Gratia Botanica Inspiration

As you may have read, I began formulating products in Houston Texas after visiting the wrong (but apparently the right) trade show.

As I gathered an assortment of cosmetic ingredients, I pondered over their potential use. Determined to find a solution, I embarked on a journey of experimentation, blending these ingredients into creams for my esteemed spa clientele. With meticulous care, I crafted exquisite jars of eye cream, each one showcasing my innovation and dedication. To my delight, these products proved to be an extraordinary triumph, captivating the hearts of my clients and heralding a resounding success.

In due course, I developed an entire range of products tailored for estheticians, massage therapists, and salon owners. To bring my vision to life, my former husband took charge of manufacturing and distributing the line across the Houston area. The overwhelming response paved the way for expansion, as the product line quickly gained popularity in other cities and states throughout the United States. Not stopping there, their reach extended beyond borders, with a renowned spa in Monterrey, Mexico, eagerly embracing and utilizing their exceptional product line.

By September 2022, I had successfully completed a comprehensive course in organic skin care formulation, marking a pivotal milestone in my journey. My skills and expertise in formulating had evolved significantly since my humble beginnings. Now, I possess an in-depth understanding of the significance of each ingredient and its optimal quantity within each product.

Aware of how these components influenced my clients’ skin performance, I frequently recognized the need to incorporate high-performance ingredients at maximum or even elevated percentages to achieve remarkable results. This keen awareness empowered me to create skincare formulations that truly delivered exceptional outcomes for my valued clientele.

While my primary emphasis remains on organic ingredients, my extensive skincare background has imparted a valuable lesson – sometimes, certain situations call for slightly more potent ingredients to catalyze transformations in my clients’ skin. Born in 1947, Brea intimately understands the aging process as I navigate the journey of growing older. Every day, I passionately engage in a personal battle against the visible effects of aging, fueled by a determination to attain a more youthful and radiant complexion. Driven by this deep-rooted motivation, I am devoted to assisting others in achieving their own quest for revitalized, age-defying skin, employing my wealth of knowledge and expertise to deliver remarkable results.

Rest assured that most of the ingredients chosen by me are EcoCert and/or COSMOS approved, even though some of the words on the ingredient labels may appear as weird chemicals. A majority of these ingredients are derived from natural sources, with many of them being EcoCert/COSMOS approved.

It’s worth noting that I am always available to answer your questions. My product line includes 100% organic items, a mixture of natural and organic components, as well as natural, organic, and functional products.


During my younger years, I often found myself plagued by that nagging inner voice, constantly whispering doubts about my appearance. It would criticize various aspects of my physical features, whether it was my nose, my butt (I had a big butt long before big butts were in vogue), or my breasts (A-minus cup). It’s a voice that resonates with countless women who experience similar insecurities. Reflecting back on those days, I now realize that despite my perceived imperfections, I was quite cute with a fabulous body. It’s important to note that I wasn’t clinically depressed or severely impacted by these thoughts; rather, they were sporadic and somewhat trivial. Nevertheless, that internal chatter served as a reminder of the unnecessary pressures and standards society imposes on us.

At the age of 38, a remarkable and joyous event unfolded in my life as I welcomed my twin daughters into the world. It was an incredibly exciting time, filled with love and wonder. Fast forward four years, and my family embarked on a delightful weekend getaway to Austin. I was now forty-two years old, cherishing every moment with my growing family. During our stay, my husband captured a cherished snippet of our time together. For approximately five minutes, his lens immortalized the enchanting exchange between me and our daughters. I indulged in playful theatrics, transforming into a human mannequin, gracefully wilting behind the bed, and stealthily crawling across the floor, only to resurface in front of his camera. With a mischievous remark, I jokingly pondered the potential repercussions of scrutinizing my eyes too closely to the camera lens, teasingly alluding to the possibility of unveiling “wrinkles.” These precious moments now reside as treasured memories, awaiting our joyful reverie in the years to come. It was an extraordinary and exceptional encounter, encapsulating the very essence of our family’s dynamic and the unparalleled moments we shared in unison.

At the age of 52, my twin daughters, now 14 years old, stumbled upon that 10-year-old VHS video and excitedly called me over to watch it. Intrigued, I joined them, unaware of the emotions that awaited me. As we watched the footage, my daughters commented that I looked like a graceful ballerina in the video. However, sitting there at 52, having gained around 30 pounds due to menopause at the age of 44, I couldn’t help but shed tears as I witnessed my 42-year-old self moving gracefully around the hotel room, showering love on everyone around me.

In that candid video, my hair was pulled back into a short ponytail, with strands of grey subtly peeking through on the left side. I wore a body-hugging tank top with delicate spaghetti straps, revealing about two inches of my tiny waist. Though my breasts were small, they were undeniably beautiful, and my abdomen showcased a six-pack. It was a truly spectacular figure. There was no makeup, no wrinkles, just a plain and simple beauty radiating from within.

In that moment, I was struck by the realization that the ballerina on the screen was indeed me. Within the confines of that video, a forgotten version of myself emerged, captivating and remarkable. It granted me a precious opportunity to peer into the past, to witness the person I once was and had momentarily overlooked. It reminded me of the natural grace and allure that resided within, irrespective of any slight physical changes over the years. It was a poignant reminder of the importance of appreciating and embracing one’s unique beauty, beyond societal expectations or perceived flaws.

As I gazed upon the image of the mother and wife in that video, tears streamed down my face. I couldn’t help but question my past self and the doubts that had clouded my perception. In that moment, it became abundantly clear that I had been beautiful, graceful, and overflowing with love for my small family. My mantra was born – beauty, grace, love!

However, two years later, my life took an unexpected turn when my husband fell in love with his massage therapist, leading us down the path of divorce. Despite the heartbreak, we managed to maintain a friendly relationship and continued as business partners for the next seven years.

Undoubtedly, the initial stages were challenging. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of being “dumped” by him, a mix of emotions that tested my strength. Yet, amidst the turbulence, there was something that provided solace and carried me through those difficult times—my mantra.

This mantra, a source of strength and resilience, acted as a guiding light during the darkest moments of my journey. It served as a constant reminder that I possessed the power within me to overcome any obstacles that came my way. Through excellent and honest communication and this steadfast mantra, I found the inner courage and determination to navigate the aftermath of the divorce and forge a new path forward.

As I embarked on my healing journey, I committed to a powerful ritual. Each day, I sat before a mirror, gazing deeply into my own eyes, and recited the mantra that resonated through my being. The words echoed softly at first, “I am beauty, I am beauty, I am beautiful,” and tears would gently cascade down my cheeks. It was a tender acknowledgement, an affirmation of my inherent beauty that had been overshadowed by self-doubt.

Once I felt the truth of my beauty in the depths of my heart, I progressed to the next stage of the ritual. “I am grace, I am full of grace, I am grace,” I repeated with increasing intensity. As the words rolled off my tongue, tears flowed more freely, as if shedding the weight of insecurities and embracing the grace that permeated my essence.

But it was the final phase that proved to be the most challenging and cathartic. Looking into my tear-filled eyes, I confronted the core of my being, uttering with raw emotion, “I am love, I am loved, I am love.” In those moments, sobs engulfed me, as if releasing the pain and longing for love that had accompanied my journey. The mantra became a fervent declaration, a transformational embrace of love’s profound presence within me.

In this transformative process, I knew I needed to change my name to one that encapsulated the essence of my newfound strength and self-acceptance.

“Gratia,” not my given name nor my married name, but a name I deliberately chose from the Latin Dictionary. It held deep significance, symbolizing Beauty, Grace, and Love—qualities that had become the pillars of my identity. It served as a constant reminder of the transformative power that resided within me, empowering me to embrace my true self and radiate the beauty, grace, and love that had always been present, waiting to be recognized and celebrated.

In my quest for a name that embraced elegance and enchantment, I sought the word “Beauty,” only to find “pulchritudo” with its harsh tones, unfitting to grace my last name.

Yet, when I turned the pages of the Latin Dictionary I found “Grace,” and a celestial symphony unfolded before me. For in the realm of Latin, “gratia” danced upon my lips, resonating with divine resonance. And lo and behold, the very pages of the Latin dictionary whispered of the Pope’s favor, grace, loveliness, and love intertwined within its ethereal embrace.

Oh, did I mention that during that period, my married name happened to be “Pope.” The convergence of destinies ignited, intertwining threads of significance and purpose.

Without seeking the definition of “love”, I instinctively knew that Gratia was the name destined for me. It was a name whispered by fate, intended solely for my being.

“Beauty, grace, love” captures the essence of positive and uplifting qualities. It serves as a reminder to focus on inner and outer beauty, carry myself with grace and elegance, and approach life with love and compassion. Mantras are powerful tools for setting intentions and guiding one’s thoughts and actions. Embracing “beauty, grace, love” as my mantra brought a sense of harmony and positivity to my life.

“I am Beauty, Grace & Love!”

What more need be said?


Gratia Botanica New Collection

Made in Asheville, NC and made of
organic, quality and functional ingredients.
Available for a limited time.

Every ingredient has a purpose. Gratia Botanica is formulated
to change the look and feel of your skin.
“I love Gratia Botanica skin care products!”