We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Barrera and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andrea, how do you think about risk?
I used to think of ‘risk’ as something inherently negative, usually a precursor to loss. Within the last few years my perception of the word has completely changed. I learned first hand that the biggest risks often reap the biggest rewards and if you want to do big things you have to be willing to take big risks. In my life and career, taking risks has played a huge role. I wouldn’t find myself where I am now if I didn’t leave my comfort zone and take the necessary risks in order to start my business.

What should our readers know about your business?
I started my business after taking one of the biggest risks in my life, leaving the security of my then 9-5 and embarking on a journey to better myself & share what I learned with others. At the time, I was one of the few emerging skincare and beauty brands to incorporate CBD in their products. With the help of an esthetician, I set my brand apart by creating cruelty free, vegan, non toxic products that harnessed the healing properties of hemp and cannabidiols. Most other brands were solely focusing on using CBD for pain relief. Although I did not have sales experience or background in business, I had a lot of passion for my line and that helped me grow it. I had to overcome and continue to overcome many challenges within the industry on a daily basis. The skincare and beauty niche is a competitive market as it is, but when you mix cannabis, even more challenges arise. Simple things like opening up a business account or having a reliable credit card merchant can set you back and severely impact your business on any given day. The biggest lessons I’ve learned is the importance of persistence and positivity. It is easy to have a good day when business is great, but it is even more important to maintain that optimism when things get tough and your spirits aren’t high. This is one of the keys to success! When people look at Gracious Om, I want them to understand my brand is based on the foundation of self-care because inner work is the most important and greatest achievement we can attain. I want them to know it is a proud Latina owned brand made from love to everyone wanting and needing to experience it. It is made with the intention of igniting the self-love in all those who use it.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would explore all the beautiful beaches and hiking trails Southern California has. Some of my favorite beaches would be in Santa Barbara, Malibu and Carpinteria. I would take them to eat at local hole in the wall places, especially to some of my favorite spots like Idle Hour, Something Vegan, and Hope. Solvang is another cool little spot to check out and LA always has plenty of amazing galleries and museums to visit that would be a lot of fun. I would also take them to some of my favorite gardens and parks!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My business has been able to flourish thanks to all the amazing support from individuals who love and share Gracious Om products! However, I owe its growth and mine to my parents and family for always supporting me and my vision. My family along with close friends, and amazing creatives I have had the pleasure of meeting along the way have encouraged me and made this journey all the better!

Website: www.graciousom.com
Instagram: @gracious_om
Linkedin: GraciousOm
Twitter: Graciousom
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Gracious-Om-Company-138147466875294/

Image Credits
Priscilla Mancilla, Moth Haus, Lola Milua, Laryssa Suaid