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When Vanessa Rene's salon was forced to shut down due to the pandemic, she was heartbroken and nervous for the uncertain future ahead. But, Vanessa didn't let the pain of closing her shop stop her, she pushed forward and is now happier than ever in a new role with more freedom. She also utilized her time off during the pandemic to give back to her community and raise funds for over 70 freelancers. Now Vanessa rents a chair at a salon and uses every day as an opportunity to learn and grow from her peers, making her a better and more passionate stylist.
"I created a Los Angeles Freelancers Relief Fund when the pandemic happened and before any kind of plan was created. We were able to help over 70 freelancers get direct relief into their hands and raised close to $7,000 in a few short weeks through grassroots effort. That for me was a pinnacle moment, as volunteerism and non-profit work is close to my heart and a soul’s purpose."
Jorge Saldana sees himself as a leader and a protector of energy in his barbershop. He knows how important inspiration, energy, knowledge, and positivity are to creative pursuits, and he puts it on himself to provide those things to his team. In doing so, he is a constant inspiration to those around him.
Fredo Olan wants to leave something behind that's bigger than himself. Through the barber college founded by Fredo and his wife, he is able to mold young barbers into true creative professionals that use their skills to make the world a better place. He instills in all his protegees a passion for the craft and a desire to make others feel good about themselves. He is inspired by his family to be a better version of himself every day.
Daraile Cunningham sees potential everywhere. Potential to learn, potential to teach, potential to create. Drawing inspiration from the previous generations of barbers in his family, he became a noteworthy barber in the industry and his community. Whether it's putting on community events or mentoring up-and-coming barbers, Daraile consistently embodies creative empowerment. By keeping his mind open to what the future holds, he positions himself to be a creative force for good for a long time.