A Puerto Rican Woman On A Mission To Promote Health By Honoring Her Mother's Life.
I attended a Latina Brunch a few weeks ago and met wonderful women with small businesses. One of the business owners, Amanda Torres, owns Regina’s Essentials. She named the brand after her mother. Her mother passed away when she was a child and she wanted to honor her mother with her organic brand that promotes health and inspiration to the world.
Amanda is Puerto Rican from Brooklyn and worked as a correctional officer. She thought that would be her entire career until Covid-19 lockdown hit and she felt a shift in what she wanted in her life. She quit her job and decided to create something that promotes health and positivity. That’s when Regina’s Essentials was born.
I reached out to Amanda to ask her more about her brand and vision:
Why did you decide to start a business creating soaps and candles?
The idea to create Regina's Essentials, LLC stemmed from COVID-19. Living in NYC during COVID-19 scared me. Hearing the endless sirens of ambulances throughout the day and night saddened me. It made me focus on my health and I wanted to be able to share a healthier journey with the world. I was obsessed with commercialized candles and soaps that include fragrances. Being in quarantine, I began lighting candles more and more to create a peaceful environment, which towards the end of the day left me with endless migraines. I began researching the ingredients inside the candles I burned and realized commercialized candles contained harmful products. The harmful products pollute the inside of your home such as benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, which are known to release volatile organic compounds into the air.
I am a sucker for USDA foods that do not contain "natural flavors" and I try to eat farm to table as much as I can. When I realized I was focusing on what I was putting on the inside of my body, I did not take any precautions on what I was utilizing on the outside of my body, which made me investigate my soaps and products I was using. I found out that many of these chemicals in our soaps and candles contain hormone disruptors, such as phthalates. Me not being a mother yet, I decided to get rid of all my soaps, candles and personal products that contained chemicals in it such as phthalates. Phthalates are the fragrances that manufactures put into their products.
Therefore, my candles and soaps do not contain any fragrances. I utilize USDA essential oils to scent my soaps. Essential oils are derived from plants. I love working with essential oils because it is relaxing. The essential oils can assist people with skin problems such as eczema to help calm someone's mood. There are many benefits of essential oils and I list the benefits the oils may help on my website.
All the ingredients in my soaps and candles are certified organic and I utilize fair trade butters.
Additionally, I carry a line of vintage teacup candles. I love thrifting and when I thrift, I find really cool teacups! I create candles in them. I just love the concept of being able to repurpose everything you purchase.
Are all your soaps vegan?
No, all my soaps are not vegan. Most of them are vegan. The vegan base I use, I really do love it because I use coconut milk in it, and it helps soothe the skin.
I carry a baby and mama soap which contains only 1% of beeswax. I use beeswax in the baby soap because it has great antiseptic properties that may assist rashes.
I also carry an option of 3 different goat milk options, which are the GaRose, LavOat and HunyOat.
I see you have a product call wax melt. Can you tell us what are wax melts?
Wax melts are candles without wicks!
You break a piece of the wax melt and place it in a wax warmer. You continue to use it until the scent goes away.
The wax melts I make are the same base as the beeswax candles, except I put botanicals in my wax melts.
I see that besides selling your products online, you also do a lot of markets? Will you continue that throughout the year?
Is there anything else you like to share with us?
Yes! I will be having a very special launch to recognize Latina women on my one-year anniversary, on May 6, 2022. This launch day and anniversary day is important to me because of course it is my mother's birthday. Stay tuned, you will not want to miss this launch I have been working hard on it.
To Learn more about Amanda, her brand and support this Latina owned business visit her site, Regina's Essentials.