Survivor Glam Squad's Changing Lives One Makeover at a Time
SGS Ambassador and makeup artist Shawnee Leonard teamed up with Drybar and Blushington Makeup Lounge to host a day dedicated to local cancer survivors in Dallas, Texas this February.Photo 4 of 11
The Survivor Glam Squad (SGS) was founded in 2011 by Keely Webster, the current owner and founder of Bellamae Models. As the owner and operator of the model recruitment agency based in Europe, Keely constructed the idea of using her talent and resources in the entertainment and beauty industry to follow her true passion of helping others. Now in its fourth year, this chance upon event has blossomed into an explosive charity for cancer survivors.
With the death of her grandfather from prostrate cancer in 2009 and her grandmother's diagnosis of breast cancer, Keely was determined to find an opportunity to connect the beauty industry with a philanthropic cause. "Witnessing true hardship through illness is something I have always wanted to 'fix' and to be able to provide beauty professionals and students the tools to give back to the community has been one of my goals since I started in the industry eight years ago."
Survivor Glam Squad's mission is to provide female cancer survivors with esteem building opportunities, such as professional makeovers, education and motivation. Through donations and volunteer efforts, SGS empowers women and girls to get back on track after cancer treatment. SGS holds both private in salon makeover events and two to three day long conventions that provide makeovers for approximately 200 to 500 women. "A lot of these girls haven't had a chance to have a real life. Whether it's the side effects of actually having cancer or the side affects of the radiation or chemotherapy," says Webster. "The makeovers help to get them back on track."
With ambassadors representing approximately 30 states and makeover events across the globe, Survivor Glam Squad continues its international journey to help women, families and caregivers during and after the devastation of cancer. "It's all about reeducating the client on how to do their hair and apply their make-up. It's the last thing they want to think about when they are going through cancer. It gives them a boost and gets them back to feeling like their self again," says Webster. In June 2013, Peter Coppola and his new Keratin Concept collection announced a partnership with Survivor Glam Squad.
"I am proud to partner with Survivor Glam Squad in their effort to empower women and girls to feel confident and get back on track after cancer treatment," says Coppola. "Peter Coppola Keratin Concept is a brand founded to help women not only look, but feel their most beautiful every day." Peter discovered SGS through Webster, who is also one of the faces of Peter Coppola Keratin Concept.
The ultimate goals of the partnership are to ensure women feel good about themselves, and help them realize their true beauty no matter their struggle with a devastating illness. Nationwide salons carrying the Peter Coppola collection will be given the opportunity to host makeover events with free products donated by Peter. "All of the women are in love with Peter's Keratin Concept line," says Webster. "For many of the women, their hair will grow back curly, brittle, frizzy and different colors as well. The treatment gives them their hair back. It's a miracle!"
As far as the future is concerned, Webster is hopes to continue the expansion of the event to salons and beauty schools. It is her personal goal to make this type of an event an industry standard. "I just want to give," says Webster. SGS has completely changed my career path. I'm in love with it and I want it to grow."
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Beauty Professionals - Licensed cosmetologists and therapists who want to use their talent to touch the lives of female cancer patients, survivors and their families can volunteer time and services to local events helping provide makeovers.
Glam Squad Member - Anyone can volunteer their time or service to a local event to help brighten the day of female cancer survivors. Services can include photography, stylist, coordinator, or assistant.
Glam Squad Ambassador - Compassionate individuals in any city wishing to help spread our message by coordinating local makeover events and fundraisers for female cancer survivors. Ambassadors are responsible for organizing and running local events twice or more per year. They are also responsible for hiring local Glam Squad Members and Beauty Professionals.