Kathleen Arthur Uses Nonprofit TRASE to Give Youth a Platform


Photo courtesy of Kathleen Arthur.

By Adianna Alston | FOR AC JosepH Media

SALEM COUNTY — Through her multifaceted roles as a licensed master barber, makeup artist, stylist, model coach, entrepreneur and much more, Kathleen Arthur has set out to make her mark on the community.  

Prior to relocating to New Jersey in 2013 to pursue a job opportunity, Arthur lived in Florida where she was born and raised. Arthur attended the American Institute of Beauty studying barbering when she caught the eye of Kyle Bullock, a celebrity barber here in New Jersey. 

“He was just intrigued about the styles, how I was cutting and different things of that nature. And I’ve always heard about New Jersey and thought why not try something new.”

Kathleen Arthur with husband James A. Arthur II. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Arthur.

After interviewing with Bullock and landing the job, Arthur uprooted and moved to New Jersey within two months. 

Arthur shared with Front Runner New Jersey what drove her to become a master barber. 

Kathleen Arthur (right) and business partner Karen Boyd. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Arthur.

“I went to school for cosmetology years ago and I wanted something different and unique to bring to the table,” Arthur said. “I also wanted it to be a challenging job for myself because it’s an industry that is known for men.

“Women are now coming up so I just wanted to make a mark for myself. With that being said I wanted not only to just do hair, I wanted to be able to cut hair. I did the research, signed up for school and became one of the top students.” 

Karen Boyd and model Alaya Thompson, brand ambassador for TRASE. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Arthur.

A few of the many hats that Arthur wears include being a fashion designer and stylist. She took advantage of the opportunity to showcase these talents at last year’s Atlantic City Fashion Week, a high fashion event founded in 2011. Arthur’s collection “Black Elegance” was featured. 

“At the time it was my first opportunity to actually show off my designs and what I customized and created myself. It was a wonderful feeling because now everyone gets to see and know a little more about K.artisme and can put an actual name and face with Kathleen Arthur,” she said. 

Arthur continues to impress as an entrepreneur and founder of her own nonprofit The Rising All Stars Elite Academy (TRASE), a modeling and performing arts group that provides a platform for youth self-expression. Arthur was inspired to start this non-profit after working as a model coach for over 20 years.

“Being a model coach, a mentor and influencer, I deal with a lot of kids,” Arthur said. “So, I started TRASE because I am a model coach and with all the kids I come across, I feel that sometimes the parents can’t reach out to them and need someone close that the parents really trust.

“I have a wonderful relationship with all my parents and all my students and I call each one of them my babies.”

Kathleen Arthur with some of her young models from TRASE in her designs. Courtesy of Kathleen Arthur.

Arthur provided insight into what her non-profit stands for and what she hopes to achieve. 

“We offer opportunities for our youth to present their talent, give to the world, build self-love and confidence, encourage creativity, and most importantly express themselves. We want to contribute to and inspire the community. We want to make a mark.”

One of Arthur’s biggest motivations in life is her daughter, Iyanna Beard, who unfortunately passed away from encephalitis at the age of 12. Arthur describes her daughter as “a leader and a trendsetter.”

Arthur said reflecting on these attributes of her daughter serves to inspire her daily. She shared some of her main takeaways that she hopes her students will implement in their lives.

“If I could give our TRASE stars three things it would be: the confidence to always know their self-worth, the strength to chase their dreams, and the ability to know how to truly love themselves.” 

With strong and passionate community leaders such as Arthur, the future of the youth is in good hands.

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