LONDON — As consumers count the hours until April 12 when shops and salons reopen after Britain’s third lockdown, Caroline Hirons and her team are helping stylists, aestheticians and entrepreneurs muster the resources and confidence to rev up their businesses.
Hirons, a skin care expert, facialist and author, is the founder of Beauty Backed Trust, an industry organization that has been raising money to support independent businesses and entrepreneurs directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Its aim is to “change this way of thinking and provide a means to support everyone” within the beauty industry, and it has raised more than 600,000 pounds so far. As part of its new Back to Work Campaign, the Trust is asking for donations of stock, PPE, tools and kits, and wants industry professionals in need to contact Beautybacked.com.
Earlier this week, the Trust also organized a series of bootcamp seminars for industry members who are going back to work following a year of intermittent closures. As part of Britain’s lockdown 3.0, stores and salons in the U.K. have been closed since the week before Christmas and businesses have been forced to apply for government loans, furlough employees — or shut down altogether.
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The bootcamp’s seminars had titles such as “Financial Recovery and Understanding Data,” “Rebuilding Your Confidence,” “Elevating Your Business Through Digital” and “What Would Beyoncé Do?” where speakers (including Hirons) advised about “blowing your horn for maximum effect.”
“Over the last year, we have witnessed much of our industry struggle to stay open and viable. As a sector representing an 88 percent female workforce, with 82 percent of business owners as women, we need to stand together and make a change,” said the group’s trustees, who include Hirons; Lesley Blair, chair and chief executive officer of BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology), and Dija Ayodele, an aesthetician and founder of Black Skin Directory.
“We see ourselves in our colleagues and as past and present beauty business owners, we understand the hardships COVID-19 has created alongside the repeated delays in reopening our sector and lack of individual sectoral funding support,” the trustees added.
The goal, according to Beauty Backed Trust, “is to support as many beauty professionals as possible to get back to work.”
Beauty Backed Trust noted that the industry not only contributes more than 28 billion pounds to the British economy each year, “it is often at the heart of communities and one of the last standing industries present on British high streets. The trustees believe their industry is all too often ignored and overlooked.”
Beauty Backed Trust said its goal is to change this way of thinking and to provide a means to support everyone within the beauty industry.
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