In her own words – Founder Lauren Padawer

I ran off to Alaska at 23. Blinded by love I set roots in a small coastal fishing town on a slender strip of rainforest landlocked by mountains, glaciers and the largest contiguous wetland on the Pacific coast of North America. I learned how to smoke salmon in the traditional ways, forage for wild berries, mushrooms, climb mountains, kayak open waters and hunt island deer. If you knew where I grew up you’d say I was pretty far from home… Except that home never leaves you. As they say, home is where the heart is.

I didn’t fall in love with another human if that’s what you were thinking… l fell in love with the Copper River, and the untamed spirit of its wilderness. I fell in love with the highly prized salmon way of life . I fell in love with slow living, with periodic endless rainy days and with breathtaking scenery that is so rugged it pierces the heart. Basically I moved to summer camp.

The Copper River and its tributaries make up an impressive watershed of wilderness. It supports more wild critters than can be counted. The Copper River is a highly productive ecosystem in a broken world. It is a reminder of the past, only it is intoxicatingly present and a prescient reminder of a future that heeds our attention. Wild salmon and the web of life they weave is delicate. We need only look along the Pacific coast to see the frail balance of salmon rivers and sad story of wild salmon’s survival in the face of unbridled development.

Alaskans are a salmon culture. Salmon feeds us in all sorts of ways. When the salmon go, our spirit goes with them.

I was raised with conviction – not necessarily religious or dogmatic, but ideological. I was raised to give voice to people and issues that didn’t have a voice. I was raised to have empathy and social responsibility. I was also repeatedly encouraged to follow my heart by my father who had an entrepreneurial spirit. At age 12, I was employing my sisters in a small jewelry making business.

Lauren Padawer-founder

After jobs working as an activist for the Somerville Community Development Corporation in Boston, a spa in upscale long-term care community in St Louis, the Eyak Preservation Council in Cordova and as a fish biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, I circled back to entrepreneurship in my 20’s. Only the older me was inspired by a vision of a commerce that supported social change. What if every non-profit was funded by a successful ethical business venture? What if the profits from every business venture supported great causes? Fortunately this was a collective vision seeding its way around the globe. The number of businesses harmonizing commerce with social impact is growing each day. Humans are good.

With Alaska Glacial you can count on safe + non-toxic products powered by Mother Nature that calm the skin, soothe the spirit and help you find stillness in a crazy world. And when you’re ready to crush your goals, I hope the beauty and magnitude of Alaska inspires you to go big!

If you want to read more about how I started an eco-friendly skincare brand that sustainably harvests pure Alaska Glacial minerals to manufacture raw skincare products, please check out this feature at My Brand Journey website.