One of the main reasons we love doing what we do, is that we get to work with inspiring people like Andy Hnilo, founder and CEO of Alitura Naturals. We hope you are as moved by his origin story as we are!
EREWHON: Tell us about the path to launching Alitura Naturals.
ANDY: Wow, what a ride it has been! March 20, 2011 I woke up in in a Cedars Sinai ICU bed after getting hit by series of large vehicles. A westbound Land Rover had hit me into the eastbound lane, where I was run over by a Toyota Tundra. Lucky to be alive, I laid in the middle of Melrose as paramedics and first responders cut my clothes off of me in order to get me into the ambulance as quickly as possible. 7 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and the worst compound fracture that the maxillofacial specialist at the hospital had ever seen.
I knew I had a long road to recovery. But that accident was an absolute blessing in disguise. It gave me perspective and was the catalyst that rocked me towards my purpose to help others feel better about what they see in the mirror. Unhappy with what I found on store shelves, I became interested in active ingredients that created a noticeable difference in my appearance by accelerating the healing of my scarring and abrasions.
I didn’t want to be seen during the day, so that left me a lot of time to research, create and test. I would drive all around Los Angeles with a little backpack of Apple Cider Vinegar, a blend of Organic Essential Oils and a mineral rich blend of four clays, organic superfoods and nutrient-dense ingredients. Seeking feedback, the response was incredible. I continued to fine tune this Clay Mask for three years, until the Bulletproof CEO heard of my story and had me on his top-ranked podcast, Bulletproof Radio. The rest was history, months later we partnered up and in June 2014, Alitura Naturals was born.
EREWHON: Your story is incredible. Where does the name of your company come from?
ANDY: “Alitura” is Latin for “feeding and nourishing.” The skin is the largest organ and protects what lies within the body, and I firmly believe that the skin responds best to ingredients that come directly from the earth, rather than synthetic formulations or chemicals. My mission is to provide the highest quality products, devoid of synthetic ingredients, parabens and toxin-laced chemicals. I create products with an unflinching devotion to quality and results. I use cutting-edge ingredients such Copper Tripeptides and Vitanol (a natural form of Retinol) in the Gold Serum, K-Factor 16 Manuka Honey & potent plant-derived stem cells in the Night Cream, and even Grass-Fed Colostrum in both the Clay Mask & Night Cream to create a noticeable improvement in the vibrancy of your complexion.
EREWHON: What does Erewhon mean to you?
ANDY: I got a second chance in life and am able to create skincare products with a mission of purity of ingredients. My road to recovery is intimately woven with Erewhon. I spent many hours scouring the wellness aisles at Erewhon on Beverly Boulevard. I absorbed so much information from your extremely knowledgable health guru’s in my attempt to get back to where I was before the accident. I remember carefully selecting a blend of the purest botanical extracts and essential oils, while having a healthy drink at the tonic bar. I was back on my feet quick, feeling reborn with a sense of purpose.
Having my Alitura products on the shelves of Erewhon stores across all of Los Angeles carries a special meaning to me, where necessity was the Mother of invention, and fueled by the passion and purpose to help others. Thank you for all that you do, Erewhon. You take pride in what you put on the shelves of your stores, allowing your customers comfort in truly knowing that they can shop without worry. I am so honored to be a partner of yours!