by Fred Swegels, Orange County Register. Photos by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer
Lisa Brill, who created her own line of organic skin care treatments after suffering from bad skin problems, sits in her Qet Botanicals shop in downtown San Clemente on Friday, January 26, 2018. (Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)
Lisa Brill's San Clemente business Qet Botanicals is the product of her own personal challenges with troublesome skin.
"Years ago, I needed to get all of the chemicals out of the bathroom," she related. "I was having thyroid issues, sensitive skin, rosacea and really wanted to clean everything up - inside and out. I wasn't finding anything that helped, anything that was truly clean, or it was just not right and not effective."
So she sought out her own solutions, developing a line of organic products for the skin, body and hair. She offers them online and, since October, in a skin studio she opened at 223 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente.
She shares the story:
Q: How did all this come about?
A: I started researching and playing with things and, out of desperation, started formulating organic ways to care for my skin in a very clean and chemical-free way.
Q: How did you know you'd found the right formula?
A: My doctors noticed a difference. I saw and felt it as well.
Q: How long did it take to start the business?
A: In 2011, I decided to remove every harmful and synthetic ingredient from my skin, body and hair care.I started developing, researching and formulating various treatments behind closed doors. We were finally ready to share and launched the brand on April 1, 2013.
Q: What do you offer?
A: We currently have 50 products. Our facial skin suites target various skin conditions such as wrinkles, aging skin, adult acne, rosacea, sensitive skin, teen acne. We have various customers with autoimmune issues, allergies, eczema, sensitivities to fragrance, and those that have gone through chemo and radiation, as well as those that are lucky enough to have normal skin without any issues at all.
Q: You say they're organic and original. How so?
A: We small-batch hand-make everything, from start to finish, every product, every day. It's similar to a gourmet chocolate shop, or a French bakery, only it's for our skin, hair and body. Lovely. Safe. Sumptuous.
Q: How is business?
A: Our e-boutique online reaches across the globe, and we've just opened the doors to our second lab and skin studio right here in San Clemente. Our first lab and skin studio is in Wisconsin, where I'm originally from.
Q: When did you come to San Clemente?
A: We first moved to San Clemente in 1992 and started our family here. We lived here for about seven years. We also lived in Encinitas and Paso Robles and then moved back to Wisconsin so our kids could have that "midwest experience." That first winter when we were back in Wisconsin, my skin went into a spiral.
Q: How so?
A: My rosacea doesn't like the cold, and my thyroid was acting up. That was when I was so desperate that I started formulating my own fresh and nontoxic ways to care for my skin.
Q: What got you back to San Clemente?
A: Most of our business comes from our online boutique, but after opening the skin studio in Wisconsin, seeing its success but still having family, friends and ties to San Clemente, we decided we wanted to move back to San Clemente. I also felt strongly about having another skin studio here in San Clemente, knowing that the community appreciates fresh, clean, organic, and locally owned family businesses.
Q: How do you split time?
A: I still have ties to Wisconsin, go there to work, visit family and attend expos and do presentations in the area, but we've returned and have happily made our home again in San Clemente.
Q: Have your products gained recognition?
A: We've received seven national beauty awards, and we're thrilled to have our skin studio to share our handmade and all-natural face, hair and body treatments with our new and existing friends in Orange County.