About Ava Said
Who We Are
Hola, I’m Thirza (Tear-Za)!
In 1980, my mother immigrated to the United States and I stayed with my grandparents, Ava (Ah-Vuh) and Papa Pablo.
At age 5, my mother brought me to Compton, California, and later to Los Angeles, where I lived until I was 16. When I was 16 years old, my parents moved our family to Kansas to find better jobs and give more opportunities to my sister and I. While I’ve lived in Kansas for years, I still consider Los Angeles my hometown.
Ava Said is not about my story, but that of my grandmother. I created the Ava Said line of products in honor of my grandmother’s legacy – to keep her spirit alive and spread her values to others who weren’t blessed to know her.
Ava Said was created to give to those in need as Ava did throughout the many lives she touched with a mission to provide resources to those in need – to take action and create a new beginning for a better tomorrow.
Our mission is to create resources for the homeless in Wichita, Kansas. Ava Said donates 10% of all profits to the Wichita Children’s Home, which relies on the community to supply 24/7 resources to children in need.
Special thanks to “K” for his involvement in helping to continue my grandmother’s legacy.
Ava, Mi Abuela Amada (My Beloved Grandmother)
The Binding “Glue” To Our Family
As I mentioned, this story is about Ava, my grandmother. Her name was Laura, but I couldn’t say “Mama Laura” like everyone else, so I lovingly called her “Ava.”
Ava was a descendent of the Pepil Indians from El Salvador with long beautiful black hair and caramel skin. Her beauty was radiant from the inside out. Her medium build and strong posture were indicative of the strength she held within.
She was a very strong-willed, yet loving woman. Her stern, sweet nature made her 12 children feel secure, loved, and protected at all times. Ava was the pillar of our family – the glue that binds us together.
I remember walking the streets of Nicaragua with Ava holding my hand and feeling so peaceful as I walked with her. I recall looking up at her and saying to myself, “one day I’m going to be like you.” She was my inspiration and my security.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Ava had a very kind and loving heart. She was not much about telling you how much she loved you, but more about showing with actions and patterns as to how much you meant to her. I have so many memories of her kindness as she constantly was helping those in need. With that, I will tell you two of my favorite stories about her.
Feed the Hungry
There was once a family that lived across the street from us in Nicaragua. The woman had 8 children, several of whom were born with a bone disease that caused their bones to deteriorate with age. The family was humble and didn’t have the means to get by at times.
Each time the family didn’t have food to eat, they would close the door and not come out of their home. Ava quickly learned what that closed door meant and would begin cooking without saying anything. When the food was done, she would say “Come on Thirza, let’s go and deliver this food.”
When we knocked, the mother wouldn’t open the door because she was ashamed of not having food for her family, so my grandmother and I would leave the food on the sidewalk. After she picked up the food and fed her children, she would open the door and the kids would come out and play. Ava did that for several years. Some of the children were even put through college by our family.
Share Your Wealth
When I was young, living in Nicaragua, we were the only family that had a TV in our neighborhood at the time. This was due to the fact that my mother moved to the U.S. and sent money to our family, resulting in us having more of a means than many other families in our area.
The kids in the neighborhood would come and stand outside the house by our windows, trying to watch the cartoons my cousins and I were watching. I would simply look at my grandmother and she would nod her head yes at me. She knew what I wanted to ask with that look.
I would let all the kids in the neighborhood come in and watch cartoons with us. As they were watching TV, Ava and I would start cooking and making popular Nicaraguan ice cream treats for the kids. Ava knew that doing these kinds of things brought me happiness – and she enjoyed seeing me happy.
Ava’s Legacy Lives On
Throughout her life, Ava helped a lot of people. She always said that there was a story behind every name, and those stories need to be heard without judgment. I am truly thankful to Ava for raising me and instilling her values, morals, and principals of kindness in me.
She was always a fan of the phrase “where there’s a will there’s a way.” You don’t have to be wealthy to help someone, all you have to do is to cultivate a heart to want to.
My journey now is to continue Ava’s legacy of kindness and helping others by creating resources for a new beginning and better tomorrow to those in need. I strongly believe that there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving – the foundation of the Ava Said brand.
Check out our line of women’s and men’s t-shirts or our unisex bracelets made in Nicaragua. Shopping with Ava Said helps support those in need!