In celebration of International Women’s Day this year, Barb Stegemann, CEO of The 7 Virtues — an award-winning social enterprise — launched a new product to help combat period poverty in Nepal.
Barb began her company with the belief that business can be used as a source for good and that when you lead with ROL (a Return on Love), the ROI will follow. With the mantra of “make perfume not war”, The 7 Virtues is a clean perfume brand that sources organic, fair trade essential oils from countries experiencing turmoil (such as Afghanistan, Haiti, and Rwanda).
Since launching in 2011, The 7 Virtues has grown into an award-winning social enterprise and a leader in the clean and conscious beauty movement. Barb’s products are sold exclusively in Sephora stores in 15 countries, and The 7 Virtues has become the #1 selling “Clean at Sephora” perfume brand in both the US and Canada.
Business for a Better World
Barb’s socially minded entrepreneurial vision was formed after her best friend, a soldier, was severely wounded in Afghanistan. She was determined to find a way to help innocent people affected by war and upheaval.
Through Turquoise Mountain, an NGO dedicated to rebuilding traditional industry in Afghanistan, Barb was connected with the founder of Gulestan Essential Oils in Jalalabad and purchased $2000 worth of orange blossom oil directly from Afghani farmers on her personal Visa card. After nine months, she produced her first perfume, the Afghanistan Orange Blossom.
Barb appeared on Dragons’ Den seeking more investment so she could continue growing her company and expanding retail sales. She became the first woman from Atlantic Canada to land a venture capital deal and went on to become the “Top Game Changer” in the history of the show.
In a very competitive retail space, Barb managed to disrupt an entire industry from her garage, armed with only a personal Visa card and a dream. The 7 Virtues not only competes with other luxury perfumes today but has spearheaded a new movement of clean and conscious beauty.
Shattering Stigma and Limitations for Women and Girls
With the release of her new perfume, Lotus Pear, in 2022, Barb is supporting women and girls in Nepal in partnership with Days for Girls, an international organization that seeks to end period poverty. Over 500 million women, girls, and people who menstruate experience period poverty due to a lack of access to proper supplies and education.
Partial profits from the sale of Lotus Pear will go towards supporting Days for Girls and their efforts in advancing menstrual equity, health, dignity, and opportunity for all across the globe. Lotus Pear is already one of their most popular fragrances.
As a keynote speaker, Barb shares her innovative approach to business with audiences to show leaders and organizations how to excel in today’s marketplace through doing good. She empowers audiences to embrace their inner disrupter to effect change, both at home and across the globe.
Interested in learning more about Barb and what she can bring to your next event? Email us at [email protected].