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Estée Lauder Companies Partners with Anti-trafficking Organization for Cambodian Salon

Posted: October 11, 2013

The Estée Lauder Companies announced, on The International Day of the Girl, the opening of the Somaly Mam Beauty Salon, a social enterprise developed in partnership with the anti-trafficking organization The Somaly Mam Foundation.

The full-service beauty salon, located in Siem Reap, Cambodia, will cater to tourists and locals alike, while providing survivors of sexual slavery and human trafficking with the education and vocational training needed to achieve socioeconomic independence. Leveraging top beauty experts and products from The Estée Lauder Companies’ prestige brands such as Bobbi Brown, Bumble and bumble, and Clinique, the Somaly Mam Beauty Salon will offer a world-class education in high-touch beauty services in hair care, makeup application and nail treatments.

“For many years the salon has been my dream, and now it is becoming a reality,” said Somaly Mam, Cambodian survivor and co-founder of the Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF). “As a survivor of sexual slavery, I understand how important education and skills training are for these young women. This salon provides a platform for victims to become survivors and helps the survivors to become a part of the solution to end modern slavery. The salon will not only offer training and economic opportunity, it will serve as a place for visitors to receive services—and ultimately to learn more about trafficking and what we can all do to combat it. We are so proud of what this salon can do to change individual lives and communities, and we are so grateful to The Estée Lauder Companies for their support.”

SMF will collaborate with its on-the-ground partner AFESIP Cambodia (French for “Acting for Women in Distressing Situations”) to implement the suite of education and training courses for salon employees. Based on AFESIP’s model, the Somaly Mam Beauty Salon will provide training in hairstyling, makeup application and nail care. Additional coaching in life skills and small business management will help prepare trainees to run their own salons in the future. This basic education and vocational training will enable survivors to generate income to help support themselves and their families, and avoid the vulnerabilities that allow for exploitation and abuse in the sex trade.

All products are being provided by Bobbi Brown, Bumble and bumble, and Clinique. Products are carefully selected to suit the climate and clientele of Southeast Asia. The Estée Lauder Companies will fund the setup and first three years of the salon’s operations. The salon’s goal is to be financially self-sustaining by 2016. The salon project is aimed at establishing a successful model that will be replicated in other geographical areas with high incidences of sexual slavery and programs to aid the victims of exploitation and abuse.

Bumble and bumble, a renowned salon and hair care line, lent its expertise in design, salon operations, client relations and advanced training by top salon educators. The Bumble and bumble team collaborated with survivors to design a relaxing oasis that combines Bumble and bumble’s design aesthetic with the women’s love of bright colors and flowers.

Bumble and bumble’s salon management team also developed management protocols to ensure that the Somaly Mam Beauty Salon operates with a high standard of hygiene protocol and client care. Hair care and styling products will be exclusively provided by Bumble and bumble, and T3, a professional hair tool brand frequently used by Bumble and bumble’s backstage team, provided the salon with combs, brushes and heat styling tools. Visiting Bumble and bumble stylists will provide specialized training sessions twice a year.

Additionally, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, the exclusive makeup line developed by celebrated makeup artist Bobbi Brown, is providing both basic and advanced makeup application training twice yearly to develop the girls’ artistry skills and build their confidence. The brand is outfitting the salon with makeup stations, a full range of products and brushes through its Singapore-based team as well. In line with Bobbi Brown’s global “Pretty Powerful” initiative, the brand is committed to supporting organizations that help empower women and girls with the confidence and resources to be their best.

And to round out the education offerings, Clinique is providing some of its top-selling products and is educating the women on skin physiology and how to treat common skin care concerns, as well as service and selling standards.