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Founder

Niki Maldonado (she/her/hers)

Niki Maldonado is a politically radical, queer fat femme from the suburbs of Chicago. Her lens as a white latinx cis-woman gives her a multifaceted understanding of how identity is both seen and invisibilized in the beauty industry. As a former esthetician and counter manager for a major skin care company, Niki is well versed in identifying the limited access people have to connecting with the beauty industry.

The Beauty Endowment seeks to build connection between the beauty industry and those who are often invisibilized. When people feel beautiful, they feel empowered to bring forth their authentic selves.

When we give marginalized people the tools they need to succeed, it increases their life chances, and the life chances of those around them.

Board Members

Lauryn Reeder

Lauryn Reeder

Lauryn Reeder (she/her/hers)

Board Member and Director of Community Engagement and Outreach (South)

Lauryn Reeder is a black female who spent the first part of her life in upstate New York before moving to Anderson, South Carolina at ten.

Lauryn wants to make beauty accessible because she thinks that when someone looks beautiful, they not only feel beautiful, but valid. Lauryn feels like we live in a place where trans people (especially TPoC) don't feel validated, or lack the funds for the things that they need to feel valid. Lauryn understands that beauty is a very superficial and shallow thing for some people--but she believes for trans people it's about thriving and putting the best version of themselves forward every day. Lauryn feels The Beauty Endowment will change a lot of people's lives.

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Capri Culpepper (she/her/hers)

Board Member

Renaissance woman, activist for transgender equality, and freelance makeup artist. Capri Culpepper is originally from Anderson, South Carolina and is probably best known for her controversial lawsuit against the DMV after being told to remove her makeup for her drivers license photo. After winning against the DMV, setting a precedent in courts all over the country, Capri has continued her activism by standing up against discriminatory legislation in North and South Carolina, and speaking on various medical panels. 

Capri believes that for trans people, self image often times can be life or death. She hopes that the Beauty Endowment will empower trans people of various gender expressions and backgrounds to be the best version of themselves that they can be by granting them access to products that would otherwise be unreachable. Capri believes that the Beauty Endowment will save lives by allowing people to find their beauty; inside and out.

Capri Culpepper

Capri Culpepper

Gaela Solo (she/her/hers)

Board Member

Gaela Solo is a Californian girl and budding fashionista who is based in NYC.

Gaela lives by the credo of Bill Cunningham, that beauty and fashion are "the armor to survive the reality of everyday life." She knows fully well that everyday life is chaotic and messy, and we need to show up as our authentic selves and even enhance our authentic selves through our presence.