Updated: Dec 6, 2020
A lot of people have asked me why I created SAVA so I thought I would share my journey of how it has become my heart and passion.
During my 25-year banking career I never thought about what kind of lifestyle would support my long-term health. I was driven and an over-achiever, whose self-esteem was linked to how productive and successful I was. This sustained me for some time, but eventually my health began to suffer. And when I talk about health, I include not only the physical components but also the mental and emotional aspects as well.
In 2009, everything fell apart and after a lot of resistance I finally surrendered to the fact that I had to change a lot in my life. I slowly started to realize that I was doing everything for the wrong reasons. Long story short, I was lucky to find a new way of life that did not include putting band-aids on all my physical, mental and emotional issues. What I mean by this is the tendency for medical professionals to prescribe medication rather than look at more natural alternatives or to look at the root cause of the problem.
I started to find more balance in my life, to connect with my values, and to discover what was truly fulfilling for my soul and not just a quick fix for my self worth. I started to heal physically, mentally and emotionally. There were many resources I connected with for my healing; Yoga, Ayurveda, Therapy, Coaching and Communities of Healing that supported me along the way. The commonality of them all was that they allowed me to dig deep and start healing old wounds.
I left my career in banking and started a new journey that allowed me to re-discover myself. I tried a lot of different things, learning what worked for me and letting go of what didn’t. Slowly, I began to heal from the inside out. It was a challenging but freeing experience that was completely new to me. I had always been focused on what I thought others expected of me or what would bring me to the next level of success or approval. This time I learned and tried things I enjoyed.
Then as life happens, I was shown that something was missing. I had certainly grown and healed a lot but I had never looked at the products I was using on a daily basis or the toxic load I was exposed to every day. My body was trying to communicate the danger of this, and I started to develop severe allergies to the products I was using. It was confusing because I had used these products or similar ones for years. Suddenly I had very bad rashes and inflammation that caused my daily life to be very uncomfortable.
I was fortunate enough to find a dermatologist who informed me of the toxicity of the products that I was using. He told me that if I didn't want to live on cortisone cream and antihistamines the rest of my life I should go back to nature. He said that nature has all the solutions, but society has been led to believe that commercial products with synthetically produced ingredients and artificial fragrances are normal and have no harmful side effects. The truth is that many of them are harmful and can have a drastic impact on the body's systems and its ability to function, sometimes visibly like in my situation but often without showing us a direct link. Our skin is our largest organ and it shows us when something is out of balance internally. My skin was showing me the signs of inflammation and toxicity that had built up over time. In my daily routine, I used a long list of products from facial to shampoos to body creams to perfumes that were full of chemicals and my body finally said it was enough.
I resisted at first and wanted to find a simpler way. It was not easy to change my whole routine. Around the same time, I went into early menopause and was not properly diagnosed for 4 years. I only made the connection further on in my journey. At first, I didn`t link this to my lifestyle or the products I was using but after some further research I learned that not only are these products harming the environment, but they were having catastrophic affects on my hormones as well.
I finally listened to my dermatologist and started using products that were very basic: almond oil, coconut oil, castile soap, etc. I researched the cosmetic and beauty care industry and was shocked. It motivated me to find other resources like the Environmental Working Group (EWG) where I could check products to see how natural they actually were and found better solutions.
I had always loved scents but I didn't realize that many of them were artificial and synthetically produced. I was lucky enough to be introduced to DoTerra Essential Oils, the only company in the world that performs extensive testing on all their oils for purity and has complete transparency on the way they source and produce them. I was impressed; I discovered that these oils not only smelled beautiful but also have their own therapeutic benefits. I started creating my own creams and serums and added essential oils to enhance the effectiveness and highlight the benefits of the products. I no longer had any allergic reactions and it was such a blessing! I shared with friends and they loved them. Many people told me I should really do something more with these products, so I started educating myself and received formal training. As synchronicity would have it, I created my own brand and SAVA was born. At first, I was doing trade shows and selling to our yoga students and friends but then I found the shop in Kreis 4 in Zürich. With each step along the way, I have learned and been able to grow the business bit by bit. I did not plan to own a shop or create my own skin care company, but I allowed life to show me the way.