When Beauty Cast Network and Wigs For Kids shared the stage this spring at America’s Beauty Show in Chicago, you would think they’ve been working together for years—as they both help hair stylists enrich their careers.
However, when the network invited the nonprofit to the show as its guest, it was the first time these two organizations teamed up.
Penny Burns founded Beauty Cast Network in 2013 to help students learn about all of the different career opportunities they have post-graduation, as well as provide a network for novice professionals to find their next job.
“Our mission is to help people connect, grow and advance in the beauty, barber, and wellness industries,” she says. “We want to help students find their best first job, which will eventually lead them to their dream job. We want them to be happy, so they stay in our industry.”– Penny Burns
The company helps connect the dots, as it helps students find a good job and also helps salons searching for talent find good-fit employees.
“The beauty industry is a billion-dollar business, so there is room for everyone,” Penny says. “And a growing segment in the industry is hair replacement.”
Beauty Cast Network asked Wigs For Kids to be a presenter at America’s Beauty Show to educate the 500-plus students in attendance at the Power Hour presentation on how they can enhance their careers by learning how to become hair donation specialists and cut hair for its hand-tied hairpieces.
Wigs For Kids Founder Jeffrey Paul shared his story of why he started the nonprofit and brought on stage two recent wig recipients, who have alopecia, so the students could see firsthand how they can make a difference in a child’s life.
“For today’s generation, a big part of the ‘why’ they do something is that they want to give back,” comments Penny. “Many students do not learn much about hair replacement in school, so it gave them an opportunity to see how this can be a great career path, or, at the least, how they can participate in Wigs For Kids.”
“There are more important things than money, and when we are connected to something bigger than ourselves, it gives us the courage and confidence to go all in and do great things,” says Penny, who started out as a makeup artist and then focused on the business side of the industry, owning nine beauty and wellness schools, before creating Beauty Cast Network.
Wigs For Kids can partner with beauty schools to train upcoming stylists on how to properly harvest hair for wigs and become hair donation specialists and, hopefully, certified service providers once they are licensed.
“I love the mission of Wigs For Kids as they work with children going through a traumatic time in their lives when they lose their hair, and they help these children improve their confidence and make them feel good,” says Penny. “This goes straight to our heart.”
Going forward, Beauty Cast Network plans to collaborate more with Wigs For Kids.
“This is a great partnership because both organizations are working to enhance the beauty industry and believe in giving back to the community,”– Penny Burns