Doug and Teresa Andrys live in Waconia, Minnesota where they founded and operate a family-owned botanical business, SunLeaf Naturals. Each year they donate 5% of their profits to two environmental causes they care about: protecting pollinators and freshwater resources. Keep reading to learn their story of why they’re passionate about improving water health in Minnesota and why they invest in it to make a difference.
Teresa is trained as a chemist and first got to know Freshwater in the eighties when we posted a job opening in a local paper. Teresa saw it and, as she recalled to Freshwater, “I applied for the job! I didn’t get it, but instead was hired as a product development chemist at a local bath product company – a profession I have enjoyed for many years.” Since then she founded and operates SunLeaf Naturals, a family business that uses green chemistry to create, “healthful bath, body and home products that perform well, smell amazing, and allow real plant power to shine through.”
As the Andrys family grew and developed their business it was important to them to create environmentally friendly products and to give back, especially to the waters of the Land of 10,000 Lakes. In Teresa’s words, they were drawn to Freshwater’s work because, “We were impressed by the focus on science and the distribution of that knowledge to local officials.” They liked the idea of “creating change to help improve water quality on a local level.” She adds that they strive to “impress on people the importance of change being supported by science and networking with local officials.”
Doug and Teresa have attended our gala for many years and enjoy supporting Freshwater through our annual fundraiser. In 2019 they even brought their children. It was a special way to expose them – all on the STEM career paths – to the impact of their philanthropy. Another one of their favorite times to donate is through Give to the Max Day. There are often matching funds available that can take the impact of their donations even farther.
Every time we see a SunLeaf product or connect with Doug and Teresa, we are filled with gratitude. We’re reminded that through community support from people like them we can protect the health of our waters for generations to come. We will enjoy watching their kids continue their higher education and pick careers of their own, informed by the ethic of environmental stewardship bestowed on them by their parents. Doug and Teresa say this about their giving, “We hope that Freshwater continues its research into causes of pollution and remedies to improve water quality.” We are able to do so thanks to their generosity.