With women's day approaching, we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to our founder, Avalon. A mom of two beautiful boys who works full-time in addition to running AURA, it's the unwavering passion for what she does that continues to fuel her.
Today, we're sharing a bit more about Avalon, why she founded AURA, how she balances it all, her experience as an entrepreneur, and how she supports the women in her community.
Can you share your founder story and what inspired you to start AURA?
I started experiencing ‘hormonal’ acne mid-university after having near perfect skin most of my life. It left me confused and overwhelmed, feeling like there was nothing I could do. After four years of trying every topical product and treatment possible, I discovered the power of botanical ingredients. Skin issues were the start of my journey, but after managing chronic stress and various changes as a result of pregnancy, I knew I wanted to create products to do more than just help skin. I wanted to create products to improve overall well-being for whatever stage of life you’re at. After the struggles I went through, I knew I could help others.
You're a full-time working mom and founder of AURA - how do you manage it all?
If I’m being honest, I’m exhausted! I thought I was tired before having kids but it really adds an extra layer that’s hard to understand until you have them. I think one of the many important things you learn after becoming a mom is that you have to just do whatever is necessary - you have to keep moving forward and there's no opportunity to postpone. The biggest thing for me is remembering to prioritize self-care!
Why are inclusivity, body confidence and self-love such an important part of AURA's mission? How does this mission relate to your own personal journey?
I think many of us often look to health when we want to achieve a certain goal - when we want to lose a few pounds or look better for a special event coming up. But I really want to change the way we consider our health and self-care day to day versus when there’s a special reason to self-care. I always find it shocking how many people have asked me, “but will this make me skinny?” While you might experience weight-loss with your health back in balance – the short answer is no, these products are not designed to be a weight loss product in any way, shape, or form, they are meant to make you feel healthy and give you the nutritional support to combat our daily stresses – for your skin, body, and mind. In the past I’ve placed enormous pressure on myself to look a certain way and fit a certain size but at the end of the day this has never made me happy – after kids my body never really “bounced back,” yet it was the most accepting I’ve ever been of myself and every woman deserves to know just how beautiful she is - in so many more ways than just her body.
How do you empower and inspire the other women in your life?
Right now I inspire and empower other people in my life I think just by working really, really hard. In my corporate career I would hear colleagues say someone was going to school and taking one course at night and was really exhausted and their response would be like, “Don’t say that to Avalon… she took 5 courses at a time while on maternity leave with her twin boys.” That’s very sweet and while I’m happy I can motivate others to think they can do it too – I truly think any small step you take towards your goal is an amazing accomplishment!
In 2020 I’m really looking to get more involved in the community, attend more workshops and events to educate women on wellness and entrepreneurship. After doing so much school I have a love for learning and teaching, and I genuinely want to help women in any way that I know how!
What does International Women's Day mean to you?
I never got to meet my grandma, as she passed away when my Mom was 7 at the age of 34. My Mom talks about my grandma so passionately, how she challenged the status quo, and at 34 she was a woman going to school and had actually just finished her MBA, which in the early 1970’s was pretty unheard of! She stood for women’s rights and challenged the way women were perceived. She knew she was sick but when she first went to the hospital the doctors deemed her as mentally unstable because of how she challenged the norm, and 7 months later, by the time they found out it was cancer, it was throughout her entire body. For some reason that story my Mom told me has always stuck with me and represents what it means to be a woman.
What is the one accomplishment you're most proud of?
Starting my first business! AURA is actually the second business I’ve launched - and although I feel like I had no idea what I was doing I’m the most proud of that moment because it was the first initial push into something uncomfortable and the feeling of “just going for it.” It is a tough journey being an entrepreneur and not for the faint of heart. Finishing my MBA was a goal of mine before I started university, so another huge accomplishment for me, but the the top one is definitely becoming a mom to my sweet boys.
What do resilience, brilliance and radiance mean to you?
Resilience means getting back to feeling like you - after going through a difficult time and being able to show up again and push forward into a new day. Brilliance means knowing how truly capable and smart you are - whether this is IQ or EQ - and using your powerful brain to the best of it’s abilities (coming out of burnout or brain fog). Radiance means having that glow - the one you have when you take time to practice self-care and it shows up in every dimple and every pore and radiates through to people around you.
We hope today, and everyday, you recognize how Radiant, Resilient and Brilliant you truly are. However you’re celebrating, happy International Women’s Day from AURA.