Liz Solares was driving down a freeway when a thought spurred her into action. She exited the freeway and went to the nearest Michaels. Using rubber bands, glue and lace, Solares built a prototype that would soon become a jewelry line. Yet, one thing separates her jewelry line from others: it is made for aromatherapy.
“It’s been a rollercoaster ride,” said Solares, a Cal State Fullerton alumna.
Her journey began when she witnessed her sister, who suffers from anxiety, search for a small bottle of essential oil in her purse. Solares could see her sister get more anxious the longer it took for her to find the bottle, and Solares thought to herself, “There must be a simpler solution to this.”
“It can be inconvenient sometimes when you can’t find the bottle in your purse or you’re out somewhere,” Solares said. “Maybe you don’t want people to know you are using essential oils in a bottle. Maybe you want to discreetly have it on you and this is another alternative.”
Solares began making prototypes in May 2014. Her hope was to make jewelry that people could use to pour drops of essential oil and be able to easily smell the aroma. She spent the next year-and-a-half designing the jewelry, finding a graphic designer for the website and finding a manufacturer. Her jewelry line was finally completed earlier this year.
“It literally brought me to tears when I saw my vision come to life and actually in my hands,” Solares said.
Solares named her jewelry line “Serina and Company” after her daughter Serina. When Solares had the idea for the jewelry line, she said it was because of her daughter.
While Solares was driving, she asked her mother to pour some essential oil onto a bracelet her daughter made for her, and that was when the idea for her business sprung.
“Honestly, if she never made me that bracelet I don’t think I would’ve had the idea,” Solares said. “She motivates me, she pushes me, she just makes me a better person.”
Her daughter also came up with the company’s slogan, Solares said.
“I took her and her friends to a golf course and said, ‘Okay guys I have to come up with a slogan,’ and we were having fun with it … then she said, ‘Well mommy, what about beautiful scent, beautiful you?’ and there it was,” Solares said.
Serina and Company offers bracelets and necklaces for both adults and children. The jewelry consists of compressed wool fabric to absorb the essential oils.
“Depending on the essential oil that someone uses, (the aroma) can last up to five days,” Solares said.
Essential oils and aromatherapy can affect people in a variety of ways, the most common being a calming effect. Solares’ friend and essential oil user Eichelle Clever recalled how Solares’ jewelry helped her friend ease her anxiety during a flight to Utah for doTERRA, an essential oil company conference.
“The airline made an announcement over the loudspeaker and asked everyone to keep their oils shut, but she wanted to use her oils for her anxiety of flying,” Clever said.
Clever then provided her friend with one of Solares’ bracelets for the flight home.
“She was able to have (her oils) right there and not have someone tell her that she couldn’t have it or that it was offensive,” Clever said.
Lara Scott, an aromatherapist and radio host of the World Chart Show on KFSH 95.9, the Fish in Southern California, has been using Serina and Company jewelry since June.
“It was beautiful and it worked well, so it’s nice that it’s fashionable and functionable,” Scott said.
Scott’s son also uses Serina and Company’s kids’ bracelets to help him “focus and calm down at the end of the day.”
“He thought (the bracelet) was really cool when I put it on him and his favorite oil is frankincense,” Scott said. “It smells really good and he loved that he could have frankincense on his wrist.”
Solares also offers classes to teach people about aromatherapy and essential oils. Scott, who works with Solares at the Fish, said this type of work is right up Solares’ alley.
“She’s very kind, and it doesn’t surprise me that she wants to help people and teach them about essential oils,” Scott said.
Solares hopes to sell her jewelry line in different boutiques, spas and gift shops. She said essential oils are something anyone can enjoy, and having jewelry to retain an oil’s aroma makes it accessible to everyone. However, Solares said she has only been able to offer her jewelry locally.
Solares has an ongoing Kickstarter campaign to help promote her jewelry line and offer her product at a discount rate. Those who donate to the Kickstarter, which ends Oct. 31, will receive their jewelry before Christmas. Purchases through Serina and Company’s website will be received earlier; however, they will cost more, Solares said
Starting a business demands a lot of time and Scott said she was impressed that Solares was able to do everything on top of being a mother.
“She’s a mom and here she is launching this business. I think it’s really, really fantastic and I think that it’s an inspiration to other moms, as well, that they can do it,” Scott said.