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Beverly Mascoll is a Canadian businesswoman, fundraiser, community leader, and Member of the Order of Canada.
An astute[according to whom?] businesswoman and community leader, Nova Scotia-born Beverly Mascoll was hailed as a Canadian trailblazer. After her family relocated to Toronto in her early teens, Mascoll worked as a receptionist at a leading beauty supply company. She quickly noticed a business niche that needed to be filled - black hair-care products were scarce. In 1970, she took $700 and incorporated her own company servicing this underserved segment of the population. An unknown in the industry, Mascoll convinced a major U.S. manufacturer to be their first Canadian distributor. She started selling products from the trunk of her car.
Mascoll Beauty Supply grew to become a major player in the Canadian beauty supply industry. In addition to a chain of retail outlets, the company also manufactured and distributed products across the country. The retail outlets were a hub for many new Black-Canadian immigrants. The stores were a validation of their identity in a new country.
Community activism ran parallel to Mascoll’s business endeavors. She was involved with several community organizations including the Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund (awarding excellence to Black-Canadian achievers), Camp Jumoke (a camp for children with Sickle Cell Anemia) and the Ontario Black History Society. Mascoll also led fundraising efforts to establish the first Black Canadian Studies program at Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University. In 1996, she founded the Beverly Mascoll Community Foundation to assist “youth, women and people of color”.
Education also played a significant role in Mascoll’s life. She was keen on educating her customers, organizing trade events and seminars specific to her clientele. Mascoll was also passionate about her own educational pursuits. Not being able to afford a university education after high-school, Mascoll, at age 55, enrolled full-time in the Women's Studies program at York University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in 2000.
Beverly Mascoll died from complications due to breast cancer in 2001. She was 59.
Awards and honors
- Mascoll received several awards and acknowledgements for her contributions to Canadian society. She received the Governor General’s Commemorative Medal, the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews Award, the YWCA Women of Distinction Award and the Harry Jerome Award for Achievement in Business.
- In 1998 Mascoll was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honor.
- In 1999, she received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Toronto’s Ryerson University.
- In her native Nova Scotia, Mascoll was honored posthumously with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University.