International business. Artisanal wellness. Sustainable cultivations. What do all of these things have in common? The answer is Andaluz Skin care.
Inspired by the natural ingredients of the land, Rebekah Pantaleon and her husband Julien founded Andaluz in 2013 after moving to the ‘campo’ in the south of Spain.
Recently during a short trip to Malaga, hosted in the breathtaking countryside by Rebekah’s open hearted hospitality, Shaleah sat down with this big business bombshell turned expat essential oil queen, to talk about what it really means to leave the corporate world behind, land somewhere totally new and give birth to a big idea.
1. How were you first introduced to essential oils?
I started using essential oils years ago as part of a detox regime. I would put a few drops in the shower or bath – for example, lemon in the morning to energize and awaken and lavender in the evening to relax.
- Where are you from originally?
I’m from California (by way of Seattle, Dallas and Washington DC!).
3.What’s it like living in the south of Spain as an expat?
We love it! The natural environment here is spectacular. It’s actually what inspired me to create Andaluz. For day to day living, there’s a large expat community in the Malaga region, so there are a lot of resources to help you settle in and find your way around.
- Is business different there? How so?
It’s very different. The pace is much slower and the idea of being an entrepreneur is, generally speaking, not a part of the mindset here. Which means there’s little government support and pretty much no industry to supply startups. For example, sourcing materials such as bottles is challenging in comparison to what’s readily available in the US, UK or Germany.
5.What’s your favorite part of your business?
When customers tell me that Andaluz products make them happy! Particularly when I hear how the products have helped relieve stress or skin problems.
- What’s the most challenging part of your business?
Being patient with myself and flexible about new opportunities. I was a project manager for a few large companies for 15 years and the mentality of always sticking to a strict schedule and budget, ironically can be a hindrance if I’m not careful. Looking at the big picture, but keeping your eye on the goal is key.
- What advice would you give to newbies starting their own thing?
Stick with it! Don’t get bogged down with the endless list of things that need to be done. Do what you can today, then do the same tomorrow and the next. Take one step at a time. You will get there!
- What’s your favorite Andaluz product?
Oh, that’s tough! How about my top two? 1) Jardin Body Oil – I use this every day. We make the calendula oil here with hand cultivated, cold pressed, organic olive oil and organic citrus essential oils from Spain. 2) Espliego or Spike Lavender Essential Oil – I carry this one around with me. It’s wonderful for relaxation and bug bites. I truly adore each of our products but these are the two I simply couldn’t live without!