A successful hairstylist and salon owner in Los Angeles, Michael John "MJ" Derricott has changed the lives of thousands of men and women, some of them volunteers and sponsors for his organization, Makeovers That Matter, and some of them fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of one of the well-rounded makeovers. "Well-rounded" because Derricott helps promote change in more than just a hairstyle. His is a holistic approach.
MODERN asked Derricott, who was fresh off a taping of 'The Doctors' television show where he talked about his work with military veteran women, to share the backstory behind Makeovers that Matter.
MS: What started you on this mission?
MJD: After two decades of donating my services to my clients causes and silent auctions I felt it was time I got more personally involved in giving back. I knew it was time to take what I get paid to do and give it away for free...a whole different level of giving back.
So starting in January 2012 I donated my Tuesdays to cutting hair for homeless women at a shelter in Hollywood called Gettlove. I did this for months and there were a couple of incidents that inspired me to take things a bit further. It became clear that the women I'd been working with needed far more than a haircut.
I sought an answer thru prayer and meditation and the answer came: Economically challenged women who were looking for a job. That's the moment and that's the woman who would truly benefit from a makeover. It was at this point (April 2012) that I printed up gift certificates for women to get their hair colored and cut for free by me. I peddled these certificates all over LA, wherever I thought these women could be found.
On May 5, 2013, I had a launch event where 19 women showed up for complete makeovers and-- on the side-- spiritual counseling, wardrobe styling and interview dos and don'ts. All this was the start of what would become The Mindset Program.
Of these 19 women, 15 were female veterans (not by design, that's just who showed up!) which shifted my trajectory to serving women who have served our nation. As my friends and contacts heard what I was up to.. they asked if they could work with me.
MS: Tell us about The Mindset Program
MJD: In the fall of 2014, I implemented The Mindset Program which covers a multitude of topics providing women with the tools and training they need to create a makeover from the inside-out.
Learn more here: http://www.makeoversthatmatter.org/about-us/makeover-mindset-program
MS: How can stylists get involved?
MJD: It has always been my vision that Makeovers that Matter would be an organization where the beauty industry could come together to take what we get paid to do and give it away for free! We are always looking for talented stylists to join our team.
MS: And how can manufacturers support you?
MJD: We are a 501(c)3 and all donations are tax deductible. We can always use in-kind donations of makeup and hair products. Also tools of the trade including hairdryers, flat irons, curling irons, brushes, clips and anything a woman needs to prepare herself for a job interview would be amazing.
We are also looking for corporate partners to join us in creating the resources needed to create an online video version of the Mindset Program.
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