“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”
— Winston Churchill
Have you ever felt you are free to do anything you want in life? That you can buy almost anything you want and travel anywhere you want? Or get out with friends and meet new people? Party as long as you feel like, and sometimes, just be as lazy as your cat, taking a nap on the couch? My name is Youssef Aboumacher, founder of Beauty Legacy, and I've experienced all of these things. And in all of these experiences, I've found that life has this strange way of teaching us lessons. Sometimes it gives us things and other times it takes them away. A number of years ago I was embracing my instincts, trying to find joy by traveling. From Africa to Asia, I’ve been to many countries, living my way through different places and cultures—trying to find true happiness.
While on a trip to the Philippines with my best friend, I was in a dirt bike accident on a poorly paved road, almost in the middle of nowhere. This led to us seeking medical attention at a nearby hospital where other locals and tourists were being treated. It was in the waiting room where I saw a distraught mother crying over her son's hospital bed, an IV bag attached to his small arm. The nurse treating my injury told me the boy had been bed-ridden for three days with a terrible fever.
Seeing the pain in that poor mother's eyes as she tended to her sick child was like a knife to my heart. I couldn't imagine the fear and uncertainty she must have been feeling. Not to mention, locals in this area of the country do not make a lot of money, so being able to afford medical care is another added stress.
When I received my bill for 5,000 pesos ($125 CAD), I decided to do the one thing I could to help that poor mother and son, use my monetary advantage to take care of their medical bill.
You would not believe the joy that erupted in that small medical facility when the mother and her son's doctor had learned of my generosity - but I didn't do this to feel good about myself, and that's not why I'm sharing this story with you now. The reason I chose to help is simply because I was able to, I saw others' suffering and knew I had the means to ease it. I expected nothing in return, only the hope that this would help them in some small way.
This gave me the realization that I could incorporate this mantra of being selfless and helping others into everything that I do, if I take the time to be mindful of how I can give back.
“Giving back is as good for you as it is for those you are helping, because giving gives you purpose. When you have a purpose-driven life, you’re a happier person”. — Goldie Hawn
I had already been working on the business plan for my skincare line, Beauty Legacy, but now it felt that I finally had a mission and purpose for this company. I wanted to find the best beauty ingredients being used by people in other cultures AND share the benefits with others - and at the heart of it all, I wanted to make charity and giving back to these communities a core value of the brand.
In my research, I have found that while many beauty brands promote the fact that they donate a certain amount of their profits to charity, the truth is that very little actually ends up helping those who need it most. Thousands of companies benefit from the miracle ingredient Argan Oil, made from Argan kernels grown in Morocco, but only a handful actually see to it that the farmers are paid fairly and the community prospers from the industry.
I decided that Beauty Legacy would be the new brand that will make a true difference. We will commit to give back not just 1 or 2%, but enough to improve the lives and communities less fortunate on this planet by building schools and planting trees, starting with communities that we source our premium ingredients from including Morocco, the Philippines, Ghana and more. Furthermore, we will travel to these places to form personal relationships with our farmers and producers, to ensure they are paid fairly for their hard work and that we are getting the best quality ingredients for our products.
So why schools and trees, you may be wondering, when there are countless other worthwhile charities to direct our funding to. UNICEF tells us that 101 million children worldwide don’t regularly attend school. High costs, lack of local availability, lack of uniforms and school supplies, disability and competing family priorities are among the many reasons for this devastating statistic. Each of those children may grow up without the basic communication, math and reasoning skills that can help them earn a living wage to support their families and build their neighbourhoods. And so the terrible cycle of poverty continues.
And we already know how critical the climate crisis is. Our planet is dying at the hands of those who would use up its resources without respecting the nourishment and protection it provides. One way to reduce humanity's impact and address this crisis is to plant trees to provide clean oxygen back into the atmosphere. This is especially crucial in areas where deforestation has had decimating effects.
So that is how Beauty Legacy was inspired.
We are sharing beauty legacies from different cultures around the world while creating our own legacy from beauty. We're here to inspire you to join a movement, to continue raising the bar and making conscious choices for yourself and the environment, and the products you choose to use every day.