profile image

Barbara Stegemann

Author & CEO, The 7 Virtues

Celebrated Entrepreneur; Bestselling Author of The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen
Honorary Colonel, Royal Canadian Air Force
Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada WXN

Author & CEO of The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc., Barb Stegemann is proof that every one of us can triumph over adversity and live our dreams. Barb was raised by a single mom on welfare in rural Nova Scotia, Canada and born with a hereditary hearing impairment. She educated herself out of poverty and holds degrees in sociology and journalism from the University of King’s College. She will tell you it’s her positive attitude that has lifted her through challenges.

While living in British Columbia running her boutique PR firm advising cities and large clients on strategy and communications, tragedy struck. Her best friend was wounded in Afghanistan. Barb promised him she would support his mission of peace through economic development. She wrote a bestselling book, The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen, to empower women (and men) to live with the stoic wisdom taught through the centuries. She dedicated the book to her friend.

Her fragrance collection, The 7 Virtues®, supports suppliers in countries like Afghanistan, Haiti and now The Middle East to rebuild. Barb became known to millions of Canadians when she became the first woman from Atlantic Canada to land a venture capital deal on the popular CBC show, Dragons’ Den. Barb went on to win Top Game Changer in the history of the most popular reality show in Canada.

Barb is also one of the few women in Canada to be made an Honorary Colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force with the role of advising the military. Barb was ranked as one of Profit Guide Magazine’s Top 30 Cool & Fabulous Canadian Entrepreneurs for 2012. Her fragrance collection won the Chatelaine Beauty 100 Award 2012 for being Eco Chic; essential oils that empower, paraben free and phthalate free. Chatelaine went on to rank her fragrances Top Five in Canada. Fashion Magazine dubbed her company a Canadian National Treasure as one of the top beauty trail blazers in the past 35 years (Nov issue 2012).

She received the Women Innovator’s Award from the US Department of State at the APEC women and the economy summit for her business model. Barb is a popular key note speaker and has opened for keynotes including Erin Brockovich and emceed for Donald Trump and Rudy Guliani. She is also ranked one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women WXN. She won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2012 in the Emerging Entrepreneur Category.

The 7 Virtues fragrances are available at The Bay department stores across Canada, Air Canada on Board Duty Free and Lord & Taylor, NYC department.

Barb lives with her husband, Mike Velemirovich and their children, Victor and Ella in Bedford, Nova Scotia.
This Country Has the Most Women in

This Country Has the Most Women in Politics

On the 104th International Women's Day, March 08 we celebrate women's political, economic and cultural triumphs. Can you guess which country in our global village holds the record for the highest number of women in political office at the national level?
03/05/2014 05:06 EST
Over 60 Million Children Aren't Getting an

Over 60 Million Children Aren't Getting an Education

Our son graduated from high school in June. He's grateful. Living in North America with access to public school is a luxury that we will never take for granted. As he walked across the stage, I thought about the 60 million children in our world who are not getting an education. An education is the way out of poverty and the ultimate peace weapon to end war.
07/09/2013 12:23 EDT
How I Ended Up in Haiti with President

How I Ended Up in Haiti with President Clinton

When I received an invitation to join President Clinton and a delegation in Haiti on an agricultural trade mission, I looked at the list of large philanthropic corporations from Heineken to Pepsi and at first thought, "How did I get on this powerful list of investors?" I am not a big corporation. I run my small Canadian fragrance company, The 7 Virtues, and we buy essential oils to empower rebuilding nations.
03/12/2013 05:46 EDT
Cry About Afghanistan, Then Do Something About

Cry About Afghanistan, Then Do Something About It

A woman asked me one day after an upbeat book talk I gave, "Do you ever get sad?" I said yes, "I cry about war. Then I dry my eyes and I do something about it." Most of my friends cry too when they watch anything to do with the Holocaust and other world atrocities past and present. The main thing is to then do something to reverse it. Apathy is also the enemy. What we need to do in order to ensure literacy is to have a cavalry of businesses coming to do trade with nations like Afghanistan. Buy their saffron, buy their essential oils, buy anything so that a farmer can buy books and shoes for his children and not have their children taken away by oppressors.
12/13/2012 05:46 EST
Women Can Have it All, Soon as We Change the

Women Can Have it All, Soon as We Change the Game

We are shifting out of the patriarchy. The old model built for men does not work for us women as we read in Anne-Marie Slaughter's piece, "Why Women Still Can't Have it All." I admire Slaughter. Except there is one major difference that allows me to have it all; I am a Social Entrepreneur. I don't take this for granted and invite women to design the world they wish to live in.
10/28/2012 02:14 EDT
International Women's Day: Time for a

International Women's Day: Time for a Makeover!

I choose Michelangelo to give our day a makeover. One of the world's greatest artists and philosophers could teach Karl Lagerfield a lesson or two. The artist's power message for us is: "Beauty is expression over form."
03/08/2012 09:10 EST
Beauty That Could End

Beauty That Could End War

It's been referred to as "an unlikely weapon in the war:" a joyous fragrance at the beauty counter made from organic essential oils that help farmers in Afghanistan get off of the illegal poppy crop that accounts for 90 per cent of the world's heroin supply.
11/19/2011 12:05 EST