For International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight our amazing Goddess Garden Founder, Nova Covington. She is not only our Founder, but also a mother, activist, CEO and all around inspiring woman. Get to know more about why she started Goddess Garden and how she manages it all.
For those who are new to Goddess Garden, can you tell us what inspired you to start the brand?
I was inspired to create Goddess Garden when my baby daughter had reactions to synthetic chemicals, especially those in her sunscreen and body care products. I started making my own products, replacing the harsh chemicals with organic plant-based ingredients that were highly effective, yet safe for her sensitive skin. I gave them to friends and family and started selling them at festivals and farmers markets. After selling out of mineral sunscreen at our first festival, I realized people wanted better options and Goddess Garden’s mineral sunscreens were born.
Certified as a woman-owned business, we make products for women that are better for the Earth and our families. We support women in the workplace and have had an average of 60-70% women on our staff for the past 15 years. We are proud to support ocean-friendly, reef safe products that serve women, including amazing skincare using Mother Nature’s best and most effective botanicals to repair sun damage.
You are a passionate advocate for marine life and the health of our oceans. What have been some of the most rewarding parts of being able to utilize Goddess Garden to help promote good and give back?
The most rewarding part of growing Goddess Garden has been my influence in cleaning up the oceans and the ongoing Blue Beauty movement. Companies like ours are making a difference in our mission to save our coral reefs and preserve our oceans and ocean mammals habitat. We helped raise awareness and provided ground support in the way of free product samples that local nonprofits handed out on the beaches in Hawaii’. Governor Ige banned two chemical sunscreens in Hawaii which went into affect in January of this year.
Hawaii’s ground-breaking law was an amazing first start, and these chemicals need to be banned everywhere for the sake of our reefs and for human health.
The island of Bonaire already implemented a similar ban, and I’ve heard rumors that other states, including California, Florida and Colorado, are talking about similar legislation. Recently I spoke at the Ocean Protection Counsel on the importance of following in Hawaii’s footsteps.
We are spreading the word in order to clean up our waters! These chemicals are toxic in our water supply for humans and our oceans.
I started a nonprofit called Protect Our Mother (POM), an ocean conservation foundation aimed at protecting marine life, climate balancing and supporting protection for oceans and ocean mammal habitats like coral reefs.
Did you know that Monterey Bay in California has 400 year old growth coral on the Davidson Seamount, a famous mountain in the Mariana trench, one of the deepest in the world’s oceans.
What is the secret to your success?
The secret to my success is that I stayed true to my heart, and follow my intuition. From minute one, I called myself an “intuitive leader”.
I love natural products. I fell in love with essential oils, which are nature’s magical ingredients we use to scent all of our products. That’s how I fell in love with natural skincare products.
But my truest love is my babies, and what leads me forward is to do better for our beautiful, perfect planet and our children. I want to leave the Earth better than I found it. How about you? What small ways can you make positive changes?
I grew up in the wilderness with a deep love for the outdoors and feel our need to lead the way to climate balancing quickly. Protecting the oceans and our water from these toxic petroleum products and chemicals is one of the most pressing issues of our time.
That’s why we make Earth-safe options at Goddess Garden like our Reef Safe sunscreens that include Zinc Oxide, a naturally occurring ingredient.
As a female founder, what are some of the hurdles you have had to overcome to grow your business?
Funding. Period. Women-owned companies get a very small percentage of funding in comparison with men in similar companies. Why? Sexism. A friend of mine, a higher-up woman banker pulled me aside after our first successful SBA loan to tell me that, “the only reason I had gotten the loan was that my husband made 6 figures.”
So we have to be better, smarter, faster and more profitable in order to survive as woman-owned businesses. I am excited about the diversity conversation that many companies are having as they look for minority and women-owned suppliers and companies to support.
Any tips on juggling motherhood, activism and running a business, especially in times of Covid?
Go with the flow. Business and the economic outlook is changing daily.
Frankly the activism and environmental nonprofits are struggling right now during COVID as there is so much need for pure humanitarian support. We have paused launching our 2021 campaigns during this time. I look forward to talking about how important our goals of preserving and protecting Nature are.
Can you share with us some of your favorite Goddess Garden Products?
Under the Sun Hydrating Vitamin Serum is a rich yet quick-absorbing vitamin serum.
“Hydration is the key to beautiful skin, and this serum is meant to go on under reef-safe sunscreen or an SPF 30 facial cream.”
Dream Repair is our facial cream is that is designed to rehydrate and to repair sun damage (aka wrinkles) over night. “I am absolutely addicted to our Goddess Garden Dream Repair cream…and my skin is too.”
I really love our SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen products in the tubes. I love all of them (Daily, Sport, Kids, Baby…), and love the sheer dry-touch feel.
Happy Day Essential Oil blend for uplifting my mood on my chakra bracelet. “Citrus essential oils are energizing and ‘happying’ as my little one likes to say. I will take it! And I give this one as a gift a lot.”
Face the Day SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen. It is currently out of stock but we will be getting more in very very soon (make sure you are signed up for our newsletter to be alerted when they come in). This is my #1 favorite product because of the long-term effects on my skin. Under the Sun serum, and our SPF 30 Face the Day together reduced wrinkle depth by 30% in 90 days. Wow, right?!