Meet Andrea Cortez; an artist, an activist, an entrepreneur.
Before starting Tainted Inc, a beauty collective and creative studio, Andrea worked in Corporate America for 15 years. During her time in the beauty industry, she eventually realized that the beauty industry is in fact, tainted… by praying on women’s insecurities to sell products. So, with just $125 in her bank account, she decided to leave it all behind and started a company in which she could give women an authentic approach to the world of beauty.
Now four years later, Andrea prides herself on aligning with other individuals who are deliberate creators, ready to take complete control of their lives and do the things that they love. Her focus with her Tainted team is to impact women and children, creating community through beauty, art, and movement.
Andrea admits that she didn’t have intentions of staying in Hartford. When she was working in Corporate America, she was moving from city to city, lasting only about a year in each place.
“But it’s possible to see real impact and change in a city like Hartford where you wouldn’t necessarily see it in a city that’s bigger,” she quickly realized.
“I always say that Hartford chose me, I fell in love with the people, and then I fell in love with the need, and there is so much need in our city. When you can see the need, and on the other hand you can see the beautiful people who can fix the need, and then see the leadership of the city who has the wisdom to try and connect all of those pieces – you want to stay in magic like that.”
Andrea feels connected to Hartford because to her, it feels like its own little magical world. “The thing that is so beautiful about Hartford is that it’s really this underdog city. It’s also this almost secret world that most people don’t know about. For me, it’s the people that make it so magical. I kind of feel like sometimes we’re in Mister Rogers neighborhood where you’re going down the street waving and you know beautiful people are doing beautiful things. And I say it all the time, the city of Hartford is just small enough and just big enough where you can really see the impact of your efforts.”
When asked about advice she had for other creatives in the Hartford area, Andrea says, “…don’t be afraid to be seen – live in your passion. When you are living in your truth, you are magnetic, and people can’t help but to be drawn to what you’re doing. It doesn’t even matter what you’re doing if you’re doing it and you’re excited, and it’s literally vibrating off of you – they’ll come. And again, the city is here to support you. I’ve lived in Boston, I’ve lived in New York, I’ve traveled, and I’ve never seen a place who is so supported by the individuals here. …So to young creatives out there – we need you. We need you to knock on the doors of businesses who are already here. Because we’re ready to help you.”
At the end of Andrea’s career, she wants to leave a legacy. She wants to have a safe place for children, women, and artists to come together, and to express themselves.
Learn more about Andrea and Tainted Inc. here.