A Letter from our Founder, Dominique Caron
To our valued customers,
We hope you’re finding a silver lining to this difficult year. As a team, we are inspired by seeing communities come together and positive change being brought forth by the recent BLM protests. While there’s still work to be done, you have shown us that even in the seemingly darkest of times, positive change is possible.
As the founder and CEO of Apoterra, I wanted to take a moment to express Apoterra's stance on the current movement. Although we have always been a company that supports diversity, inclusivity, anti-racism, and pro-humanitarian movements, it seems especially important now to show our support loudly by highlighting that we are a company that supports the BLM movement and are taking a stand to help fight systemic racism.
To make our stance clear and to open ourselves up to you for comments and suggestions, I first want to highlight the actions we’re taking as a company. To be honest, writing this all down to be shared publicly feels unnatural to me, but I realize that much of who we are and what we do is invisible to the public. We have decided to share this with you for transparency, to avoid any misinterpretation of who we are and to stand in support of the BLM movement. Apoterra prioritizes anti-racism, equity, and inclusion and we will continue our aim to learn and do better in the future.
Apoterra's Dismantling Racism Strategy & Beliefs
1. Diversity creates strength, better ideas and opens minds to compassion and understanding.
When it comes to hiring practices and collaborations with stockists, estheticians and brand affiliates/ambassadors, we’ve always made an effort to hire or work with people with diverse backgrounds and strengths, and this will continue to remain a part of our DNA. Our team is currently made of more than 50% BIPOC and 60% female. By supporting Apoterra you are supporting this diverse, women-led team.
2. We are firm believers in changing the dialogue and representation around beauty which is why we have always and will continue to make an effort to hire models that represent the rainbow of beauty.
As a mother of a young daughter, I want to show her that beauty is not only a thin, white, cis-gender women with eurocentric features and body shape. I want her to grow up having the confidence in loving herself as she is - but we cannot deny the influence society has on our minds.
Natty, a role model who participated in our June Pride campaign, expressed this so well when they said, "In order to see myself as beautiful, that would mean that I would need to see black people as beautiful. I would need to see the kinkiest of hair textures as beautiful. I would need to see dark brown eyes as beautiful. I would need to see full, abundant bodies as beautiful."
We want to be a positive force in changing the standard of what is presented as beautiful. I hope that one day no one doubts their beauty because of a lack of representation or validation. In addition to making it a priority to feature the range of what beautiful can look like, we will make a more concerted effort to identify and address any biases that we may
have unconsciously put forth in our content and product development. We will do so by creating a council to advise us on these matters.
3. For those of you who know us well, you may have noticed that we consistently donate to nonprofit organizations. Our focus has always been donating to environmental and humanitarian causes that often disproportionately affect disadvantaged communities.
This month, in celebration of PRIDE, we are donating to The Transgender Law Center (TLC). TLC currently employs programs including Black LGBTQIA + Migrant Project and Black Trans Circles. In support of the BIPOC community and BLM movement, we are also donating self-care packages to BIPOC community leaders. Nominate someone (or yourself!). Follow along to help us support more nonprofits that elevate BIPOC communities and the BLM movement. Have a nonprofit in mind you would like us to support? Let us know!
4. Throughout the past few weeks, our team has revisited our core values, which guide every decision and action we take.
The reason this is important is that these values affect everything we do and how we grow - from the subject matters we decide to address on social media, to our hiring practices, to our product development and more.
Since our founding, our core values have been:
Honesty always. We believe in the power of honesty, with both oneself and others. We believe that we only improve ourselves and our future by improving the world around us. This means working to elevate those around you, giving to give, and having a passion for environmentalism, animal rights and human rights.
Be curious always. Only through curiosity can you improve and push boundaries. We value curiosity for the unknown, learning always, trying the new and the impossible. When you stop being curious, you stop growing.
We believe nature is powerful and wise. Science is a tool to better understand her but does not dictate her.
We have updated the second value to include more specific language addressing racism. We believe that adding this language will result in real, positive actions moving forward (below).
We believe that we only improve ourselves and our future by improving the world around us. This means working to elevate those around you, giving to give, and having a passion for environmentalism, animal rights, human rights, fighting systemic racism and helping uplift the voices of marginalized communities.
5. Clear, zero tolerance policies for discrimination and racism.
As a small company, I never put too much importance on our written company policies since we all work so closely together. But as the company grows and I begin to have less direct contact with each employee, it will be imperative that we have clear, zero tolerance policies for discrimination and racism. I will be reviewing our company policies handbook to make sure this value is reflected in them.
6. Open lines for feedback & communication.Lastly, I want to mention that we are a company that values feedback from our customers. We acknowledge that we are humans prone to mistakes and appreciate all of you who take the time to help us see errors we may make, or offer suggestions for improvement. So if you have any comments or suggestions, please don't hesitate to share anonymously via the link below. They will be read, shared among the team, appreciated and considered.
Since we only send a handful of emails each month, I invite you to join us in the conversation on Instagram @apoterraskincare.
Founder, co-owner and CEO of Apoterra