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Meet Horacio Portillo of GYV Mesoamerican Beauty in San Fernando Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Horacio Portillo.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Horacio. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The inspiration for GYV came to me on one sunny afternoon while I was enjoying a Raspado de Mango, a sweet, tangy treat of shaved ice with mango, lime, and a hint of chile. At that moment, I reflected on how the flavors and fragrances that are so prevalent in my life have become global trends, disconnected from the people and land that first cultivated them in Mesoamerica. Ingredients like vainilla, maìz, and calabaza are sold in products across the globe but are only known as vanilla, corn, and pumpkin, with little or no mention of their origin.

I started thinking about my experience in beauty, personal care, and fragrance, and how Mesoamerican staples are key ingredients in today’s formulas. After taking a closer look at the industry, it was disheartening to realize that the staples that our ancestors used to create entire civilizations were being blended into products that are no longer relatable to the very cultures that introduced them.

After 3 years of R&D, we launched GYV last December, with our Boxed Candle that was followed in April 2018 with our 4-staples hand cream. We primarily sell directly on, and a selected number of independent retailers.

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 have been working in this industry for more than 12 years, and the hardest thing for me was to convince fragrance houses to work on Latin-influenced fragrances. We selected 5 core fragrances that highlight Mesoamerican scents like Raspado de Mango in Our Mango Fragrance. This scent is a luxurious mix of Mexican Lime, Chipotle, Sweet Mango, Mamey, Agave nectar, and Salvadorian Honey that is easier said than done, all original samples came back smelling as candy mango. That is what Latinxs want, I was told. It took 3 years and 4 fragrance houses until I was satisfied with the result.

The inspiration for the name GYV was simple: Gabrielle y Victor, my daughter, and my son. When you read GYV out loud, it sounds like give, the perfect word to inspire positive change in our families, our communities, and the world, we knew since the beginning that we were going to give back, so I figured misspelling the verb give would be worth it, With every purchase of a GYV product, we donate a portion of our proceeds to Fondo Guadalupe Musalem Foundation: WWW.FONDOGUADALUPEMUSALEM.ORG. This foundation supports and empowers young women as they pursue a much-needed education. FGM has been operating for over 20 years making a difference in countless young women’s lives providing them with a proper education to make a difference in the world! Right now the biggest challenge we face is to reach out to audiences since we are a small family owned business bootstrapped from the getgo, we do not have a large marketing budget.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about GYV Mesoamerican Beauty – what should we know?
Our mission is to celebrate the rich history of Mesoamerica, the land spanning from Central America to Mexico, by showcasing the voices, scents, flavors, and places of this historic region while supporting the education of young women in underfunded communities within those regions.

The hand cream formula contains a proprietary blend of four Mesoamerican staples. Maize oil, Pumpkin seed oil, Frijol Negro (bean) extract, chile extract and super oil from the prickly pear seed oil. This oil contains more Tocopherol (molecules with strong antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties) than any other oil available in the beauty care market plus essential fatty acids (Linoleic Acid and Omega 6).

The boxed candle, with a proprietary blend of Coconut, Corn, Pumpkin and natural waxes, is a unique blend to ensure a clean burn and even fragrance dispersal. Our glass vessel gets its beautiful silhouettes from the large staple of Mesoamerican flora and fauna. Its timeless design compliments any setting.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Believe in yourself, and not be afraid to ask for help.


  • Hand cream $24
  • Boxed Candle $35
  • Candle Sampler $40

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Horacio Portillo

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