Growing up as the youngest in a house of five girls, Rebekah Jensen remembers her grandma Jasso helping raise her while her mom worked toward her college degree. She’d spend full days at her grandma’s house and notice what she called her “healing powers”: making salves for her arthritis and carrying out limpias, which are ceremonies to rebuild emotional health.
Those experiences helped inspire her to launch Sanara, a skincare line that Jensen started from her home in Austin about five years ago using indigenous Latin American botanicals.
Sanará in Spanish means “you will heal” and it’s a sentiment Jensen has carried to the products that include body butter, bath soaks and essential oils. While she makes skincare tools that others can use in their homes across the country and is in talks with possible spa partners, she’s also found Sanara to be personally healing.
For one, she has psoriasis and started paying close attention to the ingredients she puts on her skin. And another reason is the tighter cultural bond it’s created for the fifth-generation Texan.
“I don't speak Spanish,” Jensen said. “I've learned a lot about the shame and guilt that comes with that. So this was also a healing process for me creating Sanara and being able to reconnect to my ancestors.”
She’s accomplished that by using ingredients like Cupuaçu. It’s from the Amazon and Jensen says it’s a cousin to cacao and is even more hydrating than shea butter.
But it’s an ingredient you likely haven’t heard of. Jensen says the spa market is highly saturated but there's a huge gap with Latin American botanicals. She talked about a desire to share the beauty of Latin America as a push to become an entrepreneur.
“It comes down to very few people that would have noticed this discrepancy in the beauty market as a whole,” Jensen said. “So, it's been awesome to see all the other brands that are popping up as well that are wanting to bring that representation. And I full-heartedly think we should infiltrate in every arena, whether it's mass market, Walmart to Target, up to the luxury spa.”
Jensen has been driven toward that mission for a while now.
She moved from West Texas to Austin in 2003 and completed an ultrasound program at Austin Community College. It wasn’t her passion, but it got her on track to eventually fund her startup. As was the case with many businesses, COVID brought some challenges. Then last year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She took a step away from Sanara to get treatment and also take care of her mental health.
Now she’s active with Sanara, accepting investments on WeFunder and reaching a point where she’s ready to scale further.
“People don't realize that when you're a small business owner and you're trying to build your dreams, life happens,” Jensen said. “So I think this is going to be the year where I can pop some bottles.”
- 13 trailblazing Austinites make the cut for Forbes' '30 under 30' this ... ›
- Meet the 23 Austin entrepreneurs on Forbes' Next 1000 list ›
- South Congress legacy business Tesoros Trading Co. to close ... ›
- Business - austonia ›
- 10 iconic Austin businesses that have closed due to COVID-19 (and ... ›
- Austin's Outdoor Voices' Ty Haney starts blockchain, crypto business ... ›
- Inc. 5000 list highlights over 100 Austin businesses - austonia ›
- Small Business Week: Bouldin Creek Café is keeping Austin local ... ›
Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.
There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.
All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.
🗓 All weekend
Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities
All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park
This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.
6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.
10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park
Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.
Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.
11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway