In her mid-40s, although elevating two daughters, Elsie Damus of Uniondale just one working day declared she would open a elegance provide store in her hometown.
“My father was like, ‘Beauty provide? What do we know about that?’ ” Damus’ daughter Claudy Damus-Makelele of Merrick said.
” ‘Nothing,’ ” her mother told her father. ” ‘But we’re heading to figure it out.’ “
Figure it out she did.
The retail store — Claudy’s Elegance Source, named for Damus’ daughter — thrived for 36 years, marketing the two to corporate clients and area citizens, her spouse and children explained.
But Damus, who died June 20 at age 80, used the last 12 months of her lifestyle attempting to preserve the business enterprise, her daughter reported. The coronavirus pandemic compelled the store to close for four months, customers canceled contracts and business enterprise dropped by 80%, the loved ones claimed. Damus, who was briefly hospitalized with COVID-19, reluctantly was unable to fund 3 yearly significant college scholarships.
The store’s plight was profiled in a May 20 Newsday tale about the troubles struggling with minority-owned companies throughout the pandemic.
Damus died from pulmonary issues at Nassau College Clinical Center in East Meadow. Two of the nurses who tended to her had gained scholarships endowed by Damus when they graduated from Uniondale Significant University, her daughter stated.
In the Newsday tale, Damus and her loved ones said they have been advised they did not qualify for federal money guidance as a minority-owned enterprise, even even though Damus was a Haitian immigrant.
Damus-Makelele reported Thursday she was not sure the organization would endure.
“So many people today arrived at out, but to no avail,” Damus-Makelele claimed. “We’re continue to at the rear of in our payments and even now at the rear of in all the things.”
Damus-Makelele and her sister, Nancy Nemorin of Merrick, are running the store though keeping down other full-time work opportunities. Damus-Makelele is associate superintendent of Japanese Suffolk BOCES Nemorin is a professor at Kingsborough Community School in Brooklyn.
Uniondale Chamber of Commerce president Mariano Ugalde mentioned Damus “was a extremely perfectly-beloved determine in the neighborhood. … I simply cannot notify you how huge a decline this is for Uniondale.”
Damus came to the United States from Haiti when she was 16, her family stated. She graduated in 1975 from the Trend Institute of Know-how in Manhattan, then worked as a style designer for a Manhattan outfits corporation.
“She then determined, ‘I don’t know everything about the splendor supply small business, but I’m going to open a beauty provide organization,'” Damus-Makelele stated.
In addition to her two daughters, Damus is survived by her husband, Claude, five sisters and three grandchildren.
A funeral support was held on June 26 at Hartnett Funeral Dwelling in Uniondale. She was buried that day at Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale.
Times just before Damus died, her daughters identified a be aware from her that mentioned in part, “Bear in mind, for me my prospects ended up usually range 1.”
“She really prepared my sister and I for this really second our total lives. She modeled for me what it intended to be a great spouse. She absolutely modeled for me dignity and grace,” Damus-Makelele claimed. “She’s heading to dwell on in her clients [and] in her youthful folks. That I know for sure.”