Saints of Steel is a collision of my new found love for barbering and a burning desire to be the person I needed when I was younger.
I recently started immersing myself in the art of barbering and it quickly became a passion. The chair of a barber/hairstylist resembled a revolving door to me. I was mesmerized with watching the body language and demeanor of each person from the minute they first sat in the chair to the look in the mirror completely transformed. No matter if they were male or female, a child or an adult, rich or in tough times, the outcome was like watching a miracle every time. Posture changes, eyes widen, confidence screaming, "I can do anything". The bond between a barber and their client was like a secret pact. My life was changed forever.
When I was a young adult, I battled my way through adversity wrestling with the fact that I was different. A lesbian. Not only did I face horrific situations and displacement with my religion, school, community and workplace but even members in my immediate family reacted in ways I could never have imagined. I grew up in an underpriviledged neighborhood in San Francisco and struggled to make something of myself.
And I eventually did.
I worked hard to reach the top of the tech industry and work for a brand that I admire, Apple. Forbes named it the number one company in the world. As a Business Manager in the Silicon Valley, I have the honor of helping businesses ranging from small mom and pop shops to Fortune 500 companies reach their potential. I've taught leaders from around the world how to inspire their teams to surpass the status quo because we believe it is our job to enrich lives. I owe it to this amazing company for shaping me into the business woman I am today.
But now it is time to take the skills I've developed and all of the things I've learned along the way to make a difference in the world my way. This is how I started this nonprofit, Saints of Steel and it will be my love letter to the world..
Because of my personal experience growing up, I felt compelled to focus on helping the LGBTQ population, specifically: homeless youth. But as I built partnerships with youth centers and homeless shelters in the Bay area to donate free haircuts, I decided to cast my net wider and serve the overall homeless population. Only to realize that so many communities could use that transformation or feeling of human connection. Veterans, the elderly, hospice patients, shelters, survivors of abuse, the transgender community, the list goes on. Then it hit me, I couldn't possibly serve those in need by myself. But I knew a haircut could do so many things on top of improving confidence, encouraging a fresh start to find a job, or simply making someone feel cared for. I needed to call on the help of my fellow barbers, hairstylists and those passionate about the same things I was.. giving people that revolving door of hope.
Jaz Limos , Founder of Saint of Steel