Barb Stegemann: Founder & CEO of The 7 Virtues

Episode 452

Barb Stegemann is a visionary entrepreneur on a mission. As the Founder and CEO of The 7 Virtues, she is making a difference in the world transforming her passion for ethical sourcing and positive change into a thriving business creating groundbreaking fragrances that source essential oils from countries rebuilding after war or strife. The 7 Virtues has flourished, capturing the attention of consumers worldwide who share her passion for ethical consumption. The company's innovative fragrance line, crafted from ingredients sourced in countries such as Afghanistan, Haiti, and Rwanda, has gained recognition for its exceptional quality and the positive impact it generates. I cannot wait for you to hear more about Barb’s entrepreneurial journey which will undoubtedly leave you very inspired. Her story building this incredible fragrance brand is one that you won’t want to miss! On this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be, you just want to make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone. And welcome back to the Kara Goldin show. I am so excited to have my next guest. Here we have Barb Stegemann, who is the founder and CEO of an incredible brand with an incredible story. It’s called the 7 Virtues. And Barb is a visionary entrepreneur, visionary leader on a mission as the founder and CEO of the 7 Virtues, she’s making a difference in the world transforming her passion for ethical sourcing and positive change into a thriving business. And she’s created groundbreaking fragrances that are to die for. Plus, they are sourced with essential oils from countries rebuilding after war, or strife. And the 7 Virtues has flourished into this massive business. You can get it in Sephora, exclusively all over the world. She just mentioned to me in 18 countries, but also online. Like, as I mentioned, there’s an incredible story that I’m going to let Barb share with all of us. But by purchasing these fragrances, consumers actively participate in a larger movement towards peace and prosperity, which makes everybody feel amazing. But I’m excited to hear more about her journey and the backstory and where she’s going from here. So welcome, Barb.

Barb Stegemann 2:10
Thanks for having me here. This is great.

Kara Goldin 2:13
Yeah, awesome. Well, thank you so much. So let’s start at the beginning. Can you start with the backstory, I know that you started with a book, which I have and read, which is so incredible. And it’s now in its eighth edition. So exciting. But I’d love to hear a little bit more of how, how even the book came about. And and where did all of this begin?

Barb Stegemann 2:39
Yeah, that’s great question. I think everyone has a book inside of them. You know, we all have a journey, we all have a story. And it’s about perhaps having the trigger or the moment that gets you worked up enough. You have to get worked up about the world. As you know, when you’ve done with your work at hint, I think that you have to get worked up. And I think that often what causes the dream not to materialize is when we don’t get worked up enough. And I got worked up. My best friend and mentor in university was serving in a peaceful Shura in Afghanistan, number of the army. And he was discussing how to bring clean drinking water and health care to the families, the village. And he was asked in the head by the Taliban. He was not supposed to make it through the night, we went on the longest healing journey. And he he survived. And so I did what anyone would do for their best friend. I told him in the hospital, they said you heal I got this. And I realized I don’t have this. I’m not a brave soldier. I’m not a world leader. And I thought wait a second, women alibi empower women on the voting power, if we can actually harness that power, we could end this ridiculous expensive cycle of war that as we’ve seen, the Taliban have just taken over again and Afghanistan, after billions of dollars were spent so much blood was shed unnecessarily. And the key to really reversing this cycle is not continuing the cycle of war, but rather to empower women to run for office launch companies and bullying make the kinds of policies we are required to end corruption in these countries. So I started with the book. And now it’s just a bunch of go into ninth edition I have the first edition of It’s going into the support stories. So women would launch companies and bullying run for office. And then I brought the thesis to life the books called the 7 Virtues of a philosopher queen. And then it was reading about farmers in Afghanistan and they were growing legal orange blossom and Rose and the Taliban were knocking over their distillery and I was like, That’s it. That’s my way of carrying the mission of peace. And so I started buying their oils on my Visa card. No one would believe in my idea and it was made fun of and I persevered with my family that supported me. And fast forward. Here we are. We will talk about a lot of stuff along the way but I think you just have to get worked up enough about the world and once you do that, I think a lot of beauty flows out of us as as, as good and citizens, you know?

Kara Goldin 5:01
Yeah, no, absolutely. So you have these oils, and you’re, you have an incredible book, and you’re getting people fired up to start companies. But what was it? At that moment when you had the oil that gave you the idea? I should actually put this into a physical product and get it out there and sell it?

Barb Stegemann 5:26
It’s great question. It’s probably the strangest answer you’ve ever heard. I always thought in the back of the book, the artwork, I always thought we’d make a beautiful perfume. And I would tell all my friends and be like, this is the prettiest thing ever, almost like, you know, when your instinct tells you, you get these cues, you get these markers about life, and we ignore them. But when you listen to them, something magical happens, because there’s these signposts all around you if your President if he listened to your soul, you know, mind body, spirit connect, and what this book is all based on. And I told all my friends, and then when I read about Abdullah, I was reading and I knew that was the thesis rising and part of the book. And that was the vision, I had this sort of premonition that this could be something beautiful. So it wasn’t even really a question of what I would do with it, it was going into the perfume bottle that I envisioned on the back of the book. And, and for me, it was really about, you know, if I’m going to talk about this philosophy to empower women, that I’m going to walk out last two, that I should take risks as well as it wasn’t just talking. And so we’re bringing the thesis to life, I’m showing people that my perfumes are just one example of following the story of wisdom of the virtues, and that it served men for 2400 years back from Socrates and Plato, Marcus Aurelius. So I felt like, it was important to follow my instincts, follow my vision, and also walk on glass to really to show that it’s possible and Oh, my God, we almost were in business a couple of times is a rocky journey. I don’t want anybody out there thinking that, you know, is this easy? Oh, I just thought I read a book. And I, you know, it was two years of sitting and writing every morning at 5am. You know, for I took the kids to school, and it was, you know, you’ve got to commit. But the Firedog part is,

Kara Goldin 7:21
is important. Definitely. So where did the name the 7 Virtues come from?

Barb Stegemann 7:26
Yeah, great question. Well, when I was writing the book, I again, going back to Plato’s Republic, a book I read when I studied philosophy with Captain Drayton University. And Plato’s Republic is all about following the virtues in life. And so I took the main four stoic virtues that Socrates and the boys use, you have truth, courage, justice, and wisdom. And then I kept thinking, it can’t be called the Four Virtues. It’s for women. And there’s virtues that I feel that, you know, my mother taught me a lot of great things, but there were some things I wasn’t armed with to navigate this world with men. And so as we were talking earlier, about, you know, being in groups where you’re the only woman and, and to understand how to shape the language, and starts with the virtues, and so, truth, courage, justice, wisdom, adding three more for women wonder instead of judgment, we’re so powerful and not judging others, but we judge ourselves we have this self talk that goes on and on and on. And it’s always being inundated from media, social media feeds. And please don’t follow your social media feed, go see things but just get out of there because 80% of thoughts are negative after So, wonder, as daily practice daily practice, like a muscle and when you start with wonder, all the resources you need will appear guaranteed I was raised by a single mom on assisted living, and I was always living this idea of like, wonder what would happen today? I wonder if I tried this what would happen rather than well, you tried that before or you can’t do that. And you know, I have a cheeky I call it the cheeky Socratic method when people tell you you can’t do something because everyone’s been underestimated. I love being underestimated. Kevin O’Leary underestimated me on Dragon’s Den, which is like Shark Tank, he was on our show first in Canada, and he missed the boat. He told me that years later, it felt good to be vindicated. But imagine if I’d ever given up and listen to to Kevin O’Leary or any of the detractors. So you can’t but you just stay in that state of wonder, and absolutely everything you need will appear. But when you judge yourself or say, Well, I can’t do that you’re not going to set up. The next virtue is balance. You know, making sure you go through your walk, making sure you take time for yourself. When a person says to me, Oh, my day was so full, I had no time for myself. I don’t understand how you make an appointment with yourself. You’ve got this body has to take you to 110 So it’s got to be respected and honored and not too much attention. Is this what Plato wrote about in the original philosopher king, that don’t give too much attention to the soul, not too much attention. For the body, not too much to the mind, but a balance of all three, and you call it the good life. When you have that balance of the tripartite soul, the good life happens. And so that’s the daily quest is keeping all three in check. And then the seventh virtue, after truth, courage, justice or wisdom is beauty. But not the way we’ve been taught at the beauty counter, or the billboards or the commercials or social media. But beauty of Michelangelo’s method is great sculptor, a great philosopher, he believed that beauty is expression over form. So what’s form, you know, he doesn’t believe that your beauty. So if you’re born in the Twiggy era, and you’re skinny, they say, that’s your beauty. So that’s not your view. You’re born in the Renaissance, you’re the luxurious, they say, that’s your brilliance. And that’s not your beauty, your beauty is your expression. And that is your power and your dignity. That is your beauty never handed over. And if we taught our daughters that the beauty is their power, and their dignity, we would not lose little girls to the streets, or eating disorders, or at least in Canada, it’s $8 billion annually for wife battery that cost I know, it’d be higher in the US because you have a higher population. But the reality is that when a woman knows that her beauty is her power, and her dignity, and she doesn’t allow anyone to take that from her different decisions are made, different decisions are made, regardless of your situation, whether you’re up against Kevin O’Leary, whether you’re in a trailer on on assisted living like me, when your power and dignity are always maintained. And even if you don’t agree with another, you respect their power and dignity, you can have tough conversations, you can have those hard conversations that are important, that I think really make the world go round. But the person is not being judged, the person is still filled with wonder, even though they might be in opposition. And I think that our world leaders need to apply that. So you know, many, many, many leaders read philosophy and it’s, to me, the most powerful foundation for anything, even a beauty company to have philosophy as your foundation, those stoic virtues. And what’s great about them is they’re not religious. So it doesn’t matter what faith you are. There, everybody’s saying I was raised half Jewish, half Catholic. And both religions have the virtues so all my Muslim friends, and my partners are a muslim faith, and they have the virtues. And if I look into my Christian friends, follow the virtues, and that my friends that are agnostic, and atheists follow the virtues and I’m left going, Wow, we have a language that crosses everything. It’s not age related or cultural related or anything. It’s to me that is perhaps why it resonates, I think,

Kara Goldin 12:39
with so many people. No, I love that. So what were you doing before launching this company?

Barb Stegemann 12:47
Yeah, I just finished my second degree. I was a flight attendant in between my degrees during a recession best job ever. I called it my flying boardroom. Because one in six people are afraid to fly. And I knew that those people in business class never would have spoken to me on the ground. So I had this captive audience. And I would read the business section in the news newspaper for like nine years, and I would then go to work. And I was never just pouring coffee. And that’s where I go back to this idea of being in a state of wonder. You’re never just pouring coffee. For me. It was about Who are we going to meet today? What’s going to happen. And if you’re focused on the juice boxes in the trolley, and someone didn’t stack enough, then you’re going to miss the person in front of you. And that gets back to we are never what we appear to be. We are humans talking to souls. And when two souls connect doesn’t matter if one serving and one’s receiving two souls honor each other in every exchange, magic happens. And so I was I finished my journalism a finished my five minute career I was took my journalism degree during it. So after I graduated with my journalism degree, I started my own little boutique PR firm, and I really cool clients. I was doing fundraisers for Chip Wilson at Lululemon flip flops worry, and he and his wife, Shannon thanked me in their backyard. And I was I was learning from the titans of business. And I was realizing that, you know, I have gifts and I can do this and just watching them by osmosis was just so invigorating. And so when Trevor was wounded, I started with the book, I was blessed that I had my little boutique PR firm, I could visit him three days a week in the hospital without asking my boss for permission. And took those two years to write the book. And then when I brought I was when I brought the thesis to life with the person that was that it took off but the book kind of took off too. I started doing all kinds of speaking engagements and have a couple of speakers bureaus that booked me and and it’s been a wild ride, I must say. So really just following a following where the world takes me is I know that sounds kind of strange, but the world just sort of takes me to places and I go whether it’s Haiti, Rwanda, these countries that I traveled to a To really try to make a difference, you know?

Kara Goldin 15:04
That’s awesome. So when you started looking at the fragrance industry, what was it that you really saw was missing? You? I would imagine it had something to do with sourcing, because you’re still sourcing your oils from various parts of the world that are in some pretty needed areas. So I’d love to hear that story. What you really saw was missing. Yeah.

Barb Stegemann 15:29
Unless your questions, Kara. They’re so great.

Kara Goldin 15:32
I Yeah. Well, a kind of an entrepreneur to another right.

Barb Stegemann 15:37
Good question. She’s lived this. So yeah, because I’m based in Canada. It started with you know, I just wanted to help these farmers in Afghanistan, I knew nothing about the business. I got a contract perfumer to help me I led the vision on how to design it not unlike Chanel, or Coco Chanel or Estee Lauder, they weren’t the chemists, you don’t need to be the chemist, you don’t need to be all things, but you have to have the vision. And so I created the Senate with her a contract manufacturer or first Senate. And but it was funny because people come to me and be like, you’ll never get that perfume into the perfume store. And so I use my cheeky Socratic method when people say that to me, so they said, You’ll never get that perfume into the perfume store. It has one question back. Why is that what happened to you the last time you made a perfume. And here are these people are giving me their opinion, they’ve never made a perfume, then don’t tell me when I can and can’t do. And then the other thing I realized was, you know, 40% of workplaces in Canada are sent free. They have these sent free policies. So I created the first clean perfume 13 years ago, were the first way to know what clean was we didn’t know what social enterprise was, there were no words for this, we immediately make sure that we’re no solid, no parabens, no sulfates, no bad chemicals in our in our perfumes, because my thinking is I’m not going to help these farmers and then harm your skin. You know, these, these hormone inhibitors are an 80% of products. Like it’s ridiculous. So I made sure that none of that was in there. And that was unheard of. That was like so unheard of, you know. And then and then of course, it was sort of thing. We just went wherever countries came to us. So, you know, I was invited to go to Haiti, with the Clinton Foundation several times President Clinton and Secretary Clinton sourced or vetiver from they’re always looking for countries to help us countries that we can help but also for us to actually tell their story. So that we can actually shine light on things that the media doesn’t shine light on, because there is beauty all around the world, even where there’s suffering, we want to transport you there through scent. And, and then I was very blessed. Christina lamb. I met her at the Afghan Embassy in London and she is a war correspondent. But she also co wrote I am Malala with Malala. And Christina Atlanta. Top war correspondents in the world wrote the sewing circles of Iraq and Afghanistan. She’s just become a an amazing friend of ours. And she loves birthday. So she wrote a story on us in the Sunday Times. And the owner of the seventh largest fragrance house in the world read about me, Chris Pickthall reached out to me, took me under his wing. And instead of having sort of cookie cutter perfumes created from just batches, they have chemists a full team that will let me go as many as like, as many versions as I need. My last one was 51 versions to get it on the podium of excellence, you know, has to be like, Oh my God, you know, they got an Olympian, you know, you think about the fourth runner up in the Olympic heat, no one ever hears about them, but they were only point 04 seconds away. And so I always think, what is that gymnast a quad, that thing that gets you on the podium. And he fully believes in that with me and his team, and they are eager, no matter how many changes we do. And it gets us to excellence. I think that’s, that’s really part of the secret of our success. You can have all the great story, you can have all the clean ingredients, you can have all that but at the end of the day, does it smell great? Does it make me feel good, does it last. And that’s really the core of any great fragrance. And I don’t think we are immune to that either. So it’s very important that we honor a client who parts with their dollars, to have that perfume of ours, and to ensure that it gives them all the things that they expect in a great fragrance despite the fact that it’s clean and you know, socially responsible, all of those things too. And if we prove that you can make eco Luxe products that you can, you can create something that can become a legacy brand even though you’re an Indian to start, but that that’s a possible stretch and a surge that can occur for us and so I find that very exciting. And I think for anyone out there listening or watching in business to realize that you know, as long as you stick with the core of an industry, the main and simplify it keep it simple as you heard me say it’s just simple doesn’t last. Does it smell good on me too. I like it. Great cut that cord that We don’t do too many focus groups on that. But then from there, you know, you really have to make sure that it’s a story that people can relate to. That’s genuine. If the DNA is so real, so authentic, I think clients get tired of the Halo, after we’re ready just runs and grabs a trend, we don’t actually follow the trends. And I think that’s another great thing about not being from the industry is we kind of create our own path. And you know, doing clean before it was cool, helped me to figure out how to crack the code and how to make a long lasting, clean scent. Now, many people know how to do that, you just have to double the fragrance oils, if you’re going to take all that make sure that none of the thought leads in garbage is in there. But natural vanilla, these other elements, they’re all natural fixatives, that we infused it with organic sugar cane alcohol. So it’s like biting into an organic peach. It just tastes better. And so these are some of the things that we did. And I think that was really important that we were ahead of our time, even though we almost went out of business a few times really important, because we took the time to figure out this industry and help create it in many ways. Yeah. And I think when you are in Hellblazer, you’re not following the rules, you’re doing what feels right. And I think that’s authentic DNA, as you know, in your business, right? The the whole idea of having authentic DNA and just doing what feels right. And never underestimate your internal compass or your instincts. I think that they’re, they’re sharp, I think our instincts are strong and solid. And the more we listen to them, the more success we have, you know,

Kara Goldin 21:34
that’s terrific. So you’re part of the Sephora accelerate program. And as I mentioned in the beginning, you’re also part of our or you exclusively sell in Sephora in 18 countries. That’s amazing. So how did you get to be part of that program? I should say, had you started your company before you got into the accelerate program? Or was it actually before things got on the shelf?

Barb Stegemann 22:02
No, great question. We were already in business in stores. We were in big department stores. But you know, the perfumes I had created originally in 2010. When we started were kind of shameful packaging. Probably not the greatest sense. But I just started right at the start, you know, I don’t believe in perfection is waiting for things to be perfect. I joke that you know, because I’m from assisted living in a trailer, I always say I’m I have half assed itis. Let’s just go just ask questions, ask great questions. You’ll figure it out, find mentors and just start your journey waiting for it to be perfect. Well, we just become wannabes, then don’t wait. We’re waiting for perfect. So I was a low point in our time I actually framed the amount of money we made that year was 2016. So six years, and it’s really bleak things were changing. My my gen Zed, millennial kids were now becoming the buying power. And things were shifting some fours were happening. And I was in the old sort of broken model. And I, I never blame a partner, I kind of look at myself and look within and whenever I don’t know what to do in life, I volunteer. So I went to Haiti after Hurricane Matthew. I was teaching women marketing, I scraped up whatever little money we had to fly there. And it was just my husband and my son and I, and a couple of contractors. And while I was there, I really do believe in volunteering, because you you let go your ego and you realize you have other ways to serve on this earth. And it’ll all be all right and that people need to and there’s nothing more fulfilling no amount of money that fills your bank account can come close to the fulfillment of purpose and sitting with these women and helping them with their companies. I just felt so good alive and recharged all over and my eyes were open to corruption learning about what was happening there was really just making me feel like you know, maybe I’ll just run for office like you’re just trying to find a way to serve and literally in that moment so for wrote me and wanted me and I told all my girlfriend’s and this was the key why volunteering matter on many levels, but to my girlfriend’s one of my girlfriend has a castor oil farm, and it’s a co op for women. And she told me about the Sephora accelerator program, and I never heard of his name. And you know, I launched it in my garage I didn’t know it was doing. I needed that mentorship. So when I met with I visualized for 28 days, I visualized meeting with my merchants and getting in that program in 1800 women apply only 10 get it and so the odds are already stacked against you. But hey, the odds have been stacked against me from the start. So I went to meet with my merchants and they said look, I’m not going to give you this original line. I’m going to stick with the same country same oils but I want to create all new perfumes all new packaging that my gen Zed daughter would love and I got into the program and it changed My whole life my mentor said, he had worked Procter and Gamble before Sephora. And he said, I’ve never seen a company move as fast as yours. And there was three people, my son and my husband. And I love the learning and the wisdom when people give me that I’m the best mentee. When they say jump, I say how high wisdom is the most powerful thing, it’s my favorite virtue really is wisdom. You know, when people give you wisdom, and you follow it, it is it is explosive it is. It is magnetic, it is magical. It is a, it is such a beautiful journey. So no one should really struggle alone. And I feel like, you know, all these philosophers wrote all this important stuff, and bring it to life. They’ve done all the work, they’ve done all the struggle, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, follow that wisdom, and listen to your instincts. So that’s how we reinvented and, you know, I’m very loyal to my best friend to Sephora for saving me. And I’ve turned down many department stores and chains, because they saved me. And yeah, you know, they, you know, it’s really, it’s your ethics, following your ethics and everything will never lead you astray. And you’ll have confusing moments, and you’ll have, you know, downtimes and that’s okay. It’s all a part of it. You can’t always be up at the high to always have some struggle, there’s got to be some struggle that keeps you rooted otherwise, it gets boring. You know? So Are

Kara Goldin 26:33
most of the companies that are in this accelerator program, exclusive to Sephora? I don’t know,

Barb Stegemann 26:39
I don’t think that’s mandatory at all. I think it’s up to the owner. I know, there was another graduate in my group, year after me, forgive me. That’s in Sephora, but she’s not exclusive. With Sephora, you can do whatever you wish. I feel like it’s it’s helped me navigate better i, i It feels good to my ethics, when they leaned in and gave me all that support and mentorship from their staff. And they flew in my mentor, and a week of his time, so I actually still stay in touch with him. And I took his wife to dinner, a new shot and thanked her for sharing her husband with me for a week. And, and he’s still mentors me, even though he is with another company. He still mentors me helps me find good people. Never has never let me go. And you know, really? That’s that sort of, right?

Kara Goldin 27:34
That’s no, that’s amazing. So being an entrepreneur is one of the most challenging careers, as I’ve said to most people who are thinking about getting into this line of work, whether you’re in the beauty industry, or the beverage industry, or tech or whatever, I’d love to hear a story when you really felt like you’re building this and building the 7 Virtues, and you faced a really tough challenge. And you weren’t sure how you were going to get out of it. But you did. But is there anything that comes to mind where you really felt like you had to get up that mountain and you didn’t know how you were going to do it? You’ve shared a little bit about that. I mean, Sephora is probably one you also talked about volunteering and what you’ve learned about that, but anything that comes to mind, anything else?

Barb Stegemann 28:24
Great question again, I think, you know, I think all of us were hit by the pandemic, you know, we were about to launch a perfume. And two days later that we were locked down, there was no events, no stores, we just bought a new house, we didn’t know if we’re gonna be able to keep it. All of our stores were shut, nobody knew what was happening. And we were invited to sell in a chain in the UK. And I won’t name the chain out of respect. But the there was no Sephora then at the time in the UK. So technically, it wouldn’t have been breaking exclusivity and we needed revenue. So I was introduced to this gentleman, and we were going down the aisle, I always think of any kind of business exchanges getting married, you know, we’re going to meet the parents to get in closer, right. And we hadn’t said I do yet. We were close. And then I always follow my, my 7 Virtues. And that main one we talked about earlier, but your true beauty is your power and your dignity. Never let anyone take it from you. So in the last phone call with this gentleman, and he had 400 stores and online. And he said, I said well, you know, he said, you know our brand loves your brand. And I said well of course that’s a partnership. It must I said and our brand loves your brand. And he said oh no every woman thinks that about her brand. I think was a call and I wrote him a lovely note with the whole team and I said it was lovely getting to know you all but we’re going to pass and my husband and my son then we’re like, okay, you know, we trust you, you I have sharpened sticks. And so like I did, within two weeks, everything rose up and people wanted fragrance fragrance was on fire, people weren’t home alone. And they wanted sense as something soothing and comforting and aromatherapy scents really helped people through. And I started doing videos here in my studio that my son belt, and videos on setting intentions, motivation. And we would do these videos for the Sephora Beauty advisors who are also locked down like us. And my, when we finally got doors, I had a beauty advisors telling me that my videos were what caught him through the pandemic. And so for me, it was really amazing that I followed those virtues that I talked about, and did not even though it looked like a quick fix. And then now support is in the UK. And I maintained my exclusivity that was a that was a dark time trying to make a decision for our family, we’re gonna keep our house and yet I went, No, we’re gonna be okay. We’ll be all right. And we were and so, you know, again, the lesson is, sometimes you have to say no to things, even though it might appear to be great. If if those key things don’t happen. If someone doesn’t respect you in the beginning, I don’t care if it’s a personal relationship or business, it’s never going to get better. And for me, I we actually say I love you at the end of some of our calls with our merchants. I love our Sephora family and I am soiled by the kind of relationship I have with our merchants. And we are in such a beautiful place that we can have those difficult conversations that family has, and it helps us all grow. Because the respect is always there. And it’s amazing in a creative energy. You know, often with creatives together, there’s conflict, because there’s so many different ideas. But that core of respect and dignity always been maintained that sense of wonder to an idea, I always say best idea wins, don’t care who gave it. The best idea wins. Let’s go. And let’s get to the podium together and just speak a language that helps everyone see where we’re all going together. So we all win. And so that was a difficult time. And I made the right decision for anyone watching or listening who is facing something that just doesn’t feel right. Maybe the idea of your power and your dignity helps you articulate that switch off and in something that might be making. I don’t know if I should do that. And then again, back to those signposts those markers. So if someone treating you poorly, that’s a signpost telling you walk. I don’t care.

Kara Goldin 32:38
Anyway, how much I totally agree. Totally agree. You’re

Barb Stegemann 32:42
gonna cut your walk. Yeah.

Kara Goldin 32:45
No, I love that. Well, thank you so much. This has been so enlightening. And everyone needs to find the 7 Virtues at a local Sephora, as we mentioned, available worldwide. There’s such an amazing, amazing product, the book is incredible too. And you can also get them online as well. But Barb, you are such an amazing entrepreneur. So thank you so much for creating these and offering them to our to consumers everywhere and in really changing a category because I know there has not been as much focus in the fragrance category, as maybe there has been in other categories. And you I know how hard it is to create a category. So it’s no easy task. And I really appreciate you really spearheading that and doing what you’re doing. So thank you.

Barb Stegemann 33:47
Thank you, Carrie. That means a lot to me, you know the business and those are really powerful words. I appreciate that very much.

Kara Goldin 33:54
Absolutely. Well, thanks for coming on. And thanks, everyone for listening. Thanks again for listening to the Kara Goldin show. If you would, please give us a review. And feel free to share this podcast with others who would benefit and of course, feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode of our podcast. Just a reminder that I can be found on all platforms at Kara Goldin. And if you want to hear more about my journey, I hope you will have a listen or pick up a copy of my book undaunted, which I share my journey, including founding and building hint. We are here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And thanks everyone for listening. Have a great rest of the week, and 2023 and good bye for now. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them how Get on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time, you’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight? Send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening