“Have a dream, plan well, be prepared for hard work and along the way have fun.”
Borbón Skincare Carmen Milagro
A Californian who lives in San Francisco, founder and creator of Borbón Skincare Carmen Milagro epitomizes the true spirit of success. Today she is an accomplished Latina entrepreneur, artist, singer, inventor and philanthropist.
Like many talented Latinas, Carmen is compassionate about giving back and helping others in her own way. She has “re-imagined the art of clean balanced living by sifting through the rich heritage and homeopathic traditions of generations past and elevating them with innovative methods of present and future,” in her own words.
A fervent supporter of a green environment, Carmen’s luxury line of skincare products developed from natural and organic ingredients have both therapeutic and aesthetic value. She has also adopted an eco-friendly way to package her products with the motto “less waste-save the planet.”
What is Borbón all about?
According to Carmen, “Every single one of the ingredients selected in Borbón’s Skincare products is grown in a chemical free environment with no additives, preservatives or insecticides. The products are toxin free and safe for use in all people including cancer patients. The skincare line includes moisturizers, and exfoliating, anti-aging and skin rejuvenation treatments.”
Carmen is the creative force, the visionary and inventor of the entire product line. “I THRIVE on creating ‘something out of nothing’ whether I am writing songs, creating products or starting companies,’ she shared.
As a member of the Latina business community with an unwavering “sí se puede” spirit, Borbón’s founder believes she can leverage this company to spread her passion and execute her vision for a world of organic clean products and healthier alternatives, especially for people who are battling for their lives.
The turning point in Borbón Skincare Carmen Milagro’s life
Born in the Mission District of San Francisco to Salvadorian parents, Carmen Guadalupe Gonzalez grew up speaking only Spanish until she was 5 years old and listened to all types of Latin music.
“I think because I grew up in a house filled with ‘fiestas’ and people always eating, dancing and playing guitar is why I live my life as an adult the way I do,” says Milagro, who adopted her stage name at a later stage of her music career. “Music, family and food are an integral part of my personal tapestry”.
Carmen had a life changing moment in 2007, when she was playing a gig as a lead vocalist with her Carmen Milagro Band in one of Japan’s luxury hotels. She had just auditioned a few days prior in California and was immediately accepted for the gig.
Next thing she was on a plane to Tokyo, for three days of parties, music and fun. Knowing little about Japanese culture or language, within a few minutes, however, she had captivated the usually stoic Japanese audience with her voice and Latina charm. Many were brought to tears.
“The scenes were unreal and touching. The Japanese audience fell in love with Latino music. This experience changed my life as I had touched people’s lives,” she said. “I wanted to find that personal connection with people in something meaningful and healing at the same time.”
The entrepreneurial journey was about to start
The opportunity came several years later –spring of 2013 to be precise– when she was confronted with the reality of her own skin at age 49. Noticing wrinkles, lines and aging spots, they became a catalyst to discover a blend of natural ingredients that could be used to fight these skin blemishes.
It took her nearly 2.5 years to discover that there was a holistic way of approaching skincare that not only improved aesthetic but also erased acne scars and wrinkles.
“I interviewed over 250 people from all walks of life and different ethnicities between the ages of 17 and 72. The singular question I asked was: What did your grandmothers and great grandmothers use for their skincare regimes?”
During her research, one universal answer was that they all used natural products because they wanted to be safe.
Building a product that is safe for the world
Like in any business, Carmen’s journey to success had obstacles. The world of skincare is huge, competitive and cutthroat; and she was fully aware that without the right products she would not do well.
“Borbón is a premium personal care brand of natural products created with cultural homeopathic beliefs in mind and derived from the finest pure, raw, wild-crafted, natural and organic recognizable ingredients sourced from all over the world,” Carmen explained.
“We believe in the power of clean / green personal care products that contain NO parabens, NO sulfates, NO chemicals, NO additives, NO synthetic preservatives, NO toxins and certainly NO Microbeads,” she added.
Borbon Carmen Milagro products are so safe and toxins-free that they have partnered with Heaven’s Door Cancer Foundation and will donate one jar of their products for their cancer divas or warriors for every regular jar they sell.
Challenges along the way
Despite these highly demanding standards, Carmen’s challenges were not so much related to skincare but rather to technology and funding. Living in the heart of San Francisco and close to Silicon Valley, she quickly realized that she needed to learn the nuances of techs and apps. Social media would be a key to her success.
The second obstacle is finding the right investment partner who shares her dreams and virtues. She has fulfilled the first requirement but is still waiting to find the right business partner who can help her with her business mission and vision.
Cancer patients’ success stories
Since the development of her skincare products she has had many people, especially cancer survivors who have come up to her and congratulated her great work and products.
“I shared my new product with friends and family who continue to be thrilled about the results they’ve experienced using Borbón. Some loved ones, have had to endure toxic chemotherapy treatments and are also dealing with the trauma of body scars and self-worth issues,” she shared.
After using Borbón some adults have found that they are able to fade away surgical scars without continuing to poison their bodies. “Some teens have also come up to simply hug me because they have been able to fade away self-inflicted scars in only a couple of weeks,” she explained.
After she was inundated with overwhelmingly positive life-affirming responses from her beloved cancer warriors and phone calls from teens, she was inspired to create a line of “clean” alternative products that help to fade their scars.
“Many cancer patients have regained their self-esteem and confidence after using our organic products. Knowing that I have touched people’s lives in so many ways has been very comforting to me,” she disclosed.
What are her strengths as a Latina entrepreneur?
Carmen believes that her life experiences have taught her to be resilient, creative and always think of the future. She thrives on achieving perfection no matter what she does. She strongly believes that her passion can help achieve her vision of creating organic products that have therapeutic benefits. She believes that one day she will be on a Fortune 500 list and her company will be worth millions—and she wants to leave a rich legacy of a Latina who achieved a lot with nothing.
Borbón Skincare Carmen Milagro is a busy Latina entrepreneur
Besides running her business and music business, Carmen is on the board for Heaven’s Door Cancer Foundation. Through this foundation, she donates her products to cancer survivors.
Carmen also created and runs Head Nut of Peanut Butter & JAMMusic Sessions for Kids. She is also the original founder of P.o.P.P Program, an interactive workshop for young people who want to start their own business. And with whatever precious time that is left, she mentors young Latina entrepreneurs and local artists, who want to follow in her footsteps.