A special note from Misha Stewart regarding fundraising

It has been brought to my attention that there has been some questioning of my motives for becoming involved with fundraising efforts for the Capobianco family to help offset their legal fees in their battle to bring their adopted daughter, Veronica Rose home.   I’d also like to point out that it appears most of those who are questioning me and my motives happen to support the ‘other side’ of this issue, so I take it all with a grain of salt.  However, in the interest of transparency, I respectfully present the following:

Sirona Labs has always held a strong a philanthropic philosophy.  eg: previously, a % of Sirona Labs’ proceeds has been donated to such funds as Tsunami Relief Effort for Japan, various animal rescue organizations, adverse vaccine reaction research, and more.  Sirona Labs has always had a tradition of giving back.

I asked the family directly for permission to create this special item as a fundraiser for them before I did anything, including creation of  the fragrance, and set the terms with them privately.  Making perfume is what I do.  It was the only way I could think of to help them.

To  anyone who questions the motive of any company that  does not donate “100% of the proceeds” to what ever cause they are fundraising for I ask you this:  Are you insane?   Do you think the company that bakes Girl Scout Cookies donates and/or absorbs the cost of manufacturing, materials, labor, and other expenses?  Of course not!  They sell their cookies through the girl scouts, sharing the profits with them.  California Pizza Kitchen is another company that is known for their fundraising programs.  They offer 20% of the profits to their fundraising partners.

But because I am a small business owner with a cottage industry, and saw a way to help a family in crisis, I am then expected to not only be uncompensated for my work, this is after all what I do for a living, but I am also expected to contribute 100% of the start up cost of research, development and production of a new product, on a rush status.

These are hand crafted items.  I do not order in bulk from some Chinese catalog, rebottle and slap my own label on my items, as so many cosmetic and fragrance companies do.  My heart and soul is in everything I create, by hand, from scratch, made right here in the United States of America.

High quality perfumers’ materials are extremely expensive, and I refuse to use anything less than the best.  Also, it is important to point out talented ‘noses’ (the industry term for what I do) are few and far between, making our skills extremely valuable in the industry.  It’s just the nature of the perfumed beast.  There is a reason good perfume is a luxury item.  Believe me, I am taking a significant pay cut on this project because it’s more than just a cause to me, it’s personal.  Matt and I have been friends for over 25 years.  His brother is one of my closest friends, and I am heartbroken for this whole family.

And yet, some people are grousing that Sirona Labs is not donating 100% of all proceeds generated by the sale of Veronica Rose perfume to the family, accusing me of profiting off of a families misfortune.  Do you stop getting paid because your company is involved with fundraising efforts, as so many are?  Why do you demand that for me then?  Did you realize even employees at Non-Profit organizations get paid?  Don’t I deserve to put food on my families table too?  Pay medical bills?  Utilities?

I don’t think people realize, Sirona Labs is not a Non-Profit organization.  It never claimed to be one.  Sirona Labs is a sole proprietorship business, and I wear all the hats.  Not only am I the artisan and resident cosmetic chemist, but I do the back office work, I am the shipping department, accounting department, graphic designer, web mistress, public relations, advertising, and marketing diva as well.

Since I’m sharing, I might as well let you in on the fact that I also happen to be dyslexic, which makes all of these tasks extra challenging.

The bottom line is this:  If you think it’s wrong to do what my company and so many others who are trying to make a positive difference in the world are doing, then don’t support us.  Don’t buy our products.  If you want to be sure that 100% of your money goes towards the family, donate directly through the non-profit organization.  Here is the link – https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=1004119

By making a donation directly, you can donate and forget.  By buying a product that supports your cause, you not only make a donation, but you then have a product, be it perfume, a rubber bracelet, or whatever, but you remember the cause every time you see and/or use the product.

If you want to do good when you’re buying the things you might anyhow, (perfume makes a wonderful gift, for example), then when you find yourself shopping for items, consider buying from companies who support causes you believe in.  You have the power to decide what you do with your money.

All good things,
Misha Stewart

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