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Giving Back

Home - Giving Back

Bella Luccè has built the spirit of philanthropy into the very foundation of the company. From its very first day in operation, Bella Luccè has focused on sourcing fair-trade ingredients, which ensure that local farmers, harvesters and processors are paid fair, working wages for their efforts without exploitation. Additionally, we have partnered with various charitable organizations, working to alleviate hunger and poverty, provide literacy and skills training, and build character and confidence in people around the world. We’re especially excited about the nonprofit we've recently founded…

From Morocco With Love
Lela Barker (Bella Luccè's founder and creative director) often journeys to foreign lands to study the cultures and indigenous beauty traditions while researching new ingredients for inclusion in the Bella Luccè product range. One such trip landed her in Morocco, exploring Rhassoul clay mines in the Atlas Mountains, watching argan nuts ground into oil near Marrakech and learning about botanical essential oil distillation near Khemisset.

During the same visit, Lela's driver (Hassane) took her to spend a day with local school children in a remote village in the Moroccan countryside. The two room school house had no library, no computers, no overhead projectors, no smart boards. The school had neither heat nor air conditioning. There were no crayons, no jump ropes, no playground equipment, no hot meals. The students, those that can afford the $50 per year tuition, walk or ride the family donkey between two and four kilometers one-way to reach the school.

The teachers leave their homes and families during the week and travel to the rural area to aid in the development of these children. The women share the most basic living quarters. On less than $400 salary per month, the teachers must provide for their transportation to and from the school, their food while at the school, and all of their family expenses at home. The “teacher house” has no heat, no air conditioning, no refrigerator, no computer, no running water, no stove, no cabinetry. The tenacity and commitment to learning of the 156 students and their dedicated teachers left an indelible impression on the American. Lela planned for her company, Bella Luccè, to adopt the Moroccan school. However, she soon realized there was more work to be done than her small beauty company could tackle alone.

Lela returned home to her family and business determined to stay somehow connected to Morocco. She brought as much of Morocco as she could carry in her luggage home to share with friends and family—gorgeous Berber blankets, hammered silver earrings and embossed leather poufs. Amidst the “ooh’s” and “aah’s”, a flood of people slipped in “bring-me-back” requests for her next trip. Worried about luggage restrictions on her next journey, Lela attempted to fill the requests immediately. Yet the online prices for the Moroccan goodies she’d just purchased so reasonably left her gobsmacked. Yet, with the sticker shock, came inspiration:

What if Lela could employ Hassane to shop for the most exquisite Moroccan luxuries, pay the artisans well for their work, ship the goods stateside and sell it at reasonable prices? Most importantly, what if all the profits could be returned to the Moroccan people to help them with the basics so many take for granted such as clean water, education and health care?

Lela immediately phoned Hassane, her plans tumbling out with wild enthusiasm. Hassane simply and humbly replied “Alhamdulillah” (thanks be to God). And so it began… Bella Luccè seeded the nonprofit with a gift of $40,000 in late 2009 and From Morocco, With Love officially launched in 2010. The Bella Luccè fulfillment staff continues to pack each and every order and Bella Luccè donates the warehouse space needed for the nonprofit each month. We invite you to browse our unique selection of Moroccan handicrafts, knowing that every purchase provides shoes to local children, sends little girls to school and plants gardens for local families as a via means of financial self-sufficiency.

Since that launch, we've donated more than 400 picture books to a local school to seed a lending library, as well as provisions of backpacks, personal hygiene and school supplies for 200 students at our adopted school in a rural region near to Essaouira, Morocco. We were also able to provide life-saving surgery and aftercare for a young boy attending the school, including transportation, surgical care, medications and hospital fees.  We thank you infinitely for your support of these critical programs!

To date, Bella Luccè has shared products, donated time and made cash donations totaling more than $165,000. We’re proud to provide ongoing support to the following organizations:

Women For Women
The mission is breathtakingly simple: to help women in war-torn regions rebuild their lives. Sponsors “adopt” a specific woman for just $27 per month (which includes funding for direct aid, rights education, job skills training and small business development) so that the beneficiaries can move toward self-sufficiency. Zainab Salbi, the founder of Women For Women, has helped an astounding 30,000 women in 2005 in Afghanistan, Congo, Rwanda and Sudan. Bella Luccè is proud to sponsor one woman in a war-torn country for each member of our staff.

Igniting Entrepreneurship in Africa
Bella Lucce’s Founder has made several trips to Morocco, Ghana and Uganda to offer pro bono technical assistance to local NGO's who are working to empower women. Lela works closely with local shea butter producers to help improve quality control and build distribution channels, while running workshops for local women, teaching them the mechanics of small business and simple formulations which turn their raw butter into finished cosmetic products that can be sold on the local market.

Farm Sanctuary
Bella Luccè is blessed to process all of our incoming credit card transactions through Dharma Merchant Services, an ethically-minded company that donates 10% of our gross annual fees to the charity of our choice. Thanks to the generosity of Dharma Merchant Services, Bella Luccè has selected Farm Sanctuary as our 2012 charity partner. Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization. Their 175-acre farm, founded in 1986, is home to hundreds of rescued animals who live out their days of bliss in the rolling hills of upstate New York. In addition to the rescue of abused and abandoned animals, the organization also focuses on advocacy and education through various outreach programs and legislative sponsorships.

Bella Luccè has, for several years, donated surplus product to SisterCare, a local shelter and rehabilitation shelter for victims of domestic abuse. If a label isn’t quite straight, if a jar was jostled in shipment but returned to us essentially unharmed, or if we have superfluous bottles of a recently discontinued or seasonal item, it winds up in the hands of the these women, in hopes of bringing a bit of respite and a dash of pampering as they seek to rebuild their lives and homes. Bella Luccè donated has donated more than 5,000 pounds of product to date.

Past donations + sponsorships include:

If you are aware of an organization that might be a good candidate for our Giving Back program, please use our contact form to be in touch - we'll be reviewing submissions for new charity partners in 2015!

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