Gerrard International - Finding Our Voice - 27 Years Fighting Breast Cancer
For over two and a half decades, beauty company Gerrard International has been helping to fight breast cancer. The first time was when its chairman Susan Gerrard contracted the disease in 1992, just six months after introducing Jessica to the UK market. Since then Susan’s sister, daughter and daughter-in-law have all bravely fought through their own battles with breast cancer.
With so many incredible charities supporting sufferers, survivors and their families – Gerrard International chose two close to the company’s heart - Breast Cancer Care and Future Dreams. ‘Supporting a cause makes us realise what we stand for and how privileged we are to run a company that can also help change lives’, explains Susan Gerrard, chairman of Gerrard International.
Future Dreams is committed to supporting women (and their families) diagnosed with Breast Cancer, as well as fundraising research into disease prevention. ‘We’ve supported the charity since it was established in 2008 – having known the founder Danielle Leslie and her mother Sylvie Henry – dancers who were both diagnosed with breast cancer,’ explains Susan. ‘Tragically both Sylvie and Danielle lost their battle within a year of each other. We continue to support their charity to help fulfil their dreams for a future free of breast cancer.’
Future Dreams was the inspiration behind a product in Gerrard International’s own award-winning Mii Cosmetics brand. Since October 2015, £2 of every Mii Nourishing Lip Sheen sold (in shades Care and Nurture), has been donated to the charity. This product and ongoing donation form part of Mii’s core makeup range, embraced by over 1,000 UK spas and salons, as well as distributed in 23 countries.
The company has also made it a mission to collaborate on charitable events. ‘The idea behind our first Mii makeup masterclass for those going through or post-chemotherapy,’ explains Susan ‘was about rediscovery, replacing the unknown with hope and positivity and uniting women through their love of beauty.’
Whilst addressing the attendees, Susan spoke openly about her own breast cancer journey, encouraging them to work through their treatment and strive to enrich their lives – something she herself had done even through the darkest of days. Her Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in the professional beauty industry is a true testament to that.
‘Our guests had such fun with the Mii makeup and really connected with each other,’ says Ilana Mager of Future Dreams. ‘Each woman felt so special.’ Another Mii workshop is planned during October Breast Cancer Awareness month.
In May, Mii Cosmetics and Kissed by Mii will be the exclusive makeup and tanning sponsors for the Lily Grace Fashion Show, hosted by Future Dreams. ‘We’ll liaise with the lead makeup artist to create on-trend summer catwalk looks for 30 models,’ says MD Lisa Gerrard.
Future Dream’s #Nail Breast Cancer is another fundraising initiative supported by Gerrard International and its award-winning Jessica nail brand. Created four years ago by nail industry leaders touched by breast cancer, the campaign serves to champion the one-in-eight women diagnosed with breast cancer every year, raising funds into further research and treatment.
During October Breast Cancer Awareness month, Gerrard International encourages all customers nationwide to support #Nail Breast Cancer. Each salon, spa and mobile nail technician involved recommend that clients donate £2-£5 to Future Dreams after their nail treatments. Every February at Professional Beauty Excel, money is raised by donations for Jessica manicure, Mii and Brow by Mii treatments.
Volunteering is held in high regard at Gerrard International. In 2018, at a 10 Years of Future Dreams extravaganza at the London Palladium, The Jessica Hands on Team painted the nails of 20 choir members, all breast cancer survivors, in shades Palladium and Dare To Dream.
Charity is an important part of business – particularly in a world that has become so increasingly self-obsessed. Allow charity to become part of your company culture. Knowing you are working with brands that ‘give back’ boosts employee morale, helps build a great reputation and leads to healthy growth. That’s certainly what Gerrard International has done. In Susan’s own words: ‘We chose Future Dreams because it is all about dreaming for the future – hope for a healthier life so you can live it to the full.’ What better motto to live by.
To find out more, visit futuredreams.org.uk and gerrardinternational.com