@ Beauty Bus Foundation
Wendy Marantz Levine co-founded Beauty Bus Foundation in 2009 in memory of her beloved sister, Melissa Marantz Nealy, and has been its guiding force ever since.
Before the founding of Beauty Bus, Wendy practiced law and was Director of Litigation and Pro Bono work at Bet Tzedek Legal Services which serves the elderly, poor, and disabled.
She also helped to create the International Holocaust Services Justice Network, which provided free legal services to Holocaust survivors.
Wendy graduated from Duke University and the University of Michigan Law School, where she was Executive Editor of the Law Review.
Wendy, her husband Eric and two young kids support Beauty Bus to honor Melissa’s memory because “the lift and gift of beauty has the power to transform lives and support families when they need it most.”
BEAUTY BUS FOUNDATION
Bringing Beauty Home.
The Beauty Bus Foundation is a non-profit organization delivering dignity, hope and respite to chronically or terminally ill men, women and children and their caregivers.
Through complimentary beauty and grooming services and pampering products, they bring a compassionate human touch to lift their clients' spirits.
Beauty Bus delivers loving kindness, support and compassion to seriously ill patients and their caregivers through beauty services.
Beauty Bus focuses on the importance of quality of life services, an integral part of healing and coping for both the patient and caregiver. It is through the healing and pampering touch of Beauty Professionals and Beauty Buddies that they fulfill their mission and bring beauty to patients and caregivers.
WENDY IN CHAT WITH MINIANCA
On March 2nd, Annabelle met Wendy in her office at the Beauty Bus Foundation HQ in Santa Monica, CA.
THE PATH THAT LED WENDY TO FOUND THE BEAUTY BUS FOUNDATION.
MiNiAnCa: "Thank you so much, Wendy, we know you have a very personal story that led you to found Beauty Bus. Would you share with us?"
Wendy: "Our family started Beauty Bus in 2009. I am an attorney by training and really loved practicing law. Beauty Bus happened by accident. Life doesn't always take that perfect linear path that you expect and we lost my sister in 2005 to a degenerative neuro-muscular disease.
Melissa was a total girly girl: she loved to get her hair and make-up done, she loved to go to the spa, and she was the head cheerleader in high school. And I was totally the opposite: a lawyer who never wears makeup. But I really saw that when Melissa got sick when she was 27, she still wanted to do all the things that made her happy.
So this was back in 2004 when there was no “DryBar” and there weren’t all these apps that exist now so it was really hard to find people to come to the house. And it was really hard to find people who were willing to come and be with a young person who was sick.
Thankfully, our family was able to do it for her and it just made a world of difference.
You saw that it just made Melissa feel human again. It made her feel like herself.
So a couple of years after she passed away, we had this idea to bring that same dignity and compassion to other families. But we discovered that there was no organization that was doing it. So we started our own.
Initially, we thought we would keep it small but it became apparent very quickly that there was a huge need on the patient and the medical side. Also, the beauty industry was very engaged so our garages were filled with products and we were operating out of our houses.
Fast forward to today, we've done over 20,000 free services and we are 10 years in. And while this was never the path I saw myself on, it's been completely amazing and incredible to be able to make a difference for these clients, these patients for their families and caregivers.
So yes. Beauty Bus really started out of our personal tragedy and our family just made the decision to pay it forward."
BEAUTY BUS IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF THE SERIOUSLY ILL AND THEIR CAREGIVERS.
MiNiAnCa: "Wendy, please share with us how Beauty Bus, its Ambassadors and Beauty Professionals are making a difference in the lives of so many?"
Wendy: "The Beauty Bus Foundation offers free beauty services for patients and for their caregivers. We meet patients where they are. So, we see them in homes, we see them in hospitals and we see them in social service settings.
We have three different programs: The Home Visit, The Beauty Series and The PopUp Salon.
Our first program was home visits in memory of Melissa: we go into people’s homes and we do a free beauty service for the patient and for the caregiver. And then after the visit, we leave a bag of beauty that's filled with about $150 in donated products - one for the patient and one for the caregiver.
We offer hair-cuts, manicures, facials and make-up application and serve all genders, children and adults.
What is really cool and progressive is that all of our treatments prioritize safety. We use waterless systems that are fully-contained and we don’t cut cuticles or do any extractions or plucking.
For our Beauty Series, we work with hospitals and social service agencies and we do weekly treatments in a consistent place on a consistent basis.
So for example, every Tuesday we go room to room at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica. On Wednesdays we are at the Disney Family Cancer Center out in Burbank which is an outpatient center. We actually have a fully built-out salon there and we do everything from wig fittings to hair, nails and facials.
Our third program is called PopUp Salon which is a one day “Day Of Beauty” and here we go to different locations, such as different hospitals like USC, UCLA, Cedar Sinai, City of Hope or to social services agencies like the Ronald McDonald House.
There, we take over a conference room and set up a three-hour pop-up salon that people can come to and get all these multiple services in a supportive and loving environment and every client is given a bag of beauty products.
So we really are trying to create moments for these families to have connections and experiences outside of their disease. And thanks to donations - monetary and products - all of our services are free for the patients and their caregivers.
THE FUTURE OF BEAUTY BUS .....
MiNiAnCa: "If the sky is the limit, what is your vision for the impact and reach Beauty Bus can achieve in the future?"
Wendy: "Of course, we would love to one day be out of business because all these diseases are cured. But the reality is that this is not going to happen anytime soon.
So until then, our goal is to service as many people as we can throughout Los Angeles and to also expand into different cities and states.
At the end of last year, we expanded to a Children's Hospital Colorado which is incredibly impactful as it is the only Children's Hospital between the Dakotas and New Mexico and has patients from nine surrounding states.
And I think our biggest area of growth is in The Beauty Series, i.e. partnering with hospitals. These weekly consistent visits in hospitals really have the biggest impact and it works well in terms of creating a strong bond with the patients, seeing them throughout the course of their treatment and we really become part of that hospital community.
A benefit for the hospitals is that their patient experience scores are increasing and they're really able to offer a more holistic view of their patients. Everything doesn't just become about quality of care - it's a way for hospitals to provide some quality of life."
We asked Wendy to share her favorite mantra with the MiNiAnCa community:
"Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself"
- Coco Chanel.
As a Thank You for your support, Wendy and the team at Beauty Bus are extending a variety of special offers to the MiNiAnCa community!
For more information, view the links and pages below and reference "MiNiAnCa" in all contact forms / communication.
EXCLUSIVE OFFERS FOR MINIANCA
BEAUTY BUS EVENTS
The Beauty Bus team is bringing a variety of events to the hospitals and community centers to connect and pamper the serious ill and their care-givers.
For an overview of meaningful and hands-on Beauty Bus events, click the button below.