We had the good fortune of connecting with Horacio Portillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Horacio, would you say you are following and pursuing your passion?
Our mission to GYV BACK is always top of mind but, admittedly, it has been hard to focus especially when we find ourselves feeling helpless. As the whole world ascended into chaos, it felt like our family life followed. Not only because we listened to our local authorities and immediately disrupted our daily routine to quarantine but because my wife works in the medical field and at a time when you want your family safe together we have to watch her leave knowing she is sorely needed in the community. So our attention re-focus and we were reminded that the company started as a mission to GYV (give) we immediately shifted from marketing our products to supporting essential workers. Not all of us have the skills or experience needed to step into a clinic or hospital to start working. Not all of us have an excess of money to donate to help buy food and supplies for those who are now unemployed. The easiest thing for us to do is listen and help where we can.
What should our readers know about your business?
GYV strives to be a prestige brand for all. We want everyone to reap the benefits of the lush botanical ingredients born from Mesoamerica and to collectively celebrate the history of the cultures who introduced these rich ingredients to the world. I started thinking about my experience in beauty, personal care, and fragrance, and how Mesoamerican staples are key ingredients in today’s formulas. After taking a closer look at the industry, it was disheartening to realize that the staples that our ancestors used to create entire civilizations were being blended into products that are no longer relatable to the very cultures that introduced them. We are most proud about our hand cream formula. The formula contains a proprietary blend of Mesoamerican ingredients. Maize oil, Pumpkin seed oil, Frijol Negro (bean) extract, chile extract and super oil from the prickly pear seed (AKA Tuna del Nopal). This oil contains more Tocopherol (molecules with strong antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties) than any other oil available in the beauty care market plus essential fatty acids (Linoleic Acid and Omega 6). A first in the industry.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I would take you first to Placita Olvera visit the heart of the city, we would stop by the LA Cathedral and end our day trip in Koreatown, having a great meal at Guelagetza. On the second day we would start our day in Highland Park to have breakfast at Huarache Azteca on York. we would drive after that to Long Beach and visit the Queen Mary, the Aquarium of the Pacific and end our trip La Pupusa Urban Eatery in Downtown LA. On our third and last day (LOL we do not do well hosting a week, 3 days is the max) we would spend our day walking the San Fernando swap meet, it offers such a diverse offering of goods and foods!, we would then go to Antonio’s Tacos and Kabob in Pacoima, we loved the fusion of Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine, Chicken and Chorizo Kabob anyone! we would then end our day at Hamsen Dam park for nice stroll.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Fondo Guadalupe Musalem is a foundation that supports and empowers young women, mainly from indigenous communities, as they pursue an education. The ethical values that Fondo Guadalupe Musalem instills in these young women serve as the foundation for their personal development. FGM has been operating in Oaxaca, Mexico for over 20 years, making a difference in countless lives of indigenous women in the region. Founded in the honor of Guadalupe Musalem Mehry, an academic and researcher who fought for social justice and equity for the women of Mexico, FGM has continued her tradition of raising up young women towards success. Organizations like this are fundamental in helping underfunded communities, and GYV young people a reason to pursue their dreams, in their own communities. Fondo Guadalupe Musalem https://www.fondoguadalupemusalem.org/
All images by Horacio Portillo