Do What You Want

‘Color it Forward’: Votre Vu’s Continuting Commitment to Children With Cancer

by Harold Zimmerman
June 26, 2014

Harold Zimmerman is the founder and CEO of Votre Vu, a beauty company specializing in botanically infused French skin care and custom-blended cosmetics. Check out Votre Vu’s French Accents collection, where $1 from every item purchased is donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.


This month, Votre Vu celebrates two years of the Color It Forward campaign to cure childhood cancers.

One child. That’s all it takes to grab your attention…and your heart. In my case, it was learning about a neighborhood child, Max Lacewell, who lost the fight with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) at age 6. After radiation and experimental chemotherapy, he was sent home with no other options.  No other options.

Why? Because of a lack of research into pediatric cancers.

During Votre Vu’s first few years, we supported a myriad of charities, but one need stood out above the rest, and it had a name: Max.

Inspired, we put a stake in the ground in 2012 for a long-term commitment to donate $1 from every cosmetic sold to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation through the 46 Mommas. And who better to present this partnership to our sales force than Max’s mother, Leanne Lacewell, who beautifully relayed her son’s story and the consequential need for funding and lifesaving research?

When she finished speaking, I knew our team was “all in.” To seal our pact, Leanne’s daughter, Addie — Max’s big sister — shaved my head on stage at our annual sales conference.


St. Baldrick’s Honored Kid, Max Lacewell, with his sister, Addie. Max passed away at the age of 6 from DIPG, a type of childhood brain cancer.

This month marks the second anniversary of our Color it Forward campaign to cure children’s cancers. With our Brand Ambassadors’ support, we have raised more than $72,000 for the cause, and this donation continues to grow each time we sell another lipstick, mascara, or other makeup item.

We’ve taken our pledge to heart, inviting members of the 46 Mommas to speak throughout the country during our “In Living Color” tour, donating pickMEup product paks to Mommas whose children are in treatment, and spreading the word via pop-up shops from Chicago to L.A. on our way to the 46 Mommas annual Shave for the Brave fundraiser, where we have makeup artists prep the Mommas so they feel as beautiful as they truly are.

Just as I thought from day one, our sales force passionately backed the cause, creating dedicated Color it Forward shopping events, with many of our Brand Ambassadors going above and beyond with generous donations for St. Baldrick’s and deep connections established with Mommas, their children, and St. Baldrick’s volunteers.

Color it Forward started with Max. But during this short time, we’ve come to know childhood cancers by many other names: David, Luke, Georgia, Matthias, Sammi, Jared, Khalid, Kaleb, Jordan, Rayley, Jackson, Kyra and Ciara, and so many others.

With each name, each story and each encounter, our commitment grows deeper still.  Our perspective and priorities shift. And we have been changed for the better by those we came to serve.

Shop Votre Vu’s French Accents collection, or donate to the Color It Forward tour, and support childhood cancer research.

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