How 9 Latinx Small Business Owners Celebrate Their Culture

This Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked entrepreneurs to share how they use their companies to honor their heritage.

When these Latinx entrepreneurs looked at the landscape of wellness, beauty, clothing, books and even stickers, they saw a gap in Latinx representation 鈥 and an opportunity to fix it.

We talked to nine Latinx small business owners who view their work as an opportunity to celebrate culture and serve their community.

Loquita Bath and Body founder Yamira Vanegas is famous for her bath bombs, with scents and shapes evoking conchas, flan, horchata, tamarindo and elotes. But she also sells other pampering necessities, all of them vegan and cruelty-free.

鈥淟oquita was created with the purpose of Representation, with the hopes to create products that as a Latinx we would feel more related to,鈥 Vanegas wrote in an email. 鈥淭o hopefully encourage us to practice self-care more often, since as [women of color], we tend to put it on the back burner.鈥

So sientate, relaja, and check out some of Loquita鈥檚 lotions or creams for a calming night in.

Loquita Bath and Body founder Yamira Vanegas wants to serve the Latinx community with her skin care products.
Loquita Bath and Body founder Yamira Vanegas wants to serve the Latinx community with her skin care products.
Courtesy of Loquita

Stickers can tell a story, and that鈥檚 exactly what Alondra Carbajal and Remi Silva of Blank Tag Co. hope their merch does for customers.

Their culturally conscious stickers sport phrases like 鈥淢e Vale鈥 and transcend nationalities 鈥 some are shaped like conchas and elotes; others like banh mi and ramen.

鈥淕rowing up as a Salvadore帽a, it was difficult to find products that I felt represented me and my background. As a Korean-Mexican American, Remi faced the same problem,鈥 Carbajal told HuffPost. 鈥淚t seemed as if the products out there were not validating who we were as individuals because we didn鈥檛 fit the mainstream identity. The demographics of the U.S. are changing, but unfortunately, many retail businesses are not adapting to cater to us in an authentic way.鈥

Vive Cosmetics is made by Latinas for 鈥 everyone!

Joanna Rosario and Leslie Valdivia, the Mexican-Puerto Rican duo who run the brand, hope to fill a gap they see within the makeup industry and build a brand based on 鈥渓a cultura.鈥 They want to serve the diverse Latinx community with their vibrant palettes and an endless list of beauty products online.

In a joint statement to HuffPost, the founders said they see creating Vive Cosmetics 鈥渁s an opportunity to highlight the beautiful diversity that exists within the Latinx cultura and also tackle and address issues that are damaging in our community, like homophobia, colorism and more.

The cruelty-free, vegan products from Vive Cosmetics were created by Latinas for Latinx people.
The cruelty-free, vegan products from Vive Cosmetics were created by Latinas for Latinx people.
Yarcenia Garcia

Sherly Tavarez, a fashion stylist and creative director of Hause of Curls, saw that Eurocentric beauty standards dominated the beauty and fashion industries. The Dominican Afro-Latina was determined to change that.

Her statement clothing slams the notion of 鈥減elo malo,鈥 or bad hair 鈥 the idea that her curls and big hair are things to be ashamed of. She hopes to make girls and boys everywhere proud of their hair and heritage.

鈥淎s a first-generation Dominican raised in the United States, I feel it鈥檚 important to have a business that recognizes our culture because it shows our authenticity and it is a part of our story and journey,鈥 Tavarez told HuffPost. 鈥淚t shows that you aren鈥檛 just creating a business to make a profit; you鈥檙e building something we can all be proud of and make a difference with. For me, it was all about creating something we could all relate to and change the narrative.鈥

There is no such thing as "pelo malo," according to Hause of Curls founder Sherly Talvarez.
There is no such thing as "pelo malo," according to Hause of Curls founder Sherly Talvarez.
Henry Knight

In launching a brand that offers 鈥渕akeup for today鈥檚 Latina,鈥 founder Regina Merson was inspired by telenovelas and her mother鈥檚 makeup routines. She brings her Mexican roots into each look she creates, channeling the colors and exuberance of her homeland.

Merson鈥檚 makeup is meant to be versatile 鈥 for queens (鈥渓as reinas鈥), rebels (鈥渓os rebeldes鈥) and everyone in between.

鈥淢y hope is that Reina Rebelde can make a positive contribution in this regard, serve as an example of authenticity and remind people that being your true self, unapologetically, is highly encouraged and always welcome,鈥 Merson said.

If you鈥檙e looking to instill Hispanic pride 鈥渆n sus hijos y hijas,鈥 look no further than Lil鈥 Libros. The publisher鈥檚 books take your children back to your Latino homeland, wherever that is for you. A new series explores Havana, San Salvador and beyond.

鈥淎 business that recognizes your culture is also acknowledging your existence, value, contributions and worth,鈥 said Lil鈥 Libros co-founder Patty Rodriguez. 鈥淥ur children cannot be what they cannot see.鈥

Lil鈥 Libros books can also teach kids about famous Hispanic, Latinx and indigenous figures throughout history, including Celia Cruz, Cuauht茅moc and Selena Quintanilla.

Lil鈥 Libros co-founders Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein are telling the stories of great Latinx figures for children of all backgrounds to learn from.
Lil鈥 Libros co-founders Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein are telling the stories of great Latinx figures for children of all backgrounds to learn from.
Courtesy of Lil' Libros

These shirts, sweaters and accessories make a simple yet powerful statement: The wearers of these garments are proud to be first-generation daughters of immigrants. This Latina-owned business aims to help customers celebrate where they come from.

鈥淲e don鈥檛 just recognize our cultural stories; we center and celebrate them,鈥 Leslie Garcia told HuffPost. 鈥淚f we do not do it, who will? We must be the tellers of our stories because only we know the truth about the immigrant community. It is a community of resilience and incredible love.鈥

This Venezuelan-owned leather goods brand offers unique, hand-crafted accessories, from wallets to makeup bags. Founder Luz Northrup鈥檚 long background in design has helped her expand her business鈥檚 selection and style.

鈥淥ur brand of quality reflects not just who we are, but who you are 鈥 intelligent, confident and polished,鈥 her website reads.

Made in Mayhem founder Luz Northup makes leather goods that will "stand the test of time."
Made in Mayhem founder Luz Northup makes leather goods that will "stand the test of time."
Yong S. Choi

Bella Do帽a is the home of big hoops, long nails and dark eyeliner. Chicana culture runs deep in this shop loaded with jewelry, clothing and fun accessories. LaLa Romero and Natalia Durazo have adorned their merchandise with low-riders, girl power slogans and nods to the Chicana lifestyle.

鈥淐hismosas, brujas y chingonas鈥 are all welcome, and the two amigas have the clothing for all of those who identify as such.

Their online biography reads: 鈥淲e love our Homegirls, the City of Angels, candy painted Low-Riders, bumping Mary Wells on repeat, micheladas, long, hot summer days and looking fly.鈥

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