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Woman-owned botanical body care line pays tribute to Mexican culture

Posted at 10:30 AM, Mar 07, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As part of Women’s History month, we are highlighting a local entrepreneur that's changing the face of bath and body essentials.

Nopalera is a Mexican-botanical body care line that is now gaining national attention. The owner, Sandra Velasquez, says her products are meant to elevate and celebrate the Latino community.

“I had no experience in the beauty industry whatsoever,” says Velasquez. “I use to be a professional musician.”

Sandra Velazquez says she never saw herself as an entrepreneur but, in 2019 a career shift forced her to try something different.

“I was at my parent's house. My father gave me a six foot table and I started to mix soap,” says Velasquez. “Everything was born here in San Diego, even using the Nopales that were in my parent's yard.”

The Nopal is also known as the “Prickly Pear Cactus.” The plant is very popular in Mexican culture.

“As someone who is of Mexican heritage, we grew up eating Nopales,” said the bath and body brand owner. “So I really feel like we took it for granted because it is literally everywhere.”

Velasquez says the plant is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The Mexican-botanical bath and body products include soaps, scrubs, and lotions. The design on the packaging shows a woman with a cactus crown.

“The brand really took off right away because I think the community was ready for the brand that they could see themselves in. That made them feel proud and made them feel seen,” said Velasquez.

The brand was launched during the pandemic. Since then Nopalera has been recognized nationally and also appeared as a contestant on the ABC TV show Shark Tank.

There are 400 boutiques nationwide that now sell Nopalera products. Velasquez says the number one vendor is “Artelexia,” located in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood.

“The fact that the number one boutique is here in San Diego makes me feel so proud,” says Velasquez. “I remember before I launched Nopalera, going into Artelexia, and just saying wow one day my brand is going to be in this store. And it is.”