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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.

Occupation: Founder and owner of LB Beauty Academy.

No. 1 volunteer position: President, LB Beauty Education Foundation Inc.

Date and place of birth: Dec. 8 in Richmond.

Alma maters: Bachelor’s degree, Virginia Union University; master’s degree, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Family: Husband, Norman Burton; son, Rev. Gary A. Tyler; and daughter, Kelli M. Skeen.

Why LBBEF is important: Unfortunately, there is a lack of basic business education and skills to own and operate a business among the most gifted beauty professionals. Fortunately, such knowledge and skills can be taught, which is the mission.

How I find time to support LBBEF: It is a top priority to fulfill my passion to help in the education of aspiring business owners because I know the value of having business skills and knowledge specific to the beauty industry.

Why I do it: I love sharing my education, knowledge and experiences. I’ve benefited from mentors and role models who shared their advice, time and encouragement. It is inherent in me to help future generations of beauty business owners.

How the beauty industry has changed over the years: The industry has gotten more serious about the promotion of health awareness. Increased educational requirements to ensure that professionals providing services are qualified, follow proper regulations, principles and guidelines helps to make a safe and prosperous experience. Additionally, body artistry has exploded over the years. The range is as vast as music, books or paintings hanging in museums.

How industry has changed for men: The development and creation of products designed especially for the male and their special needs has grown tremendously.

How industry has changed for women: International fashion trends have broadened the art and creativity of design. Also, as we embrace our natural beauty to complement, women seek and study science to develop natural products and services.

Fundraising goal for LBBEF gala: We raised $10,000 in 2016 and wish to grow that this year with an increase in sponsors and ticket sales. Our fundraising goal this year is $15,000, which will be reached by increasing our community partners. Collaboration and partnership are pillars upon which LBBEF was founded.

Biggest challenge: Exposure to corporate stewards who share our vision, as well as a lack of access to major philanthropic circles. We strive to create and build partnerships with corporations and the private sector.

Why I am a business owner: I love mentoring, educating and using my social work background to help problem-solve life challenges. My business background aids in helping others achieve business success. And I love giving back to our communities.

Advice to aspiring business owners: Find a mentor; learn and understand the nuances of owning and operating a business; make the business work for you; do it with passion or not at all; give back and share; and believe in yourself!

How I start the day: Always with devotion. Then I prioritize work time, play time, community, ministry and ending the day with hubby.

Something I love to do that most people would never imagine: A day of meditation and reflection keeps me healthy and balanced.

The three words that best describe me: Generous, grateful and faithful.

If I had more time I would: Learn foreign languages.

My hero or heroine: My heroine is my godmother, mentor, friend and confidant, the late Julia N. Jones, a beauty business owner for more than 30 years.

My favorite musician: Aaron Neville.

How I unwind: Sharing time at home with the hubby on our back deck.

Book that influenced me the most: Bebe Moore Campbell’s “Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine.”

Book I’m reading now: Book of Daniel in the Bible.

If I’ve learned one thing in life, it is: I have the power within me to do all things in time and season.

Next goal: To pass the torch of my legacy on to a gifted entrepreneur and watch it be done bigger and better.