We had the good fortune of connecting with Hector Mota and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hector, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Ever since I was young, I was always interested in helping others feel better – physically, mentally and spiritually. I enjoyed attending seminars about health and wellness as a young adult. I was working in another career field for decades, but then one day, I realized I had a calling to professionally help others with their health. I still worked at my regular job while attending a holistic health and body work school here in San Diego. The more I learned about wellness, the more I knew I was finally on the correct path. I graduated 15 years ago and started my own business as a holistic health practitioner & massage therapist. I also created a line of holistic Zen sprays that I use with my clients and also offer in boutiques and at makers markets. Every client I help makes me realize that their wellness is my reward.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Being a holistic health practitioner and massage therapist, I always want my clients to not only feel better, but also that their treatment is given in the safest way possible. For instance, the special massage oil I use is non-toxic and safe for them. But I was missing something. I was using an over-the-counter pain-relieving oil, but it wasn’t as natural as I wanted it to be. It contained common chemicals found in over-the-counter products, but I didn’t want my clients to be exposed to them. It was around 2014 that I decided that I really wanted a non-toxic soothing pain-relieving oil. That’s when I remembered that ointment I bought for my mom when I was a kid and decided to make my own – Zentai. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Challenges have always been a part of my life and this wasn’t going to be an exception. I researched holistic pain sprays to figure out the right ingredients and measurements for my product. I continually tweaked the recipe for a while, and with several trials, I settled on the right combination of 18 essential oils and natural ingredients. Now that I had the recipe, I needed branding that reflected my mission. I was looking for an interesting word that would encompass my calling to help people using a holistic approach. After researching those types of words in several foreign languages, I settled on Zentai. It means ‘everything’ in Japanese. That was the perfect word! I shared all of that with a designer and he came up with my cool logo! Not only do I use the spray in my practice, but my clients – and customers in stores, at health fairs and and at makers markets – use it for minor aches and pains, muscle pains, backaches, migraines, arthritis, joint pain and even headaches. Someone is always telling me about a new pain symptom that it helps relieve. Zentai not only helps soothe physical discomfort, but also helps maintain a good mental and emotional balance. Just like the name … it helps everything! I make other sprays as well, such as Bug Away and Itch Away, that I make from citronella leaves that grow on our back deck, then I distill down to make the citronella oil. I have other refreshing sprays I make with essential oils. I have a whole line of these sprays and balms that I constantly sell out of. My clients just love them!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I grew up just across the border … and have spent my whole life enjoying San Diego … so that’s easy. San Diego has so much to offer in terms of culinary and sightseeing. First, I would take them to the historical places like Balboa Park and Old Town so they can get a taste of San Diego history. Then we would visit Coronado Island, La Jolla Shores, the famous San Diego Zoo, the list is endless. And to eat, we would go to Little Italy, North Park, Downtown and Little Saigon restaurants. Again, the list is endless. What I love about San Diego is that it is so multi-cultural and each area has its own special culture to share.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When I was in 5th grade, our class took a field trip to a Chinese Medicine Health Fair near our school in Tijuana. I had never heard of that type of medicine before, but I found it intriguing. What especially caught my interest was the colorful package of one of the products. I asked what it was for and the man said it was an ointment to relieve pain. I immediately thought of my mom, who worked long hours as an accountant. Plus, she was always busy taking care of our large family. I bought the ointment for her, hoping it would help her with her pain. When I got back home, she was so excited and appreciated that I had thought about her. She used it and it helped her so much. The memory of her be relieved of her pain was my inspiration in creating my own version three decades later … my soothing pain spray that I call ‘Zentai’. Everything I do or make is to honor the memory of my mom … how I help relieve my client’s pain … just like I did for her when I was 10 years old.