How—and when—did you become interested in essential oils?
I was raised with natural medicine. I grew up in Puerto Rico, where it is extremely respected. My mother always chose natural medicine as the first option for me. As I child I was very allergic and often suffered from bronchitis and sinus issues. As a teenager, a natural medicine doctor gave me eucalyptus essential oil for steaming. And that is how I started with eucalyptus.
After using eucalyptus, did you start using other essential oils?
No, not right away. As an adult, I always had tea tree oil and lavender oil in my house. And I knew about teas and infusions from my mother. But it was not until 2014, when my oldest daughter started making and selling bath bombs, that I became truly interested. I helped her, and we started using essential oils in them. They were a hit, but we didn’t really know anything. I wanted to learn more. When I want to learn something, I need to go very deeply into it. So I went to New York City, took an intensive course in aromatherapy, and became certified.
How did abatey start as a business?
After I got certified, a friend invited me to introduce my products in a bazaar at her store, and I said yes. But I didn’t have any products! I had two weeks, so I began creating! I started with candles, the chakras blend, and the chakras bracelet. Everyone loved them. Another friend invited me to do an event, so I created several more blends. I was introduced to influencers, and doors started opening. I had a lot of support and people loved the products. Soon I was going to markets where I hand-sold the products and educated my customers.
In what ways do you educate customers?
People don’t know very much about essential oils, their properties, or how to use them. At markets, selling one-on-one, I could educate people. And they loved what I was selling and the information I was providing about what makes these products so special.
How are the blends created?
I formulate everything myself. I put the best of myself into my products—all my love, all my passion. When I sit down to formulate, I cleanse myself with palo santo, I meditate, I become very calm, I study what I am going to do, and I welcome in my intuition. I make sure that the oils blend with each other and that the scent is smooth.
How did the line of teas develop?
I began learning about teas and I knew I needed to incorporate teas into the company, because abatey is about wellness and helping people, and tea is another tool I can give people. When I learned about white tea, I connected immediately, because it helps the immune system. It is high in antioxidants and low in caffeine. I use it for myself—every morning I drink Buenos Días on an empty stomach, and during the day I drink AbaTea, my favorite.
What about the candles—why did you incorporate candles into your offerings?
For intention. To give light. When I work I like to have a candle burning. It brings me light, and I wanted to bring that light to my customers.
How have these products helped you personally?
I use the products all the time. And I use them for my family all the time—with my three children and my husband. But all of that happened after my own journey of self-healing and self-discovery. Tools that have helped me include psychoanalysis, astrology, Kabbalah, crystal healing, and of course aromatherapy.
Can you tell us more about your healing journey?
In 2009 I began to get very sick with stress-related conditions. There were issues related to my job, to the life I was living, and to not fully understanding myself and my purpose. I was a senior financial analyst for Sony Pictures for ten years, in charge of all of Latin America. I really loved it. But it was not what I was meant to do.
My body was somatizing everything. I was in the Emergency Room many times—I was even diagnosed with cancer, but luckily I found a doctor who realized that it was not cancer. I had gastritis, and it was linked to stress. I phased out of my job over many months. I began psychoanalysis and it was focused on learning about myself, knowing, accepting, and evolving. It started to help me with the gastritis, to identify what was causing that. I began to heal and heal and heal. Then I began to learn about astrology and Kabbalah, and they helped me understand myself even more. In order to understand myself I needed to go very deep. I learned about energy, and I learned that I had healing energy. Once I had healed myself enough, then I could help others.
What values do you hope to impart through abatey?
I have learned about the importance of self-love and how essential it is to accept who we are and to work deeply to understand ourselves. With abatey, I am a facilitator helping people go through their own process. We tend to have a lot of issues and baggage. You need to go down and down and down, digging. You have to be aware to do it. You need to want to do it because it’s not easy. It’s painful. But once you do it, you start to see the light and to realize how powerful you are. As a facilitator, I can help, but you have to do it yourself. You have to do the digging.
When you say self-love, what do you mean by that?
For me, self-love is when you work with yourself and you accept everything you are and commit to working with that in order to move forward and evolve. If more people worked on themselves, I believe the world would be very different. abatey is very much born from my process of healing, and it is an act of love.
Any last words for your customers?
Aromatherapy works emotionally. This is going to help you. But nothing is going to cure you—except you. You are the only one with the power to heal yourself. I can help you go through that process.