HIGHLAND PARK, Calif. - The pandemic has made daily life more difficult for working moms, as they juggle jobs, getting kids to school, and household chores. Two Highland Park mothers are using their "stay-at-home" life to their benefit. They turned their tiny kitchens into laboratories and their living rooms into assembly lines.
Jessica Soto and Tonatzin Mondragon brew an all-natural beard oil to a growing customer base across the country. The best-friend duo met dropping their daughters off at pre-school, quickly realizing their chemistry could be a recipe for success.
"We have definitely pushed each other to move past fear. We held each other up and we have a huge support system of family and friends that have been cheering us on," Soto said.
With a background in herbs, the ladies expanded their handcrafted grooming line for men called "Mountain Beastman."
"The great thing about a 'Mountain Beast Man' is you can be almost anyone. You just have to care, simply put. Someone who cares about himself and the people around them," Mondragon said.
The pair found themselves testing their organic products at Farmer’s markets, street fairs, and conventions, but like most small businesses, the pandemic put a lid on their door-to-door marketing. The entrepreneurs found a friendly market online.
"Small businesses in L.A., small businesses in Latino communities are supported. Even though we don’t have tons of money we have a community that wants to buy it and use it. We are so, so lucky!" Mondragon said.
The line now includes aftershave, hand cream, and soaps. They believe the opportunities are wide-open for anyone who wants to start a home business.
"Keep going. Do the kids need to eat? Does the laundry need to be done? Keep going! Do you need to work late in the night? Don’t stop, don’t hesitate to second guess yourself. Keep going!" they said.
You can find the ladies’ beard oil, tonics and cologne at https://mountainbeastmantonic.com. They’re also now selling their products on Amazon.