2020 was a year like no other in so many ways. We learned as an industry – and society – that we can be made to be vulnerable beyond our control. We learned that we need to be more open and inclusive and listen to the needs of our brothers and sisters in artistry. We realized that even in the most adverse circumstances we have the ability to pivot and evolve to keep moving forward. And, maybe most importantly, we discovered that when we come together as a community to support each other, we get through anything – no matter how daunting

This year saw many business come to the forefront of important conversations and take action to make changes within their own business and help others change as well. And while there are many who worked hard at supporting others – a few stood out as exceptional in their unwavering commitment to supporting important causes and helping us move forward as a community. ANISA Beauty is one of those companies and their $50,000 Pledge is a blueprint for how to show your support in a meaningful way. Our own Michael DeVellis sat down – virtually of course – with ANISA Beauty founder, Anisa Telwar Kaicker to learn more about the program and Anisa’s personal and corporate commitment to supporting important causes.

Michael DeVellis: What is the ANISA Beauty $50,000 Pledge?
Anisa Telwar Kaicker: In June of 2020, as we found ourself amidst so much social unrest, we made a financial commitment to support organizations we believe are making a difference in the pursuit of social justice.

MD: How did you come up with the idea?
ATK: I was intentionally looking for all the different way I could get involved. That meant taking a hard look at racial representation within the ANISA Beauty brand, it meant supporting the voices of people who are already doing the work in this area, and it meant providing resources beyond just exposure. In essence, it was important to put my money where my mouth is.

MD: Is this the first project of it’s type that ANISA Beauty has undertaken?
ATK: This is the first type of project for my consumer brand ANISA Beauty (2020 was our first full year in business). It is not the first for Anisa International, my business that has been providing makeup and skincare brushes to beauty brands for over 28 years. I have been involved in giving back to my community since the very beginning. It is one of the foundational pillars that my business was built on.

MD: What are the organizations that the program benefits?
ATK: For this program, we are focused on organizations that support anti-racism initiatives, the LBGT+ community, the fight against social injustice and feeding our community.

MD: Who were the organizations?
ATK: ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Meals on Wheels, Project South, NAACP, GA Justice Project, Lavendar Rights and Feeding America.

MD: How did you decide to support those organizations?
ATK: ANISA Beauty was built on the premise of inclusivity. I am passionate about creating a community where everyone feels represented, accepted and supported. For my brand it was important to me to align with causes that were working for these same things.

MD: How was the money split up?
ATK: It was important to me for the money to be allocated across local, regional and national organizations – so that was how we approached it.

MD: Why is it important to you that ANISA Beauty gives back in such a big way to the community?
ATK: Giving back is part of my DNA. It’s a big reason why I do the work I do. I’ve been able to find a successful niche is the beauty space, one where I do good work which in turn provides a means to support my community. The two go hand in hand.