When scandals happen to a company, like Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, it obviously affects customers and employees, but it also exposes industry standards and shakes entire communities, such as female entrepreneurs. Ava Anderson, the young female entrepreneur who created Ava Anderson Non-Toxic at age 14, has decided to walk away from her company. In this bizarre turn of events, Ava Anderson LLC’s official note on their website is that the primary reason they’re closing their doors is she has been bullied and harassed. Their secondary reason is some of their third-party vendors have been less than honest, and some of their products did in fact contain questionable ingredients.

Sigh.

This may not seem like a big deal to you if you don’t use Ava Anderson products, but if you’re someone who cares about organic living, product labeling ethics, business integrity, or are an entrepreneur—particularly a female entrepreneur—this is a big deal. 

It All Started with AvaHome Dish Soap…

This Ava Anderson scandal all seemed to begin when Jess over at Ecofriendlymamausa.com began questioning the ingredients—or lack of ingredients—in AvaHome Dish Soap. In her all-natural experience, along with at-home soap making experts, she felt it was impossible for AvaHome Dish Soap to create as many sudsy bubbles as it does with the list of ingredients on the label. She wanted to know exactly what ingredient was causing so many bubbles. In Jess’s January 23, 2016 blog post  she shows photographic evidence of her email thread with Kim Anderson in 2013 stating that Kim knew where “everything is from, how it is made, and from what materials.” Essentially shutting Jess’s questions down. Fast forward to almost 3 years later, and a blogger investigating a product’s ingredients is considered “bullying.”

No. Just no.

What Female Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Ava Anderson

1. Haters Gonna Hate

If you’re a business owner, a celebrity of any sort (even if you’re just a local celebrity), an internet sensation, an entrepreneur, or really just a breathing human who speaks, you’re going to have haters! That’s the way it works. And in my opinion, if you have haters that means you’re doing something right. You have a message or a purpose that people either don’t want to hear or, more often, it makes them question themselves too much so they feel intimidated by your facts. In Ava Anderson’s case, she was spreading the much needed message that the chemicals, toxins, and questionable ingredients we have allowed in our mainstream personal and home products are causing cancer, metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases, hormonal disruptions, and many other ailments. Ava was trying to educate others, promote an important issue, and offer a solution. That is the very basis of a brilliant business idea! One that is going to have a slew of supporters, and one that’s going to have a slew of haters who don’t want to hear the truth. And in this case, “haters” that want to just go to CVS or Rite Aid to buy their regular bottle of cheap crap, and not have to question it.

Lesson to female entrepreneurs: Grow a thick skin. And change your perspective to see “haters” as a sign you’re doing something right! Additionally, be able to separate and know the the difference between people who are haters, and those who just disagree with you.

2. Don’t Walk Away From Your Business Amid Controversy

Ava Anderson Non-Toxic emailed all of their consultants and leaders to reveal the results of the third-party testing of ALL their products. It turns out that yes, Jess was correct in that something was missing from the list of ingredients. Per the email last night, every item in the Ava Anderson product line, except for three—hand soap, dish soap, pet shampoo—“were found under this testing program to contain no chemicals of concern detected above a concentration of 0.02%.” This is on the heels of them announcing the week prior that AvaLove scent and AvaMen scent had tested positive for pthalates, and their foundation and blush had traces of iron oxides. Both of which Ava Anderson officials said they had no knowledge of since these products were produced by a third-party vendor who had omitted that information.

This is what crisis PR firms live for, and many a company has bounded back after FAR worse an issue than this! What could have been handled in an honest, apologetic way is now 100,000x worse because Ava Anderson is walking away. Especially when her reason is something as lame as “bullying.” In fact, they could even have launched a new campaign in developing better relationships with organic companies, and played up the economic aspect that not only have they kept their growing company at home in Rhode Island, USA but they’re now creating more jobs by producing all items in-house. I can just see Ava Anderson (the person) doing another TEDtalk on how she had to learn the hard way that sometimes you have to do it all yourself! She would gain the support of pro-USA consumers, fellow entrepreneurs, and been a lesson on “how to win back your customer’s trust” instead of becoming the featured “What Not To Do” in the next edition of a Business 101 text book.

Lesson to female entrepreneurs: Stand firm in your company’s beliefs and always fall back on the simple code of ethics that honesty is the best policy. Hire a great PR firm and don’t be afraid to play up your unique selling points, and be HONEST about your weaknesses.

3. Know That You Will Be Burned By Association At Some Point

I think it’s inevitable, if you put your name on a business, there’s going to be some point where an employee, vendor, or even a customer is going to tarnish you by association. It may be something small like an employee with a porn addiction, or it might be something like Ava Anderson where a third-party vendor lied about their ingredients so that they could win a contract making Ava Anderson products. Yes, Ava Anderson probably should have vetted out their contractors a bit more. But I strongly believe, that even those who have done their due diligence and extensive research on a company, can still be burned. If anything, this was a great opportunity for Ava Anderson to admit the truth that a vendor misrepresented themselves.

Lesson to female entrepreneurs: Be trusting of others, but still be on guard.

4. Know You are Your Unique Selling Point and the Answer to a PR Crisis

Ava Anderson is a beautiful, intelligent, 20-something year old. She is the epitome of a media darling and this easily could have be put in her favor. I’m not talking about shady PR practices where they blame someone else. But I honestly believe that if you put this eloquent young woman in front of the public (did I mention how beautiful she is?) she could easily speak the truth and win back the hearts of many.

When you create a business—particularly one that is literally named after you!—you become your unique selling point. Personally, I was won over by Ava Anderson because she’s from New England, like me. And she went to Babson College, like my dad. And she was 14 when she created her business. Ava Anderson the person is Ava Anderson Non-Toxic the company. So for her family to throw up a cryptic note on their website about “the difficult decision to end their 6-year journey by closing what you have come to know as Ava Anderson LLC” is a complete catastrophe of the business. And while they also add that the “capable management team with a combined 150 years of experience in the direct sales industry will re-open with a new company, brand and many of the same wonderful products,” they have literally lost the heart of the company.

Lesson to female entrepreneurs: If you’re not in it for life, do not name your company after you or brand yourself. You hold a larger responsibility to your company if it is named and branded after you. If you are the type of entrepreneur that wants to create a business, make money, and then walk away then definitely do NOT name a company after yourself. (I don’t believe Ava Anderson planned to walk away, but it’s a lesson all the same.)

The Future of Ava Anderson, the Company & the Person

I was asked during my Periscope broadcast today (see it on YouTube or above), if I would continue to use Ava Anderson products. That’s a really hard one for me to answer. I have been hyper aware the past few days that I’m surrounded by Ava Anderson products and use them every day in my morning and evening routines. I have her entire AvaSkin product line. My children use Dream Cream after every bath. I want to believe that the list they emailed their consultants last night is correct, and that truly the hand soap, dish soap, and pet shampoo (3 products I’ve never used or purchased) are the ONLY ones that contained unlabeled ingredients. However, there is such an element of shadiness with the abrupt “closing of doors’ and renaming that I really feel there has to be more to the story. There is no evidential support of bullying, so that excuse seems weak at best.

Ava Anderson the person is going to need to speak up in the next few days. This may sound dramatic but this feels a bit like a death: a young, beautiful, brilliant mind lost too soon, and we’re all left here with a million questions. There has to be a deeper explanation. Just last week she was still being celebrated within the Rhode Island and New England community for her contributions to the economy. They had just moved to a huge restored warehouse and had already announced their plans to bring their products in-house. I just don’t understand why they would cut off their nose to spite their face. Especially when the results of the lab report came down to 6 measly products. I’m very curious to see how this all plays out!

What are your thoughts? Please let me know in the comments below or fill out my contact form to reach me directly!

191 Comments

  1. Sue Parke

    I literally bought their diaper cream and Dream Cream back in December. I was going to try their makeup, but after reading here that there were traces of iron oxides I’m glad I didn’t try it yet. I’m trying to find makeup that is truly chemical free, but I will say I’m always a bit skeptical, and wonder if products that say they’re chemical free truly are. Sad to hear about the company though, I have a few friends that absolutely love their products.

    Reply
    • Sonia Bernard

      You may want to look into Poofy Organics. Many of the products are USDA certified. It is a small family run business with consultants. Products are handmade in NJ.
      I believe AA was trying to do the right thing, but they fell short, for whatever reason.

      Reply
      • Holly

        Really? Do you think this is the time or place to try to recruit? A Poofy rep is the one who spends more time blogging about and bad-mouthing AANT than she probably does with her family.

        Reply
    • Sarah A

      Check out Sweet Savvy Minerals: http://www.sweetsavvyminerals.com Their makeup is totally toxin free and she has some beautiful colors. The gal who started it, Melissa Peopping, is a friend and a speaker in the non-toxic movement. I’ve been very impressed by the quality.

      Reply
      • Holly

        I’m sorry but this is not the place to try to recruit.

        Reply
        • Angela

          People are asking for another non toxic brand. How is it not the time or place? Seems appropriate.

          Reply
          • Meridith Oram

            I agree, Angela! It stung a lot back in January when the news of Ava Anderson Non-Toxic closing was fresh; but now is most certainly appropriate.

          • Corina

            Agreed Angela! Thank you Sonia and Sara!

        • Alison

          I agree with Angela. I am very grateful for people willing to share some new products to try. Holly, relax.

          Reply
    • J. Fenlong

      I discovered a company called beautycounter they ban over 1500 toxic ingredients. Send me an email and I’ll get you more info.

      Reply
    • pamela

      have you located a true chemical free makeup

      Reply
  2. Lisa Fiyod

    This was a very well-written opinion! Nicely done.

    Reply
  3. SoulyOrganic

    Seriously THE best blog, article, opinion I have read since the story broke. And I have read many. Probably too many. Kudos to you, very eloquent and fair.
    Thank you. Hoping for a positive outcome for this company.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      You are so kind! Thank you 🙂 Please be sure to share across your social media platforms. This is something that impacts so many people; not just customers.

      Reply
  4. Monica

    Please review your sources….the hand soap, dish soap, pet shampoo did NOT contain chemicals of concern, as you’ve stated in #2, paragraph 1.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      It DID contain chemicals of concern. Here is the full email that was sent to the consultants on Tuesday, 1/26 from Ava Anderson Home Office.

      Dear Leaders & Consultants,

      We have good news! We have taken inventory and are prepared to put all products made in-house, as well as all private label products assessed by third party testing, back on our shopping cart this evening! We have received the results late today and wanted you to be the first to know that all products were analyzed by a highly reputable, independent third party laboratory. The laboratory tested these products for 73 synthetic compounds, including phthalates and semi-volatile compounds. Other than the previously disclosed products (see below), all products were found under this testing program to contain no chemicals of concern detected above a concentration of 0.02%.

      We appreciate your patience. Our amazing team is here to serve you, and fill your orders! Here is all of the specific product information.

      PRODUCTS MADE BY PRIVATE LABEL MANUFACTURERS and cleared by third party testing:
      baby massage and body lotion
      baby wash and shampoo
      body butter
      cleanser
      conditioner
      deep conditioner
      detangler
      diaper cream
      dish soap – new in-house formula
      dream cream
      hand & body lotion
      hand sanitizer (now hands on the go) – 16 ounce refill version will be available
      hand soap – new in-house formula
      kids wash and shampoo
      kids massage and body lotion
      lip balm (spearmint)
      sugar lip scrub
      moisturizer
      shampoo
      shower gel
      style cream
      sunscreen stick
      sunscreen
      (*these 23 products are now all made in-house in Warren, RI, and the in-house versions, with ingredients currently on the shopping cart, will be sold first.)

      PRODUCTS MADE BY THIRD PARTY MANUFACTURERS that have cleared third party testing. And will go back on the cart:
      eye liner
      mascara
      all purpose & glass cleaner spray
      hard surface & bathroom cleaner spray
      pet deodorizer
      leather care
      no water car wash
      plant booster

      PRODUCTS MADE IN-HOUSE, BY US, AT OUR WARREN, RI FACILITY, going back on the cart:
      anti-frizz
      baby powder
      bar soap, lavender
      bar soap, original
      blemish stick
      boo boo stick
      bug spray
      candle, lavender
      candle, lemongrass
      candle, chai tea
      deodorant, spray
      deodorant stick
      exfoliator
      eye cream
      hyaluronic acid
      Host Exclusive essential oil set
      jojoba carrier oil
      lemon sugar body scrub
      lip balm with spf
      lip gloss, pink
      lip gloss, berry
      lip gloss, coral
      lip gloss, cinnamon
      lip gloss, plum
      lip gloss, rose
      makeup remover spray
      moisturizer with spf
      moisturizing mask
      monster spray
      night serum
      pet deodorizer
      scrubbing cleanser
      toothpaste, original
      toothpaste, kids
      toner
      35 products

      FYI – PRODUCTS NO LONGER ON THE CART that have also passed the same testing:
      lip glosses (old version retired last fall)
      lip sticks
      bb creams
      laundry detergent pods
      dishwasher detergent pods
      bleach alternative pods
      A final shipment of the pod products is in transit. When it arrives, it will be placed on the cart at the same 40% discount, while supplies last.

      Due to incorrect labeling information the following will not be on the cart:
      hand soap (old third party version)
      dish soap (old third party version)
      pet shampoo
      *The supplier has intentionally left off an EcoCert certified emulsifier called “Plantapon SF” –it is a mild surfactant base that is free of sulfates, betaine, ethylene oxide, and preservatives. It is used for “gentle, and natural soap/gel formulations.” We had no knowledge of this.

      Other products not returning to the cart:
      foundation
      blush
      The supplier did not list iron oxides on the label. These are commonly used ingredients for color in cosmetics. They are on our ingredient glossary already. We had no knowledge of this.

      PREVIOUSLY SHARED PRODUCT ISSUES – UPDATE – The avaLOVE scent (DEP 1.3%) and avaMEN (DEP 0.05%) tested positive for phthalates, which was absolutely never an approved or disclosed ingredient by two separate suppliers. We have previously informed all customers affected by this and have offered free replacements to all of these customers. The form will be available until February 7th.

      We want to again reiterate that we never had knowledge that an ingredient was in our product that was not on our label.

      Reply
      • Monica

        The “EcoCert certified emulsifier” was absolutely left off the label by the 3rd party supplier, but the ingredient wasn’t one of concern. It is something that would have been allowed in the product and on the label IF Ava had known about it. The hand soap, dish soap, and pet shampoo that people have in their homes currently (aka. the old formulations) are safe and I don’t think it makes the situation any better to make people think that the products are unsafe. It only contributes to confusion. The only products that had chemicals of concern were the scents and mens. For those products the company reached out to customers to notify them. If the soap, dish soap, and pet shampoo were of concern, the company would have notified customers.

        Reply
        • Meridith Oram

          Please know I love Ava Anderson and her products. The entire point of my post is to say this has become 100,000x a bigger deal because she walked away from a controversy that could have been resolved by honesty and a top-notch crisis PR team. Many companies have come back from far worse.

          Reply
          • Ali

            Yes, they walked away from controversy and handled it in a way that shows disorder similar to this ingredient fiasco. Despite the excellent points Meridith made, I really would like to know if Monica is correct regarding the dish soap not containing a “chemical of concern”. Not looking for a debate on the catastrophe but simply want to know if Meridith is correct in stating there are things like phthalates in the dish soap. I’m about to toss 5 bottles if they have phthalates. If there was a surprise Eco certified ingredient inside, then I won’t throw away 5 bottles. My rep said what Monica said, but maybe Meridith has more inside information.

          • Meridith Oram

            Hi Ali! I’m not sure which line you’re misinterpreting, but I never stated that the dish soap has pthalates. They most certainly do not! Only AvaLove scent and AvaMen was discovered to have pthalates, which they had addressed prior to this. There was a surprise ingredient inside, but I believe that Ava has been a bit vague about this. I hope Monica’s correct in that it “would have listed it on the label” but I feel the ambiguity and changing of the formula begs to differ. Do you have the current in-home version, or the old third-party version? All the information I received on their laboratory results in posted in a comment above. I personally don’t feel like you should throw away these 5 bottles.

          • Ali

            Thanks for the follow-up Meridith! You asked if I had the old version or new version, and I chuckled a bit as this highlights the main issue. I’m so confused about what version I have and how I’d know what version I had. It’s like a configuration management mess.

        • Sue Apito

          So… Ava does not consider synthetic fragrances to be “chemicals of concern” then… good to know. Because her AvaScent products contain synthetic fragrances. And it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to be tested for volatile chemicals and not have any above 0.02% as they have said – and contain ANY essential oils.

          Reply
      • Chris

        The dish soap, per shampoo and hand soap were missing an ingredient in their label. The ingredient was NOT a chemical of concern.

        Reply
        • Sue Apito

          While the chemicals of concern which were secretly part of the Dish Soap may not be considered to be a “chemical of concern” to Ava, it is an assumption on their part that the ingredient is not a concern to anyone. If I am buying something marketed to me as soap – I do not expect to be sold synthetic detergent. Her job is transparency, not deciding for the rest of the world what ingredients they personally want to avoid.

          Reply
      • Ok young

        Today is march 14 2017 and i just watched an episode of “Bizz kids” on kcet : a public tv station in Los Angeles. The show was about being green. ..I was so impressed with Ava Anderson that i decided to look into her products. … I had no idea that the show, Ava, ..and her company were now just part of history..
        .To a passerby it looks like her idea turned into a huge unmanageable business that outgrew the family farm. Too many products…no limits to its growth…
        Eventually Ava seemed tethered to a hungry huge green monster that started out as her happy little dreamy best friend …like a green kitten.
        I dont blame her for cutting it loose..free to become legend.
        Which is where i find it today….
        …Where it lives on protected for historical record in the digital archives of green mythological
        creatures, creators, their habitats, and related cultural heritage. Where old blogs go.
        Maybe she had finals….

        Reply
  5. Elizabeth Hummard S.

    Good Read. Don’t forget about the hand sanitizer scandal. They were selling it…named it Hand Sanitizer & It’s truly not hand sanitizer at all. Of course, last week they changed the name. Just awful business practices!

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      Thanks Elizabeth. Interested about the hand sanitizer—I had no idea! This whole thing is just so disappointing, and I’m most frustrated with the lack of communication or clarity from the company.

      Reply
    • Curiousinboston

      Can you explain the hand sanitizer scandal?

      Reply
      • Sue Apito

        Products sold as hand sanitizer are legally OTC Drugs, regulated by the FDA. Ava’s product was a misbranded drug as it did not follow what is called the OTC Monograph as far as – in other words it was not formulated according to the law and as a result, put the public in jeopardy ESPECIALLY since they were encouraging their consultants to market it to nurses to use in hospital instead of the alcohol-based. safe, approved, proven products which are designed to protect both patients and medical staff from potentially lethal bacteria.

        Reply
        • Nicole

          In regards to the hand sanitizer: at NO time were we as consultants “encouraged to market it to nurses to use in hospitals” by the company owners or training staff. If a particular consultant did that, then that is on them, not the company.

          Reply
        • curiousInBoston

          Okay, my understanding is that the issue is that there was not alcohol in it so the FDA won’t allow it to be described as a sanitizer. It does have antibacterial neem and tea tree oil in it though. But the issue with the “safe” alchohol-based products is that most of them (and definitely the ones being used in hospitals) have triclosan in them which is registered with the government as a pesticide (i.e. maybe “safe” in that they kill germs but not safe in that they are carcinogenic).

          Reply
        • Linn

          I believe you are the one Sue who started this whole mess. Although Ava Anderson has done a wonderful job of educating people on being more health consciousness in their shopping for personal care products you have done nothing but bash her every time you get a chance!
          You and a few others have had a feeding frenzy like some piranha fish. You’re misrepresenting them at every turn like a nasty divorce where harmony and united goals have turned to bitterness! This is what I’m seeing as an outsider looking in. I see you have devoted countless hours online to bringing down Ava Anderson. I can’t help but think it’s a terrible thing. I don’t see them really fighting back. I hope by now you feel vindicated. Sure they weren’t perfect but they definitely have addressed all their little problems as much as possible.

          Reply
        • Linn

          Sorry Sue Apito, maybe it was more Jessica Brandt than you. She also profits making a shameless plug at the end of her blog against Ava for her own products. She even tears at the fabric of the Anderson family in that blog! Shameless! Certainly that should be off limits- but no not if its your own blog! Wouldn’t it work better to do as Ava and her family has done in helping to educate the public about harmful household chemicals? Looking on as a recent researcher I see some of you were associated with Ava Anderson and somehow had a falling out like a bad marriage! A couple of you gals became very bitter, found a little dust to pin on Ava Anderson and still haven’t stopped your smear campaign. Reminds me of politics. This envious spirit isn’t a good thing.

          Reply
  6. Tracy

    Great write up! Love the products but it’s so sad that it ended this way. Funny how their new executives worked for toxic companies before. I think they care about money & money. I was shocked this week!! I use the baby products everyday! Was also told the organic oils I bought a few months back are not certified organic, BUT STATED CERTIFIED organic when I bought them. It’s sad she let money take over the vision. I’ll certainly use up my product but will not purchase anything more or support an unethical & untrustworthy business.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      Thank you, Tracy! It is very sad that it ended this way. I don’t know anything about the new management team, so I’m curious to learn more as this all continues to unfold. I just really wish Ava and Kim hadn’t walked away!! It is making this situation so much worse.

      Reply
    • Rae Goldstein

      What new executives? The formulator worked for 2 major corporate brands and couldn’t lay her head on the pillow at night knowing what chemicals were going into those products. She found her way to PURE haven essentials to truly follow her heart and make a difference in the lives of others. How is that not following Ava Anderson’s mission. Furthermore the “executives” have not slept getting the company, products and mission on track. Amazing, dedicated, kind people. You would do well to check your facts.

      Reply
      • Penny

        New president, Jim Brady. “Jim has a depth and breadth of management experience, nationally and globally, including senior executive roles at Avon and PartyLite”. Are you saying this is their new formulator who could not lay his head on his pillow any more…really? I think you are the one who has their facts and their fiction a bit confused.

        Reply
  7. Courtney Buteau

    Thank you so much for sharing this article. While i have three of her skincare products, I am most concerned about the essential oils host kit that I have. I use them all the time….and these are expensive oils and would hate to throw them out. How will I ever know? This whole ordeal makes me frustrated because I spend so much time researching…then I had an in-home party for Ava products…and I just don’t feel like I trust what they’re saying. I’ve made my own diaper cream and hand soap, guess I’ll have to step up my DIY products a bit.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      Thank you—I enjoyed your article about it as well! I’m super impressed that you make your own diaper cream! I make my own deodorant and cleaning supplies. If you’re looking for a very reputable essential oils company, PlantTherapy.com is my favorite! I also like Young Living.

      Reply
      • Courtney Buteau

        Aw, thanks! I wrote that post when I saw the email on their site, so much has even changed since then! (Side note: I live in the same town as her, as well.) I’ve heard great things about Young Living, too! I do have a couple of oils Mountain Rose Herbs that I’ve been pleased with, so I will definitely have to do more digging. Loved your article though, happy I found you! 🙂

        Reply
      • Sue Apito

        PlantTherapy is a very well respected company in the aromatherapy community. They consult with the leading essential oil safety expert in the world, Robert Tisserand. Young Living by contrast is under criminal investigation by the FDA.

        Reply
        • kelly

          Young Living is not under criminal investigation from the FDA. I would encourage you to do a little more research into that.

          Reply
  8. Ashley

    Thank you for this. I literally became a consultant for ava January first of this year. I am completely torn right now as to how to feel because I feel exactly as you do. There is more to this story. I love ava as a person but I may also turn my back on the company now that ava is gone. I’m having a hard time deciding if that’s disloyal because I do really believe in the products, they work and I love them but how I am I supposed to convince other people when I’m so brand new to the company and all this dust hasn’t settled yet. Every time I turn around there’s a new point of view I haven’t thought about. Ugh. So frustrating. I really was content and excited for my adventure as a consultant and I was doing so well! Here’s what really made me question this whole unusual turn of events: http://m.golocalprov.com/business/ava-anderson-blames-vendors-for-using-wrong-ingredients-critics-disagree

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      I think “torn” is the perfect description of this whole situation, Ashley! I truly love all my Ava Anderson products (and I have A LOT!) She has so many loyal fans and was doing SO much good in the world of organic/non-toxic, as well as creating opportunities within her home state of Rhode Island. It’s confusing/sad enough being just a customer, so I really feel for the consultants. Too bad she didn’t just step down from day-to-day activities instead of completely walking away. It’s bizarre, confusing, disappointing, etc.! I just wish she’d speak up about what’s really going down. Part of me also wonders if they were just pressured by the new management team—like, was it more Ava and Kim’s management style or lack of experience? Ahhh so many questions!!!

      Reply
    • Caitlyn

      Hi Ashley. Hi Kali! My name is Caitlyn and I’m so sorry to hear about Ava Anderson. I can tell from your insta that you really have a heart for helping people go nontoxic. I want to let you know that we have a place for you in Radiantly You. We are a transparent company and truly all natural. I can get you on the phone with the founder as soon as you would like – she would love to help you transition to our company to continue to provide an income for you and your family. http://Www.radiantlyyou.com/caitlynw

      Reply
      • Tara Glenn

        I really don’t think this is the place to be recruiting people, or the appropriate time.

        Reply
        • Nicole

          Tara – I couldn’t agree more.
          Caitlyn: REALLY??? haha! Laughable! Any company that goes “hunting” right after a company announces a change is pathetic in my opinion. I had 2 messages from companies I had never even heard of within an hour of the email announcement to Ava reps. I’m sorry, but I would NEVER go to a company that sends out their vultures (not that I am leaving AANT). Anyway, it’s terrible for you to do that here. SMH

          Reply
        • Michelle

          Gawd, this thread makes me SICK. I can’t even read the rest of it. Bashing here & there, it’s like the girls in high school that have to prove they are better than everyone else.

          GROW UP!!!

          Doesn’t ANYONE have a life anymore?

          Don’t know Ava or the products.

          MLM companies & their distributors turn me off BIG TIME, although I love several companies products, as they are usually of high quality.

          And people on here trying to recruit new distributors for their downline LOL TOOOO much.

          But after reading this page http://m.golocalprov.com/business/ava-anderson-blames-vendors-for-using-wrong-ingredients-critics-disagree

          I have a strong feeling she was cyber bullied by that girl Brand if she’s been after Ava since she started her company.

          I didn’t read the comments, so I can’t say for certain.

          I just learned about “Poofy” today, as I was looking for a better non toxic nail polish & they came up in my search, but now I don’t trust them because of this Brand character.

          These “know it all” New Agers who look down on others if they don’t do exactly as THEY do make me sick.

          I’m spiritually conscious (’92) & have been holistic since ’97. I used to go to holistic or natural trade shows & some people there would do the same thing, talking down to me as if they are gawd’s gift to the ENTIRE holistic community. And I was a potential customer LOL

          Vegans who go around trying to guilt people into NOT eating meat or chicken also fall under this list.

          People learn at their OWN speed. What is healthy today is not healthy tomorrow.

          You girls are NO better than anyone else just because you use organic products, although I applaud you for going the natural route. We need to take those toxic EVIL CORPS down!

          As for the story, let the story go already (Geeze). Obviously there were issues either with greed or her manufacturers & she clearly didn’t run her company with a tight hand, but she’s only 21 y/o.

          I hope she didn’t do this intentionally, but one never knows.

          Yes she could have gotten a good PR firm, but if she had been harassed for years, maybe it didn’t cross their minds.

          But saying that, I am hard pressed to find ANY holistic company where the owners know what they are doing. There’s a couple that come to mind, but for the most part they provide terrible customer service & are very disorganized. That part of the industry irks me as I’m an entrepreneur.

          But greed is a HUGE problem in the holistic industry because all the greedy ones are jumping on the bandwagon to make their billion bucks.

          They don’t REALLY care about the products they sell & healing the world. It’s all about money for them. Of course there’s some companies that do care & those are the ones I resonate with.

          And many of these small holistic companies that were once good get bought out by EVIL CORPS & the formulas change. It irks me to NO end.

          I just found that this happened to Edgar Cayce’s company & I was heart broken for about 2 weeks.

          It’s sad, because the ONLY thing we should care about is healing ourselves & avoiding all things toxic.

          As for the FDA, I wouldn’t trust them with a 10 foot pole. THEY ARE CORRUPT just like every arm of the government is. They work in tandem with EVIL CORPS.

          Become a conscious agorist.

          Be well everyone!

          Love & Light : )

          Reply
      • Jackie

        I agree not the time or place…and Raidently you DOES have harmful chemicals., but at least they are labeled correctly.

        Reply
        • Monica

          Jackie….please tell me which Radiantly You products contain harmful chemicals. I’m looking at buying some and I’d love a heads up. Thanks!

          Reply
        • Jenny

          so true, Radiantly indeed HAS harmful chemicals, looked into them long after using AANT and ironically honesty is probably better. You see the harmful chemicals and you can choose to use or not. But to use products solely because you don’t see any harmful ingredients on the label and find out about mislabeling is almost worse. Since there are no regulations you have to be a little skeptical about ingredients and not all will be perfect no matter what a nice family company says.

          Reply
      • Jenny

        Caitlyn this is what ava reps thought when they start with the AANT company. You sound new, this is a huge issue being blogged here, totally not the moment to recruit. Make friends make real connections is how you will really flourish in your business. Do research, know what your doing and selling because you will do much better getting business that way. Just sharing from experience.

        Reply
  9. Jay

    About dish soap; its it some of the ingredients were left out, per eco friendly report even the ingredients listed on the label such as oils, even they do not exist. Also did anyone see the report from independent lab that their team claims? Why should someone blindly believe their words, wouldn’t you like to see the actual report after all this?

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      Good point. As far as I know they haven’t released who their “highly reputable third party laboratory” is. I also learned today that the email I obtained that was sent to consultants, was directed by Home Office to share only with customers whom are directly affected (meaning they recently ordered foundation or blush). Um, we’re ALL impacted by association! This REALLY got me upset because I actually saw the email as really GOOD news, and thought it would be comforting for everyone to see that it comes down to only 6 measly products in their entire line. I just am blown away by the whole thing. No idea who’s running the show there now but this is certainly an intriguing case study for business students.

      Reply
  10. jay

    for dish soap; not only they hide some of the ingredients on the label, Per eco friendly lab report, they did not even have the ingredients(all the oils) listed on label. Did anyone see the actual report from third party lab which their team claims? Why should we just believe their words after what has happened? we should look for actual proof.

    Reply
    • Mandi

      Exactly. Until they reveal the actual report, I will never believe a word they say going forward.

      Reply
      • Meridith Oram

        I’m still using all mine, but completely understand. -Meridith

        Reply
  11. Mandi

    I just threw a bunch of my Ava products in the garbage. I feel duped.

    Reply
  12. Curiousinboston

    Oops wanted to be notified of follow up comments and didn’t see the checkbox until I submitted my comment!

    Reply
  13. Debbie

    This was a very well written article! Thank you!

    Reply
  14. Sue Apito

    As one of my friends put it so well when I asked her to share the story with her blog followers: “So they are saying they had a wonderful product and a successful business, but “harassment” from customers and people wanting them to make their products like they claimed they already were, was simply too much stress for their family to bear, so they closed the whole thing?”

    As you say, there is no evidential support of bullying, so that excuse seems weak at best.

    There is also NO evidential support of manufacturs misrepresenting what was in the products they purchased. Six years into this I find it hard to believe the company would sell a product with ingredients which require emulsification in order to *be* the product which is being sold, but no emulsifiers are listed in the ingredients, and they never questioned this. They knew, or they should have known. They DIRECTED the formulation of their products from start to finish.

    The so called “haters” did not hate the company selling products which were in competition with their CVS brand favorites, they exposed the fact that the ingredients listed on the products had to be false because they do not EXIST. The avaSCENT products were marketed as “100% Essential Oils” and Ava, Kim and whomever runs their Facebook page and visited many other social networking sites, were told back in early 2012 that some of the ingredients listed DO NOT EXIST as essential oils, and so HAD to be something else – including synthetic fragrance. Their ingredient list was a description of what the components *smelled like* – not what they actually were. But they did not want to hear that and argued that anyone saying this was wrong, they were designed by a top perfumer who sure as hell knew more than any green blogger.

    They posted about the dangers of talc in their competitors products and warned against it, but their blush contained talc – just under a different chemical name.

    They posted about the dangers of lead in lipstick and made claims, not substantiated with ANY actual testing, that their lipstick did not have lead. What it did contain? Colorants which are not FDA approved and which are KNOWN to contain lead. The same company who complained that the FDA did not do enough to regulate the ingredients in cosmetics – has very strict laws for colorants – and Ava Anderson broke them.

    This family had the financial means and the passion to create what could have been the best, USDA Certified Organic, brand in the country. Instead, they skipped ahead and after only “months of research” – launched a product line being manufactured in the same factories as the brands they pointed the finger at for hiding toxins in their cosmetics! How could it NOT end up this way when your corporate culture is one of willful blindness. It should have taken six years of study, research and development and testing to even LAUNCH the cosmetics business Ava and her mom Kim claimed they wanted to start! So they COULD have started over. Admitted they made some very serious mistakes, and started over the RIGHT way. They chose instead to shoot the messenger then claim to be the one wounded.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      “This family had the financial means and the passion to create what could have been the best, USDA Certified Organic, brand in the country. Instead, they skipped ahead and after only “months of research” – launched a product line being manufactured in the same factories as the brands they pointed the finger at for hiding toxins in their cosmetics! How could it NOT end up this way when your corporate culture is one of willful blindness. ” <----You hit the nail on the head, Sue! Excellent, well-written comment. Thank you!

      Reply
    • Rae Goldstein

      Why don’t you spend your energy “taking down” big Companies who are killing people with their toxic chemicals, instead of spewing your venom and trying to justify how “right” YOU are about Ava Anderson? You are BORING!!! Yawn!!! Next!!!

      Reply
      • Caron

        The discussion has died down and an Ava/Pure Haven EXECUTIVE decides to stir it up again with “You are BORING!!! Yawn!!! Next!!!” Very immature. And, clearly so boring that the exec keeps coming back to blogs to read what people are saying….

        Reply
  15. Janel K

    This was a well written article, and articulates how I feel. I have been using most of AANT body-care products for about 3 years, as well as some of the other household and pet stuff sometimes. I was briefly a consultant, but mostly for the discount, but then didn’t meet their minimum to continue. My sister became a consultant, and has some success. My purchases alone were probably enough to keep her in consultant mode! Even though I try my best to use as many non-toxic products as possible, I still use items that may have ingredients that are questionable– but they are right on the label and I use it knowingly. If they had these items on the label, and I have no doubt they knew it as well, I would’ve been fine with it. I will most likely no longer use their products. The integrity and trust is lost. It’s a real bummer too because I really loved their shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel (which I used as make-up remover/facial wash… truly the best make-up remover).

    I also wanted to add… here and there, I have seen mention that “consultants and effected consumers were notified about…” Not once in the past year have I ever gotten an email as a customer about a recall on the products and an offer of an exchange. I spent over $500 under my consultant sister, not to mention thousands I spent before I lost my own consultant status. My purchases included the affected products. My sister as a consultant also did not get those emails until recently, and even those were cryptic she claimed. Whoever is speaking for AANT about contacting customers and consultants is lying.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      I agree. I love these products so much that I hovered over that “sign up to be a consultant” button many, many times! Yes, the email I reference that they sent their consultants on Tuesday, I learned after the fact, that parts of it were only intended to be shared with “affected customers,” meaning those who had purchased the items in question, but we’re ALL affected customers simply because we ARE customers! Now it’s no real surprise to me that they either don’t have a public relations firm, or they have the worst one in history, but it’s still a major red flag for what this new company will be. It’s so bizarre too because their customer service, in my experience, has always been AMAZING.

      Reply
      • Linn

        My research indicates these were very well formulated products but the suppliers added “a few” of their own what they thought were helpful ingredients. The product line is excellent and was far more excellent than most before the final cleanup round. From what I’m seeing the new company will emerge stronger with a truly clean product line. I think a lot of the others will be playing catchup as they have yet to go under the knife.

        Reply
    • Mandi

      I also was not notified and have purchased the products in question. I only happened to find out because of a Facebook post.

      Reply
      • Meridith Oram

        Wow! Actually, the only reason I was tipped off was because I had previously written a product review on several AANT products. While it’s been one of my most popular posts, the traffic increased dramatically on Monday and it got me curious. I have several friends who are (were?) consultants and they posted “Exciting news!” type posts on their FB pages. As a customer who has spent 100s of dollars, as well as made a purchase as recent as 2 weeks ago, you’d think I would receive an email from home office. I have probably used the word “bizarre” 1000 times the past few days, but there is seriously no other way to describe this situation than BIZARRE! Oh the business and PR case studies that will be made with this.

        Reply
    • Nicole

      Janel – the email for the replacement were only sent if you purchased the avaSCENTS or avaMENS products. Those were the ONLY TWO lines that were affected by this – and, please know, those two lines combined to be 4 products!
      So, if you did not purchase any of the 4 products, you would not have gotten the email. And, ALL consultants got the email about this, so if your sister did not, then she should be contacting consultant services to right that. And, it’s been ALL OVER our online forums for WEEKS!!!!

      Reply
    • Kelly

      I wanted to comment on the e-mails regarding affected products. I received an e-mail, filled out a replacement form, and received my replacement products free of charge.

      Reply
      • Meridith Oram

        Did the email you received come from home office or your consultant?

        Reply
      • Caron

        Kelly, regarding the email you received….was it for the scent and/or men’s product? Or was it one of these below? To my knowledge, no communication to customers has gone out regarding these items that were mislabeled.

        1. Hand & body lotion
        2. Moisturizer
        3. Kids lotion
        4. Baby lotion
        5. Body butter
        6. Dream cream
        7. Diaper cream
        8. Dish Soap
        9. Hand Soap
        10. Pet Shampoo & Conditioner
        11. Powder foundation – Medium
        12. Powder foundation – Light
        13. Blush – Pretty in pink

        Reply
  16. Jackie

    This is a wonderful article. I am a new consultant right before this all started. I had my first Ava hour planned but now cancelled. Even though they said keep your Ava Hours going, it doesn’t seem right to me. I don’t even know what I would say…I was so excited and motivated to spread their message. This is still a message I want to spread and I am passionate about. I don’t know what to do now. How can I represent a company that is not upholding its mission and promise to be transparent? I feel like the whole company is tainted and won’t be the same. I have trust issues with them not giving details about the recent testing. It’s vey disappointing. 🙁

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      I certainly feel for you, Jackie! I am so confused and sad as a customer, that I can’t imagine what I would do as a consultant.

      Reply
    • Consultant No Longer

      Same here. I joined on Thursday. On Monday, the poop hit the fan. I never even received the email saying what had happened. The team group made a post to hold tight. I was confused and lost. Then I was bombarded with comment after comment about Ava closing it’s doors. To me, this was a thought out decision. The Anderson’s did not just decide over the weekend they were pulling out, it has been coming.
      I was very excited about the company, I had started a blog, cleaned out my closets from toxins, started my launch party, watched ever video the company had. I had no kit, I was jumping in and promoting. Then bam… my dreams crushed and a loss of $100+ for a kit of items that I now refuse to promote due to this “scam” scandal. The company refused to refund my kit, saying it shipped. They advise I give the stuff away, use it or toss it. Thank goodness for credit card charge backs. I wish the consultants who decided to stick around luck and hope they can recover from such a hard hit. I’d like a better explanation from the Anderson’s myself. If Ava indeed suffer from bullying for years about the products ingredients, she’s had many other times she could have chosen to pull out. Why wait until now, after obtaining new facilities, hiring in-house testers and employees?

      Reply
      • Meridith Oram

        Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry! The timing could not have been worse and I’m disappointed to hear that nothing was communicated to you. Interesting you say it was a thought-out decision. On one hand, I don’t see how it couldn’t have been one. On the other, I’ve felt like there’s no way it could be due to their new facilities, and continued promotion of Ava as the face of the company right up until this news broke. I keep thinking of that video they released recently of her standing on a table in the middle of the new warehouse before panning out to reveal just how big it is. Why do that when she’s going to walk away? Ohh the questions that just keep piling up!

        Reply
  17. Lisa

    Excellent article! Thank you for making this very clear!

    Reply
  18. Debra Ferrie

    Interesting article. When I learned of her walking away due to “bullying” to tell the truth, I was quite surprised. If there was issue with supplier, switch suppliers and apologize. I guess it’s just time for her to move on to something else in her life. But it affects many ultimately.

    Reply
  19. Anon

    Interesting post–thank you. I live in the same town as the Andersons, and have often felt that this was an artificial bubble. I know at least 7 women who are consultants, and I really feel for them (some of them make a good living!). But it seemed like it had grown way too quickly to be able to live up to the ideals. I’m not surprised the bubble burst.

    Reply
  20. Erin

    I told myself I wouldn’t comment on anything, but I have yet to see anyone address this, and to me it seems amazing that people feel that they get to stand in judgement of someone else’s emotional state. When I first heard all this, I was shocked and disappointed. I too immediately felt that this was all bad business and sketchy on the Anderson’s part. Then while having a completely unrelated conversation with a friend regarding our children and bullying, I had a realization. Ava Anderson is NOT company. She is a HUMAN BEING, subject to the same emotional states and flaws as the rest of us, especially when placed under intense stress. She is also very young. How many times have we heard of young people who go wrong, end up depressed, suicidal, with a psychological condition, and worse, and wish that someone had known? That the person and/or their families had intervened, had done whatever it took to make it better for him/her? What wouldn’t I do, or want my child to do, if it were my child? Would I walk away from everything if it meant helping him/her? In a heartbeat. Because Ava is a figurehead, a well-spoken, intelligent businesswoman, we say that the harrassment and “bullying” charge is ridiculous, but it’s not up the public to decide that for her! I know that I take things very personally, which is why I will not look back here again after I post this, and can lie awake at night thinking of the smallest criticism someone gave me and feeling crushed by it. I can deal with that, but not everyone can. I will not judge Ava Anderson for her decision because I have seen it, in the news, in my classrooms, in my personal life, and just because she’s a little more famous does not mean she can’t break down. I will give her the benefit of that doubt and hope that walking away gives her peace. As to what remains of the company, surely it’s a bit of a mess, and I hope that they regroup and make things right.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      Thanks for commenting, Erin! Yes, absolutely Ava is a young woman who has feelings. I don’t think anyone is saying that she doesn’t feel deeply for her company. In fact, her deep passion and life’s mission for her non-toxic message—what this entire company is/was based on—is why her walking away without comment is all the more bizarre. I have no idea what sort of personal messages she was receiving, but in terms of online, publicly available blog posts, there is no evidential proof of bullying. I don’t define someone who has an opposing opinion or asks hard questions to be a “hater” or a “bully” though, but others may. Perhaps they never expected to have such exponential growth, but I hope the Anderson family considered all this before they created a company where Ava was literally the name and the face. By default, she holds more responsibility to her company because she IS the name and face, and truly the heart of the company. She also has self-described herself as a lobbyist, and the very definition of lobbying is much of what bloggers have done to her company—asked hard questions, investigated, and tried to influence others to research their products’ ingredients. I also pray she finds peace, and hope they regroup and make things right.

      Reply
  21. Danika @ Your Organic Life

    Sorry, but they were not burned by vendors and she was not bullied. About 6 years ago I, too, had a conversation with Kim Anderson. It was because they were claiming not to use talc in their powdered products. What they were actually doing is listing the talc by its industrial name. The industrial version of talc is NEVER used in cosmetics. They did this for 2 reasons: 1st, so they could claim ti be talc-free. The other was to claim they have a zero rating in the Cosmetics Database. But the reason this ingredient had a zero rating is because it’s not a cosmetic ingredient, so there were zero tests on safety in cosmetics. They intentionally mis-labeled the products. When I mentioned it to Kim, she said she would look into it. It was clear she knew what was going on. It was 3-4 years before they reformulated to remove the talc. During those years they never corrected the labels. The way they were labeling their products was not only unethical and misleading, it was illegal. And so are all the issues that have come to light recently. This is why they shut down their business. They have been illegally mislabeling their products and committing fraud since the day one. If they disolve the company and turn it over to new people they are hoping to minimize their legal problems. And, they can claim they have fixed the problems. They are crooks. And they always have been.

    Reply
    • Sue Apito

      Hey Danika! So glad you weighed in. I actually made a screen grab of your article about this very issue and linked to the old Greenwala article on Archive.org just yesterday! Nice seeing you online again!

      I hope the manufacturers speak out and do not allow the company to pass the blame on to them!

      Reply
    • Genesis Organic Essential Oils

      Danika You are right and it is not bullying! It is Holding a company & it’s owners accountable! Our company has to pass FDA & Dept of Ag & USDA requirements in order to hold Organic Certifications and keep good standing. Not including ingredients is a big FDA no no. AND it is surely unethical to use another name unknown to most that represents something that is known and known to be toxic! If companies are not held accountable the situation we are in in America will only get worse! Like no adult supervision during recess! LOL There are so many options for a company if they really were honest mistakes. But I have read 3 posts here where people said they alerted the company to the issues and they went unresolved for 3 to 4 years! I find that irresponsible at best. People talking about it and sharing info is not bullying either. We NEED shared dialogue as women to learn & grow from and PROTECT OURSELVES. No one person has access to all info! Re: Holly you are correct. And if you do not ask to see the USDA Certified Organic Certifications do not believe what you see on labels from any company!
      We also have a wholesale division and we sell to big companies that repackage in USA. We have seen in their warehouses many, many 50 gallon drums of oils used to adulterate or “stretch” the essential oils to increase profits. And most times these oils used for adulteration are NOT ORGANIC and instead are synthetic chemical toxins! AnNd many companies use the UDSA Organic Certification Logo ILLEGALLY ! That has to stop! And when consumers give a company the opportunity to DO THE RIGHT THING and they don’t… well call it what you want, but they should then shut their doors! We as consumers should NOT BE SUBJECTED to toxic ingredients in products when we read a label and it is not listed there! CDC declared Multiple Chemical Sensitivity as a Disease. Gee, what do you think Synthetic Chemicals in products are?! Unacceptable!

      Reply
  22. Maria Faustina

    For those who are sticking up for the Andersons. Keep in mind that many of us have suffered because of thier decisions. I am petrified that one of my neighbor’s will tell me they want to place an order since I was a rep. What do I tell them? It puts those of us who were reps in very precarious situations. I was going to use them for fundraising and today I had the privilege of telling the person in charge that there will be no fund raising because they closed the company. It was a disappointment for her and for me. There is a ripple effect from this scandal. What they have done also undermines my credibility as well as al the reps.
    I have heard about other past issues with thier products and now I am very concerned. I will not continue on as a rep. I heard the call that cheerleaded how great everything will be now blah blah blah. I think the management is in foŕ a rude awakening…..the company is now damaged and how the Andersons responded to the situation is simply pathetic.
    I make many of my own beauty items and cleaners and I will concentrate on them.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      Thanks for commenting, Maria! While I know it not to be true, I agree the public perception may be that the consultants’ credibility has been undermined. Huge ripple effect due to their failure to hire a crisis public relations firm. It all keeps circling back to that.

      Reply
    • Patti

      Maria, please don’t think anyone thinks less of you or any other consultant because of all of this! I actually am a consultant for a similar direct sales company and have been watching all of this. I continue to be amazed at the audacity of the Anderson’s but what I always go back to is how badly I feel for the consultants. You are the ones hurt the most in this. You did the leg work and gaining of customers. I know you must feel like people think you’re folkish to have believed them but people don’t think that. Nobody knew. Some suspected and that’s how we got here, but nobody really knew for sure. The fact that you now see what has been happening and don’t want to be a part of it, speaks very loudly to most. It shows that you do care about the message. It shows you aren’t trying to dupe anyone. Please don’t let this make you feel badly about yourself. You did NOTHING wrong by trusting them…you couldn’t possibly have known. I sincerely wish you peace and much luck in your future endeavors.

      Reply
      • Meridith Oram

        Love. This. Comment!!!!

        Reply
      • Sue Apito

        “…you couldn’t possibly have known.” Anyone who read the ingredients listed on the perfume and spent even 15 minutes on Google, should have realized the claims were impossible. I attended the first Annual Convention and that was when I realized something was seriously wrong – I asked how the products were safely preserved and I was SWARMED by consultants, each with a different answer…”There ARE no preservatives – those are toxic” and “they use all natural preservatives” and “our products don’t NEED preservatives” and it was clear…the company was creating a cult of followers and not empowering women to think for themselves and learn more about the products they were selling. They trusted the company, so they did not question the company. It happens… it sounds too good to be true but when a company is this financially successful, people tend to suspend their disbelief and not listen to their intuition. But now, consultants need to question EVERYTHING. What is the name of the supposed organic certifying agent they are working with? What have they been testing for? WHO is doing the testing? Why do they think a product with over 0.02% of an ingredient is unsafe but less than that amount is somehow safe? Whose criteria is THAT? Did they file a police report of they felt SO threatened that they had to frantically close up shop? Who manufactures their products – that is called TRANSPARENCY. They’ve demanded it of others for the ENTIRE time they have been in business…it is time they followed their own rules.

        Reply
    • Jenny

      Rooting you on on your decision Maria, make your own things many will be, many good things will come out of this scandal. I too am a consultant and turned away orders already, including my own. Little did I know I would be commended for it from that side. When it truly isn’t about the $ we gotta stand up for that and vote with our powerful dollar no matter how small or big, each of our individual values matter. You matter Maria, do the right thing because it does pay off later. You integrity has huge value!

      Reply
  23. Alison

    I have been a consultant for two years and started with the company when there were only about 3,000 consultants. I have attended two conferences in Rhode Island and am planning on attending the conference this April. I have been reading the comments on this thread and feel like I need to present another side to this. I can completely see where this article is coming from and your perspective – I get it. However, please know there is a lot that goes into growing a company as the Andersons have done over 6 years and you guys only know a fraction of what they have done. No one is talking about the $630,000 in product they donated last year to battered women’s shelters, soup kitchens, veterens homes, homeless shelters, breast cancer organizations and the Edesia Global Nutrition organization. That is just last year. (I know they have made significant donations in prior years as well). I’ve met the Andersons and I’ve never met company company owners with as much passion and integrity. You all make it sound like they woke up when Ava was 14 and decided they wanted to take advantage of everyone with Ava’s mission. That is the most ridiculous notion and it could not be further from the truth. Starting their company was hard, hard work! They took it from a company being run just by Ava and her mother Kim to a $50,000 million corporation in 6 years. I believe Kim was used to having a lot of control over many parts of the company for a while and then when it really started to grow, she had to put her trust in more manufacturers, losing some control (as they grew the product line). Kim stated last year at the conference, they wanted to offer a chemical free option for all of the products people use in their home every day. That was the goal of their company, not to trick people. While you are picking apart the small amount of synthetics slipped into products without Kim knowing (the same chemicals that have been approved and are being used by the European Union), remember that we offer over 80 products and the majority are completely safe, as they have always been! Why would the Andersons go and set up a plant in Rhode Island to produce their products? That is something they have been working on for over a year, with the intent to produce every product in house so that they would have total control. That’s called growth. That’s called a transition. That’s called a massive investment in the future. Going forward, I believe the company will be fine. Every product is being produced in house now and will be Certified Organic. There will be a 3rd party testing the products. I’m not sure what else people want right now. This seems like an amazing thing in and of itself. The independent lab that has done the testing recently does not want its name made public because they DO NOT want media attention right now. I can completely understand that. Moving forward, I don’t think there’s anything we could do to make our products safer. People at the company are working very hard to deliver and so many people are committed to changing chemical policy in the company, that’s what is driving us all. There are things that went on that the Andersons had to deal with that I’m sure we all don’t know. I’m trusting and honoring their decision to back off right now because I have my eye on the bigger picture. I think they’ve accomplished an incredible amount in the last 6 years and they should be applauded for that!

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      I love your comment and the great reminder of all the GOOD that the Anderson family have done on their own and through their company. For me, that’s the main reason it’s so frustrating she’s walking away from all this when she has so much more good to bring to the world. I agree, there has to be things that went on with the Andersons that we have no idea about. However, I still maintain that they handled this all wrong. While my obvious stance is that she shouldn’t have walked away at this time; I would be more trusting of her decision and this new version of the company if there was a better explanation and communication to the consultants AND the customers. Again, all coming down to their desperate need for a crisis PR firm.

      Reply
      • Allison

        I also would caution against saying ‘all the products will be certified organic.’ There are products that cannot be ‘certified organic’ because there are ingredients that themselves cannot be certified. Makeup for example cannot be ‘certified organic.’ The company can be certified but not every single product. I’d encourage you to look into that a bit more before assuming all the products will bear the USDA seal.

        Reply
        • Sue Apito

          Example – the EcoCert ingredients are not USDA Certified Organic and are not going to be allowed in USDA Certified Organic products unless they come from a USDA Certified Organic producer AND are themselves, Certified Organic according to USDA standards…not EcoCert. So consultants are being misled and in turn, continuing to spread that misinformation.

          Reply
      • Alison

        People are human and make mistakes. People with excellent intentions who are 21 especially make mistakes. Look, you can inspect, tear apart, and criticize their every move if you want. I get it. But, keep in mind their undertaking for the last 6 years. There was no guide book. No one has set out to do exactly what the Andersons did. Yes, they had direct selling experience in the family, but Kim and Ava personally did not (Kim had her own interior design shop and business in Rhode Island and had a thriving business). They built their Ava Anderson business from scratch and had to learn as they went, year by year. When you do that, you are going to make mistakes. They did it anyway. And in the grand scheme of things, the mistakes they made were very minor, especially when you compare AANT to other companies out there. What other companies exist that are the size of Ava Anderson Non Toxic, with a U.S. plant manufacturing 80 plus organic products, and a mission to change chemical policy in the United States? Are they direct sales companies with 10,000 plus educated consultants? I personally don’t know of a company like this that exists. If you do, please share. Human beings make mistakes. PR . . . yes, moving forward, we have that covered, lesson learned. The Andersons need to take care of closing their business as they see fit. Let them do that. I trust there is a lot happening with them that we do not know about and we don’t have the right to know necessarily. There is much more in store for this company down the line and the future looks really bright to me.

        Reply
        • Patti

          Why do people keep saying that the Andersons were the first to create Non Toxic products? Or as someone put it “there was no guide book”. You do realize there were so very many companies creating truly Non Toxic products long before the Andersons, right? Many of them are still around! In fact, the company they’re blaming for bullying them has been around longer than them!
          Also, people need to actually research what Organic Personal Care, Bath and Hkme products actually are. It’s not what the Andersons were producing. Check out the USDA’s own description of the term “organic” as listed on ingredients labels. It means NOTHING! It is not regulated! So the Andersons have been telling us their products are Organic but because of the system, they didn’t have to actually prove it. This is why the USDA Certified Organic Label is so important. It is the only way to be certain a product actually has organic ingredients.
          I find it extremely hard to believe that a company that as recently as last month, didn’t know there were Synthetic Fragrances in their products, will emerge in just one more month as a completely USDA Certified Organic company. We may see pigs fly before that happens! When the my do emerge, you need to be certain they are USDA Certified and not some other kind of imaginary Certified…as would seem to be fitting for them to try and pull. Actually check them in the USDA’s database to be sure.
          So many people are thinking this is just a minor mishap due to a few recent findings with manufacturers. I have been watching this from a distance for at least 2 years. There have been many instances were people have questioned AANT about ingredients and they were ignored, comments deleted, had their own name dragged through the mud. Sue that is posting here had them do it to her. If you do your research, you can find where they called her out by her entire name and then said something along the lines of “does your husband know what you are doing?” Yet when people rightly ask what the ingredients are in their products, AANT cries Bullying! How can anyone actually believe them? If you are actually doing your research, you couldn’t possibly believe them.
          Oh and FYI, I don’t sell anything for anyone. Except Girl Scouts. I’ve been selling those girls cookies like a mad woman with my daughter :-)! Had to make that clear before someone tried to discredit me saying I sold Norwex or Celadon whatever that keeps posting!

          Reply
      • Kelly

        I absolutely agree, this was handled incorrectly and a PR firm would have gone a long way in smoothing things over, setting the record straight, etc.

        I also think that while Ava is in the face/name of AANT, she’s also just barely in her 20s and hasn’t even graduated college yet. I’m sure she is devastated and didn’t handle the stress well – but again, she’s 22.

        Reply
    • Sue Apito

      PERFECT example, thank you!

      “Kim stated last year at the conference, they wanted to offer a chemical free option for all of the products people use in their home every day.”

      That is exactly the kind of fabrications and misinformation the company HAS been promoting since day one [and for the record, AANT has used private label manufacturers from day one – they never made as much as a lip balm *in-house* – so their spectacular growth what led them to use 3rd party manufacturers.]

      Every single product is 100% chemicals.

      The oils, the minerals, even the water – is chemicals. And in the case of AANT – many of them are synthetic chemicals as well.

      What the company could be doing instead is educating their consultants about the importance of proper preservation, even if the chemicals and processes necessary to do so, sometime have risks. And the importants of weighing risk vs benefits when it comes to cosmetic chemistry. But they don’t – instead they promote fear of “chemicals” and try to trick people into thinking their products are magically “chemical free”.

      You and others have claimed that “Every product is being produced in house now and will be Certified Organic.” That is impossible. Because the company uses ingredients which do not allow the products to be USDA Certified Organic. So… you have been misled.

      “Moving forward, I don’t think there’s anything we could do to make our products safer.” You may think that but it simply is not factual or true, because there already are MANY brands which are safer, being manufactured by companies which actually do understand cosmetic chemistry and green chemistry and which are both transparent and ethical.

      Reply
    • Nicole

      Alison: THANK YOU!!! Finally, someone who sees the good in this.

      How come all the people coming after AANT for being honest and announcing the issues they’ve faced and are taking care of aren’t taking all their energies and going against Johnson & Johnson or Honest company for all the listed CRAP in their products?

      They branded a company after a 14 year old’s name! If the company was named Air Non-Toxic would there be such media frenzy?

      I am not seeing what needs to be explained to new customers…why would you as a consultant need to bring up the past in order to make future customers happy? Do you tell your new boyfriend/girlfriend everything you did with your ex? No, you don’t.

      Move forward. We have NO idea what the Anderson’s are going through or what they’ve been through. “No evidence of bullying”…why do you need it? Do we ask our kids for proof of bullying when they come home saying “Johnny pushed me today”? There’s no way to get proof of that.

      They did what was best for them. It’s not our place to determine whether that was the best move for others because it’s not about others.

      How do you know they won’t be involved in the future? How do you know lawsuits against the suppliers that wronged them and breached contracts isn’t in the works? They closed their LLC, they didn’t die.

      Go easy and be patient. Their top execs have been there since conception. We are all on the same mission as Ava’s. Hang back, give them some breathing room, and let’s see what good comes!

      Reply
      • Meridith Oram

        True! I definitely would not have even written this article had it not been branded and named after Ava. Hence why it’s a lesson to be learned for female entrepreneurs! Thank you for your comment.

        Reply
      • Maria Faustina

        Why not go after Johnson and Johnson or the Honest company for all of the crap they have listed? Isn’t that the whole point? They have it listed. Companies can put whatever kind of junk they want in thier products, I don’t really care if they want to put junk in them…..AS LONG AS THEY LABEL IT! !!!!!! That is the point. Ava Anderson products did not fully disclose what was in the products that caused this whole scandal. It is a big deal. A very big deal, especially when you make a big presentation at your Ava hours about ingredients…..that is the whole presentation! It is a big deal when someone has a reaction to the “fragrance” in the perfume that was sold as NON TOXIC. There is a huge credibility issue at stake.
        BTW I do not feel bad about myself for being duped but believe me I learned a lot this past week.

        Reply
        • Alison

          I know that Kim and Ava were horrified to find out that synthetics had been used in some of their products that they did NOT approve (in the men’s line as well as the ava scents). All of that is being straightened out now because we have a large in house manufacturing facility which gives the company total control over product ingredients. The mistake that was made happened due to an outside manufacturer not being honest about what they were using (and honesty/transparency was supposed to be covered under a contractual agreement which the manufacturer ignored). It’s absolutely terrible that this happened, but I believe the company moving forward is doing the right thing producing everything in house to gain control of the situation and ultimately make it right. If we did not have our own U.S. manufacturing facility in place moving forward, I would be really upset and concerned for the company. However, I know that setting up the plant has been in the works for over a year and this really solves the problems the company was experiencing with outside manufacturers. When a mistake is made, the most important thing you can do is to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future. That’s what the management team in place is doing now.

          Reply
          • Jenny

            Seriously Alison, are you like 1o yrs old believing blindly what was said just like that. I don’t even believe my own kids so easily when they tell me something like oops I didn’t know, or ouch I was bullied, or I didn’t do it, please c’mon wake up. I read all your above comments, I became a consultant way before you did and been following everything ever since. Be naïve if you want but don’t misconstrue what is happening here. No one is tearing apart or criticizing, we are speaking up about a real matter that has a long trail back just like your comments will have when you see what will really be happening with the products and new co. Everything happening has been carefully orchestrated whether you believe it or not whether on purpose even or not. We women are not 10yrs old, those who choose to move on with their same business its all business and $ driven and that’s ok for them but for others who really care about ingredients will move forward knowing that this was not a simple mistake at all.

          • AZ mama

            If they were truly horrified, why did they repeatedly ignore people who tried to tell them that something wasn’t right? Consumers have a right to know, and I don’t care of the company was started by a 50 year old man or a teenage girl, honesty and integrity are essential. They had so many chances to make things right and didn’t, and now they sale off into the sunset while their faithful reps continue to believe and defend them. Sad.

          • Meridith Oram

            “Consumers have a right to know, and I don’t care if the company was started by a 50 year old man or a teenage girl, honesty and integrity are essential. They had so many chances to make things right and didn’t” <---yes, yes. A million times yes!

      • Patti

        I can’t believe you consider what AANT did as honest. They got caught with their hand in the cookie jar so to speak. They only came clean because the walls were closing in on them! How can you NOT see that? Seriously, take off the rose colored glasses and review the facts presented from the many people who have been reviewing this for the last 6 years. Let’s start with the accusation that they were purposely misspelling ingredients to make sure their products got rated “0” on Skin Deep. One of those ingredients is “avena sativa”. They were spelling it “aveena sativa”. Now you can claim this is an accident but if they actually know anything about the ingredients, they would notice that it scored a “0” when it shouldn’t have. Wouldn’t that make them take a look? And wouldn’t they notice the spelling error at that point?
        This is just one example of so very many out there. If you really want people to believe it was all accidental, then we are going to have to declare the Andersons the most inept mother daughter team in America. I have a feeling nobody will fall for that either. So decide. Either they’re liars or idiots. I would choose neither to provide my family with products.

        Reply
      • Caron

        Nicole, they haven’t been completely honest. They haven’t told customers of the multiple mislabeled products…they’ve only come clean to customers on the scents and men products. Here’s the list of mislabeled products. To my knowledge, consumers only know about five of these. Have I missed a communication?

        1. Hand & body lotion (missing emulsifier on label)
        2. Moisturizer (missing emulsifier on label)
        3. Kids lotion (missing emulsifier on label)
        4. Baby lotion (missing emulsifier on label)
        5. Body butter (missing emulsifier on label)
        6. Dream cream (missing emulsifier on label)
        7. Diaper cream (missing emulsifier on label)
        8. Dish Soap (mislabeled with missing ingredients)
        9. Hand Soap (mislabeled with missing ingredients)
        10. Pet Shampoo & Conditioner (mislabeled with missing ingredients)
        11. Powder foundation – Medium (mislabeled with missing ingredients)
        12. Powder foundation – Light (mislabeled with missing ingredients)
        13. Blush – Pretty in pink (mislabeled with missing ingredients)
        14. Men’s shave gel (contained synthetic fragrance)
        15. Men’s aftershave/moisturizer (contained synthetic fragrance)
        16. Scent: Love (contained synthetic fragrance)
        17. Scent: Hope (contained synthetic fragrance)
        18. Scent Joy (contained synthetic fragrance)
        19. Hand Sanitizer (mis-labeled as a monographed drug, out of compliance with FDA)

        Reply
  24. Sue Apito

    One commenter said: “There was no guide book. No one has set out to do exactly what the Andersons did.” That is actually one of the things the company has been criticized for since the beginning (or as they call it – bullied) – the fact that MANY companies already were doing what they set out to do, that there ARE guide books and *rules* for formulating cosmetics and that the process of research, development, testing and launching a cosmetic takes years – not as their website used to say “months of research”.

    There were USDA Certified Organic cosmetic private label suppliers who were at the cutting edge of technology as far as using natural preservation methods. Many of these methods were discussed in various articles before, during and after the Anderson company launched their first products – example, HAPPI magazine.

    There were conventions for natural and organic cosmetics – example, ExTracts which was part of a larger convention.

    MANY companies not only set out to do what the Andersons did, they did it and continue to do it – within FDA regulations and USDA NOP laws. Just because during those long months of research Ava and Kim did not become aware of cosmetic manufacturing processes and believed an oil and water formula did not need an emulsifier, does not make it true.

    The fact that they continue to think there are laws for their competition and different laws for them, speaks volumes. They claimed to be “the first nontoxic skincare company” and they were not then and are not now. They claimed to be “the only” and they were not then and they are not now.

    They took shortcuts. They broke laws. They violated not only their consultants trust but consumers trust. They tarketed “at risk” populations, people with cancer or young children or asthma or skin issues or autism and told them, our products are nontoxic while selling them the products with the VERY ingredients they were trying to avoid. Then they think they can just walk away without consequences? Sounds like the “affluenza” defense to me…they didn’t know any better? The biggest lie of all.

    Reply
  25. MamaBear

    Hi,
    I’m curious on your thoughts on the testing. I’m a consultant and have asked my uplines why the report hasn’t been released and was told that (1) it’s not an industry practice to do that and (2) they aren’t allowed to release the test results without the permission of the lab and that the lab doesn’t want to because it would open them up to massive scrutiny (that part I buy).

    Is it true that this isn’t typically done?

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      Thanks for your comment/question! I’m not sure what is typical in the industry. Personally, I’m shocked they’re not proudly sharing the results of the third-party laboratory results. I REALLY want to believe the results true and that all products (minus those 6) were/are all made and labeled accordingly, but find the company’s silence very odd. It still bothers me that, as a customer, I still have yet to receive an official letter from home office explaining recent events. I’ve also heard inconsistent comments from consultants on whether or not that email from last Tuesday with the results was supposed to be forwarded to customers or not. I think it’s a HUGE oversight to not have emailed their entire database of customers to let them know what has happened. People can argue all they want about how “it doesn’t matter to future customers” but I think the history of a company does. After a “crisis” has ended, people end up forgetting why it happened. But people will always care HOW you recovered from it. How can we trust the new company when they’re making just as many—if not, more—mistakes? The continuation of poor decisions and lack of communications just supports my argument of how so desperately they need a good crisis PR team!! Perhaps it was naive, but when I published this blog post last Wednesday, I really expected us to have more answers by now.

      Reply
      • Jaclyn

        Meridith…as a new consultant, I am torn at what to do. I was so excited and motivated. Now I feel like my dreams and goals have been stomped on! Do you think the New company has a chance for greatness? I want to believe they are being honest and I really hope they can get that organic certification. My upline continues to stay positive, but because I’m new, I’m not sure what to believe.I want to be positive but I
        Do I stay and pray that this turns out for the better or do I run for the hills?!

        Reply
        • Meridith Oram

          Oh Jaclyn, that is such a tough question!! I’m not a consultant, and I have the same questions too! I’m still floored that customers have yet to receive any official communication from Home Office. My last order was placed January 8th, so it’s not like I could possibly be considered someone who is no longer a customer. I think you should stay as a consultant. Let’s find out what the name change is, and HOW they handle launch of the new company. A few red flags though to be on the lookout for within those first telling weeks of the new company…run for the hills for the following: complete ignorance or acknowledgement of AANT; continued lack of communication; and/or home office directing consultants to pretend this is simply a name change/rebrand. Time will tell at this point. Not sure if that’s helpful! I understand and respect all the reasons I’ve heard of why consultants are staying, or why they’re jumping ship. The only thing I don’t understand, is those that are trying to pretend it didn’t happen. Best of luck to you! Keep me updated 🙂

          Reply
        • Allison

          Jacyln,
          Whether you choose to stay on or not is entirely up to you and from your position, I realize it’s a difficult decision. I do encourage you to do some research on what it takes for a company to become certified-organic and bear the USDA seal. It’s not easy and most of their products would have to reformulated to fit that standard. I am not using this forum to recruit, however, I will tell you that I work for a certified organic personal care products company. I have learned a ton about the certification process since joining them and it’s been eye-opening for me how difficult it truly is to maintain that certification. It also has made me much more savvy as a consumer, however, and now that I know what I know, I will not buy from any company who claims to be organic, but does not get the certification. (exceptions to this are mom and pop places who make their own stuff and you can talk directly to them about their ingredients). I think a lot of people assume that if a product says they are using organic ingredients, they can be trusted. That is far from the truth because companies can use the word “organic” on their products and it does not have to be true. It’s unfortunate. So I would just suggest you look into what it really means to have USDA certification and go from there. It’s possible the new company will have it, but unless it’s been in the works for months ahead of this scandal, I doubt they will emerge certified from the get-go. I hope for the sake of the consultants that are putting their faith in this change that I’m wrong, simply because I see people saying what “will be” when no one really knows for sure. It will make a lot of people look foolish if they blindly trusted what they were told. Time will tell. Best of luck!

          Reply
          • Jenny

            Wow I completely agree with you Allison. And same thoughts on the mom and pop products. Not everyone can or will do the research but have a whole new appreciation for the organic seal. Organic certification of which AANT preached didn’t matter because “its all about the ingredients” yet they are now getting???The modo that grew the co to $50 mil, the modo that made me a user. But not just that, you mention it here and Ive seen it be questioned in other comments that if a product says its using organic ingredients it must be true but its not necessarily true since anyone can claim so. The very words in AANT’s health message yet somehow was not supposed to apply to AANT not just because of assumptions. AANT’s health message and company built trust directly through their own words, straight from trainers, from the face of AANT, from the lovely “momma Kim”, who couldn’t trust her? Who can possibly think this was deliberate? And as far as the OrgCert process they say is happening is why it all looks very well calculated if it happens right off like you say. Theres nothing wrong with them having started the whole process long before, its just a matter of it all adding up for those who care to make sense of it all. Otherwise its simple, ignore and move on like its preached. Really, no biggie, mistakes are made and yes, lets move on. And those are the leaders heading onto the next phase. Time will indeed keep telling but the truth doesn’t feel comfortable sometimes.

          • Meridith Oram

            Yes! Exactly. Thank you for comment, Jenny!

          • Julie

            Allison,
            I noticed in a previous comment that you said make-up cannot be certified organic. I am just starting to research, to find a make-up line where a high percentage of the ingredients are certified organic. What I have found is two companies so far claiming that a high percentage of their make-up ingredients are certified organic, but I am at the very starting point of my research. Are you saying that this is even impossible?

            Lastly, if you don’t mind I was wondering if the certified organic personal care product company you work for, sells make-up w/ a high percentage of the ingredients being certified organic?

          • Allison

            Julie,
            A certified-organic company can use high quality organic ingredients in their makeup yes, and many of those ingredients can be certified. But in order to have the USDA label, 95% of that product must contain certified ingredients. When you are making makeup and using iron oxides, micas, stuff like that, those ingredients cannot be certified. So the makeup itself is not certified organic. BUT, if the company is certified organic and lists other organic ingredients in their makeup, then you can trust that label is true and the ingredients are organic. I do sell for Poofy Organics. So here is an example. The ingredients in the concealer are Organic Castor Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Candelilla Wax, Organic Beeswax, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Shea Butter, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Vitamin E (natural, non-gmo), Organic Rosemary Seed Extract.
            Because the company is certified, you can trust those ingredients are true and organic. But the oxides and such that it takes to create colors can’t be certified. So in a sense, yes it’s organic makeup, but it’s not USDA certified because those particular ingredients aren’t food grade. People throw around the term ‘organic” for any old thing that has organic ingredients in them. But a true USDA certified organic product must bear the seal. I hope that makes sense. I don’t know many makeup lines that have many organic ingredients other than Poofy but I do know Lauren Brooks seems to be a good choice as well as Skincat. Just make sure the companies you are looking at are indeed certified so you can trust that their ingredient lists are accurate. Poofy makeup stands out because it is handmade, no machinery, all made by hand and formulated by the owner herself, not a hired chemist or whatever. You can use my link under my name to my blog if you have any other questions. You might also find this post helpful in understanding the rules for a company to be certified organic. You’re asking great questions! I didn’t use makeup for years since I couldn’t find a company I could trust. I love the makeup I wear now! http://poofyorganics.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-rules-of-being-usda-certified.html

          • Meridith Oram

            Excellent explanation, Allison!

          • Sue

            re “in order to have the USDA label, 95% of that product must contain certified ingredients.” Partially correct. 100% is 100% Organic, Organic is 95% or more, then there is the “Made with” level, which is also a Certified Organic level – products must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients. The company can list up to three of the organic ingredients on the principal display panel and call their product Organic, and these products MUST display the certifying agent’s name. Products which are less than 70% cannot use the term “organic” anywhere on the principal display panel. REF. http://www.makingcosmetics.com/Organic-Certification-of-Cosmetics_ep_66.html

          • Allison

            But in cosmetics, companies can say they are using organic ingredients and not be. They can write organic without it being so to make the customer think one thing. People are always saying, oh I use ‘organic products’ based on a label that may or may not be true. What I’m saying is that a USDA certified product that has the label, cannot be used without actually going through the certifying process. It guarantees the company has gone through the process. And for me as a consumer, gives me peace of mind. Food companies don’t just wrote ‘organic’ without bearing the seal. The companies go through the certification process.

          • Sue

            RE “But in cosmetics, companies can say they are using organic ingredients and not be. They can write organic without it being so to make the customer think one thing.” I understand what you are saying, I simply disagree with you. If a product is made of agricultural ingredients, the product – food or cosmetic – may not LEGALLY imply the product is organic unless the product is Certified Organic. That is the law – USDA NOP. Now, it is true companies from the largest corporate brand to the lady who googled a recipe on wednesday and showed up at the local Farmers Market today – lie and market their products as organic without the mandatory certification. And many get away with it. But that does not make it legal or ethical.

            “What I’m saying is that a USDA certified product that has the label, cannot be used without actually going through the certifying process.” Again, I disagree. And I can disagree from personal experience because I have reported companies which used the USDA Certified Organic seal on their website, without certification. Because again, people lie. The only way to know if the company is telling the truth is to check the USDA database. Now, if you check and a company is not listed – that does not necessarily mean they are lying. What often happens is a brand does not manufacture the products they sell themselves. They subcontract to a manufacturer who is USDA Certified Organic and produces private label products under this companies brand name.

            RE “food companies” and claims without bearing the seal: Food companies lie too. That is one reason investigators from the USDA sometimes visit farmers markets – because unless a company falls under the income limit, logo or not – the word “organic” cannot be used to imply the products are organic unless the company and the products are Certified Organic.

          • Allison

            I agree. Always check the database. The sad thing is that companies who try to get away with mislabeling or misrepresenting the organic seal take away from those who are doing the right thing by consumers. And yes even at a local market I ask if they spray and how often if they are not organic. Whether food or cosmetics, talking to the owner or formulate is the way to go so you can have questions directly answered. That’s why I buy small as much as I can.

          • Meridith Oram

            Exactly!!! —>”The sad thing is that companies who try to get away with mislabeling or misrepresenting the organic seal take away from those who are doing the right thing by consumers.

          • Sue

            re “But a true USDA certified organic product must bear the seal.” No, the Seal is optional. 100% Organic, Organic, and Made With Organic, must list the Certifying Agent’s name on the label. The “Made With” level is not allowed to display the seal but the product is still Certified Organic.

          • Julie

            Allison,
            I looked to see if there’s a way to send this communication through your Poofy webpage, but I’m not techy, so let me know if there’s a way to do so.

            Thank you for the info on Poofy Organics…I’m very interested & so I did a bit of comparing brands today! The brand I compared Poofy Organics to is Miessence. Did you ever look into the Miessence make-up line? I would rather end up w/ a US company, but the health of the ingredients is priority #1 for me!

            I compared Poofy Organics Mascara w/ Miessence Mascara & I liked that Miessence had quite a few less ingredients in total. Lastly, Poofy Organics Masacara states that it may contain Titanium Dioxide & Miessence does not. What are your thoughts on this?

            Miessence doesn’t sell Eyeshadow, so I’m very excited that Poofy Organics does. Why are there quite a few ingredients that are not organic in the Poofy Organics Eyeshadow? For example, the herbs & spices in the Poofy Organics Mascara are organic, but they’re not in the Poofy Organics Eyeshadow. The Goldenseal Excract in the Poofy Organics Mascara is organic, but the Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis ) is not in the Poofy Organics Eyeshadow. There may be further ingredient examples in comparing these two products that I have not listed. Why the difference? Does it have to do w/ the fact that the Poofy Organics Mascara is using extracts & the Eyeshadow isn’t?

            Does Poofy Organcis sell loose, Mineral Foundation? I compared Miessence loose Mineral Foundation to Poofy Organics Focus Foundation & Miessence only has 4 ingredients, whereas Poofy Organics has 13. I know less ingredients is usually best, but this doesn’t always apply.

            I’m not sure how I feel about the ingredient used in the Poofy Organics Eyeshadow & Focus Foundation which is the Fractionated Coconut Oil. Miessence doesn’t use this ingredient in any of their make-up. I did a very quick look-up on it, reading only 1 article & there was nothing bad. I just know that the majority of the time w/ creation, it’s best not to isolate or separate. Do you have any thoughts or research you’ve already done on this ingredient?

            Lastly, what is the shelf life for the following & if kept in the fridge would it extend the shelf life or does Poofy Organics suggest to not store the products in the fridge:
            1. Mascara
            2. Eyeshadow
            3. Focus Foundation
            4. Lip Gloss
            5. Blush

            ~ Thank you Allison,
            Julie

          • Allison

            Hi Julie,
            Can you send me an email at outoftheboxmama@gmail.com so we don’t crowd this thread? I’ll look into your questions and get back to you through email. Thanks for all your thoughtful questions!

          • Ruby

            Other make up options without titanium dioxides, etc search Epic mineral, Rejuva minerals and Haut cosmetics.

          • Allison

            Julie and Ruby, I can tell you this about titanium dioxide. What you need to be concerned about with this ingredient is the size of the particles and to make sure you’re using products with non-nano particle size. According to the owner of Poofy who formulates all the makeup and is made by hand by their employees, all of our ingredients are non-nano. They exceed the recommended particle size. The danger with nano particles in makeup is mostly to the person making the product, rather than the end-user, as long as the makeup is pressed rather than loose. Nano particles are particularly dangerous when it comes to sunscreen because they can actually become BAKED in, with the sun exposure which is not healthy or ideal. There are often misunderstandings and people give general warnings regarding ingredients without proper knowledge or research. I assure you the owner of Poofy is well-researched and is happy to answer any questions you have regarding makeup. I do hate crowding up this thread (sorry Meredith) though, and I don’t want it to serve as a sales platform for Poofy Organics. My email is outoftheboxmama@gmail.com if you have more questions and I’d prefer to answer them there so Meredith can have her thread back! As to Miessence, I believe it’s a solid company and they have certifications to back them up. I used to use their deodorant and liked it but decided I’d rather go with an American company who is making products by hand. There are obviously more than one safe makeup company in the world and I’m sure their ingredients are indeed safe, although yes, they are not American-made. I did notice many makeup products are discontinued so I’m wondering if they are releasing different ones. I assure you the ingredients in Poofy makeup are safe, regardless of the number you see. The specific questions you asked I sent to the owner and if you email me I’ll answer you there.

  26. Kathy Young

    I believe that Sue Apito is a NYR Organic Senior Consultant? I seem to recall reading her negative comments about her competitor AANT while I was researching whether or not to join AANT. At the time of reading her numerous comments in so many different blogs, articles and threads, I decided that they were not really valid concerns of mine, but rather a competitor spending a lot of time on numerous article comments, blogs and threads to knock AANT.

    I have read through most of the comments here, and the one thing that no one seemed to have commented on (unless I missed it) is that Ava Anderson, the person, really might not be doing very well physically or emotionally. I do not know this for a fact, but in all of this discussion where people are so passionate about what Ava should or should not have done, it would seem to me that they might be concerned (or at least ponder) about the real live person who JUST turned 22 years old, and whose mother is obviously concerned. How is Ava doing?

    Ava has spoken before Congress twice and written numerous articles to try to educate and get laws changes to ban the worst offending chemicals. I do believe that this IS her passion. I do not know the entire story of what is happening now, but I do “know” her somewhat by her past actions.

    Also, the company sent out emails to anyone who purchased the Ava Scents or Men’s Shave Cream or After Shave products. They let people choose replacement products off of a list. Many of the products on the list cost a lot more than the products they were replacing. I received an email, and I filled out the forms and received all my replacements free of charge. Our most expensive product that we sell was on the list of products that could be chosen to replace the much less expensive products.

    I am an Ava Anderson representative. I love the products. I, for one, am actually am concerned about Ava’s health and emotions. She is very young and has done a lot for us in a short amount of time. People do get very brave and rude on the computer. She was a child when she started this company, not an adult. I can only imagine, for a young person for whom social media is probably so important, how much negative comments did affect her.

    I know that Ava’s passion has helped wake up so many people. I teach people to read labels and not to trust what I say. This is what Kim and Ava have always taught. Teach people to become self-reliant.

    In September 2015, I think, the AANT CFO was caught stealing products, relabeling and selling them. I truly believe that Kim and Ava trusted the wrong people and the wrong vendors.

    I am sad to see them go, but I am excited that the new company will be getting FDA Organic Certification. I will be continuing my association with the re-branded company unless I learn something that would make me choose to disassociate. I will continue to teach people to read labels. If they trust our new company, like I do, then they will continue to buy the exact same products with the same labels that have not been changed and also will buy the re-branded, re-labeled, reformulated products as well.

    Thank you for this article and discussion.

    Reply
    • AZ mama

      Reading the new labels might not help considering the old labels were a lie.

      Reply
    • Sue Apito

      “believe that Sue Apito is a NYR Organic Senior Consultant? I seem to recall reading her negative comments about her competitor AANT while I was researching whether or not to join AANT. At the time of reading her numerous comments in so many different blogs, articles and threads, I decided that they were not really valid concerns of mine, but rather a competitor spending a lot of time on numerous article comments, blogs and threads to knock AANT.”

      Two things – I reported Ava Anderson to the FDA years before I joined NYR Organic.

      Second thing – every single one of my *negative* articles turned out to be 100% accurate. Every. Single. One.

      So even if I had been in competition with Ava, which I was not, information should be evaluated in context and not with the assumption that it is some version of a political campaign and mud-slinging. I have been writing about natural ingredients since 2004 when I founded the Natural Ingredient Resource Center. I did not just decide I liked someones moisturizer and launch into business.

      But since Ava’s entire marketing campaign was based on her attacking her competition – why would you value her critique of other brands and their ingredients when they were clearly HER competition. Sounds like a double standard to me. Not everything Ava said about their competition was either all right or all wrong – but weigh those critiques on facts, not on whether Ava was trying to gain her % of market share by attacking her competition and using her army of consultants as her weapons, charging into stores and demanding they stop selling “toxins”.

      Reply
    • Julie

      Kathy Young & Other Pro Ava Anderson Consultants:

      I purchased some Ava Anderson products 1-3 times, over a 2-3 year period. As soon as I wore the perfume 1-2 times, I knew something wasn’t right. I only trusted the product & bought a couple items because a nutritionist was promoting it & the Environmental Working Group had such positive remarks. At that point in my life, I had a pretty limited knowledge of how authentic Essential Oils really smell. However, after I received the perfume & wore it 1-2 times, I still knew something wasn’t right & so I didn’t wear it. Fast forward 2-3 years, to present & before this story ever broke or I had any knowledge of the bloggers that have been questioning the Ava Anderson company, I had confirmed by experience that the Perfume was not Essential Oils because I started using Essential Oils in toiletry products I made, home cleaning supplies & using a diffuser w/ Essential Oils in my home. My nose now knew for certain that what I had purchased was Perfume & not Essential Oils. This is what I find to be inexcusable because anyone that knows Essential Oils because they use them & it’s their lifestyle, doesn’t need a chemist or report or specialist to know that Perfume is Perfume & Essential Oils are Essential Oils. Your nose can smell the difference. As Ava Anderson & her mom’s goal was to sell pure products, I don’t see how they didn’t know by the very smell of the women’s perfumes that something was not right!

      Equally just as bad, is that one of the items I purchased was the loose powder foundation. If I’m understanding correctly, this is one of the items that has the questionable ingredient. There’s no way I would have used the product had I known. People w/ health issues need to use only pure ingredients! I hope that from this perspective, consultants will really look at this newly branded company, Pure…& realizes how important it is for people’s health that they are being sold the truth about the ingredients! There are people who have actual reactions from perfume that causes endocrine disruptions! People who have skin rashes because of make-up products or because of past health issues, they need to keep their bodies clear of toxins…this is a health issue for people! Maybe that will make consultants take a double look & begin to research for themselves!

      I also don’t understand how the Ava & her mom didn’t understand the system in place in the USA for organic certification. Speaking before congress, starting a company from scratch w/ the goal to make pure products & working in the industry for 6 years, requires a person to have understanding of how the industry works. I’ve purchased organic food for 15 years & in the past 7 years, I’ve purchased or made organic toiletries. I understand as a consumer how the organic certification works & how the system in the USA works. I understand that a toiletry item at a health food store can use “organic” in the title of their company name, but not one ingredient is organic & they have no organic certification. Without me even looking at the evidence of the reports of the third party test results, I can say that there’s no way Ava & her mom didn’t know they were misrepresenting their products. I have never shared online before, but I know this is important to do so, regarding this topic because Americans are suffering from many diseases because of their lifestyles, types of foods being consumed, toiletry products & household/cleaning supplies!!!

      We need the Ava Anderson consultants to be Truth Seekers!!!

      Reply
      • Allison

        Well, well said!!

        Reply
        • Julie

          I want to add two quick points to what I already wrote because I want to make sure I correctly communicated my thoughts.

          First, I do not know who is responsible because I’ve lived long enough to realize that unless someone has all the facts in hand, one really cannot make a wise & balanced decision. When I said that Ava Anderson & her mom do not have an excuse, I still hold to that, but I believe what happen is inexcusable not because I know all the facts, but because if you’re goal is to sell pure products, then that should be your personal lifestyle. If an individual is putting personal lifestyle changes into place, then they begin to learn from those lifestyle changes what the “Truth” really is in the matter. Just like the blogger who was questioning the soap ingredients because she was living a healthy lifestyle & knew how healthy soap ingredients react. Now, I’ve never made soap, so I wouldn’t know that, but if someone like Ava Anderson is selling their pure products, there is no way Ava Anderson should be using Synthetic Fragrances in her personal life. This is a huge problem in America, as synthetic fragrances are in everything & the opposing, “Truth” option to Synthetic Fragrances is using Essential Oils. I’m not saying I know she is or was using Synthetic Fragrances in her personal life, but she should be familiar enough to recognize with her own sense of smell what a Synthetic Fragrance smells like & what an Essential Oil smells like.

          Second, I agree with two other comments that were made regarding the Anderson’s family decision to abruptly close their doors, may have been due to health ailments brought on by the stress. I do not have any facts on this matter. However, I agree that any mother would do whatever is necessary to protect the health of their child. I hope Ava & her mom are not experiencing any health issues.

          Whatever the case may be, consumers & Ava Anderson consultants will never have the full story because all the facts will never be available to all. This has the potential to do real good & encourage all to be even stronger “Truth Seekers” because after all more “Truth” was revealed & there’s always more “Truth” for us all to research & seek out!!! 🙂

          Reply
  27. Lyne Appel Downkng

    This is a sad story for a company that has tried to do the right thing. It is crucial that when partnering with third party manufacturers that your vetting is detailed and your products reviewed often because this is what can be done and will bring down not only a company but a family. The mission of AA is a great one and will continue and the family will recover. Shame on the companies who took a clean product line and dirtied it up.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      I love your last line “shame to the companies who took a clean product line and dirtied it up.” I also blame the third party vendors; which (again!) is why I wish Ava and Kim had stayed while they brought everything in house. Thank you for your comment!

      Reply
    • Sue Apito

      Lets assume for one moment, the story that this was all done behind the companies back by their manufacturers and they had no idea {which I di not believe and neither to most people outside the company}. But for the sake of argument – if you knew a private label manufacturer was hiding ingredients, substituting ingredients, not disclosing ingredients…wouldn’t you expose them so other brands which use the same manufacturers are not ALSO selling products with hidden synthetics, missing ingredients, substituted ingredients, etc? I wrote about this in a blog post – I hope it is OK to share: https://gogreenct.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/aant-manufacturers/

      The name of the manufacturer is SUPPOSED to be on the product label. Manufacturer names are NOT protected trade secrets. A company that does NOT manufacture their own products, is supposed to list themselves as the distributor not imply that they make them, themselves.

      Reply
  28. Maria Faustina

    For me the whole thing is about integrity. The Ava Anderson company has not come clean with the 3rd party testing results. That speaks volumes to me. In tonight’s Ava conference call Ms Freudland talked about the testing in the future. …….nothing about the results we are awaiting to see. A company that can IGNORE what has just happened and change the subject has got me very concerned. I do NOT see any good will on the “new” companies part. The fact they do not want to replace every single consultants kit is a HUGE red flag to me. I have integrity and I can not in good conscience continue with this company, I like sleeping at night with a clear conscience.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      Oh no! Those are the exact red flags I warned another consultant about in a comment a day or two ago. I’m so disappointed to hear that they’re ignoring what is happening!!

      Reply
    • Jackie

      I was on the call and I heard her say that they will be sharing what we’ve been asking for…testing and quality assurance protocols and results..,I was hoping they would say they would replace all consultant kits, but they did say they are offering incentives to replenish items at minimal cost to consultants. I’m still riding it out and waiting to hear more.
      They stated their new chemist has assured them that the laboratory is high quality and that the chemist has reviewed all results. The chemist will be working with them in formulating new products.
      I want to see what happens with the new branding before I totally jump ship. I just joined right after Christmas so I want to Hold out and I hope and pray it all turns out for the better.

      Reply
    • Maria Faustina

      Yes they will be sharing the testing …….going forward. They said nothing absolutely nothing about the results on the old Ava merchandise. That they will not share because I am afraid it is bad news.

      Reply
      • Sue Apito

        What are they testing for? Their own in-house short list of 73 ingredients? Or the 1,300+ ingredients banned by the EU Cosmetics Directive that they have been scaring consumers into believing are lurking in every other brand but theirs? They have a double standard…they market as natural when the ingredients are synthetic, they market as organic in violation of the USDA NOP and when asked the name of their USDA approved 3rd party certifying agent – which they MUST know if they have been working toward certification as long as many consultants claim…why do they not name names!

        Reply
  29. Bren

    Thank you for writing an article that is not nasty or hateful. I wanted to comment because I did see some of the “bullying” mentioned and it was horrible! On facebook someone had asked Ava about an Honest Company product. Her (or a company rep’s) response was listing the ingredients and telling what was harmful in the particular ingredient. Some guy started verbally attacking Ava, going on and on with the nasty comments. I don’t remember the exact words he called her and said to her, but I do remember that he had tagged Jessica Alba in his comments. I thought that was weird but maybe he was a friend or big fan of hers and did not like that Ava was saying anything that wasn’t positive about the Honest Company.

    No matter what happens with the Ava Anderson company, I hope that loyal customers can find ways to easily get affordable safe products in our homes. I hate that we have to do so much research to try and live a less toxic life. Having to make more of our own products but can no longer go back to Walmart or drug store shelves!

    Reply
    • Sue Apito

      “Her (or a company rep’s) response was listing the ingredients and telling what was harmful in the particular ingredient.” And when many of us have been doing the same regarding Ava’s ingredients – we were characterized as harassing Ava and called bullies. It did not take testing to know Ava’s ingredients did not add up… it takes 5 minutes on Google. Example. She claimed her perfumes were 100% Essential Oils but many of the ingredients do not EXIST as essential oils…so in all liklihood there were no actual essential oils even for the ingredients that do actually exist {as some are so rare and expensive it would be impossible to make a perfume which contained them at the price point and no one would waste them in a roll-on}.

      Reply
  30. Meridith Oram

    Thank you for your comment, Bren!

    Reply
  31. Allison

    Thought this would be if interest to those of you still on the fence about AANT.
    https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2016/02/09/its-all-about-the-ingredients-results-in-aant-has-completely-misled-their-customers/

    Reply
  32. Maria Faustina

    Anyone who now would support such a dishonest company needs to reexamine thier true motivations. I am sickened by the new testing results and am horrified. I purchased and sold AANT products because I placed trust in the company, never suspecting that I was being misled. I will never look at any “organic”or “non toxic” company with any kind of trust until I verify they deserve my trust. I would have never thought that AANT would be so decitful. I want my money back.
    Onto making all of my personal care products! AANT taught me a HUGE lesson.

    Reply
  33. Meridith Oram

    Hey everyone. I wrote an updated post. Be sure to check it out 🙂 https://belowthefork.com/blog/opinion/ava-anderson-update-be-kind-to-consultants/

    Reply
  34. SueA

    Well, Ava Anderson, LLC relaunched the exact same company with many of the exact same products, with no improvements and a new logo as the only thing that is really new. What is not new – they are still breaking federal regulations. In this example, Pure Haven Essentials launches with illegal Pesticide!

    https://gogreenct.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/phe-illegal-pesticide/

    Reply
  35. Ruby

    Hello,
    I am not consultant of AvaAnderson but saw her website on line and I can’t believe her company collapsed. Not only Ava but there are many beauty products out there that do contain toxic, preservative and synthetic for example Arbonne has phalates in parfum and some of their ingredients are not safe. The company still runs.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      Thanks for your comment! Arbonne still runs because they don’t claim to have a 100% non-toxic line. Ava Anderson/Pure Haven Essentials and companies of the like need to be held to a higher standard because they insist they ARE the higher standard.

      Reply
  36. Nadine A.

    Hi, just wondering what dish soap and hand soap you use? I’ve been using the Ava Anderson dish soap so a new alternative would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      Great question, Nadine! I’ve just been using Seventh Generation for the time being. I know there are better alternatives, but I’ve been pretty overwhelmed with which brand to choose now that Ava Anderson Non-Toxic is now Pure Haven Essentials. I haven’t decided yet if I’m willing to spend money with Pure Haven.

      Reply
      • SueA

        I like Seventh Generation too. For hand soap – II use bar soap or Vermont Soap liquid hand soap in a foaming pump dispenser. Bar soap varies in price geograpically but figure for organic soap, plan on about $1.95 – $2.15 an ounce.

        Reply
      • Nadine A.

        Thank you for the reply! I agree- it gets to be very overwhelming trying to figure out the safest products to use for my family! Especially since my husband and I welcomed our first baby into the world recently. I felt as though I was so diligent about researching products but to now have this happen…what a bummer!
        Back to the drawing board! 🙂
        Thank you for your post, it was very well written and I appreciate your neutral stance on presenting the key issues.

        Reply
    • SueA

      I’m trying this brand the next time I need to buy dishwasher detergent – USDA Certified Organic http://www.greenshieldorganic.com/ I make my own household cleaners by diluting Dr. Bronners or Vermont Soapworks USDA Certified Organic soap. For windows, white vinegar and a couple drops of organic essential oils.

      Reply
      • Julie

        Sue A.,
        I use the Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap, diluted down w/ water & Organic Olive Oil in a foaming dispenser for hand soap. Do you use the Vermont soap for hand soap, instead of Dr Bronner’s, because the ingredients are organic? If I understood you correctly, you only use Dr Bronner’s for cleaning? On the Vermont Soap website, at a quick glance, I believe all the ingredients in the castile soap are organic, but I didn’t see an certification?

        Also, I tried looking up a few companies on the USDA Certified Organic website link that you posted, but was unsuccessful. I must be doing something wrong because I know one company in particular that I tried to look up, & was not successful, is in fact organic. When one first goes into the website, do you enter the company name in the first box?

        Have you heard of Antioch Olive Oil Soap & the founder is Sevgi Demirkol, http://antiochesoaps.webstarts.com/index.html? If so, what’s your opinion about it? It’s not certified organic. It’s only ingredients are 100% Virgin Olive Oil, Water, Lye & Sea Salt. It’s handmade in Turkey. Do you know if there’s any test that can be done, to insure that everything was done properly when the soap was made & that there’s no Lye remaining in the end product?

        Lastly, besides Poofy Organics what other US cosmetic lines do you know of that are certified organic or a high percentage of their ingredients are certified organic? I’m specifically only interested in make-up because I make everything else on my own…well not the soap…I buy that too. 🙂 Thank you very much!

        Reply
  37. Disappointed Debbie

    Just found your video and had to watch. I became an AANT customer way back in 2011. I loved everything “Ava” so I joined as a consultant and went to the Executive level. I joined because it blended with my educational mission regarding toxic chemicals and it seemed like a good avenue to increase my audience. I’ve known Kim and Ava personally and love them. With that said, I (like many of us) feel “dumped”, “betrayed” and “broken hearted” because of the way it all unfolded (as you explained quite well). Can you imagine feeling like part of a family, working so hard, really believing you will make this business provide for you..and yet one Monday morning it comes over email that the company is “closing”? Terrible. I’m curious to know if you are still using the product Meredith? Personally, I’ve been searching and searching, trying so many different lines, and frankly: I Miss AANT! I’ve tried many of the lines prior commenters have mentioned and honestly, they aren’t as good. PHE may take some time to come along. So, who knows the future, but I did want to say – it was BAD for us consultants – bad. My business got ripped out from under me and I’ve never gotten it back (although I am still enrolled). It will never be the same because the energy is all changed, the people we ADORED (Ava and Kim and the whole family) are no longer with us – they just went away without a goodbye. Heartbreaking to me and many many of my “Ava sisters” as we called ourselves.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      I feel exactly the same way, Debbie!!! I have a new cleanser & exfoliant from BeautyCounter but I’m not obsessed like I was with my AANT. I feel like my skin hasn’t looked as good since I ran out of my AANT cleanser is Feb/early March. I’m still using Dream Cream, lip gloss, savoring my last little bit of the BB Cream, and have been using Moisturiser with SPF daily since I have 3/4s of a jar left. I’m also still using my anti-frizz cream & serum. I’m actually getting close to saying “screw it” and ordering PHE buuuut I still can’t deny the heartbreak. Ethically I want nothing to do with that company, but damn I love their products! Thank you for your comment 🙂

      Reply
      • Allison

        I always find it interesting that people have a very personal preference for different kinds of products. I’ve heard from many people who did not like AANT products, and yet I’ve heard from some who loved them. It just goes to show that no company has perfect products for everyone. That being said, I do love Poofy Organics. Not just because I sell them, but I would use them hands-down over other products. Certified organic company, formulated by a certified aromatherapist, made by hand, even the makeup! While no company can satisfy every single consumer 100%, I have many many happy repeat customers. Sometimes people are hesitant to try a very natural company, and are very super surprised and pleased by the results. Some of the lines that have been mentioned on this thread are not quite as natural as they would like you to believe. And some are incredibly overpriced! I’m sorry you had such a horrible experience with people who just left you behind. It really must’ve been terrible for all of you who were very committed to that company. And while I’m not the recruiting salesy type, if you do want to try Poofy, my blog link is here and you can see the promotion I have going on for my birthday that ends tomorrow.

        Reply
    • Sue

      You say “I’ve tried many of the lines prior commenters have mentioned and honestly, they aren’t as good.” Good is subjective, of course. The reality is – there was nothing special or unique in any of the product lines formulas, the cleanser was a commercial degreaser private labeled for them like it was private labeled for many other companies selling household cleaners – but if you need something that works the same you are going to need to buy a commercial, petrochemical based synthetic detergent because that is what that product really was. Not happy with the scent of natural perfumes and want something that smells like Ava smelled – well you are going to have to buy synthetic fragrances because the perfumes were not made from essential oils so you never are going to find essential oils that smell the same. Personally I prefer the subtle and beneficial aroma of actual natural ingredients like essential oils – but you are right – thinking you are going to find a replacement for synthetics with actual organic and natural products is going to be a learning process – Ava’s never were natural or organic so you are comparing synthetic to natural and there are differences. True certified organic products function differently because they are different. They are better for your health and the environment but function is a factor of certain functional ingredients like emulsifiers and preservatives and there simply are not exact replacements for each and every ingredient, in the natural and organic spectrum. But give yourself time – the nose and the skin takes time to adjust to NOT subjecting yourself to toxins. You may need to reapply a lipstick more often because the ingredients which allow a commercial lipstick to last all day for example, are not natural or organic. Adjust your expectations and in time – you too can find true certified organic and natural replacements for the synthetic products in all aspects of your daily life including cosmetics!

      Reply
  38. Heather

    There was no quality control in her company. Not because they didn’t think of it, but because they didn’t care. They were making too much MONEY to worry that some blogger was questioning their ingredients. The dish soap was not the first questionable product. They left zinc oxide off of their diaper cream, and misnamed a few more ingredients on other products. They allowed SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCE to be used in their men’s product line and in their “essential oil fragrances”. They pulled the fragrances a couple of weeks before they released the fact that synthetic fragrance was used stating that they had “packaging problems” and that the manufacturer “couldn’t keep up with their demands.” Hogwash! They knew then! And allowed consultants and their customers to continue to use up their discontinued products knowing full well they had toxic chemicals in them.
    Then the close down and in the same “closing our doors” they announce they have already received funding to begin anew. And within 2 months…Pure Haven Essentials. All problems fixed. Nothing to worry about here. “We have quality control now!” Sure they do. I pity the consultants who stayed with them bc it will all happen again. And I pity the customers who still have blind faith that the ingredients are what they say they are. I’ll start listening again maybe one day when they get USDA Organic Certified. Until then, I’ll trust my simple ingredients.

    Reply
    • Disappointed Debbie

      I completely agree with you Heather. As a former AANT consultant, I would not trust this new company. As a matter of fact, I did give them the benefit of the doubt and stay for a couple of months (post-scandal) and I found not only is the product “junk” now, but I just can’t trust this company. The company Koolaid for those who remain is spiked strong with promises and words like “amazing”, “better than ever”, etc. etc. Just a bunch of MLM bull. I would not give that company any more of my business and I certainly won’t be selling the Pure Haven junk to my family/friends/customers. I got their new product after the name change and not only is it junk (globs of goop seemingly made in someone’s kitchen), but who can trust it ? They blew it big time and “if only” the Andersons had just stood face, admitted their mistake, and corrected themselves instead of turning and running, perhaps there would have been a chance. But – it’s all history now in my book…moved on long ago!

      Reply
      • Meridith Oram

        My sentiments EXACTLY! Especially the last statement…I’m over it.

        “They blew it big time and “if only” the Andersons had just stood face, admitted their mistake, and corrected themselves instead of turning and running, perhaps there would have been a chance. But – it’s all history now in my book…moved on long ago!”

        Reply
        • Disappointed Debbie

          Amen!

          Reply
  39. Alison

    The “haters” as you call them were people who had lot’s of questions and were getting no answers. Where there is this much smoke, there’s fire…. and the “haters” were right. I think if reps and customers want the safest products, then they need to seek out companies that have earned USDA organic certification – there are a few MLM options. Products that have the USDA organic seal on the package have met the most strict certification (because its designed for food) and that certification will back up any “safe”, “natural” or “organic” claims. Ava Anderson should ABSOLUTELY have been testing their own products for purity, but they did not. If they would have had USDA certification their products would have been tested and their supplier’s ingredients and facilities would also have been tested and inspected on a regular basis. Sad….. but I thought they owed their reps and customers more than placing the blame. There was never any acknowledgement that Ava Anderson ultimately should take responsibility for selling products that weren’t as pure as they claimed to be.

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      If you’re commenting directly to me (Meridith/Below the Fork) and my use of the word “haters” within the article, I think you may have misunderstood my intentional use of that word within the context. I am and was very supportive of those who investigated her products.

      Reply
  40. Susan

    This company “bans” ingredients no company uses in their cosmetics – and they include ingredients “cleaner” and certified organic brands do not use! Lots of “green washing”!!

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      Sue, did you see yesterday’s announcement that Pure Haven Essentials is officially certified organic by the USDA? Their entire facility and products.
      https://youtu.be/xm2Hzwf7xjA

      Reply
      • Allison

        For me it’s just too late to care. The former company was so shady that organic certification in my eyes doesn’t undo what has happened. Hopefully this means more transparency. I’m actually doubting many individual products will be certified but whatever. There’s really nothing that makes this company special. If they had done it right from the beginning than maybe. There’s other certified companies who did it right from the get-go and I respect them for that. I do know some people who ordered from PHE and said the products were a disaster. Best of luck to the company moving forward but they won’t get my business.

        Reply
        • Sue

          Allison – I could not agree with you more. I’m actually *allowed* to critique the actual products – many of my readers know I took down my blog in response to threats from a certain self-proclaimed “non-toxic” company that belonged to the Direct Sales Association – and since the line I sell also belongs to the DSA, they felt I was defaming them by sharing facts about their ingredients and marketing. Since they are multi-millionaires and I am not…I caved and deleted my “greenwashing” consumer advocacy blog. So the most I can say is – YOU speak for MANY of us out here!

          Reply
      • Sue

        My comment about the company that “bans” 1500 ingredients was a reply to the comment about Beautycounter,

        Reply
      • Sue

        Meredith – in order to sell organic products the facility always has to be certified as a manufacturer/handler. Pure Haven essentials products are NOT all certified organic – just a few are. NOT ALL. Hopefully their salespeople understand the difference, because it is very important they do not market the “line” as organic – because is is not.

        Reply
        • Disappointed Debbie

          In reply to Sue’s last comment on 9/8 – good point. I crack up at their sales people “understanding the difference” because they won’t. They aren’t trained or required to know anything..all they know is dollar signs and bonuses for recruiting new consultants. They all drink the kool aid and think they have the holy grail…which is a joke because I would never trust that company. They don’t deserve my trust or money.

          Reply
  41. Laura

    Is there an update to this story?

    Reply
  42. Dilaura Naturals

    I felt very sorry for the AANT company’s failing. She did the best as she could. Building a company and providing jobs to many people is really hard. To Each competitor – do your job within your company and stop ruining another people life, just do your own business.
    I read also the info about dish soap… Every single person can test at home if body wash, liquid soap, or shampoo is really natural (my personal choice to avoid the word organic). Pour natural/organic shampoo/body wash/liquid soap into a small transparent glass and place in refrigerator for 5-10 min depending from the temperature in refrigerator. If color will not change, the product is not natural/organic. The color has to be a milky color, like a milk. First of all depending from % of saturated fats, the natural bath/hair liquid products can be absolutely transparent or milky color. Again, due to some heavy oil molecules, the natural product must change the color. Promoting your business by putting down another hard working person’s business is simply unethical. Promote your products which you make, talk about your business, but stop pointing out at someone else. Its not nice. I wish Ava Anderson’s business will be back in customers life. If somebody doesn’t like it, then don’t buy it. Get products from another company. There is always a diplomatic and peaceful solution to make. Good luck to everyone.

    Reply
  43. Rae

    I really loved Ava and the products. Its so hard on you when a mlm company like that has such a bad situation that is handled so very badly. I went to the national conference in 2015 and this past year i barely had enough sales to remain a consultant. Not to mention that it made me look like an idiot bc i was so passionate about the message and bc i trusted Ava so much. She is a wealthy, spoiled young lady who had a blred mother rhat wanted to make her dreams cone true. But when she walked away she turned the $2500 a month i had worked hard to create in growing reaidual income into maybe $500 a year. As a single mom that worked my ass off i hadno unemployment, benefits, salary etc. so the loss of income was felt in a particularly harsh way. Had she been more mature i think Ava could have overcome the situation. Part of the reason she learned this was that she hired an in house scientist and starting bringing the manufacturing back to RH. when she learned she had been misled i think she was just mortified because she felt like a hypocrite. Evem though she vomuntarily came out with the issue as soon as she became aware. She is a genuine and good person very idealistic. I think when she hit that particular bump she realized jt might be. Ice just to be another anonymous college kid for a while.

    Reply
    • Penny

      I think you are a genuine and good person, but very idealistic.

      Ava and her mother knew there were problems with their products from the first product launch, the web is full of articles written about this. She ignored everyone who told her so, and banned them from her Facebook page any time they tried to expose the problems. All this company cared about was selfies of Ava handing out gift bags to stars – not honest ingredients or truthful transparency about the ingredients. She did not care if the products were full of the very same ingredients she made front page stores criticizing in her competition. This company never was about nontoxic, it was always about a mother who missed out on having her pretty, bleached blond daughter walking on stage and waving to the crowd, accepting her trophy and none of them cared who they stepped on or walked over to get to that goal

      Reply
  44. Stephanie Stina

    Any luck on a physical/mineral sunscreen fit face by chance?

    Reply
  45. Mandy

    I just signed up as a Pure Haven Consultant last week. I knew that Pure Haven was previously Ava Anderson NT, but didn’t know the reason for the change. I did some research and come across all of this!! I’m very disheartened and torn. I love Pure Haven products, but don’t know how to proceed. Do I trust their labels and try to sell products to my family, all the while knowing that the previous products weren’t truly non toxic?!?! And has anyone ever looked up the LLC information on Pure Haven. The manager is none other than Kim Anderson!!! Doesn’t look like they walked away to me!!!!!!

    Reply
    • Meridith Oram

      They didn’t walk away—just rebranded and got a new “face” of the company—but I still haven’t ever heard a peep out of Ava…so maybe it is only her mom who is involved. I feel like now that all products are made in-house and the facility is certified organic that the products can be trusted. However, to not own up to their previous faults was a MAJOR pitfall of the company and I will forever question their ethics. I’m on their email list and every time I receive a “we have news” type email, I assume they’re announcing they’re going out of business haha. Best of luck to you and your partnership with them. Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
      • OrganicMom

        re. “the facility is certified organic” – while the facility may be certified, that does not mean all their products are certified organic. It means some of the products *may* be marketed according to one of four levels of organic certification. [ref. https://www.ams.usda.gov/grades-standards/organic-labeling-standards%5D

        But they let their consultants sell their products as 100% organic and never correct that misrepresentation.

        The whole “made in house” thing may be a comfort level for the people who bought into the excuse that all the problems the company had {regardless of the name they are currently going by} were the fault of third party manufacturers, the fact is Ava et al were at fault – not third party providers. The continuing problems with proper formulation {like products clearly growing mold or bacterial contamination} are problems after they started doing it all themselves.

        The founding principals of this company were always and still are, making MONEY, not making natural or organic skincare. The new staff came from other MLM schemes – not the natural skincare industry.

        Reply
    • Allison

      That’s a tough one, Mandy! But good for you for doing research and coming to your own conclusions on this one. Most people would just shrug it off and not care. I think when you sell a product and represent a company you have to be there 100% without any doubts because you’re going to develop a customer base of people who trust you and what you say. You want to feel good about what you sell and that goes beyond just liking the products. It’s obviously a very personal decision for you but I would think about all the factors involved and whether you can truly stand behind a company with their history. I think the fact that you’re even questioning it says a lot about what you really think! But best of luck to you as you decide!

      Reply
  46. OrganicMom

    The company is now a a certified HANDLER of the following products: Argan Essential Oil (Moroccan Argan Oil), Blended Essential Oil (Be Well), Blended Essential Oil (Five Defense), Body Scrub (Lemon Sugar Body Scrub), Cedarwood Essential Oil (Cedarwood), Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus), Frankincense Essential Oil (Frankincense), Jojoba Essential Oil (Jojoba Oil), Lavender Essential Oil (Lavender), Lemon Essential Oil (Lemon), Oregano Essential Oil (Oregano), Peppermint Essential Oil (Peppermint), Rosemary Essential Oil (Rosemary), Sweet Orange Essential Oil (Sweet Orange), Tea Tree Essential Oil (Tea Tree)

    THAT’S IT!

    Two botanical oils. Two EO blends. Ten essential oils. And ONE – one – bodycare product – the Body Scrubs (something which can easily be made in any kitchen for PENNIES – sugar, olive oil, a little coconut oil – optional drop of an appropriate and skin safe essential oil).

    None of their other products are Certified Organic.

    https://organic.ams.usda.gov/Integrity/

    Reply
  47. Forever Flawless

    Nice information …

    Reply

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