The Journey To My Dream
as I sit here in gratitude for my life, for the people along my path and the businesses I’ve built, that little mountain in Peru called Chepén where I entered the world into a life of adversity seems a distant memory. Though it feels far away in thought and physical distance, the parts of me that grew strong, resilient, and determined were born out of that upbringing. I grew up in my grandparents’ home, a little girl surrounded by limitations yet holding onto big dreams. Most of my young memories don’t include hot water or hot meals due to the constant power outages controlled by the terrorist groups that dominated that area. I would have one uniform and one pair of shoes to last two years. Despite outer appearances, I was determined from an early age to lean toward the goodness in life. With a mind full of ideas and the heart of an entrepreneur wanting to share with the world, I began to run my own businesses making extra money to buy food and household items for my family.
I appreciate that I had a family who taught me to cook, paint, and use my creativity for good. By the age of 12, I was selling my baked cookies, not one by one to the neighbors, but rather in bulk to local stores, and they would then sell to their customers. At 13 years old, I worked with wires and clay making ceramics, and I would fill my box full of merchandise and walk into local boutiques and introduce myself. I never felt as though I was selling things; I felt that I was sharing the energy of love, and it brought me joy. The boutique owners loved my products, and that was when I knew that following my heart was the right path.
“At 13 years old, I worked with wires and clay making ceramics, and I would fill my box full of merchandise and walk into local boutiques and introduce myself.”
As soon as I was old enough to get my passport at age 18, I left Peru for Puebla, Mexico. I wanted so much more out of life than the hardship I was initially dealt, and my fearless spirit always nudged me forward. I studied exterior commerce for two years at Madero University. During this time, I was running an internet café which thrust me into the world of computers. I quickly learned Microsoft and was teaching the local children. I had a fierce drive to learn and wasn’t afraid of hard work. I never looked at others as my competition, I only made it a point to push my own boundaries and become better than I was the day before.
I was back in Peru two years later working in a photography lab and dabbling in various other endeavors. At that time, I was feeling a little lost and challenged. I was exhausted and falling into a bit of depression. I am a spiritual person and prayed, “God, if there is something for my future, please let me discover it.”
Almost immediately after that prayer, I met Steven online. We fell in love at our first meeting in the airport, and it wasn’t long before we were married, and I found myself in Brentwood. For two years, I studied English and went through all the proper channels to become a US citizen. My daughter, Kaylee, was born, and life was sweet. The stirring began in my heart, that desire to share my heart in some way bubbled up, and I decided to take a new route. I drove every day for a month into Oakland to International Boulevard to train to become a nail technician. Some friends wondered why I would drive into harm’s way each day to an area with frequent violence and shootings. I actually had beautiful experiences connecting with people and some very meaningful moments offering pedicures to the unhoused friends I made who lived outside that beauty academy.
After beauty school, I was ready to share my talents and worked at a few local salons. Eventually, I went to school to become a licensed clinical aesthetician and at that point decided to go out on my own. Throughout my life, I’ve had helpers show up every step of my way. When I decided to open my own salon, one of these helpers who showed up for me was Sean McCauley. His assistance was immeasurable. I think he must have seen my drive and passion for this new beginning, and I was thankful he decided to give me a chance. I successfully ran my own salon in that building for a few years before I embarked on my next vision.
In 2018, my family took a trip to Bali. Little did I know that trip would provide the inspiration to immerse me in a labor of love that continues to grow and evolve each day. Bali was full of flowers, everywhere I looked, flowers, flowers! The energy in Bali was loving, and there was an essence of respect for everything, for the people, the land, and the plants. It was beautiful. I wanted to take that potent vitality I experienced and the joy within me and package it up in the purest form. That’s exactly what I did.
I spent years becoming an expert on skin as I worked as an aesthetician, and it was time I put that skill to work and create gentle products that soothe and heal. I use the most natural ingredients; my desire is for my customers to use my products for self-care, to feel grounded, to enjoy the unique aromas. I purchase all of my healing herbs from Monterey, California. I followed my heart, and my vision led me to create Naturals Handcrafted. It’s important for me to deliver a beautiful product that I create with my own hands. My husband might find me awake in the middle of the night pouring love and healing into each and every product, because this isn’t work for me, it’s my passion.
I plunged right in and made my way around to local craft fairs. I first attended a very small fair on a rainy day. Despite the poor weather and small crowd, my products sold! I was so excited and decided to set my sights on the famous Berkeley street fair on Telegraph.
My daughter and I would set out at 4 a.m., car loaded down with all I needed to create a beautiful booth to showcase my products. Kaylee was my 11-year-old assistant! We’d break it all down at 6 p.m. and come back the next day for the same. This went on for a few weeks, and I realized how much people appreciated my products. I also realized that connecting with others and building relationships with people is my favorite part of what I do.
“I spent years becoming an expert on skin as I worked as an aesthetician, and it was time I put that skill to work and create gentle products that soothe and heal.”
“God, if there is something for my future, please let me discover it.”
Over the last several months, I have been travelling throughout California and Las Vegas sharing Naturals Handcrafted at the Harvest Festivals, the Original Art & Craft Show. These shows are incredible. I am in awe of the amazing individuals I have the opportunity to meet, and my heart is so full as I witness my products bring so much joy to people’s lives. I know I am living my purpose when I see those smiles, receive more orders from the spas and salons, and hear back from customers about how my products deeply affect their life. The loving support of my husband and daughter fuel me with even more encouragement to continue sharing loving energy with the world.
I believe in kindness and compassion and that everything begins with a thought. What began as a simple idea about how to bring earth’s natural essence and aromas for healing and peace through soaps, sugar scrubs, and candles has now expanded into more than I dreamed. I am dedicated to creating a myriad of healing products from blessing and chakra balancing candles to plant terrariums and cleansing smudge kits. My hope is that my vision continues to unfold and blesses others as much as I have been blessed.
Photos German Sui