How a broken, single, teenage Mom of a handicapped child turned DIY facials into the business of her dreams

Entrepreneurs are a unique breed if you haven't figured that out for yourself, and if you are truly one at heart you are a chronic visionary. You're always looking for new ways to solve problems through innovative products and services. Ava Young did just that. She began her adult life as a teenage, single mother of a mentally and physically handicapped child. Ava was literally broke and broken as she tried to raise her daughter on a minimum wage salary, doing whatever it took to survive.

Ava had a passion for facials, so to salvage what little pleasure she had in her life, She created her own DIY facials. Today, she is launching her own business of skin care products with the help of her daughter's special needs work program. Her company, Self Spa Skin, has the tagline, "Great skin has special needs."

Ava is one special woman. Watch the video of her interview on the eWN Podcast Network show, Spotlight on eWomenNetwork, with Host, Phyllis Smith and get ready to get inspired (and maybe shed a tear or two!).

A Difficult Beginning

PHYLLIS SMITH: So, you've created your own skin care product years ago really out of necessity. You were broke, you were a single mother of a mentally and physically handicapped child. So, before we get into the success of your business please tell us about your daughter’s condition and what that experience was like for you as a parent.

AVA YOUNG: Oh, let’s see ... my daughter was born very early. She was 2 pounds 7 ounces, and we're talking, my daughter is very fully grown, so we're talking a long time back when they were just introducing new intensive care units for infants. She was actually the first survivor in the Ventura General Hospital Neonatal Clinic. So yeah, it has just coincidentally been built and opened the week before. So, um ... she was very, very tiny and she had a lot of problems. She came out of the hospital, she finally came home when she was 2 months old and 5 pounds.

So she was very, very tiny, and I was told that there would be problems like with her teeth and with her eyes and although that came to be true there was a whole lot more that they didn't tell me about. Turned out that, um ... as she grew there was developmental delays so she did turn out to be autistic. Very high functioning though. Um ... a touch of Cerebral Palsy and of course all the eye problems that you would encounter, that they used to encounter all the time giving too much oxygen and it distorted the inside of the eyes.

I was barely 18 when I had her. So, although I had been married I found myself a single parent very, very, very, very quickly, and I was just overwhelmed. Yeah, [laughter] it's funny to go back to that time because it's so long ago and there's so many things that happened in the meantime, but remembering that, um ... it's funny. It's funny looking back on that, and if I wanted, if I could ... myself sitting here tell my younger self then, “It’s okay, you'll get through it”. It's gonna be a lot of years, but it'll be fine.

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PHYLLIS SMITH: So then, there was something that happened for you that shifted and had you look at your situation in a different way, tell us about that?