Jonathan Herrera, first‐ever winner of the $10,000 Worth Up Alliance Entrepreneurial Grant, opened a bespoke skin care studio in Upland, CA on June 1. Named after his grandmother who inspired his professional beauty career, Leela Skin unites beauty, wellness, and healing as Herrera draws on his indigenous heritage to cultivate an intimate space that serves his community.
He credits the non‐profit Beauty Changes Lives for changing his life; it was through the organization that he discovered (and won) the Dermalogica New Beginnings scholarship in 2021 and now, the Worth Up Alliance Dream Capital Entrepreneurial Grant. The Worth Up Alliance was founded by the owners of the first‐ever smart salon, celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson and colorist Jason Backe, and invites beauty entrepreneurs like Herrera to pitch their business concepts to a panel of judges for a chance to receive up to $10,000. Herrera’s win was announced this past April at the Beauty Changes Lives Experience event celebrating the organization’s 10‐year anniversary.
“We are honored to have a part in helping Jona’s dreams become reality,” said Ted Gibson, celebrity hairstylist and co‐founder of the Worth Up Alliance. “When we partnered with Beauty Changes Lives to create Worth Up and offer capital to aspiring entrepreneurs, it was for individuals like Jona, whose dedication and passion for the professional beauty industry shines through. Congratulations to Jona and the grand opening of Leela Skin, a beautiful new adventure.”
“Leela Skin is designed as a truly holistic approach to the beauty and wellness of my clients,” said Herrera. “In opening my own skin care studio, I can now provide bespoke treatments and soulful guidance for the cultivation of authentic beauty, a dream come true. I am grateful to Beauty Changes Lives and the Worth Up Alliance for helping me bring my vision to the next level. Through this career journey, all roads have led me to Beauty Changes Lives and its incredible programs for beauty professionals. I made the decision to let beauty change my life, and then it did.”
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.