (and, upon request, men) seeking employment or educational opportunities. Referred by caseworkers, churches and halfway homes, clients visit participating salons for complimentary haircuts, color, styling, facials and manicures. Donated products like shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, face wash and nail polish also allow Akinloye and her volunteers-including son Shyheim, now 17-to work directly in shelters, where they provide job-readiness resources and info on victim-support groups. Additionally, Empowering Through Beauty offers self-esteem workshops, educational programs, social entrepreneurship and anti-poverty seminars. Recently the organization hosted a "Branding Yourself Professionally" event, which showed women how branding themselves can better their lives and work, as well as "Style Me Successful Day," which offered complimentary hair and makeup services. "I remember a woman who felt too embarrassed to apply for a dishwasher position, because of her shabby appearance," Akinloye reveals. "But our team's makeover imbued her with beauty and boldness, and she scored a waitress gig!" Proof that there is no greater gift than that of empowerment. SENSATIONAL STATS Beauty services provided to date Communities currently served: 8 (with plans for national expansion) 99 Percentage of clients who've scored interviews or jobs Clients who've overcome drug abuse 1/3 1/3 Clients who've secured housing Empowering Through Beauty prides itself on providing great customer service and helping stylists understand the power of unification, says Tanisha Akinloye. " "Overall, our mission is to foster women's needs by building them up mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. " 48 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | NOVEMBER 2013 COURTESY OF EMPOWERING THROUGH BEAUTY 443

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Beauty LaunchPad - November 2013

Beauty LaunchPad - November 2013
Log On
Editor’s Notebook
On the Cover
Salon of the Month
Giving Back
Runway Report
Mood Board
Free Launch
Quick Tips
Social Network

Beauty LaunchPad - November 2013