Before becoming an entrepreneur, I was in college pursuing a science degree in chemistry and biology and was planning to continue my education towards a doctoral degree (1994-2003). I was married and had two amazing little girls at the time.
Around 1998, I discovered melt and pour soap making. At first, it was just something fun for me to do, but I’ve always been a label reader, so much so, I would go to the supermarket with a dictionary instead of a calculator. It became a ritual for me. I didn’t know it was such a big deal until the ladies at the cash register kept asking me which item would be better for them to purchase.
After a few approaches, I finally asked them why they kept asking me these questions. Their answer, and I’m paraphrasing here, “well, because you almost always come shopping with a dictionary, and your food items look so different from many of the people who shop here. You look so vibrant and healthy, so we felt that you must be doing something different.”
I began to research the ingredients in the melt and pour soap products and was horrified to learn how toxic most of them were. I decided to learn how to make soap from scratch with herbs that I extensively researched. I scented my soaps with essential oils, not fragrance oils. I started sharing my soap creations with people. They would come back asking me if my soap had some sort of medicine because they instantaneously felt relief from their skin ailments like dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, etc. They would thank me over and over again because everything they tried to help them with their skin ailments did not work. Something I created from love and honesty was helping them live a happier life with less pain and stress, and that’s when I knew I was on to something.
In 1998, I became a soap making hobbyist. I became pregnant with our third child in 2002, and something told me I needed to finish college with a BS and not pursue my doctoral degree, so I finished my BS degree in botany.
I remembered how people felt about my handmade soaps and the incredible feeling I felt hearing it. In 2003 I became a full-fledged entrepreneur and developed organic and eco-friendly skincare formulas with sustainable healing botanicals and superfoods, establishing CeleBritAy New York, Inc. I created multipurpose formulas that were strong enough for people suffering from problematic skin issues but gentle enough for people who did not but were looking for a non-toxic solution for their skincare goals.
In 2009 CeleBritAy was recognized by our congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and CHCI Chair for being a Latino entrepreneur and innovator, spearheaded by Latinos across the country promoting a greener economy and green jobs, thus providing a forum to demonstrate Latino talent, innovation, and leadership in the new green economy.