At this point in time on the calendar year, there are a few tell-tale signs that the holiday season is in full effect. The local Trader Joe’s has all sorts of seasonally themed cookies that are perfect for gifting (though we don’t blame you if you gift them to yourself). Your neighbor has been blaring Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” ever since Target cleaned up its Halloween aisle. And, last but not least, your inbox is flooded with all sorts of emails letting you know of every possible flash sale and Black Friday special that is “bigger and better” than last year’s sale.
It’s peak gift-giving season — and retailers know it.
That is why there is no shortage of dollars being spent on targeted ads and email blasts with the words, “BIG SALE.” After all, Black Friday has historically been the day when big retailers bank on you coming to their stores to make really big purchases and cross off everyone on your gift list.
But, as Black Friday sales have gotten increasingly ludicrous every year, more conscious shoppers have begun redirecting their attention to Small Business Saturday. Unlike Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is the “holiday” dedicated to shopping “small.” That is, you get a chance to support independently run small businesses that may not have the big marketing dollars for those pesky flash sale notifications from the big retailers.
So, what does this mean? Small Business Saturday is your chance to support some great independent Latino businesses.
Think of your week like this: Thursday is spent eating with la familia, Friday is the day you recover from the food coma (and where you maybe skip out on the Black Friday madness at the local mall) and Saturday is prime time for you to shop locally in your ‘hood or click checkout on your fave Latino shops online.
For the past few years, we’ve highlighted a number of small independent Latino businesses, and this year is no different. We want to highlight the incredible products, creativity and craftsmanship from Latino business owners who represent the diversity of our culture.
Here, 15 Latino businesses you can shop on Small Business Saturday.
America Hates Us
America Hates Us was founded with a clear mission: Be unapologetic about your socio-political and cultural beliefs. More specifically, the company launched in order to “be revolutionary and to serve as an economic conduit for organizations already fighting for the marginalized,” according to its website.
The holiday season is the perfect time to spend with the fam, but it’s also for many of us prime time for educating our relatives on all of the social, political and cultural progress we’ve yet to make as a community. So, whether you’re trying to gift something to your activist cousin or whether you want to wear a t-shirt reminding us all to “Believe Women,” you can find something at America Hates Us. (Think: shirts that read “Slap Your Local Racist” and “Blue Lives Murder.”)
Looking for some new sage for that limpieza you’ve been meaning to do (remember, you can totally gift yourself something during this season!)? Or do you have a friend who has been steadily growing their crystal collection and is all about plant-based remedies?
If so, then you can likely find the perfect gift at Anima Mundi, a Costa Rican-owned apothecary shop in Brooklyn with items like elixirs, tonics, herbs and “spirit tools.” (Think: Flores Sagradas Hermal Smoke). The company also specializes in sourcing directly from Indigenous communities within Central and South Americas, so your dollars help support fair trade practices and small farmers.
Looking for some cool streetwear swag or maybe just some new décor for your space? Peralta Project has plenty of hoodies, pins and home goods with a dose of that New York swag, thanks to the curated eye of Dominican-American founder and artist Tony Peralta, who collaborates with other artists to bring a Latin POV to the collection.
Their clothing offerings include items for men, women and even onesies for the kiddos. Some faves include long-sleeves that read, “Around The Way Girls” or “Bruja” and a few sweaters dedicated to the late Walter Mercado. You can also shop their art prints and pillows.
Kids of Immigrants
Kids of Immigrants was founded by Daniel Buezo, a first-generation Honduran-American, and Weleh Dennis, who both wanted the company name to show their origins as co-founders while paying homage to the United States’ broader origins.
The company offers a range of hoodies, sweaters, long-sleeves and hats with simple but poignant messages like, “Support Your Friends” and “The Unity of a Community Creates Opportunity.” If the items look a little familiar, then maybe you caught Bad Bunny wearing their lime green hoodie in a recent Instagram post.
Looking for some new makeup to add to your kit? Alamar Cosmetics offers colorful assortments of eye palettes, makeup brushes, lip liners and liquid lipsticks. Among their best-sellers is the Reina Del Caribe Vol.1 Eyeshadow Palette, which features eight opaque shades that are “reminiscent of the beauty and culture of Cuba.”
The company is founded by Cuban-born Gabriela Trujillo, a makeup artist and social media specialist. She named her brand after the small barrio in Havana, Cuba that she was born in.
Azteca Negra is a line of culturally conscious handmade jewelry and accessories. According to their site, Azteca Negra “is where Indigenous and modern art, fashion and culture intersect.” The shop’s pieces are original designs crafted with natural or up-cycled resources.
You can shop from an assortment of beautiful head wraps in bold, bright colors like pink, yellow, purple and red. Just as equally stunning and bright are their earrings, some made with Mexican cambaya fabric, which makes them super lightweight and easy on the ear lobes.
If you’re looking to add on to your pin collection, then Pinetration818 has you covered. The company offers dozens of enamel pins with a Latino twist. For instance, you can buy a pin featuring el rey Vicente Fernandez, a little gansito (because we all deserve a treat) or even the classic abuelita chocolate. If you’re looking for something smaller, you can also get a hat or a t-shirt with some of the same enamel pin designs. Think: El Buki — but in a Loteria card-style.
Haus of Curls
Haus of Curls was founded by Sherly Tavarez, a Dominican fashion stylist and entrepreneur who wanted to create a brand geared toward Latinas who have embarked on their natural hair journey. According to the site, Haus of Curls aims to “encourage curly haired girls to love and embrace their beautiful hair and to understand that there is no such thing as ‘bad hair.’”
To this end, the online store offers a number of shirts that proudly proclaim pride in having curly hair, with messages like, “Blessed and Thankful for These Curls” and “A Very Curly Chrihma.”
The Flower Child Bruja
The Flower Child Bruja is the brainchild of Taylor Cordova, an artist and “bruja-born, educated [and] raised” from Phoenix, Arizona. The shop features wearable art pieces as well as items for sacred rituals. This means plenty of smudge sticks, raw or tumbled crystals and herbs.
The store also specializes in “sacred smoke wands,” which you can use to purify your energy or use in crystal meditations. In short, think of The Flower Child Bruja as your go-to shop for any add-ons to your home altar.
GRL TRBL (pronounced “girl trouble) is an online shop featuring pins, illustrations and accessories with a strong, left-leaning political POV. This means you can find fanny packs declaring, “ABOLISH ICE” and a “Period Panties Tote Bag.”
Think of it as your go-to shop for cute tees and accessories that proudly declare the importance of intersectionality in politics. After all, the company’s designs are meant to be conversation starters around important topics like racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism and more.
Brown Sugar & Canela
Brown Sugar & Canela is founded by Keyanna Gotay, a first-generation Garifuna from Honduras. The t-shirt collection was launched in order to empower women of color, especially Black women from Latin America, who are often overlooked in the larger Latino market.
To this end, you can shop Brown Sugar & Canela’s collection of tees, long-sleeves and pins with designs highlighting the Afro-Latino community in Central America. For instance, this sweatshirt has the words “Central African” on the front and includes a design on the back of a map of the countries touching the Gulf of Honduras and Gulf of Panama.
The Internet gives us no shortage of online shops for cute, one-of-a-kind novelty items — and Valfre is no exception. This Latina-owned and -operated shop features unique and quirky designs that will have everyone asking, “Where did you get that?”
On Valfre, you can shop everything from tees with cute illustrations, like this “Tatted Bruja Tee,” to statement-making phone cases, to umbrellas. Think of it like your local Hot Topic — but curated for your quirky BFF who remains a scene girl at heart.
Sometimes all you need is a simple item that doesn’t break the bank but is practical. That brings us to Anda Pa’l, an online shop founded by a Seattle-based Puerto Rican who wanted to create pieces that celebrate the Caribbean. Each unique canvas piece is printed by hand and features fun and witty sayings, like “Nadie me quita lo bailao” and “te amo > I love you.” Not looking for a makeup pouch? You can also get a sturdy tote bag, like this one, which features a map of Puerto Rico and has vegan leather straps.
Shopping for something a little more fashionable and lux? Selva Negra is an upscale clothing line featuring ethically sourced and made clothing for women. The company was founded in 2016 by designers Kristen Gonzalez and Sam Romero, who connected in New York City after graduating from two top design schools, FIT and Parsons.
Their collection is inspired by their Latina heritage and represents “drive, holistic energy, united empowerment, careful craftsmanship, and engineered comfort,” according to their site. In short: You can shop from a variety of minimalist-inspired pieces, like plaid pants, corduroy jumpsuits and jackets in prints like gingham.
Coco and Breezy
Let’s be real, the right kind of eyeglasses or shades can instantly become the accessory that transforms your overall look and vibe. Thankfully, Coco and Breezy offer no shortage of stylish eyewear for the fashion-forward among us. Their collection of high-end eyeglass frames and shades is comprised of designs that have the right mix of pizzazz and everyday wearability to make them worth the cop.
The company was founded in 2009 by twin Puerto Rican-African American sisters and co-designers Corianna and Brianna Dotson, who quickly caught the attention of insiders in the fashion and entertainment circuit. Their items have been featured in magazines like Vogue and they even collaborated on designs for the late Prince.