We had the good fortune of connecting with Jelitsa Legarreta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jelitsa, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
Without a doubt, this has been the habit of reminding myself that success is defined by me and me alone. Understanding this has been vital in helping me understand that in order to live a life that was intentional and true, I needed to be able to identify what truly set my heart on fire and unapologetically work towards it! Although this is a thought I apply in all parts of my life, this is particularly true for my journey as an entrepreneur.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Once I became a busy mom while still juggling a growing nursing career, I craved a skincare routine that got the job done without having to use a 10-step, tedious process. When I was unable to find anything on the market that fit the bill, I decided to create my own brand and Uviña Skin was born!
My inspiration for Uviña Skin is truly multi-generational and is a celebration of Latina women who loved, supported, and empowered their family. Although the initial influence was fueled by my daughter Scarlett, the brand is built from the stories and personalities of my mother, grandmother, and great-aunts. The company is named after my mother and each product is named specifically for the other women in my family.
As I was developing each product, I wanted to be sure to include ingredients that told their story. For example, tropical fruit ingredients refine and smooth the skin, but they also reflect their home of Puerto Rico. And, yes, peppermint-infused soap is amazing for acne, but it also smells like the home-made concoctions Tia Isabel is always making.
I am intensely health conscious and knew that I wanted to make non-irritating and effective ingredients that nourished and soothed the skin. However, I knew nothing about starting or owning a skin care company! I didn’t even know what questions to ask or what to look for in a google search. Although it wasn’t easy navigating and bootstrapping my business, the process has reminded me that there are genuinely good people out there! People that want to help and want to share their expertise.It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been incredibly exciting and rewarding.
As I move into the start of my second year as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned to trust my gut and to remain authentic to my vision and mission.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I think the true heartbeat of the Chicago lies in its different neighborhoods, each offering its own unique flavor. There’s Logan Square for a day of amazing food and incredible cocktails, Wicker Park for great shopping and live music, Pilsen for inspiring art and impeccable Mexican food, the River Walk for some of the best architectural views in the entire country, and so many others!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, I’ve been so lucky in that I have had so many amazing people support me throughout the many phases of my life! This includes incredible life-long friends, my husband, and my loving family. But if I must pick one, it has to be my late mother Maria Uviña. As a single mother, she worked so hard to make sure that I always felt willing and capable. And even though my risky choices may have been difficult for her to understand, she never clipped my wings.