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Personality: LaFarn L. Burton

Spotlight on president of nonprofit LB Beauty Education Foundation

8/30/2018, 6 a.m.
If you want to make the beauty industry your livelihood, you want to be the best there is.

If you want to make the beauty industry your livelihood, you want to be the best there is. This is the principle LaFarn L. Burton, owner and founder of LB Beauty Academy, imparts to people interested in owning a salon, spa or tattoo business. Ms. Burton, also known as “Ms. LB,” is dedicated to helping beauty professionals achieve their entrepreneurial dreams through educational programs and services while using solid financial management practices and structures. Her passion is to share her business skills, knowledge and education with aspiring business owners. The Richmond native also is the president of LB Beauty Education Foundation Inc., a nonprofit founded in 2010 to help licensed professionals take a step further in the beauty industry with the knowledge needed to own and operate a business. It incorporates learning in the areas of financial management, public relations and marketing strategies. Ms. Burton started her beauty academy in 2000 with a nail program. “Then we began to write more curricula, adding on programs in cosmetology, barbering, aesthetics and tattoo artistry,” she says. “The academy is important because we teach, along with beauty and artistry, the most important aspects of the industry — safety, sanitation and welfare of the people we service.” Since then, the academy has grown and has a diverse student body that includes natives of Russia, Pakistan and Vietnam, Ms. Burton says. About half of the students in the four program areas are women, while men comprise the majority of those in the tattoo artistry classes. “The industry’s art is based on personal creativity and how the art looks and visualizing new hairstyles or tattoos on the body or the head and nail designs on the fingers,” Ms. Burton says.

While women have been the traditional customer base for the industry’s hair and nail salons and spa pampering treatments, men also now appreciate pampering and hair care. “Barbershops were here long ago and have always been a cornerstone in the community,” Ms. Burton says. “Men began to adopt a lot of the trends that some of the women already possessed. As the new generations come up in society, they want different artistic looks, as well color in their hair.” Once workers in the beauty industry have the creative skills and established clientele, they may want to open a shop. That’s where LBBEF comes in – helping with the financial skills and marketing strategies — “all of those elements that contribute to a successful business,” Ms. Burton says. “About 75 percent of the people we have worked with have developed successful, financially sound businesses,” she says. LBBEF is holding its 3rd Biennial Fundraising Gala from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Bon Secours Training Center, 2401 W. Leigh St. Proceeds will benefit LBBEF’s programs; help launch new local businesses; and bring awareness and help to struggling new beauty business owners. For information and tickets, go to: www.eventbrite.com/e/lb-beauty-education-foundation-gala-2018-tickets-45654759615. This year’s event will highlight breast cancer survivors and their families and help bring awareness to the disease. There also will be a fashion show, silent auction, raffles and entertainment, Ms. Burton says. Terrell Newman, owner of Salon NewRell in Chesterfield, will be this event’s featured entrepreneur. Meet educator, entrepreneur and this week’s Personality, LaFarn L. Burton: