AMITYVILLE, NY – Following the devastating mudslides on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Sundial Brands announced on August 17, 2017 that the Sofi Tucker Foundation (named in honor of Sundial founder & CEO Richelieu Dennis’ grandmother) would make an immediate, unrestricted cash donation of $50,000 to its humanitarian relief partner Direct Relief, which is currently providing emergency relief efforts on the ground in Sierra Leone.
Sundial also announced that SheaMoisture would be asking its community to join in a “Purchase with Purpose” initiative helping to raise funds for relief efforts as well, with the brand donating the first $25,000 of sales made through sheamoisture.com over the week following the announcement to the Sofi Tucker Foundation to directly benefit humanitarian relief efforts in Sierra Leone.
Sundial’s connections to Sierra Leone are strong, as Dennis shared:
Our hearts break for our family in Sierra Leone. I spent much time here as a boy with my Grandmother Sofi. It is my mother’s home, and so much of who we are is because of what we learned and who we became there. Prayers of strength, hope and resilience go out to all who have lost loved ones and of peace to all who have been lost. We are forever family. We pray that comprehensive crisis relief efforts will help to contain further loss of life and devastation in the near-term, and we will also be working to determine how we can develop a Community Commerce project to help with the longer-term rebuilding process.
After being widowed at a young age, Grandma Sofi sold handcrafted Shea butter soaps and salves in Sierra Leone to support her family. She became known as a healer throughout the countryside and taught these recipes to her grandson, Richelieu. In 1991, upon graduating from renowned business school Babson College and unable to return to his home country of Liberia because of civil war, he partnered with his college roommate, Nyema Tubman, to pursue a bold concept: address specific skin and hair care issues that had been traditionally ignored by mass market skin care companies. Drawing from deep family traditions, Richelieu incorporated four generations of recipes and wisdom from Grandma Sofi into natural bath and body care products and co-founded Sundial Brands with his mother – Mary Dennis – and Nyema.
Today, Sundial is a leading skincare and haircare manufacturer renowned for its innovative use of high-quality and culturally authentic natural ingredients and is the maker of SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker and Nyakio™. A certified B Corp company with a Fair for Life social and fair trade certification, Sundial engages in ethical and cruelty-free business practices and manufactures its products at its state-of-the-art facilities in Long Island, NY. Through its Community Commerce purpose-driven business model, the company creates opportunities for sustainable social and economic empowerment throughout its supply chain and communities in the United States and Africa, focusing on entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, education and wellness. In 2015, Sundial was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States and received the WWD/Beauty Inc. award for “Corporate Social Responsibility Company of the Year.”