REAL PEOPLE: Interview with Ava Sprague Anderson

ava-FEATUREDAva grew up hanging around her mother’s home store and loves researching products online. Ava started her company at the age of fifteen after a year of researching harmful ingredients found in everything from deodorant to lip balm to shampoo. Glitter recently sat down to ask Ava when her company started, how others can get involved and her most memorable moment for the company.

GLITTER: Can you tell our readers how your company started and at what age?

AVA:  I started my business at the age of fifteen after a year of researching the harmful ingredients found in everything from deodorant to lip balm and shampoo. After being unable to find a single safe line to use or recommend to family and friends, I decided I should create my own.  In 2009, we launched with six skincare products and now have over 75 in 12 product categories! (avaSKIN, avaBODY, avaPET, avaBABY, avaHOME, avaHAIR,avaSCENTS, avaCANDLES, avaMEN, avaMAKEUP, avaBUGS and avaSUN)

avaBABY categoryGLITTER: How has your life changed since we last interviewed you years back?

AVA: We have now enrolled over 6,000 Ava Consultants and reached millions with our vital health information. For us this is not about making money but giving people the information needed to make better decisions in what they purchase. Even a few facts can change your habits and have a positive impact on your health! For instance, did you know that manufacturers can hide hundreds of chemicals in the ingredient “fragrance” and not list the, on the label?  Even fragrance-free products can use this loophole to mask smelly chemicals, so make sure to check the ingredient label and avoid “fragrance” at all costs. Also, be aware that up to 60% of what you put on your skin gets to your bloodstream, without the benefit of your liver to filter anything out.  Think of a nicotine or estrogen patch. Those types of drug delivery systems are used because they are an immediate gateway to your bloodstream. (These are slow delivery systems, most personal care and se Cosmetics have penetration enhancers to get there much faster)

GLITTER: What have been some memorable moments for you with your company?

AVA: Lobbying in congress for the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Acts of 2011/2013! The Breast Cancer Fund and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics who asked me to go and speak with the Congressmen and women voting on the issue said that I “single- handedly changed the discussion in Washington on this issue”! Also, our two Ava ”Summer Sizzle Tours” where I go on the road and visit 4-5 cities each summer and have the opportunity to share information with hundreds of people at each stop and meet so many of our awesome consultants and customers who are out there helping us educate American families!

avaFACE categoryGLITTER: What change do you hope to make with your organic line of product?

AVA: I would love to have an impact on the regulations in this country (only 11 ingredients banned in the US, but over 1,400 in the European Union), but I’m not too sure how realistic that is considering all of the political issues that are getting in the way of meaningful change. Instead I’m determined to share this message with as many families in America as possible with the help of our awesome consultants (men and women) because nothing can change a marketplace faster than angry moms and dads (and teens) demanding safer products. We encourage families’ to vote with their dollars, and return the products they own when they discover this information.  When you kindly tell a store manager that you will no longer be purchasing x products because of these specific chemicals (print out this list here and circle the offenders in that producthttps://www.facebook.com/notes/ava-anderson-non-toxic/avas-ingredients-to-avoid-list/10152173330070982). I know for a fact that if it happens enough the manufacturers will hear about it.  Unfortunately most of the “big guys” will not make changes until it hurts their profits.

GLITTER: What are some of you latest products and why do you love them?

AVA: We just launched two amazing candles for the holidays! Chai Tea and Peppermint made from organic coconut wax, organic beeswax and pure essential oils. They are heavenly and the perfect holiday/teachers gift. I’m always lusting over our lemon sugar body scrub and it’s perfect for any dry skin you may get during the winter. The toner would have to be my #1 right now though. I love keeping it in the fridge as a refreshing spritz after cleansing my face! 🙂

avabody for categoryGLITTER: What’s next for your company?

AVA: We have more products in the works! It’s our goal to have non-toxic alternatives to everything you use on a regular basis. We hope to also continue to enroll thousands more, and experience crazy exponential growth because those numbers are representative of how many lives we are changing. One day we would love to expand to other countries too! Everyone deserves amazing non-toxic products.

GLITTER: Teens sometimes don’t think they have power when it comes to living toxic free, what inspiration can you give them on living a healthier lifestyle?

AVA: I would say we are incredibly lucky to be so tech savvy and to use that to your advantage to research what you are using and eating and to seek out safer alternatives. Our FB page is a really great resource because we add new articles and information daily. Also, for girls who currently use Sephora brands or Department store products, Ava is much more affordable! Organic ingredients can sometimes cost thirty times more than their synthetic chemical counterparts, but it has always been a goal of ours to be as affordable as possible. A few times we have even taken price reductions. As we grow, we are able to negotiate with our manufacturers for increased savings, and turn those savings right over to our customers!

avaSUN categoryGLITTER: Are there any ways teens can make a difference in their communities?

AVA: Yes! You have to be eighteen-years-old to sign up as a consultant, but you can have a mom/dad/aunt as the main person on the account and you can be spreading the word to your friends and having Ava parties (or avaHOURS as we usually call them). It beats babysitting and you’ll be helping people lead healthier lives.

avaSKIN categoryGLITTER: What for you, defines a GIRL WHO ROCKS?

AVA: I think passion, confidence and kindness are a killer trio! I love to see young girls follow a passion, and while working towards a goal they become really confident in their skills and capabilities. Don’t forget to be kind and humble. Your reputation is the only thing you own that truly matters.  🙂

 

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