It’s estimated that this year, the average household will spend $501 for the back-to-school shopping season. As the beginning of the school year nears for many, we can channel that money right into our own communities.
That’s why we put together a list of Latino-owned shops that will have you covered for the school year. Here are 20 places where you can buy school supplies, clothes, beauty products, and dorm necessities to get you ready for the school year:
If you have a soft spot for the early 2000s, then Krystal Quiles‘ Society6 shop is for you. The illustrator, who often references videos from back in the day, has emblazoned these images of memorable moments in pop history on notebooks and tote bags.
Though RowdyCorazón – a Chicago-based shop run by Thelma Uranga – has a small collection of items, the Etsy store carries the most on-brand set of pencils. With its Chingona, Bruja, and Grosera pencils, you can go through the school year with a writing instrument that wholly represents you. And if you need a little motivation, RowdyCorazón also sells a Ponte las Pilas pencil.
Seattle-based Puerto Rican designer Rita Cidre’s Anda Pa’l is a line of canvas bag with too-relatable phrases, including “jaja > haha” and “Trá Trá Trá.” Cidre began the line as a way to cope with feeling homesick for the island, and now you can carry a little piece of Puerto Rico with you and give your pens and pencils the kind of case they deserve.
Zahira Kelly – an illustrator and sociocritic who fights for the visibility of Afro-Latinas – sells a wide variety of items on her shop, including necklaces, prints, and home decor. But you can carry around her art all the time by purchasing one of her totes or backpacks.
Make to-do lists, take notes, or jot down your thoughts in these notebooks created by Cristina Martinez of Very That.
Co-founded by singer LaLa Romero, who hails from Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley and describes her Latin-infused urban pop as “Pretty Brown Sound”, Bella Doña is a sartorial extension of Romero’s musical approach. Many of the pieces, which reference SoCal Chicano culture, would be right at home on the Mi Vida Loca crew.
Pop Aesthete is the moniker of Cristobal Saez, Chilean-American designer and illustrator. His inspirations range from telenovelas to drag queens to internet culture and his designs are created with Warholian aesthetics in mind. Decorate your clothes or bags with his amazing pins.
Nalgona Positive Shop
The Nalgona Positive Shop aims to decolonize the body. “NPP’s goal is to provide comprehensive intersectional body positive information that covers topics such as historical trauma, fat-positivity, eating disorders awareness & indigeneity,” the store’s Etsy shop description reads. “Through education, social media, community outreach, an Etsy Store, and an eating disorders support group NPP is able to spread it’s message and serve as a resource for the community.”
Mexican-born designer Ilse Valfré is the former schoolteacher who has built a successful art, clothing, and accessories brand. It’s impossible to peruse Valfré’s site without mentally adding items to your wish list. But if you feel overwhelmed with the choices, the clothing is a good place to start.
Afro-Latinx illustrator Emerald Pellot shop is full of pins with powerful, feminist messages.
Nicaraguan-American cousins Vanessa Enriquez and Marivette Navarrete launched Nevermind Cosmetics, a cruelty-free line of lipstick heavily influenced by 90s aesthetics (think whimsical, Lisa Frank-esque shades, with names like “Hair Flip” and “Grl Talk”).
As a kid, Julissa Prado struggled with her curly hair. She either wore it in a ponytail, styled it with lots of hairspray, or used lots of heat to straighten it. But after years of hiding and damaging her curls, she set out to create a better system. And that’s how she ended up with Rizos Curls, a company designed for curls between 2A and 4C.
Melt Cosmetics is the brainchild of besties Lora Arellano-Tovar and Dana Bomar, who expected to have just a little Etsy shop. But the brand has grown exponentially and counts Serena Williams and Rihanna as clients.
Cha Cha Covers
Ana Guajardo runs the flourishing Cha Cha Covers – a shop that sells nail wraps featuring pop culture moments.
The MicMas Remix tagline says it all: “Hair texture does not determine whether it’s good or bad.” The brand, started by Afro-Latina entrepreneur Adassa, features products made from all-natural ingredients.
Monica Kim Garza
Monica Kim Garza’s paintings are an ode to carefree brown women of size. Most of her work depicts full-figured ladies of different shades of mahogany baring breasts, nalgas, and chichos while relaxing in bed, shooting hoops, or lifting weights. Her prints are available on tees, zip pouches, but also on shower curtains if you’re looking to quickly elevate your bathroom.
Austin artist James Barela makes beautiful modern ceramics with a hint of color. Choose from an array of minimalist porcelain planters, vases, pots, or drinkware.
Mexico City-based artist Felix d’Eon illustrates gay love and romance. Inspired by Edwardian fashion, children’s book illustrations, golden-era American comics, and Japanese Edo printmaking, Felix subverts “‘wholesome’ images and harnesses their style to a vision of gay love and sensibility.”
Brewbles Bath Bombs
Brewbles Bath Bombs comes from the mind of Catheryn Estefania Rodriguez – a Xilangx currently living in Austin. Catheryn’s inspiration comes from nature, the need for relaxation, as well as Mexican culture. (Hence, the avocado, paleta, and tamale bath bombs.)
Oh Comadre Candles
By day, she’s a full-time wound nurse. By night, Marcella Gómez is the one-woman force behind the thriving Oh Comadre Candles, an online shop that sells about 40 different types of candles. And these aren’t your basic vanilla, lemon, or fresh linen-scented candles. Instead, Gómez makes items that speak about her experiences as a Latina. So her shop is filled with products named Lucha Libre (a black candle that smells like fresh leather and vanilla), Horchata (one that will evoke memories of the classic cinnamon-spiced drink), and Vicky’s Vapo Candle (inspired by the product that has become Latinos’ cure-all remedy).