Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in skincare but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chelsea Villela, Founder of Økologi Botanik, located in Tucson, AZ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I formulate plant-based skin care. I sell my products to customers online all over the country (and beyond!), and I create brand partnerships with high-end spas who, in turn, use these products on their clients and sell them so they can take them home and continue enjoying the benefits of the botanical skin care.

Tell us about yourself

I got started because I was looking for an effective natural deodorant. I couldn't find what I needed at the time and thought I would make some on my own. After months of trial and error, I came up with something spectacular. I went back to school to get my degree in molecular and cellular biology and used my summer and winter breaks to come up with skincare formulas. I then got a degree in Organic Skin Care Formulation, and what I learned boosted my excitement to formulate new effective products. When I see the feedback from people all over the country saying that the products have transformed their skin and they can't live without it, it makes me feel so thrilled with what I do.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment has been the relationships I have cultivated over the years. It is especially exciting to have estheticians promoting my products because of how beneficial they've seen they are and meeting people that say: Oh! You own Økologi Botanik! It is my favorite line! I've also had the pleasure of being a guest speaker over the years at the business college at the University of Arizona. I've been recently added as a Mentor at the University for new business students, and it is really rewarding to offer my experience to help them get started on their own path.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The hardest thing for me is to keep a work/life balance. I am a single mom of a teenager, and I have a full-time job that takes priority in my life. I have to make sure that I really take time for self-care. For me, that means sleeping well, eating and exercising, and taking time for myself to decompress.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Don't be afraid to start small. Not everyone has the circumstances or the nerve to jump in with both feet. Sometimes it is ok to build at your pace.
  2. You are your first and best customer. Make sure you love what you're doing and what you are providing to others.
  3. Learn to ride out the plateaus. Sometimes things are slow, and there's no rhyme or reason. Keep at it, and it will work for you.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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