Posted on March 1, 2016
When Veronica De Leon joined a Los Angeles-based motivational group called Amigas 4 My Soul, she had no idea that she’d soon be the one uplifting other women. But, that’s exactly what happened when Veronica connected with a like-minded woman last summer, and learned about a nearby women’s shelter catering to victims of domestic violence.
“I told her I’d love to give the women at the shelter monthly facials,” Veronica recalls. In July of 2015, she spent an entire day there, delving out complimentary facials for five women who were going through big transitions in their lives. Veronica, too, found herself in the midst of a major shift.
The esthetician grew up in Southern California, and had amassed fifteen years of experience by the time she was ready to launch her own business. “I used to work at a high-end spa; that’s where I started my career,” Veronica explains. The decision to fly solo, she adds, “came out of nowhere, to be honest.”
Three years ago, Veronica took a huge risk; she quit her day job to launch a skincare line, Youth Glow Skincare, a simple, natural and effective line for consumers looking to improve their skin without harsh chemicals. The operation started out “very small,” Veronica says, noting that she made two products – a cleanser and toner – in the beginning, and promoted them grassroots-style, at church events and farmers markets.
Youth Glow Skincare grew to include a full suite of complimentary products, including night creme, an exfoliating scrub, anti-aging serums and a charcoal masque, among other offerings. The esthetician is currently working on a back bar line for professionals, too.
With her new cosmetics business up and running, Veronica was ready to promote it directly to paying customers. Three months ago, she started a second business when she opened a salon at Sola in West Covina.
The entrepreneur was becoming increasingly busy — still, she wasn’t about to give up her time spent with the incredible women she was meeting every month, while donating facials to the shelter. Before long, Veronica began inviting women from the shelter to her salon, and she’s started a program whereby every eleventh facial she does is free, and donated to a woman at the shelter.
“I need ten facials to keep my doors open, so I can continue doing this,” Veronica figured. She also donates products to her complimentary clients. “I have a sugar scrub for the lips that comes in a little cute box, and I’ve given that out with the skincare products,” Veronica says.
Since opening her facial suite at Sola, Veronica has donated over a dozen facials, and she has no plans of halting this service. In fact, the philanthropic esthetician is currently looking for another shelter or organization to add to her repertoire. And, she’s even drawn her sister-in-law into the program; the fellow Sola owner gives Veronica’s domestic violence clients free cuts whenever she can.
The plan, Veronica says, it to continue serving women in need. “I myself am a victim of abuse, from when I was a little girl,” Veronica explains, adding, “I have a mission. It’s my passion to help other people.”
Recently, one of Veronica’s complimentary clients confided, during her facial, that she’d woken up at 5 a.m., and couldn’t go back to sleep because she was so excited about getting a facial. Another woman once told Veronica, “You have no idea, but you’ve changed my life.”
“These are women who are surviving on very little, and even a small gesture like a free facial can mean a lot,” Veronica says, noting that she gets a lot out of the experience, too. “It fills my heart to help others,” she says.