I want to do trade with nations that are rebuilding.
Where do I begin?
First of all, good for you and your company! We are on a mission to encourage others to find ways to source products from countries that are rebuilding. For us, we realize we are just scratching the surface alone, but as a collective and with a long term commitment we can make a difference in the long run. We recommend you begin with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Visit their web site and you will find a great deal of information and research already done. We also recommend visiting the web site of Building Markets. They helped us to match up with our supplier in Haiti. Building Markets has links to prequalified suppliers offering a range of products your company can buy.
Are you a charity?
We are not a charity. The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc is an incorporated business that believes in sourcing products from countries that are rebuilding to make a positive impact over long term relationships.
Why did you start The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc and how much do you invest in countries that are rebuilding?
We are a baby company that just launched in 2010. We began with a very small investment, all that our CEO could afford on her credit card. At the start we could not get loans for our business concept. A $2000 purchase was made for one cup of orange blossom oil from our supplier in Afghanistan to make a small run of fragrances to sell in a couple of stores. With the support of increased sales and investment, by consumers who support the idea of business that uses its buying power to make a difference, the company bought more essential oils.
After we gained investment on CBC’s Dragons Den when we went with Philanthropist, W. Brett Wilson, we were able to purchase even more oils to put legal dollars into the economy of Afghanistan. During our short time in business, The 7 Virtues has invested over $100,000 in purchases of essential oils in Afghanistan and has begun to invest in Haiti.
We believe that with this steady increase in purchases we will one day help our supplier, Abdullah Arsala, owner of Gulestan Essential Oils in Jalalabad, Afghanistan to help more farmers get off the illegal poppy crop. It’s an ambitious goal that our CEO and her supplier are committed to over the long haul. To date, our CEO has not drawn a salary from The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc to ensure the baby company can survive a very competitive industry in which the company has no big budget for advertising and counts on word of mouth to help her grow the company to reach the goals of her suppliers.
What inspired your company to invest in Afghanistan?
Our CEO was inspired by her best friend who was wounded in Afghanistan. She wanted to support his mission of economic empowerment in her own small way. She read about Abdullah Arsala, owner of a distillery in Jalalabad, Afghanistan who was trying to support his tribe by creating legal crops of orange blossom and rose instead of the poppy crop that accounts for 90% of the world’s heroin supply. It’s in our best interests not to be overwhelmed, but to just begin and do something pro active to help change this.
What are The 7 Virtues?
The 7 Virtues are: Wonder, Moderation, Truth, Courage, Justice, Wisdom and Beauty. They are based upon the best selling book written by CEO, Barb Stegemann, The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen - a woman’s guide to living & leading in an illogical world.
Do you do animal testing?
We do not do animal testing. Our fragrances are vegan, paraben free and do not contain phthalates.