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Unshaven Mavens: Growing out with a bang

By Courtney Merchand on October 1, 2014

After three years, the Unshaven Mavens are ready to hang up their razors one last time for the month of October as they gear up for their fourth and final year – but not before challenging themselves to beat their own fundraising record.

Join the Mavens in solid-hair-ity for their last year and make the commitment to not shave your underarms for a month and just let nature run its course.

The initiative was launched in 2011 when co-founders Amie Beausoleil and Malorie Bertrand approached Rethink Breast Cancer with an idea and a “let’s see what we can do” attitude.

“When we came back to them with our first fundraising check, we got their attention,” said Beausoleil. “We wouldn’t be where we are now without them.”

Together, they worked to raise awareness and educate women about the importance of early detection of under arm lumps – a subset of breast cancer that not many women are mindful of. It didn’t take long for the Mavens to become a driving force behind the promotion of healthy, natural skincare products and a platform for all people to challenge beauty norms set by main stream media.

“I went from being a shave-aholic, doing it multiple times a day,” confessed Beausoleil, until she finally put down the razor and embraced her o’naturel self for six long weeks. “Now, I shave maybe once a month.”

Since their start-up in 2011, Unshaven Mavens have raised more than $30,000 for Rethink and their Live, Laugh, Learn program in Ottawa. It gives younger (and young-ish) women dealing with breast cancer an opportunity to have a girl’s night out and socialize with other women who can truly understand and relate.

For their final year, the Mavens are aiming high and looking to raise $15,000.

They will be front and center again this year at Beau’s Oktoberfest bringing back some of their tried and true fundraising tactics – no Beau’s employee will be safe.

The best feature this year: the dunk tank. Employees will be put on the chopping block and the highest bidder will have the chance to dunk them in a “vat full of rank beer”.

The newest addition will be the pop-up “Chop Shop” at the Mavens booth. Salon My Place will be donating their time and services to cut hair and trim beards right on the spot.

And who could forget the annual Oktoberfest shave-a-thon. Rumour has it that a Beau’s employee is willing to put his sell of his luscious locks at $100 an inch. Did we mention he has 26 inches of hair?

It may be the end of an inspirational, heartwarming campaign but for many, it’s just the beginning of a new look on life. The Unshaven Mavens have made a difference in the lives of so many young women living in Ottawa. From those living with breast cancer to those feeling self-conscious in their own skin – the Mavens have become a driving force behind women empowerment in the community.

For better or for worse, fuzzy pits are here to stay.

Embrace the Unshaven Maven way, because “humour is the best approach!”

Join the Unshaven Mavens at Oktoberfest on Friday Oct. 3 and Saturday Oct. 4 and at their Pit Stop at terra20 on Thursday, Oct. 16.