Here at GirlsGoneSporty, we love it when a woman identifies a problem, then sets out to solve it. We love it even more when that woman is still a teenager!
Ava Anderson, the Founder and CEO of Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, was just 14 years old when she first discovered that most of the beauty products on the market (even the "organic" or "natural" ones) were often full of toxic chemicals that could harm the body. After doing exhaustive research to find products she would feel comfortable using, she realized that there wasn't a good solution...so she made one! Ava Anderson Non-Toxic first launched in December 2009 with avaSKIN, and now features a full line of products including avaBODY, avaHOME, avaHAIR, avaSCENT and avaBABY.
So how does the now 18-year-old manage to juggle running her award-winning business with the business of being a teenager? Check out our interview to find out how!
Deciding to start the business
GirlsGoneSporty (GGS): You developed your line of beauty and body products after becoming concerned about the health affects of added chemicals in most cosmetic lines. What concerned you most about using beauty products with added chemicals?
Ava Anderson (AA): Just knowing all of the effects that the chemicals in the products could have on the human body and our environment - the total “body burden” of ongoing use.
GGS: What inspired you to develop your own line, and what was the first product that you developed?
AA: After throwing out most of my products, my mothers’ and grandmothers’ too, I still had nothing “Ava Approved” to replace them with. So, with help from my family and family friends, I set out to develop new formulas that were truly safe and toxin-free.
We launched with our six-piece skin care set that includes a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, exfoliator, lip scrub and eye makeup remover. We have since introduced many new product categories including avaBABY, avaBODY, avaHAIR, avaHOME, and avaSCENT.
Continuing to grow
GGS: How do you decide when or how to expand your line?
AA: We have been expanding our product lines multiple times each year in hopes of having non-toxic alternatives to any product the average consumer touches and uses on a daily basis.
GGS: You've just launched avaBABY, avaHOME and avaSCENT - can you tell us a little about these new lines?
AA: Sure, we just released these on March 3rd at our national convention in Palm Beach, Florida. All of our customers and consultants are so excited, as they have been begging us for these categories of products since we launched a little over two years ago:
- The avaBABY line is the best/safest organic baby line on the market.
- The avaHOME line has two products: an “all purpose & glass cleaner” and a “hard surface & bathroom cleaner” as well as a great “green & clean “ microfiber cloth that eliminates the need for paper towels. The cleaners have a nice peppermint smell from the essential oils and are perfect for cleaning and maintaining a safe environment for kids and pets to play in.
- The avaSCENTS are made from essential oil blends with no alcohol or synthetic fragrance. Many of our customers had given up on wearing scents because they are a chemical stew - they are thrilled to smell nice again.
A healthy business structure
GGS: Breaking into the beauty industry can be hard, but as one of Entrepreneur Magazine's final five Emerging Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2011, you're clearly doing a good job! How have you managed to spread the word about your company and grow your business in such a tough competitive environment?
AA: We are a direct sales company - one of the fastest growing in the US right now. We chose this method of sales, because our mission is to share this important information about the toxic chemicals in most products. We have 1,500 consultants in 48 states because we pay really well, and offer a great business opportunity! Our Ava Consultants share this message every day with new customers. We are growing by double digits every month. We will keep adding more great products. Because we are unique, we do get a lot of wonderful press, which helps us share this important health message with even more people.
GGS: You just touched on your decision to use Ava Consultants in a direct sales platform to reach your customer - can you share a little about the consultant opportunity?
AA: For $99.00 a consultant can enroll with us - they get a full starter kit of products, free online website with shopping cart, complete training and a free online office. We have free professional training each week, and we pay extremely well - one of the richest compensation plans in the country! Where can an entrepreneur start a business for $99.00, with cutting edge quality products, that are highly consumable and work to build a six figure income? And more?
We have consultants who have 240-300 people or more in their downline team already, and who will have 1,000 or more by the end of the year. We have MBA’s and professionals who understand that this is a terrific business opportunity, and they no longer have to be a “corporate slave." Many build their Ava Consultant business alongside their current career in hopes of leaving an unpleasant job situation.
GGS: You started your company at 15 years old - how has it been trying to balance school with starting and running a company?
AA: I think I have been able to balance the two quite well by managing my time after school wisely. Instead of devoting hours per day to a varsity sport, I allot that time towards business emails, phone calls, meetings and interviews. Having six full time employees is also necessary for the day-to-day business management. We have a shipping Department, COO, IT Department, Customer Service and Consultant Service Department, PR person, and Training/Sales VP, in addition to my mom, who runs the company with me.
GGS: Do you have a favorite product that you use every day?
AA: My personal favorites are the exfoliator, lip balm, the essential oil rollerball in Hope, and the lemon sugar body scrub which smells absolutely divine!
GGS: GirlsGoneSporty is geared to the active, sporty woman - which products would you consider to be must-have items for this demographic?
AA: The toner definitely fits this description perfectly. I can't think of a better way to come out of a workout than with a little refreshing spritz of toner in the gym locker room. The sunscreen and moisturizer with SPF are also vital for those who workout outside like hiking, biking and skiing!
To learn more about Ava Anderson and her products, check out the Ava Anderson Non-Toxic website! Also, Ava generously agreed to take part in our March Madness giveaway! "Like" us on Facebook to get notifications of each daily giveaway opportunity!