It didn’t take long for Sheryl Kurland to form deep bonds with the women she met while volunteering at a domestic violence shelter in Florida in 2015.
“I was doing something beneficial, but when I really got to know these women up close and personal, I realized how raw and vacant they felt,” says Kurland, 62, who lives in Longwood. “They were beautiful on the outside, but they considered themselves just nothing and invaluable.”
She began to think about how she could help them find their inner beauty and regain the strength they lost. It was then that she remembered what her mother told her when she was growing up.
“She always said, ‘Sheryl, if you want to feel better go put on a little lipstick.’ That kind of struck me, so I went and bought a whole bunch of lipsticks and I started bringing them to the workshops,” says Kurland, who used to be a freelance writer and marketing consultant.
At the end of each workshop, she would thank the women for coming and give them a lipstick. And then, without fail, everyone lit up when they applied it, she recalls.
“They became happy and they were laughing,” she says. “They were women again. They were helping each other pick the right color. And this happened over and over again. They all feel the magic when they wear it.”
Inspired time and time again, Kurland founded Find Your Fabulosity, which she believes is “the description of what suddenly appeared in these women. It was as their fabulosity.”
Kurland, who now has around 50 volunteers, hit the pavement and started going door to door for donations. It didn’t take long for more shelters to hear about it and then sign up and start giving out lipsticks.
“For women who wear lipstick, it gives them a boost of confidence,” she says. “You suddenly feel a sense of empowerment.”
To date, the organization has donated over 45,000 lipsticks to domestic violence victims at more than 200 domestic violence shelters. She hopes those numbers will only continue to climb.
The stories she hears from the women keep her motivated to make as many ladies as possible feel beautiful.
“One woman said to me that she was just thinking about starting to wear makeup again because she was feeling a little bit good about herself,” she said. “The one thing she was going to go buy first was a lipstick, but she didn’t have enough money and I did that for her. That means everything to me.”