My mother, Alex, and I realized we could not ignore the tick problem anymore. It was spring 2014 and I (Rebecca) was hanging out at my mother’s house with my 9-month-old son, David. We were planning to get some fresh air outside when we paused.
Ticks were everywhere in our New Hampshire backyards and not going anywhere. In fact, they seemed to be getting worse every year. Our favorite spring activities like gardening and walking through the backwoods were becoming a real concern. David was crawling around and exploring and we had to be honest that we were very hesitant about him exploring outside on the grass, where deer ticks (the size of a grain of sand) were waiting.
I felt an intense responsibility as a mother to do something about it, and to avoid the toxic chemical repellents like DEET and permethrin. So it was only natural to make our own. We decided it had to fit these criteria: 1. Highly effective in repelling ticks. 2. 100% natural ingredients. 3. Smells good.
My mother and I carefully researched university studies, essential oil encyclopedias, online blogs and various resources to determine which essential oils repel ticks most effectively. Soon we were testing our repellents in our backyard that led to a fantastic formula with natural oils of cedar, peppermint, geranium and rosemary, to name a few. We felt liberated.
Friends and family performed more field testing for us, and before long we were sourcing bulk quantities, designing labels, bottling and selling our product to local garden centers, grocery stores and pet stores (it works for dogs, too!). Naturopathic doctors, chiropractors and alternative medical centers immediately saw the value in our product as well. The phone was ringing off the hook.
The reaction to Tick Ban was exciting and continues to be. YAYA Organics products are now available in several hundred stores throughout New England, and recently in select Whole Foods Markets. We also sell nationwide through Amazon.com and our e-commerce website www.yayaorganics.com.
It’s been a fun, challenging and rewarding journey. However, the real success is knowing that we’re making a difference in the lives of other health-conscious families who also value purity and peace of mind. We love meeting our customers face to face, especially other moms who really appreciate how liberating Tick Ban has been for their families (and dogs).
In 2015, Alex and Rebecca joined with partner Valeria and continue to carry forward their mission to create high-quality pure, nontoxic and truly effective products that are organic whenever possible.
“Val” is also a mother (of three girls) and fits right into the YAYA family. We now have a line of certified organic face oils called VIVA, which is like superfood for your skin to hydrate, beautify and nourish, and a line of powerful and pure natural deodorants, (aluminum-free) that deliver gym-tested results to the toughest critics. And don’t let me forget Tick Ban’s counterpart, Squito Ban, our all-natural mosquito and black fly repellent featuring clove, cedar and citronella that is worth its weight in gold around the campfire or a backyard gathering for dinner. All of our products are made in-house with strict quality control and the artisan touch of small batches.
Here at YAYA we are three passionate and conscientious mothers who want the best for our families so we only make products we would want to use every day. We have embraced the nontoxic and natural/organic lifestyle and decided to create products where we saw a real need in the marketplace.
“Working with YAYA Organics is rewarding,” says Alex, co-founder and grandmother (“Nana” to little David, and now Noah). “We all really enjoy what we’re doing and always strive to be better. At YAYA, there is a culture of honesty and transparency that is refreshing. Even when there’s obstacles, which there always will be, it helps us to reaffirm our mission and stay true to our values, as ethical businesswomen, and as moms who care.”
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