Ever wondered how your favorite shop came about? Well, wonder no more, here’s the story behind one of my favorite green beauty online shop: Eco Diva Beauty! Grab some herbal tea, sit down and relax!
The Original EcoDiva: Charlene Swanson
Though it launched only a year ago (March 8th 2013), our beloved, most trusted online green shop was born in its founder’s heart, Charlene Swanson (aka The Original EcoDiva), almost a decade ago… (that’s 10 years in the making, so don’t give up on your dreams!)
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Charlene’s life story reads like a novel! When she shared her story with me, I was so moved, I kept picturing who would play her, if her life was to be adapted in a movie…and believe me, it should! For me, it feels like Eco Diva Beauty has been here forever. It is where I placed my very first order (September, 24th 2013) when I turned to natural products over a year ago. The shop as well as its founders have a special place in my heart. Their story is so beautiful, so I wanted to share.
We can all relate to having a dream, and Charlene is the perfect example of the modern woman who fought to make hers come true…and did it ever !
As a young girl, Charlene was ordering expensive skincare and makeup from the” big city”. It wasn’t natural, but that’s where her love for beauty products began. She did look for natural products but didn’t find the level of quality she was looking for. She grew up surrounded by nature, up on the Alaskan Highway, so she never questioned its beauty and had an inherent respect for it. Her family lived in an old Army camp converted to a sawmill and, naturally, she grew up to be a … lumber trader! And then, she moved to the big city. Despite the fact that lumber trading is a traditionally reserved male turf, she became very successful, eventually creating her own lumber company, which allowed her to care for her 2 daughters she was raising alone, as a single mother. She was also a pioneer in the industry because she led the way in terms of only selling wood from sustainable managed forests (FSC Certified). Still, she realized her passions and her profession weren’t in alignment.
Being the connoisseur she is, Charlene was frustrated by the unavailability of proper organic and luxury beauty products (no Kjaer Weis back then!!). She often thought of creating her own line, but she knew she wouldn’t be content with that alone, knowing her tendency to search for new things. She remembers vividly when her dream took seed in her heart. Eco Diva Beauty was born out of the desire to see women make conscious decisions about their well-being (beauty, skincare, wellness) without having to compromise their health and the environment. As a true trailblazer and visionary, Charlene then had an epiphany. She knew right in that instant she would move heaven and earth to find the most eco-friendly, luxurious and cutting edge products and have them in one beautiful location. She wanted busy people like her who also love the planet to be able to find their beauty and skincare products in one place. She thought to herself: “I’m such a Diva!” and because all divas have alter-egos (just ask Beyoncé!), hers responded: “well, at least, I’m an ECO-diva!” And this is how the name ECODIVA was found. Would you believe me if I told you Charlene Swanson, self-proclaimed EcoDiva, owner of the most prestigious online ecoshop, did not trust technology back then? So she headed out to the Registrars office to get the “ecodiva” name registered.
As it is often the case when pursuing a dream, the daily struggles of reality set in and damper our hopes. So, it did for Charlene, until she began to exhibit physical and emotional side-effects of her unsatisfying life. After her doctor wrote her a prescription that said “Deepak Chopra”, she spent a week with him at the Deepak Chopra Centre in California. There, she came to understand that we, humans, are creators of our own life with the assistance of a higher power, however we choose to call it.
She then enlisted the help of her daughter, you might have heard of her (ha ha!!), her name is Garcy Fry (you’ll get to read all about her in an upcoming feature). The pair of them successfully manage EcoDiva Beauty. I think I speak for many of us when I say that the Eco Diva Beauty online shop has set a high bar of excellence for all online shops by raising and sustaining ethical, moral, social and environmental standards. Although we should be responsible for our own health by knowing and researching what’s in our products, we don’t all have time for that. And that’s where shops like EcoDivaBeauty come in. You can trust their commitment and their passion for our community. You can count on them for answers. When I shop at Eco Diva, I have peace of mind, I know that every product, from every brand has been researched and approved by the mother-daughter duo.
Here’s what you should know about Charlene Swanson…
She’s EVERY woman, but she’s also in a league of her own. She’s a hard-working woman and quite the entrepreneur (with 2 companies to her name)! She’s an adventurer, a go-getter, a dreamer, an achiever, a story-teller, a lover of nature and sees beauty all over creation. She is truly and remarkably beautiful from head to toe and from the inside out. She is courage and strength. She is bold and daring. She’s also level-headed and determined. I gave you the short version of Eco Diva (yes, short!)! I know we all look at Eco Diva Beauty and think we’d all want to own such a shop… Don’t think for a second that running a shop is a smooth-sailing affair! Even now, with the success of her online shop, Charlene still juggles both her sustainable lumber trading and the Eco Diva shop. She remains humble and pragmatic, knowing full well that her first company allowed her to fund her second one. Also, she doesn’t think that she has is made; she thrives to do and to give the best everyday, because she wants the best for her Eco Divas…that’s you, you, you, you and I!
I truly love Eco Diva and it’s so much more than a business. It’s an energy for beauty in all things inside and out, physical and meta physical.I want women to be empowered and to know that they can affect the world in such a significant way by just being women. Most women dictate what the family consumes and purchases and this gives them a powerful vote for our environment worldwide each and every day.”– Charlene Swanson, founder of Eco Diva Beauty