Our Heritage Month might be over, but our support for small businesses is not. Never underestimate the entrepreneurs from our communities — who deserve to be spotlighted year-round. They’re hard-working, driven, and passionate about their business. And the amount of them continues to increase annually across the nation. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are nearly five million Latine-owned businesses in the United States, contributing more than $800 billion to the American economy each year.
In closing out Our Heritage Month, Remezcla editors have chosen five Latine-owned companies that they’re currently loving. From handcrafted jewelry to custom apparel, these Latine business owners are making a name for themselves in their respective industries and representing their culture and traditions along the way.
This Mexican designer creates customized corsets and apparel. Each piece is a work of art – from dainty, Victorian-styled bodices to others with a more modern flair. The artist uses each corset like a canvas and designs something so elegant, it could be exhibited in a gallery.
“This self-owned business tells a personal narrative through a contemporary aesthetic and a new-gen handicraft. I like fashion projects like this that show courage to stand against macro trends and add to the hyperlocal culture. I feel that this project is headed to be a tailgate for a community of creatives that want to dig into ways to express themselves through fashion,” says Remezcla’s Creative Director Alan Lopez.
Founded in 2018 by Crystal Garcia, this Latina-inspired apparel brand features t-shirts with “wearable messages” that “counter the negative stereotypes people tend to have about Latinas.” Some of those messages include phrases like “Future Jefa,” “Bebesota,” and “Minding My Latina Owned Business.”
As Social Media Manager Alma Sacasa’s pick, she adds, “I love that they not only have a wide range of products, from apparel to accessories and home items but that everything includes a message. Whether it’s the holiday, celebrating your culture or your hair, or empowering yourself and others, their brand has an important and much-needed message or image on their items. Also, anyone can rock it, from babies to abuelas, and it’s fantastic to see.”
Founded by a first generation, half Guatemalan and half Salvadorian self-described “girlie” living in Houston, Texas, this K-pop-inspired shop features several products ranging from embroidered plush dolls to heart-shaped keychains.
“K-pop fans have such a great eye for eye-catching aesthetics that it’s fitting that those who happen to be designers also venture out to create their own merch for their favorite artists,” says Music Editor Alexis Hodoyán-Gastélum. “What I love about PepiStudios is that they’re all products fans like — hoodies and T-shirts, keychains, mini photobooks, pins, concert banners, etc.
She adds, “The designer, Andrea, is a first-gen half-Guatemalan and half-Salvadorian who is part of the LGBTQIA community and started her shop to share her love of K-pop and K-media with other fans like her. Official K-pop merch isn’t always the cutest or most affordable, so fan-created alternatives that suit a cuter aesthetic are always welcome.”
Actress, tv personality, and singer Adrienne Bailon-Houghton (The Real) created this jewelry collection, which includes anklets, bracelets, charms and pendants, earrings, necklaces, rings, and more. “Jewelry is a significant part of growing up in Latin American communities. Some of our earliest memories are the pieces we’re gifted, and I love the cultural details in some of the pieces of this brand,” says Editor-in-Chief Thatiana Diaz. “Along with the classic pieces, I love that there are options inspired by the Latina matriarch with a modern feel. It feel likes a way of carrying these important women around with us.”
This handmade jewelry line was created by a Dominican-born and Bronx-raised artist and certified reiki practitioner. Some of the pieces in Crystls Crystls’ collection include waist beads, sun catcher chandeliers, anklets, bracelets, chokers, rings and more. “I’ve always believed in the power of “mal de ojo” — a belief that my grandmother instilled in me from the first evil-eye necklace she gave me to fight away bad energy and spirits,” says Diaz. “I love that this brand offers stunning, handcrafted options that’s made with intentionality and cultural relevancy.”