|Where are you located, and what does your business do?
Tilvee is located in Beautiful Morrison, Colorado.
Tilvee produces innovative skin care products using premium ingredients. We support Organic and Fair trade producers for our raw materials. Our products are rich in Antioxidants, Super Fruits and Essential Fatty Acids.
We never use toxic ingredients such as fragrances, parabens, harmful preservatives, petrochemicals, etc.
We spend a lot of time researching ingredients and educating consumers about which ingredients to avoid in their lives and why. We help people learn more about living a healthier life in all aspects.
How long have you been in business?
I started the company in 2000 under a different brand name. Just this year we re branded and launched our new reformulated line of products.
What makes your company green?
Co-op America approved- Socially and Environmentally responsible practices.
Campaign for safe cosmetics compact signer- We adhere to strict standards about ingredients we use and will not use. We also fully disclose our ingredients on our labels.
We are currently working towards our USDA organic certification through Oregon Tilth. Yippee.
Green office certification
We use safe, non leaching packaging for our products (Glass).
Our soaps are labeled with a biodegradable paper.
Our office was built with eco friendly building materials and is partially solar powered.
The paper we use is 100% Post Consumer Waste.
We carefully choose our ingredients from farmers and suppliers that support fair trade (fair compensation), Organic and natural methods.
We walk all our deliveries to our stores in order to avoid using petroleum.....just kidding......I wish we could say we do this, but in reality we do have to deliver and ship our products. We are very conscious of how we bundle the delivery method to save time, gas and money.
The little things count too-We use natural cleaners in the office and lab and demonstrate an eco-friendly lifestyle in general.
What's the story behind your company's beginnings?
I went to college at Michigan State University (coincidentally their school color is green:) I studied Botany and Organic Chemistry, so I naturally gravitated to science and nature. I had a job on the side at a local health food store. I was really struck by the number of customers coming in and asking for skin care products that didnt have ingredients such as fragrances, parabens and other toxic ingredients that a lot of people are sensitive to.
The store owner and I were shocked after combing the shelves for "cleaner" skin care products for these customers and coming up with nothing! So, the owner encouraged me to use my skills and start formulating for these customers.
What I was most fascinated by was that here I worked at a health food store and yet the products that companies offered were still not healthy. Ironic.
One thing led to another and I was formulating all sorts of products and really expanding my knowledge on plant based ingredients and how to formulate using them.
Ready for the love interest part of the story.....
One of those women who came in with allergies to parabens became very dear to me.
She came in one day and told me she was thinking about how much I had in common with her son. She said " He bakes bread, loves the outdoors and grows a garden...I think you too have a lot in common, here is his email!". Well, he did live way up in Alaska, but I emailed him anyways. Long story short, we eventually met, fell in love and I went up to Alaska. When we were deciding where to settle down, he took a job offer in Colorado (He is a seismologist). We moved to Colorado and that is when I officially started my business and began selling products.
What have been some of the biggest challenges of maintaining high standards of social and environmental responsibility?What has been your proudest moment as a green business?
Packaging and labeling!
There is not many great packaging and labeling solutions out there.
Plastic has too many risks of leaching harmful chemicals into the products and while glass is a safer option, how do we know people will recycle it after they are done using it? Further more, labels that are impervious to oils, creams, sun light and water need a coating. Most coatings in the industry are petroleum derived.
Until we find the perfect solution (something perhaps made from dirt, does its job and then degrades back to dirt) we use glass and beg people to recycle or re use it. We also have sourced a soap label that is made from minerals and is compostable!
I dont have just one moment. There are so many. Whether its the honor of an interview or hearing a happy customer rave about our product, I feel proud at that moment. Im also very proud when I look at my team and see that they put their whole heart into my business. That means something. That means that they believe in my vision, believe in the cause and believe in our customers.
What is the most hopeful trend you have seen recently from the green economy?
The hopeful trend im seeing is that going green is no longer just for the crunchy slice of the population.
Its being embraced by everyone everywhere. People are realizing the real need to do something and this has translated into green movements all across the board from large companies to households.
What’s the next green project you’re working on right now?
We are working on getting our organic certification. The soaps will be first and will be 85% certified organic at the beginning of 2009.