In her mid-40s, though raising two daughters, Elsie Damus of Uniondale 1 working day declared she would open up a magnificence provide retail outlet in her hometown.
“My father was like, ‘Beauty source? What do we know about that?’ ” Damus’ daughter Claudy Damus-Makelele of Merrick reported.
” ‘Nothing,’ ” her mother told her father. ” ‘But we’re heading to determine it out.’ “
Determine it out she did.
The retail outlet — Claudy’s Attractiveness Supply, named for Damus’ daughter — thrived for 36 several years, advertising both equally to corporate shoppers and local residents, her loved ones stated.
But Damus, who died June 20 at age 80, put in the closing calendar year of her life striving to save the organization, her daughter mentioned. The coronavirus pandemic forced the retail outlet to near for four months, clients canceled contracts and company dropped by 80%, the family mentioned. Damus, who was briefly hospitalized with COVID-19, reluctantly was unable to fund three yearly higher faculty scholarships.
The store’s plight was profiled in a May 20 Newsday tale about the worries going through minority-owned organizations throughout the pandemic.
Damus died from pulmonary troubles at Nassau College Medical Middle in East Meadow. Two of the nurses who tended to her had been given scholarships endowed by Damus when they graduated from Uniondale Large School, her daughter reported.
In the Newsday story, Damus and her loved ones mentioned they were instructed they did not qualify for federal fiscal aid as a minority-owned business, even while Damus was a Haitian immigrant.
Damus-Makelele said Thursday she was not absolutely sure the business would endure.
“So several individuals achieved out, but to no avail,” Damus-Makelele said. “We’re even now driving in our payments and still at the rear of in every little thing.”
Damus-Makelele and her sister, Nancy Nemorin of Merrick, are running the keep whilst holding down other entire-time positions. Damus-Makelele is associate superintendent of Eastern Suffolk BOCES Nemorin is a professor at Kingsborough Community Faculty in Brooklyn.
Uniondale Chamber of Commerce president Mariano Ugalde mentioned Damus “was a quite very well-beloved determine in the neighborhood. … I just cannot explain to you how large a decline this is for Uniondale.”
Damus arrived to the United States from Haiti when she was 16, her spouse and children stated. She graduated in 1975 from the Manner Institute of Technological know-how in Manhattan, then worked as a trend designer for a Manhattan clothing organization.
“She then made the decision, ‘I do not know just about anything about the beauty provide business, but I’m going to open up a magnificence provide business enterprise,'” Damus-Makelele claimed.
In addition to her two daughters, Damus is survived by her partner, Claude, five sisters and three grandchildren.
A funeral assistance was held on June 26 at Hartnett Funeral Dwelling in Uniondale. She was buried that working day at Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale.
Times prior to Damus died, her daughters observed a notice from her that reported in section, “Keep in mind, for me my customers ended up always quantity 1.”
“She in fact ready my sister and I for this very instant our overall life. She modeled for me what it intended to be a superior spouse. She definitely modeled for me dignity and grace,” Damus-Makelele said. “She’s going to stay on in her buyers [and] in her young persons. That I know for positive.”