LAMAR, Mo. – Lamar business owners Ashley and Jeremy Augusta have launched a vegan hair care product line, NuLuxe Beauty, with a portion of the proceeds to make wigs for children with childhood cancer.
Worldwide, at least 300,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every year. According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, approximately 1 in 285 children in the US will be diagnosed with cancer before their 20th birthday.
Ashley Augusta, co-owner of Lotus Salon Studios in Lamar, said she is preparing a free hand-colored wig for a 12-year-old girl in Minnesota who asked for pastel unicorn colors. There are about five other children on the waiting list to receive wigs.
“If the child is away, we will deliver the wigs in person, but if not, we will send them directly to them,” Ashley Augusta said. “As soon as the first has been shipped, I will start on the second. I use a human synthetic blend so they can put a little heat on it. I am looking for some wig suppliers to partner with us to offer human hair wigs. “
Salon co-owner Jeremy Augusta also owns the adjacent gym, Barton County Strength Club. He described himself as an entrepreneur through and through, after having been an entrepreneur for 12 years.
“We have other companies, but this is our first product line,” he said. “This has been a big learning curve.”
The husband-and-wife team said they are passionate about fighting cancer and that the wigs were inspired by a loved one who died of the disease. Each wig is made in the hope that it will continue to provide a smile and support during a family’s troubled time.
“We want to help as many people as possible,” said Jeremy Augusta. “We want to grow to where our full-time job helps other people.”
NuLuxe Beauty’s hair care products – shampoo, conditioner, shaping fibers and mousse – are vegan, sulfate-free and paraben-free. They are also safe to use on extensions and all hair types. Jeremy Augusta said they have received orders from all over the United States.
Vegan beauty products are made without animal products, by-products or derivatives. Ingredients from plants contain more antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
“This is a professional quality product,” said Jeremy Augusta. ‘It doesn’t go on Amazon. It is intended for professional stylists. And the more this grows, the more people we want to hire and create our own production process to create local jobs. “
The Augustas met as students in beauty school at Jenny Lea Academy in Johnson City, Tennessee. They graduated the same day in 2010 and were married later that same year.
“In October 2009, I left the military (army, coast guard), but the economy collapsed,” said Jeremy Augusta. ‘I got out because I was raising two kids on my own, and there were no jobs. I decided to use my GI account to make some money while the economy got better. The only option I had was to go to beauty school to feed my kids. “
They were uprooted from Tennessee and moved to Lamar to start their own business.
“The pieces fell into place a little bit, and it was like we had to be here,” Ashley Augusta said.
Several new products for different hair types are in the works and will be released in the fall. The owners said their goal is to keep growing the line and seeing as many children as possible.
NuLuxe Beauty can be purchased in Lamar at Lotus Salon Studios and Tea Shirt Shoppe and online at www.nuluxebeauty.com. Call 423-502-4237 for more information.