Lauren Padawer Story
I have been an entrepreneur, activist and beauty minimalist since my early teens. I knew chemicals, GMO’s and toxins in our water, our food and what we put in our skin were leaving a legacy of waste in our rivers and oceans.
In Alaska I found ingredients unspoiled by factory farms, industrial mines, polluted waterways and pesticides. The raw materials used by Alaska Glacial Mud Co. are raw goodness and incredibly rich in pure minerals and nutrients. Our natural skin care products are completely free of synthetic and chemical ingredients.
With Alaska Glacial Mud Co., I am passionate about promoting a natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to purity, philanthropy and sustainability.
During college I became very inspired by restoration ecology work and ways in which natural resource management and education could shift paradigms in our country to benefit the whole planet.
After I earned my degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, I knew my life’s work would keep me close to nature but I felt I needed to deepen my understanding of political change and community organizing strategies first… the kinds of things you don’t learn in school! At 22 years old I jumped at the opportunity to get my feet wet working on a three-month electoral campaign in Anchorage, Alaska. I had no idea the big mountains would win me over and that the prospect of preserving unspoiled wilderness would bring me back to Alaska a year later.
In the interim, I worked at a geriatric spa helping elders feel beautiful on the inside and out, and as a community organizer helping less fortunate Americans maintain access to affordable housing in a quickly growing gentrified community in Boston, MA. With those two jobs I scratched my city itch in Boston and unknowingly absorbed skills at a spa that would help me with Alaska Glacial Mud Co. later down my path.
At 23 years old I moved to the remote coastal fishing town of Cordova, Alaska to work with a colleague I met during my post-college electoral campaign work. Dune Lankard was the founder of a nonprofit organization called the Eyak Preservation Council, whose mission includes protecting pristine areas of the Copper River and Prince William Sound from unsustainable development. I worked as a program manager and a grant writer for the Eyak Preservation Council for two years.
During that time, the Copper River grew closer to my heart and I started thinking about the impact a small business could make to raise awareness and philanthropically support wild salmon habitat in the Copper River Watershed instead of toiling away writing grants. There was no hesitation about what I would do.
Between rafting trips down the Copper River, mudslinging on its silty banks, and listening to Alaskans joke about the buttery spa quality of the abundant mud, I was inspired to launch Alaska Glacial Mud Co. and bring luxurious Alaskan glacial spa products to the world.
While I worked incessantly on my business plan, I deepened my ties to the Copper River working as a salmon biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game and in 2009 I purchased a commercial salmon fishing boat and permit and have been working as a commercial salmon fisherwoman concurrently while running Alaska Glacial Mud Co. I operate my own fishing vessel in the Prince William Sound and Copper River Flats to harvest all five species of wild Alaskan Pacific salmon.