In honor of Blackout Day, Bliss Beauty Center in Los Altos donated 100% of its July 7 revenue to the Innocence Project, according to owner Tiffany Lehman.
The Blackout Day initiative comes in the wake of protests against police brutality and the acknowledgment of the nation’s history of systemic racism. The movement’s website called for a “day of solidarity in America where not one Black person in America spends a dollar.”
Lehman said she wants her business to be an ally of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The current situation has caused all of us to sort of take a pause and look internally at what kind of impact we’re making on the world,” said Lehman, who has owned the salon and day spa for four years.
Lehman added that she and her receptionists, who are called “Bliss Beauties,” sat down to have a conversation about how they could help make an impact. They knew they wanted to donate their sales revenue, but it was difficult to choose a specific organization.
“Where do we see the most injustice?” Lehman said. “I think we all sort of felt like with the Innocence Project, they actually provide assistance to those who don’t have the means to get a lawyer for themselves. … We felt that they were making the most impact for families and getting people who are wrongly accused of crimes, getting them out of jail.”
The Innocence Project is a nonprofit organization founded in 1992. Its mission is “to free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated, and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment,” according to its website. A total of 367 people in the U.S., including 21 on death row, have been exonerated by DNA testing, and the Innocence Project has provided direct representation or other critical assistance in the majority of the cases.
Along with the sales made in the store that day, Bliss has added a donation tab on its website. Lehman did not disclose how much money it raised for the organization July 7 but said she hopes donations will get that total to $1,500 by Aug. 1.
Lehman added that as part of the beauty industry, it’s important to diversify the makeup and other skin-colored products her shop sells.
“We carry these really prevalent lines and they sort of cater to one color essentially, or three or four shades of color, so I’m looking to expand our beauty to be able to cater to more ethnicities and skin tones,” the East Bay native said. “Then also starting the process of looking to carry lines that are founded and owned by minorities and Blacks.”
Bliss Beauty Center is located at 682 Fremont Ave. For more information, visit blisslosaltos.com. For more information on the Innocence Project, visit innocenceproject.org.