Recently I had the absolute pleasure of reconnecting with an old beauty school friend who is also paving the way for herself in the green beauty community. Mandee Gutierrez is a real life boss lady and the mastermind behind Enkel Nontoxic Luxuries, Orange County’s newest and most adorable brick and mortar shop full of the most amazing options of nontoxic beauty goods!! Mandee is extremely hard working and such an inspiration to me as a fellow female entrepreneur that I thought sitting her down for an in depth interview so my readers could get the inside scoop to her success was imperative!! Mandee and I go way back and it’s honestly been such a fun and exciting time hanging out and working together again. She is so down to earth, so knowledgable and kind and I can’t wait for you all to see the exciting things we have in store for you in the near future!!
FLB: Give us a quick little personal background on yourself! hubby? kids? dogs? Lol
MG: I have been married to my super supportive husband for five years now! Time has just flown by! Together we have a very full, all boy house! Two step-sons, baby boy twins and my wiener dog, Bosco. When people ask, they are shocked that we are hoping to expand on that one day. I need a little princess in my life, that or I am going to have to settle for another puppy, but a female one this time! Our lives are hectic but family is what it is all about and the chaos makes for great memories!
FLB: What experience and background do you have in the beauty industry?
MG: I have had a passion for products and makeup my whole life and decided to change my career path in 2009. I became a licensed esthetician in January of 2010 and been working in salons and with products since then.
FLB: I think it’s so amazing how you and I have reconnected after all these years following similar passions in the green beauty industry. What first inspired you to start Enkel Nontoxic Luxuries?
MG: Yes! Who know we would separately embark on journeys so similar without even knowing it? I am so happy to reconnect and share our experiences!
Well, background information. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease in 2011. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune thyroid disorder, and as you know the thyroid is responsible for regulating our hormones. It is not the most detrimental diagnoses I could get but it is definitely a frustrating one because as women we can have a difficult time with our hormones regardless. Although it was under control with daily medication, I still never felt “normal.” I changed my diet, was very careful about what I put in my body, and exercised regularly but how I felt wasn’t good enough. In speaking to clients, I discovered that a lot of people have thyroid issues, but why? Why is it so common? I decided to do some research and that is when I discovered just how bad the products are that we are putting on our skin (our largest organ, that doesn’t have a filtration system to keep the bad stuff out). I then sought out products but had to purchase items online or drive to Los Angeles since there wasn’t anything available locally. After money wasted on products I didn’t love, or shades that didn’t work for me, I realized that there was a need in Orange County for some green beauty. I decided to start Enkel so that I could share my experiences and make safer products available to my local community.
FLB: You have done an amazing job at selecting a wide range of nontoxic beauty brands at Enkel, can you tell readers some of the brands you carry? Why is brand selection so important to you?
MG: Gosh, we are up to about thirty different brands with more on the way! We carry some very small brands and some very large ones. I think it is important to support small business but also we want some of the industry’s most popular brands as well to have everything under one roof. Brand selection is key and so is variety, which is why we have something for every aspect of one’s beauty routine such as makeup, hair care, nail care, body wash, etc. We try to find products that are so effective, that it takes the worry out of whether or not they are going to be comparable to what they are using now. We want products that look, feel, and act like what our client’s are using but without all of the harmful ingredients.
FLB: What are you top five must-have products from your shop?!
MG: Piperwai because lets face it, no one wants to stink and this stuff works great for men and women.
Fitglow Sea Toning Mist – it’s calming and so refreshing!
Suntegrity Primer with SPF, a daily must whether I am wearing make up or not.
Indie Lee Brightening cleanser, which has totally helped even out my skin tone and feels as beautiful as the packaging.
Aila Base/Top coat (that’s two products but you have to use them together!). My mani’s never lasted so long!
FLB: You really are the jack of all trades in the beauty industry and I see that you now offer organic spray tans at Enkel!! Can you tell us a little more about that?? A true organic tan is actually really hard to find!!
MG: Ha! In our local area there aren’t a lot of people offering spray tans, and even the ones that claim to be organic do not disclose their ingredients. I just saw a need and luckily we already carried Eco Tan so it only made sense to offer a brand of solution that we already, know, trust, and love! Its great to be able to offer clients body washes and Eco Tan’s Winter Skin to extend the spray tan as well.
FLB: What is the best advice you could give an up and coming “boss lady” entrepreneur wanting to embark on starting her own business?
MG: Just do it! No risk means no reward and you’ll never know until you try. You are the one that has to create your happiness and a life that you love so do what makes you happy! I never in a million years saw myself as an entrepreneur but I have followed my heart and this is where it led me.
FLB: Coffe or tea?
MG: Both! Did I mention I have twins? I need all of the help I can get! I’m more coffee in the morning, tea at night.
FLB: Top five music artists/bands of all time?!!
MG: Bob Marley, Tupac, Journey, Usher, Sugarland
FLB: Where do you see Enkel at one year from now?
MG: We want to just continue offering the best of green beauty by continually adding new products to our store. I hope that Enkel can continue to grow so that we can expand not only in locations, but services as well.
I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Mandee!! And be sure to check out Enkel Nontoxic Luxuries in the Orange County area for all of your nontoxic beauty essentials!! If you aren’t in the SoCal area, you can also shop all of their products at http://www.enkelnontoxicluxuries.com