Charity behind the gloss for former pageant queen from Freeport
FREEPORT — A 2010 cosmetics start-up is working to foster inner beauty as well as outer beauty, and hopes to become a global force in the fight against drug addiction.
Lipgloss4lives was started in 2010 by dental office manager and Mrs. Maine 2011 Tina Hendricks and salon owner Jill Kelley as a way to put women's beauty dollars to work.
Hendricks said the company donates all of its profits to drug addiction charities like the The Next Step Forward program at Hope.Gate.Way Church in Portland, as well as their own heating assistance program and the Maine Cancer Foundation.
She said that even though the company, currently operating out of her Freeport home, focuses its attention on drug addiction, her goal is to become a community support fundraising titan, supporting anyone in need.
The initial idea for Lipgloss4lives came out of a fundraising event the pair was working, when Kelley asked Hendricks if she would work for lip gloss.
Although Kelley is no longer involved with the charity because she became too busy with her salon, Hendricks is still working for lip gloss, hitting the pavement on her own to get her product into the purses of women everywhere.
The company sells “cutting-edge and trendy” lip gloss manufactured in the U.S., Hendricks said. She said it is important to work with U.S. companies so that most of the money can go toward the charities, instead of into expensive packaging and formulations.
Hendricks and Kelley picked drug addiction as the company's charitable focus because of personal experience.
“For me, it's affected me personally,” Hendricks said. “I have family members with drug addiction who have struggled to stay sober and clean for many years and it effects the entire family in ways that people don't realize. As much as you might try to help an addict, it is really and truly up to them and the only way they can recover is with recovery programs and if there are no recovery programs out there, they probably won't succeed.”
She added that donating the money from lip gloss sales to the recovery programs is better than giving the money directly to those struggling with drug addictions, because in order for them to fight the disease they need proper care.
The majority of Lipgloss4lives' sales come from the company's website, but Hendricks hopes to get her products into retail locations where people can buy them more easily.
“I am working on developing a way to get lip gloss into stores, salons and boutiques,” she said. “Our next step is to take our product and hit the pavement, going out to places and saying this is what we offer and this is what we do. To be in a place like Sephora, that would be wonderful, if I can do that that is my ultimate goal, but even the smaller local businesses are a great way to get the product out.”
Hendricks said that while the company is still getting off the ground and she is doing a lot of the work, she thinks that the groundwork has been laid for Lipgloss4lives to become a successful fundraising force in the future.
“We want to be a fundraising force that is well known in the state and in the world, putting women's outer beauty toward something important,” she said. “Because what woman doesn't have 10 tubes of lip gloss in her purse?”