A Melbourne hairdresser has turned her hobby into a viable business by producing art for her local community in order to combat lockdown woes.
Dani Heyward, a hairdresser and artist from Melbourne’s north, was furloughed from hairdressing when the city was plunged into its fifth Covid lockdown.
However, instead of dwelling on the anxieties of the restrictions, Ms Heyward embarked on a new adventure – creating art to bring in a steady paycheque and to raise money for Eden Australia, a charity that helps women who have been sold into sexual slavery by providing them with education and employable skills.
After a chance encounter with Marcus Boyden, the owner of Café Aberdeen, he gave her wall space to sell her art – as well as donating his profits to Eden Australia.
Ms Heyward said Mr Boyden was essential to her art business, and that he made it possible for her to sell her art in addition to raising money for her charitable cause.
“Café Aberdeen was integral to the art business, I never thought in a million years that anyone would want to buy my art,” she said.
“I just randomly asked Marcus one day if I could place my art there and within two weeks all three of them sold to the one person.
“I donate 10 per cent of my profits to Eden … and Marcus said that anything he makes, to donate it to Eden too. He’s super lovely.”
Ms Heyward’s salon suffered significantly during the Coronavirus pandemic, as Melbourne’s persistent lockdowns has forced her to continuously close her doors.
According to National Industry Insights, employment in the hairdressing industry across Australia has decreased by more than 50 per cent due to the pandemic.
Additionally, Kitomba, a salon software network, also reports that the beauty industry in Victoria ultimately lost over $200,000 in 2020.
Nevertheless, Ms Heyward said lockdown was a blessing in disguise, as she saw it as a time to focus on her passion and create a community driven business.
“(Lockdown) was totally a time to engross myself in my art – well, apart from the spits and spats of home schooling – so for me personally, the lockdowns were a blessing,” she said.
“It did not come from a place of wanting to generate money, it came from a place of passion … but after pushing into that industry it all started snowballing.
“People want local and they like the idea that I live in the same suburb, so I think everyone is looking to support their local community.”