She had to do something.
When Barbara Stegemann’s best friend Trevor Greene was seriously injured in the Afghanistan War, suffering an axe blow to the head from a member of the Taliban, the Halifax-born innovator went looking for some way to twin her efforts with his mission.
“I kept asking myself, ‘What can we do to make a difference?’” Stegemann said during her pitch to Dragon’s Den — a presentation that ultimately led to her becoming the first woman from Atlantic Canada to land a venture capital deal on the show.
And now Stegemann is following in the footsteps of last year’s presenter Margaret Trudeau at this year’s Find Your Divine event at the Castlegar Community Complex, where she hopes to inspire and empower women.
Her company is based on a simple idea: convincing Afghani farmers to switch from planting opium to cultivated orange blossoms for her fragrances. And these days her company, 7 Virtues, is going strong.
“Stegemann has opened as a keynote speaker for Erin Brockovich and is often invited to moderate panels and attend events as a delegate with world leaders such as Bill Clinton,” reads her press release.
She is also the author of the bestselling book The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen. Her fragrances are phthalate free and vegan and have inspired the documentary Perfume War, directed by Canadian filmmaker Michael Melski, which won the Best Feature Documentary at the 2016 Atlantic Film Festival.
Find Your Divine will take place at the Castlegar Community Complex on April 5 starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Castlegar News, Sandman Hotel and the Castlegar Community Complex.There will be an opportunity for book and perfume sales after the event.