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Meet Michael Carbaugh of Sandoval in Highland Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Carbaugh.

Michael, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Mission Statement:

Our mission is to provide products that enhance personal experience on a scent and sensual level, help people create customized enhanced spaces to elevate the daily experience. Our layer-able fragrances all customers to create personalized spaces, everywhere they go!

Origin story:

I created my first spray because I was living in the garden level of a Victorian house in San Francisco, and needed something that was natural, to spray and help keep the space fresh.

I wasn’t really using incense at the time, and the luxe candles I was buying were giving me headaches and making me nauseous. While living in San Francisco, I had access to bulk essential oils at the Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, which enabled me to play and experiment without pressure. I came up with what was later named ‘Captain’. I used it to spray my apartment and give as gifts for a few years, six years later I started Sandoval to offer something that was better than the toxic alternatives on the market.


I live and work in Highland Park for about three years, was in Echo Park for three years. It feels honest here on the east side. It’s a great mix of local multi-generational Latinos and some older hipsters like me. Great restaurants, wider streets. We can also see snow on the mountains in our skyline- Bonus! I’m coastal bound though – living at the beach is definitely my long-term goal.

Lifestyle Brand – Customer:

Our customer spans generations – the way The Gap did at its inception. The Boomers, the Gen X’ers the Millennials, the Z’s are all customers by demographic. I really wanted to create something that wasn’t so specific. After working in fashion for so long, creating things for very specific customers, I realized that that outdated way of thinking creates exclusivity, which is isolating and can leave little room for growth. The Sandoval products are great for people of all types, shapes sizes and ages!

Our customers are people who are casual, knowledgeable, with a taste for practical luxury and practically luxurious haha! People who know that they want to surround themselves with sophisticated, healthy things. Easy, casual, conscious, spiritual in some way, but open to all. The person that does yoga either five times a week or once a year! Someone that knows what’s up, and knows what’s out there, and who has done their research.

Please tell us about Sandoval.
We are primarily known for our Interior Aromatic sprays. They’re a practical, useful product that can be used to spray the air, the sheets, the rug, sweaters, jeans- ANYTHING! We’re also known for our inclusion of energy crystals in all of our products. We charge them up in the full moon, once per month and add them to our hand made creations. I think hand-made, essential oil fragrance and energy crystals set us apart from everyone else. Oh yeah and owner/founder-made- I make most of the products myself, to put a little magic and a little one into everything!

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have slowed the roll and waited a bit longer to “Scale”. Ugh the word “SCALE” is such a cliché these days- We as small businesses feel this pressure to grow quickly and become a multi-million $ company in three years. When in reality, slow and steady ACTUALLY wins the race!

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @studiosandoval
  • Facebook: Sandoval

Image Credit:
Michael Carbaugh

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