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."
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.
Victor Quispe surrounds himself with uplifting, positive people because he knows how important that energy is to his creative pursuits. He has learned to master the atmosphere of the barbershop so it is conducive to success. His 11-year career has been full of memorable moments of creative connection with his clients and friends.
After moving to a shop that better suited him, Bryant Gutierrez's career took off. He went from questioning his abilities, to being an award-nominated, master barber. Bryant learned to stay focused, and mindful of the company he keeps, and advises other barbers to do the same. However, he is not only in the game for the awards and accolades. Bryant knows he has the ability to make people feel better and lift them up, even in their final days.