Saxon-Hart is an organization devoted to “paying it forward” in the Spa and Wellness and Esthetics Industry based out of New York, NY. I took a few moments to ask some basic questions of their founder Heidi Burkhart.
You have partnered with ISPA. I noticed that Chef Pedro received a new suit as part of his makeover. How does this element of fashion relate to the Spa Industry in your view?
“Fashion is an expression of one’s self. When a man catches a glimpse of himself in a new, tailored suit, a sense of confidence is not only seen, it’s felt. A tailored suit is a symbol of power, of being “put together.” When Chef Pedro put on his new suit, his eyes “smiled” in seeing the inspirational man he has become, in spite of his many struggles. He does so much to ensure the healthy eating of those less fortunate. – serving nearly 600 homeless individuals a day, throughout our beautiful city. He aims to bring a high level of nutrition into their lives, while also sharing his profound love for the culinary trade. Additionally, Chef Pedro brings weekly soul searching messages to the congregations he speaks to in Brooklyn and at the NYC Rescue Mission. We were really captured by his story and wanted to give thanks to such a deserving, community minded man. While we did not work with the spa industry on Chef Pedro’s makeover, we were able to later treat his wife and daughter to Mother’s Day makeovers through our extended Saxon/Hart family. She was beyond excited about the makeover and posted several pictures of the transformation to Instagram, noting how the Saxon/Hart team is changing lives in what they do.”
Is Saxon--Hart strategically building bridges between Medical Aesthetics and Cosmetology centered Aesthetics by bringing these two disjointed elements of the Industry together common cause or is this an organic development for your project that is ongoing?
“Currently, we self--fund all of our makeovers. We are hoping that through additional funding in the near future, we will be able to grow, explore and work with more areas of the industry. We did work with the UNC Dermatology Center with our first makeover candidate, Lilli. I would love to work more with medical aesthetics and skin care practitioners. I personally went through a rhinoplasty procedure, which ultimately allowed me to be more confident. During that time, my doctor prescribed various massage and beauty treatments, which I loved. We hope to share that mindset with more of our candidates in the future.
So far your makeover projects have been for those with medical illness and disability. What social causes might your organization be willing to get involved with?
“We recently partnered with the NYC Rescue Mission for their Mother’s Day event, where we completed 70+ makeovers for homeless shelter moms. Aiming to bring awareness of the NYC Rescue Mission and the continued need to address homelessness .We were able to secure coverage of the day’s activities by several local TV news stations. The Saxon/Hart makeovers brought a fun twist to the day, making for a compelling goodwill story for local media. We were quite pleased with how the day turned out and all of the positive responses we received.”
Are you specifically interested in working with Americans or do you see a global future and application for Saxon--Heart’s mission?
“I am a “think big” person, so I would love if Saxon/Hart is eventually able to grow globally. At the same time, I also appreciate the mindset of “scaling back to scale up.” Our focus for now is on growing and expanding the Saxon/Hart giving forward mindset in the U.S. In due time, we hope to be able to share with the world, as well. As for further social causes, we are very open to working with the spa industry to find additional creative ways to showcase talent, while also inspiring others through the stories that we tell.”
Do you have any plans to partner with Professional organizations under the ISPA umbrella, such as Professional organizations for Massage Therapists like ABMP or NCBTMB? What about Esthetics organizations? Particular schools or research institutions for these spa professions such as OMERI or the Miami based Touch Research Institute?
“No plans at the moment, but I do appreciate all your suggestions! Excited to meet with all in Atlanta and look forward to the possibilities for future partnerships/collaborations to come.” Saxon/Hart 584 Broadway Suite 608 New York New York 10012