Latinos created 86 percent of new businesses launched between 2007 and 2012. And while our community as a whole is changing the face of entrepreneurship in the United States, it’s Latinas who are driving the growth – a trend that continues to this day.
“As of 2016, there are just under 1.9 million Latina-owned firms, employing 550,400 workers and generating $97 billion in revenues,” according to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. “Between 2017 and 2016, the number of Latina-owned firms increased by 137 percent – the highest increase seen among minority women-owned firms. Latina-owned firms comprise 46 percent of all Latino-owned firms.”
Despite the strides they’re making, they – and other women of color – face an uphill battle: They’re less likely to get outside funding and networks that aim to boost startups don’t often cater to them. But as they find themselves shut out of these traditional routes to success, they do have us a community who wants to uplift them.
With that in mind, we put together a list of 18 Latina-owned businesses that you should support during Women’s History Month and beyond.
La Corona Butrón
Image via La Corona Butrón
Started by Valerie and Isaac, La Corona Butrón will help you give your locks some love. The family-owned business features one item – La Corona Organic Hair Cream. The moisturizing cream is made of all-natural ingredients and a little bit goes a long way. As a bonus, you can use the cream on your skin as well.
Good and Terrible
Image via Good and Terrible
Started by Isabel Ann Castro – who goes by Queen of Tacos on Twitter – Good and Terrible is a collection of zines and stickers. While the yet to be released Juanga Barbie sticker is a must have, so are the zines that touch on everyday issues, such as losing your brand new shoes or letting you relive the days you let the MASH game determine your future.
Farah Vargas’ Pinkness is an apparel, skincare, and lifestyle brand. As the name suggests, pink is part of the brand’s DNA. The Dominican influencer didn’t jump into the venture all at once. “It started off as a passion project in the summer of 2017, but when I got laid off my corporate job in November, it forced me to really put my food on the gas and launch everything I had been daydreaming about,” she told Latina. “It was scary, but I’m so happy with the way it has been received.”
Image via Candy’s Kloset
With nearly 300 items in her Etsy store, Jeanette Castro sells a sizable number of items that will speak to you if you’re Latino, specifically if you’re from Mexico or Central America. Jeanette has stocked her store with a variety of products, including pins, bracelets, keychains, and baubles.
Founded by Sandra “Bibi” Martinez, Piritees is an apparel brand “for the bold, unapologetic, and multifaceted person.” As someone who has seen how gentrification has pushed out her community and changed the landscape of Harlem, Bibi has also made it her mission to use this brand to raise money for New York-based anti-gentrification organizations.
Loquita Bath and Body
Mira Perez’s brand, Loquita Bath and Body, could only have been created by a bicultural Latina. Though the vegan bath bomb company sells products inspired by conchas (and other pan dulces) and paleta payaso, she also looks to popular culture to create new products. Just last year, she went viral for her kind of creepy, Chucky-inspired items.
BiacaDesignsCo is the brainchild of Bianca Negron, a New York City-based web designer and developer, who creates art “that is both meaningful and beautiful.” Her shop features several LGBTQ+ pins, and 50 percent of proceeds from select items will go to an LGBTQ+ foundation each month.
Started by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein, Lil’ Libros aims to give bicultural Latinos books about their heroes. The company has already written books about Celia Cruz, Frida Kahlo, and Selena.
La Pinche Vanidad
Image via La Pinche Vanidad
La Santa Cecilia’s La Marisoul started La Pinche Vanidad. The shop is full of vibrant items that reference La Santa Cecilia songs.
Gabriella D’Alessandro’s dream-like illustrations are on the pages of The New York Times, The Atlantic, NPR, The Washington Post, and Smithsonian Magazine. And with her shop, they can also be on your walls.
Though many of us grew up believing that “pelo malo” existed, MicMas Remix works to dispel that notion. The tagline – “Hair texture does not determine whether it’s good or bad” – is about celebrating rizos. The brand, started by Afro-Latina entrepreneur Adassa is made of all-natural ingredients.
Hermanas and Crafts
Marlen, Cassandra, and Nikki started Hermanas and Crafts, an Etsy store that sells bordados that speak the truth. The three learned to embroider as children and decided to pick it up again as adults. “Before we let these traditions be forgotten, we took them on again to help us pass the time, but more than that, [we started] as a form of expression and therapy,” the Etsy store reads. “We hope these items find good homes and inspire others to create.”
Las Chicas Peligrosas
Image via Las Chicas Peligrosas
Jackie Hernandez’s Las Chicas Peligrosas shop is filled with dangerous women. So if you want to sport art with women called La Diablita Azul or La Chica con Los Hongos, she’s got you covered.
It’s not a coincide that Reina Rebelde sounds kind of like the title of a novela. Regina Merson’s love for makeup started through the telenovela Rosa Salvaje and watching her mom apply her makeup.
“Latinas are sophisticated, discerning, and authentically rooted in their culture, and much of how beauty brands market to us doesn’t talk to us in this way,” she told Refinery29. “I wanted to create makeup that would honor, celebrate, and give life to our many dualities, with products full of provocative shades that deliver the boldness and passion we bring to the rituals of applying them.”
Crystals + Succulents
Crystals + Succulents is the brainchild of Mariela Elena Rojas, an artist inspired by nature. “I’m in love with nature and everything it has to offer, involving succulents into my jewelry was a must,” she wrote on her website.
Image via Annie Elainey
Annie Elainey – aka Annie Segarra – is a queer disabled activist who sells “The Future is Accessible” tees. The Peruvian-Ecuadorian content creator was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) – which affects connective tissues – in her 20s. When she started using a wheelchair, she realized how the disabled community is excluded and misunderstood. “It opened my eyes to realize that positive body image is not just about how one feels,” she told NBC News. ‘It’s also about how we view other people and our prejudices about other people based on how they look.”
Now, she sells shirts that envision a more inclusive future.
Vive Cosmetics is a vegan and cruelty-free lipstick line created by Joanna Rosario and Leslie Valdivia. With this brand, the two women hope to empower Latinas. “Vive Cosmetics unites our love for beauty and pride for our heritage and culture all in one place,” the site reads. “Vive life to the fullest and be unapologetically yourself – equipped with great lipstick and an unending cultural pride.”
Black by Maria Silver
Launched in 2011 by Maria “Poni” Silver – a drummer with a background in fashion – the line is a mix of casual and dressy pieces. For the past few years, the brand has made a mark in Nashville.