Creatively combining a unique educational experience with a moving philanthropic effort, Matrix Spread the Love Salon Owner Michael Albor of Boston’s The Loft Salon teamed up with Matrix Artistic Director Ammon Carver to raise money for fellow hairstylist Celeste Corcoran, who lost both of her legs in the recent Boston Marathon bombings. Her daughter Sydney was also seriously injured. The Help a Hairdresser Event allowed participants to purchase tickets to observe an actual photo shoot, conducted by multiple NAHA nominees Albor and Carver. At the end of the day, Matrix Spread the Love Ambassadors Jackie Marie Hovorka and Erwin Sapao personally delivered a check for $3,000 to Celeste’s Emerge Salon, located just blocks from The Loft.
What’s even more impressive is the fact that the class wasn’t originally intended to be a fundraiser. “I had persuaded Ammon to come to Boston to do a class on editorial photo work for our salon,” Michael explains. “But after the bombing, everything changed. Our salon is on Newbury Street in Boston, and there are 83 salons within a three-mile radius. Celeste’s salon is three doors down. Our salon is on the block where the bombings happened and we were all affected. So it felt right to do something to help.”
Once the decision was made to turn the class into a fundraiser, Michael enlisted the team that he works with on many photo shoots--including photographer Bob Packert, make-up artist Mariolga and wardrobe designer Sybylla--who all agreed instantly to donate their time. Some of Boston’s top models signed up happily—one even delayed a trip to a job in Milan to do the shoot. The Boston Center for Adult Education donated the facility for the class and Matrix provided products. Matrix Regional Education Manager Lisa Imbriano handled promotion for the event, distributing flyers and talking it up to Matrix educators and distributor sales consultants. Ultimately more than 25 stylists purchased tickets for a minimum donation of $100. [pagebreak]
For the entire day, the team produced looks that Michael describes as “vintage/romantic with an edge” on each of the five models, who then were dressed and photographed by Albor’s experienced team. At the same time, the artists kept up a running commentary, sharing tips, techniques and insights in this unique context of a live shoot. “On a photo shoot, you always run into the unexpected,” Ammon comments. “In this instance, those unexpected events became teaching moments. I was able to say things like, ‘This hair is a little oilier than I would like, so I’m going to use Design Pulse Mega Dust to give it some life,’ for example.”
To create the looks, the stylists relied on several top performers in the Matrix portfolio. Ammon reveals that the new Biolage Agave Nectar Control Gel, along with Vavoom Shapemaker Hairspray, Design Pulse Go Big Extra Strong Hold Mousse, Biolage Freeze Fix Hairspray and Biolage Exquisite Oil emerged as the “stars” of the day.
Michael and Ammon agree that the enormity of the cause transformed an ordinary class into something truly special. “Everyone was really invested in learning, and you could tell everyone felt good about being there, that it was money well spent,” says Ammon. “For an educator, nothing is more gratifying!”
[Images courtesy of Matrix]