Melody O’Flaherty and Michael Dueñas are rallying support for beauty freelancers impacted by the coronavirus.
The married couple has founded Support Creatives, a nonprofit that aims to provide financial assistance to beauty professionals, as well as mentorship and educational programs. O’Flaherty, a beauty publicist and the founder of Melody Joy Public Relations, and Dueñas, a freelance celebrity hairstylist, formed the organization earlier this month. This week, they named industry veteran Carlos Morales, formerly vice president of business development at Luxury Brand Partners, as Support Creatives’ “chief friend-raiser.”
“Hairdressers, in particular, are more than just friends of mine, they’ve become my family,” said Morales. “[Support Creatives] is an incredible opportunity for me to give back to people who have given me a beautiful life.”
Support Creatives’ first initiative is a Motorola Razr campaign with celebrity makeup artist Sir John. In an Instagram post, Sir John urged his 415,000 followers to post, noting that Motorola would donate $50 per post to Support Creatives.
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The coronavirus has left salon workers, hairstylists, aestheticians, makeup artists and more beauty professionals gig-less for the foreseeable future. The Trump administration’s stimulus package was originally thought to be a form of relief, but has since proven ineffective at covering the mounting bills beauty creatives are facing.
“I can’t tell you how many artists have DM’d me, or that I have talked to in confidence, who are my equals in their career path who have said, ‘I don’t even think I can pay my next month’s rent,'” said Dueñas. “The biggest thing right now is people need money to pay their bills. For a lot of freelancers, you can’t get unemployment, and a lot of artists don’t have their own companies. You can’t be evicted now, but in a couple of months you easily could be. They may not even be able to put food on their table, so if that’s something I can change, that’s something I want to change.”
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