Alf Posen saw the need for an inclusive space in the Gainesville community to receive beauty care. That’s why he decided to create Beauty Marks, an event gathering a variety of cosmetic services into one space.
On Saturday night, Posen and other Gainesville community members hosted the Beauty Marks pop-up show at Moisturizer Gallery, celebrating beauty, fashion and different types of body modification for all body types, genders and identities.
Attendees enjoyed haircuts, waxing, stick-and-poke tattoos and more. DJ Wax Atom provided music for the event.
Other stations included manicures by Pearl Leonard and photo booths where guests could pick their own background and props.
Posen envisioned a queer-friendly space for people to enjoy a wide variety of services at an affordable price.
“I just like the idea of making things accessible for more marginalized groups of people and especially people who don’t feel comfortable going into a salon atmosphere or tattoo shop atmosphere because they can be really anxiety-inducing and pricey on top of it,” he said.
Guests also had access to a free clothing shop at the event, courtesy of donations from the event organizers and La Chua Vintage.
Julia Sanders, one of the event organizers, thought this would be a great way of giving back to the community.
“I had a whole bunch of clothes that I was about to donate to Goodwill, and I was like, ‘I’d much rather that these go back into the community, back towards people that I know and people that would appreciate them,’” she said.
In addition to setting up the free clothing shop, Sanders gave stick-and-poke tattoos at the event.
Sanders tattooed Amada Kaschkarow, 31, who was excited about being able to get a tattoo in a comfortable setting.
“Especially for tattoo shops, a lot of times going in there, it doesn’t really feel super comfortable for me for a lot of different reasons,” Kaschkarow said. “I just think I get anxious in a lot of spaces where you're supposed to be a certain way and it's always nice to know it's a safe space that just reduces anxiety.”
Kaschkarow said the event provided her with affordable self-care, which was especially meaningful for her as a mother of two young children.
Sanders helped organize the event because the message of inclusivity and affordability resonated with her.
“We wanted to create a safe space for people to show up and have fun and party but also feel good about themselves,” she said. “We all kind of came to an agreement about keeping the price for our services as low as possible to kind of just benefit the community.”