Fearless Beauty empowers women who are impacted by institutional and social injustice through cosmetology education and mentorship in the beauty industry — using beauty and community to liberate and heal.
It all started with a desire to make a change.
In 2014, founder Heather Packer took her decade of expertise in the beauty industry and launched a vocational program for young women in Rishikesh, India - an area where traditionally, girls are married at a young age and are not free to work outside of the home.
"My vision was to launch a program that inspires other hairdressers to volunteer and teach," she said. "The skills hairstylists use every day are universal. People around the world can learn this trade and become empowered and economically self-sufficient."
With a local partner in Rishikesh, Heather created the first Fearless Beauty program in 2015 and led a team of experienced beauty professionals to train 25 women through four programs over the next three years. Through the power of beauty and mentorship, Fearless Beauty empowered students with hair cutting, styling, and color skills to transform their lives, gain deep confidence in themselves, and earn a sustainable, fulfilling livelihood.
Since 2017, Fearless Beauty has brought our mission back to the United States, where our most under-resourced communities are targeted by law enforcement and institutionalized inequality across race, gender, and class.
Committed to the idea that beauty can liberate and heal, we launched the first cosmetology vocational program at the Rose M. Singer Center at New York City’s Rikers Island Jail in January 2018. After graduating from this 24-week program, women have the opportunity to attend cosmetology school with scholarship support and pursue careers in the beauty industry. We are so proud to share that one of our 2018 students who has been released, Isabelle, graduated from Christine Valmy Beauty School in January 2020!
Our teachers are in the second year of cosmetology programming at Rikers Island Jail, where 85% of people are not yet convicted and are in jail because they cannot afford their bail to go home while they await trial.
We're committed to our students getting the tools, support, and resources that they need at every stage of their journey, both through our programs and our partnerships with advocates and service providers.