But before I talk about us, let me just take a moment to mention Radiant Cosmetics;
Radiant Cosmetics, and Nicole Marrett in particular; we salute you! In fact, we want to be like you! Thank you for honing in on exactly the type of business we want to become.
Here is one company I am particularly inspired by. I like it so much I may even be talked into wearing a bit of mascara and lip-gloss myself!
Their mission is simple, it reads:
"Our mission is to help garner awareness for human trafficking by raising funds through cosmetics, to provide resources for those on the forefront of change, as well as victims of trafficking."
Based in America, Radiant Cosmetics has begun to make a name for itself in the fashion industry for its high quality make-up and desire to help change the world by selling one lipstick at a time.
Nicole comments, "The cosmetics industry generates $170 billion annually. Women dominate this industry and of the over 2 million human beings trafficked each year, 80% are women and girls. My dream is to awaken a generation of women to not sit back and allow this injustice to happen to our fellow sisters."
And, in the process, she has awoken a few men too!
Its simple, its a quality product, and its making a difference to trafficking in the US. It is also something we, as ScENT would like to bring here some time in the future but aside from that, Nicole's story has been a little inspiration at a time when it was much needed, as ScENT walks through the difficulties of the last few months with silly EU nonsense. Nicole stuck to her vision, her expertise and has successfully been able to manage creating a change within a fickle and difficult cosmetics industry.
Radiant, like us, don’t believe non-profits are the only ones who should be working toward change, but firmly believe "for profit businesses" can and should be a part of transforming this world for the better. The driving force behind their products is a heart for justice and they want their customers to get on board with them.
So, to ScENT then, what model of social business are we going to use? This has perhaps always been our stumbling block. How do we do the social bit? Initially, we felt we needed to be profitable before being charitable. Our heart on this however has been changed of late - we feel we need to draw a line in the sand and just start being what we want to be and in the process recruit enough believers to buy from us so that we can be both profitable and charitable at the same time.
We have therefore taken the decision to strive to donate as much as possible to some children in Nigeria. Radiant is looking at Trafficking (something we have a heart for - and hope to support by stocking their products), we want to look at the idea of "The Fatherless" and to that end have chosen a little known charity called "Stepping Stones" (more about them in a later post).
Just like Radiant we have decided to donate a minimum of 20% of profits from each purchase. This means products bought from us will have 20% of the RRP profit margin and wholesale orders will have 20% of the wholesale profit margin. As our company grows, we promise to increase our efforts physically, financially and spiritually to continue.
We are going a few steps further. We are also committed to ensuring that we are ethical from source right through to division of profits. We will only buy organic products where available because we believe the chemicals used are bad for the growers and local people - never mind your skin! We will buy fairly traded products were available and are actively sourcing new ethically sourced ingredients.
We are excited about committing to social enterprise helping locally. To that end, as we grow, we hope to offer apprenticeships, offer community group workshops, employment in deprived areas and become a local agent of social change. In fact we are looking at options in this area at this very minute.