Kristy Hunston & Grace O’Sullivan, started out as colleagues working in advertising. A work relationship that blossomed into a friendship, and then solidified as a business partnership that brought Avoila to birth.
Welcome Kristy & Grace. It’s a true pleasure to sit with you ladies and discuss the Avoila story. I’ll jump right in and ask about the name ‘Avoila’. If I take a guess, I’d say a combination of the word ‘Avocado’ and the phrase ‘Voila’? [laughs]
That’s exactly right! It all started with Avocado Oil – Grace
“I began using Avocado Oil from my kitchen to treat my own skin eczema. It was somewhat of an epiphany to find it to be a very powerful oil with a lot of nutrients but I also found that it wasn’t very pleasant to use. Using avocado oil was a simple and effective ingredient; a sharp contrast to the tired solution of using multiple skincare products, I mean I saw results almost immediately. I shared my findings with Kristy, and we went on to create a unique formula that kicked things off”
Avocado Oil is quite a popular ingredient in the clean beauty world. It can already be found in a number of other products, so tell me what makes Avoila different?
“Of course, Avocado oil is used in a lot of clean beauty products today, but nobody was really elevating avocado oil, as an ingredient or giving it the attention that it deserved. Grace and I wanted to create a product that would do that, and be far more appealing to use than say, the avocado oil in our kitchens, and that’s how Avoila was born.
We did research on other ingredients that would work synergistically like sea buckthorn, kalahari melon seed oil, and camellia seed oil to amp up the benefits of the avocado oil, and elevate our product to be one that people would love – Kristy
I think it’s interesting how both of you came from working in advertising in the pharmaceutical industry, which seems completely different from where you are now in the beauty industry. How did your backgrounds lend to the creation of Avoila?
“I brought my background in design, and from working as a creative director, to the branding of Avoila. I was responsible for visually communicating what the brand stood for, and elevating elements of luxury, and elegance, while Kristy was motivated to building and maintaining strategic relationships, coming from that role in the pharmaceutical industry”.
Did you face any challenges transitioning into the beauty industry?
“Absolutely. Finding partners that we could trust was a big challenge. Grace and I sought to find people that had the same vision and passion that we had. We’re a small, independent business with a tight budget, and so it was important to us to find partners that loved and valued what we were doing”.
Wow, to think you eventually launched the brand in February of 2020, right before one of the deadliest pandemic in our history hit. What was it like launching a new business in the midst of a global pandemic.
It definitely threw some plans off track. It’s taken patience, strategic pivoting, and really the belief in our product to stay the course, and I think that if we didn’t get the support from our growing community, it would have been much more difficult to keep going”.
Kristy, you mentioned an ingredient in the Avoila oil is the Sea Buckthorn which is known to be quite beneficial for mature skin. Did you take into consideration any particular target demographic when formulating the oil?
Oh yes, we made our products for women like us. We’re both in our early 40’s & 50’s, we have aging skin, and we have found that those in their 50’s and 60’s love our product. We want to give people in that age range some attention, through our marketing, just after being aware that they need a product like ours”.
What can people expect from Avoila Nourishing Oil?
,,Avoila Oil will nourish your skin. It’s like eating clean, If your skin is well nourished, it will look good, it will age well, it will be healthy. Avocado oil is truly a magical ingredient, and our findings have taught us that it’s not about using multiple products, but really just finding that one key product that you can supplement with others if you like.
What is the future for Avoila Skincare look like?
We want to launch more products by the end of 2021. We’re working on a balm and a face mask, but even those products would have avocado oil as an ingredient. We are looking to go into more retail stores as well within the next 6 months, and continue the work of educating women on why they should make the switch to clean beauty. We primarily retail solely on ,avoila.com but our goal is to open up to markets in Canada and Europe in future.
That’s fantastic. Thank you ladies both for your time.
Inside Look At ,,Avoila Written by Ona Okoye