After years in the beauty industry you decided to get your cosmetology license, Tell us how that impacted you developing Tzol’Skin.
I actually got my cosmetology license first, back in 1992. I was basically trying to get a job that gave me tips so I could put myself through school, and I knew I couldn’t be a waitress. My good friend was working at Macy’s hair salon and she hired me part time as a receptionist. Here, she encouraged me to get my cosmetology license. One day, one of the salon’s clients came in and needed a fill in at the Estee Lauder Spa as two of her employees has called in sick. I ended up filling in and was invited to interview for their new spa at Bloomingdale’s, I got the job! Here, I developed a great relationship with one of my clients who worked corporate at Bloomingdales. I would always let her know I was almost done with my business degree and wanted to work for her. One day, she invited me to join the Bloomingdale’s Internship Program. This was my step in the door, at the end of the internship program, I was hired as a business manager for Clinique. I was at Clinique for almost 2 years, after successfully increasing sales and having the #1 presale event in the store, I was promoted to Department Manager for Cosmetics at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street Flagship Store in NYC. I continued at Bloomingdale’s for 13 years and went on to be an executive at many other beauty brands including Elizabeth Arden, Bliss, L’Occitane, and Crabtree & Evelyn.
At this point in my career, I was looking for a change due to becoming a mom and wanting more time at home and less travel. I pivoted my career around 2016/2017 to focus more on manufacturing. Here was where I was inspired to begin Tzol’ Skin. I saw there was a space in the skincare industry where Latina and other minority women were not being thought of. Not a lot of brands were making quality skincare at an affordable price, so it was either cheap skincare from the drug store or a $200 product from a high end store. There was no in between. There was a space in the market for minority women with mixed skin to have affordable and good quality skincare and I wanted to fill the void.
“I saw there was a space in the skincare industry where Latina and other minority women were not being thought of.”
What are the hero ingredients in Tzol’Skin products?
Number 1 is definitely Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera is an ingredient in most of our products due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties. Squalene and Hyaluronic Acid would be a close second, both ingredients in a handful of our products. I also would mention flower extract; we have rose water, peony extract, and lavender essential oils in our Rose Detox Mask and Turn Down & Recover Creme.
Do you see Tzol’Skin expanding with products other than skincare?
We are now expanding into a lifestyle category. We have launched a soy based, vegan candle and created an accessories category including scrunchies and mirrors. I am in works for more hair accessories like headbands to use while you’re doing your skincare routine. I would also love to launch more skincare products like a cleanser and lip balm in the future.
Incorporating your Mayan roots into Tzol’Skin’s products is phenomenal, tell us more about that.
Growing up, I use to watch my grandmother care for her skin using all natural products that she would grow herself like Aloe Vera, Chamomile, and Roses. Even in her early 90’s, I admired her beautiful skin and I know that was due to her natural routines. I wanted to incorporate this into my own skincare line while preserving and sticking to my Mayan traditions but also including modern ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid.
Tell us about the name “Tzol’Skin”
Tzol’Kin is the name of the Mayan Divine Calendar. I added the “S” and created “TZOL’SKIN” - a play on words, the translation would be “divine skincare”.
How has Tzol’Skin evolved throughout the years?
From inception and having the idea throughout my 27 years in the beauty industry, especially in the manufacturing era, I would always think “if this was my skincare line, I would add this ingredient and remove this one,” and so on, so finally I decided to do it. Since we’ve started in 2018 I have grown my Instagram following, have been carried in 3 stores in the tri state area, had magazine features in British Vogue, Conde Nast Traveler, and Vanity Fair. Tzol’ Skin is now available on Amazon, and our newest online retailer and biggest accomplishment is HSN!
Is sustainability important to Tzol’skin?
Absolutely. All of our ingredients are all natural and made in the USA. Tzol’ Skin is cruelty free and leaping bunny certified meaning we conduct zero animal testing. This was a big deal for me as a beauty industry bystander. All of our products are also 100% vegan, paraben free, sulfate free, silicone free, gluten free, talc free, carcinogen free, and eco-friendly. All of our packaging is made out of recycled materials in California.
“Tzol’Skin is cruelty free and leaping bunny certified meaning we conduct zero animal testing”
What are some things you take into consideration during the creation of new products?
Customer reviews and customer needs. When I do beauty industry shows, I ask for feedback and I keep being told I need to make a cleanser so that’s what I’m working on next. I think for me, the biggest thing is customer input, really they are the ones that are buying the product and they are the ones who I need to accommodate.
What is your go-to Tzol’Skin product?
That’s a tough one. I love all of them, but my favorite would have to be the Carribean Dream Serum. I have hyper pigmentation and the serum really helps me keep it under control. The scent smells like a spa and this is something I wanted for all of my products. Although the other 4 are well in the running, the serum takes the number one spot for my personal skincare needs.
How do you believe the introduction of sustainable beauty options has affected the market and consumers?
It completely turned the beauty industry upside down and forced big brands to follow because everyone is watching now. Everyone has become very savvy about ingredients and their benefits. It’s hard for consumers to look the other way when they are savvy customers. They know what they’re getting when they look at ingredients and I want my customers to know what they’re getting when they look at mine, that is one of the reasons I pride myself in my all natural ingredients and cruelty free testing.
What has been your most memorable moment with Tzol’Skin?
Seeing it go live on HSN. When I approached HSN and was in talks with them, I almost couldn’t believe it until I saw it so when the day came and I saw my products on their website, it was a fulfilling moment for myself as well as my brand.