When Colombian-born Sofia (she goes by first name only) set out to create the ultimate clean fragrance, she knew that her culture and heritage would play a huge role in creating her brand. Being born in Colombia, she was passionate about honoring her country along with communities around the globe. Sorbetto was then born from a desire to contribute clean products and charity initiatives to the beauty community.
Sorbetto’s first fragrance, the Orangecello Huile de Parfum carries an orange creamsicle scent with layered notes of vanilla, amber, orange clove, and lemon. Ten percent of each purchase is donated to Fundación MAS, a Colombian-based non-profit organization that raises funds for at-risk women and children.
We spoke with Sofia to learn more about Sorbetto and how she launched her dream brand during a global pandemic.
How did you get the idea to create Sorbetto?
Sofia: Sorbetto began with the need and desire for an honest fragrance. I embarked on a journey of research when I discovered that the perfumes and fragrances that I was using had ingredients that presented potential health risks. I also found that a vast majority of perfumes in the market could have up to 1,000 ingredients that were not declared on the product label. Alcohol-based formulas are also the most common in the fragrance industry, but I wanted something that was not drying to the skin or hair and was completely alcohol-free.
This sparked my passion to find a different type of perfume, but the more I looked the more I realized that what I wanted was not that easy to find. If I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for then why not create it?
What kind of vision did you want to create and how did you go about capturing your designs?
Sorbetto at its core is a free, beautiful, inspiring, strong, yet warm and sugar-coated brand. I wanted to capture this voice through every element of design so that when someone came across it, they would be able to grasp what Sorbetto is all about. I believe that love and light are reflected through the branding and allow for individuals to connect with our vision.
How did your background inspire you in creating your formula and scents?
This brand is a direct reflection of the qualities that the beautiful and strong Latina women that I grew up with embody. These women inspired the vibrant, sweet, and warm scents of Sorbetto. From a very young age, I recognized the importance of natural and alternative ingredients thanks to the remedies used within my Latin community. The Sorbetto formulas are fueled by this value in nature’s elements.
How did your culture play a role in the scene and fragrance that you wanted to create?
I would describe Colombian culture as full of vibrance and life. It is a culture that includes such a rich variety of art, music, cuisine, fashion, and architecture, along with having some of the warmest and welcoming people. This colorful, energetic, and diverse feel inspired Sorbetto and the fragrances that have come to life.
What was your biggest challenge in laying out your vision and how did you handle these challenges?
The biggest challenge was understanding all of the legal and financial aspects, especially in the beginning phases of Sorbetto. This was the first time I had started my own company so there were several aspects that I had to develop a stronger foundation in before launching. The strategies that helped me overcome these challenges were thorough research as well as reaching out to others who had more knowledge and expertise in those areas.
Tell us about the ingredients you chose for your first fragrance and what they mean to you.
001 Orangecello Huile de Parfum consists of 100 percent natural plant-based fragrance oils, 100 percent natural and organic essential oil, 100 percent natural and pure jojoba oil, fractionated coconut oil, and vitamin E oil. This formula was developed with the users’ skin and hair in mind. Knowing exactly what goes into this fragrance and understanding the level of quality, gives me so much confidence in not just using it on myself, but also sharing it with the world.
How did you navigate stress and productivity as a business owner during the pandemic?
There have been many challenges that have come along in the pandemic, but on the other hand, I’ve also seen an open space for more time to create and develop brand ideas. Sorbetto came to life in the middle of the pandemic and even though it was difficult to navigate at times, it brought many valuable lessons. I learned that the best way to move forward was to prioritize the most important tasks and to further organize my daily routine. Taking advantage of the extra time that opened up in my schedule was also key in further expanding the business.
What advice would you have for young Latinas who are interested in starting their own businesses?
Starting can be the hardest part of the process at times, but if you are truly passionate about your vision, then making that first jump is so worth it. Research and learn as much as you can about starting a business along with your industry in specific. Seek out grants and scholarships for small business owners to help further fund your project. Ask a lot of questions and reach out to individuals who have experience or expertise in the areas you seek.
The most important thing I have learned in this journey is consistency. Keep going even if you don’t see immediate results at the beginning. Perseverance is what will help shape your business more than anything.
Images courtesy of Sorbetto