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Meet Arik Xander of Dharmaceuticals

Today we’d like to introduce you to Arik Xander.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Arik. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Well, given that I am the owner of dharmaceuticals, I guess my story and the business’s story are deeply interwoven.

I am a Los Angeles native. I know, they are rare. Most people I meet in L.A. are always so shocked to meet someone who is from the same city they chose to live in. I really do love the city, for me it’s like 5 different cities connected by the freeways. My great grandfather immigrated from Europe around 1910 and then moved west to Los Angeles after arriving on the east coast.

My parents met in northern California as my dad was on business and my mom had moved there from Albuquerque New Mexico. He traveled back and forth from LA to Gilroy (the garlic capital of the world apparently) until his project was finished. Long story short, they had me up there and brought me back home to southern California. My other identity is an astrologican (astrological healing), so I always say I needed to be born in Gilroy to get my birth chart!

So anyhow, my parents split up and my mom moved to San Diego. My father was born in Pasadena and raised in the surrounding area. I travelled back and forth, always changing schools and making new friends. I went to a total of 12 different schools! Throughout it all, and from a very early age, I had been interested in astrology, archetypes, and healing. When I was little, I wanted to be either a judge, a gold medal gymnast or a wizard! I’d like to think I ended up more towards the later.

One day, I was checking my dad’s voicemails for him and I heard the voice of a person I just knew I needed to know! So, I asked him for her information, contacted her and we started to become friends even though she lived in Germany. Aurelia, as she is called, would visit Los Angeles twice a year, as she used to live in L.A. for many years before moving back to her home near Munich.

One day, I was at my aunt’s house, and I found an inventory of essential oil blends. Now, I had never seen, smelled or heard about essential oils before. I just started opening the bottles, smelling them and falling in love. I was obsessed! I asked my aunt where she get these oils and she told me from Aurelia! I was shocked, surprised and happy that my new friend had this business that I had no idea about! We were just friends and I mistakenly thought she was nothing more than being independently wealthy.

Now, this was in 2004, way before essential oils hit the mainstream like they are today. My personal approach to the oils, and what I try to encourage in others today, is that they are more than just “oils”. They are what I like to call “synergies”, meaning that they are more than their individual parts. Like any other millennial guy at the time, I played a lot of video games and the essential oil blends resembled item power ups. I mean with blends like, “power”, “invigorating”, “energy” and “therapy” how could you think otherwise!?

I was so passionate about the synergies, that I wanted to learn about each single one of them. I even suggested new products to bring out, just for fun.

Aurelia had another project in the Himalayas, where she had just began building a resort. I went to visit and one day out of the blue, she asked me if I would like to be her North American distributor. I said yes on the spot. I had been working at Apple before that, but I always had an entrepreneur mind (it’s in my blood!), so I needed something I could grow.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I started in 2008, in South Pasadena, just doing online orders. It was, and still is sometimes, difficult to explain to people what essential oil blends are. Most of the time people know patchouli or lavender only. It is a niche market, but at the same time, our synergies are for anyone who wants to improve their lives. We have essential oil blends for everything from cleansing the aura, chakras and meditation to easing pain, promoting sleep or repelling bugs.

So, while the essential oils have been created in Los Angeles in 1991, once Aurelia left for Germany, the brand had lost prominence until I restarted it in 2008 from scratch. Aurelia tells me that Burke Williams Spas, when they just started out at the end of the 90’s, was a client and that Fred Segal even wanted to sell the oils, but they wanted packaging. Our oils are not packaged into a box, and sometimes bigger establishments need that for presentation. We like to save the environment and just get you the product in a UV protected Miron glass bottle (which is the best on the market as it protects the quality of the oil).

Another challenge has been importation. Though the oils have been “born in LA”, they are now being made in a lab in Bavaria. So, the oils need to be drop shipped to the United States. This means that they need to go through customs, which can sometimes take up to 14 days or more. Some clients get impatient, but many of our clients are repeat buyers and know that we are worth the wait, because we are. It is my goal to get a lab back to Los Angeles.

On the manufacturing side:

The biggest challenge in manufacturing is, as with any business that relies on entirely natural resources, the availability of our raw materials. As we are committed to a certain high standard of purity, quality, sustainability, and fair trade, our options are often quite limited in requiring our precious resources. It can really hurt us – or rather our clients – when crops fail for natural or political reasons, or if for the same reasons a quality certificate cannot be obtained, or if non-integrous companies led by ruthless opportunists corner the market for their selfish monetary gain.

It is the worst crisis when out of nowhere there is not a dram of chamomile to be found anywhere while we urgently need it for “healing master”. Or have you heard of the Sandalwood Mafia? Now that’s a story for a movie any day! And did you know that it takes an average of three years of uninterrupted quality control to get an organic certification? Also, if a war, uprising or terrorist activity in the region where you buy your raw material from bars the monitoring agency from entering the area for a period as little as one season, the certification process must start over.

This is the reason why the “organic” label is not our priority in quality selection. If we know a grower who lost his certificate due to reasons beyond his control and not because he violated the requirements, we still happily use their crop.

Also, have you ever been drinking a Chardonnay from Champagne in France versus one from let’s say the vineyard your Great Uncle Joe started on a few acres of California coast after his retirement?

Not to put down Uncle Joe but chances are his wine though produced with the greatest love and care will never reach the quality of the Champagne grapes where the environmental conditions are just right. Or have you ever heard of Pumpkin Seed Oil? The only oil worth mentioning originates in small parts of Europe because the mineral content of the soil is just so.

The same is true for our essential oils: even though many big household name companies may claim their Lavender is organic and unadulterated, it is most likely grown anywhere but the French Riviera, which does have all the chemical components necessary for the healing qualities we seek in our synergies. They can sell their backyard Lavender for less money than we need to even get it harvested.

We also stay away from Multilevel Marketing – if we would do that our Retail Prices would be higher than the Burj Khalifa and with our mission to help people heal while smelling good, that is just not an option.

Of course, we want people to earn money with our product too, but the we go the route of attractive affiliate programs.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Dharmaceuticals – what should we know?
I started this company in 2008 and have become 50% manufacturing partner in 2013. We have over 100+ blends and use the highest quality of raw materials for our synergies. My mission is to just help people help themselves. I believe that there are healthier ways to relax or be happy than to use marijuana. A lot of effort has gone into naming the products, so everyone may easily find what they need. The essential oils are 100% pure and therapeutic grade. Aside from the synergies, we have sprays, shower gels, bath salts, bubble baths, and raw skin care oil, our natural cosmetic. Aside from that, I write essential mail, which are advanced articles on spirituality and how to use the essential oils in innovative ways.

Our number 1 product is “healing master”. We say it should be in every home pharmacy as it heals from the inside out, is antibacterial, and kids love it for their many scrapes and burns because “…it doesn’t sting and smells good…”. Many companies have tried to replicate it, and all have failed on their own, though we have our lawyer on a cease and desist standby just in case. And of course, we have all 4 of our brands trademarked. Which leads me to another important piece of information: dharmaceuticals is the name of my company and though I sometimes release limited edition products for a season, the brands of essential oils I offer are the brands of:

– aurelia essential oils
– devarikha
– aurelialex

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Honest work, Good quality Fair trade.

Pricing:

  • Retail Prices
  • Professional Discounts of 10%
  • Wholesale Pricing up to 40%
  • Affiliate Marketing up to 40% per sale
  • Essential Mail Subscription ($42/Month)

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Roxanne

    February 26, 2018 at 12:42

    Thank you. Great article. So many things I did not know. Bravo!
    Thanks God I have dharmaceuticals. Used these oils for many years. My family loves the oils. I used them everyday on my brother when he had als. He loved the different respiratory oils as well as Muscle Ease and Back & Shoulders AM and PM. We also burned Peace through out the house which kept everyone’s emotions clear and present. Your oils made our lives so much better. Thank you.

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