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Arizona Entrepreneurs Give State a Much-Needed Makeover

IJ’s lawsuit in Nevada representing two Las Vegas makeup artists has inspired legislative change in Arizona. In Nevada, makeup artists who want to teach others their craft must obtain cosmetology instructor licenses and turn their schools into state-licensed cosmetology schools.

Across the border in Arizona, professional makeup artist Leiah Scheibel and her business partner, Alexandra Bradberry, had a dream to open a studio and offer makeup-application services for weddings, shows and special events. That dream nearly ran aground when the Arizona Board of Cosmetology told them that only state-licensed cosmetologists can apply makeup for compensation. This made no sense to Leiah and Alexandra because cosmetology schools do not teach makeup artistry. Befuddled and angry, they began searching for a solution. That search led them to IJ.

Inspired by IJ’s Nevada case, Leiah and Alex met with IJ Arizona. Our office manager and paralegal Kileen Lindgren, whose background is in legislative affairs, suggested taking a legislative approach. Kileen registered as a lobbyist, found a like-minded bill sponsor in Senator Kimberly Yee and spearheaded the campaign. The bill passed both houses with little opposition, and on March 23, the governor signed the bill exempting makeup artists from the Board’s jurisdiction. They plan to open their business in August—something they would have done this past September had it not been for the cosmetology licensing scheme. Nevertheless, with persistence and principles, dreams do come true!

Tim Keller is the managing attorney of the IJ Arizona office.

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