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September 30, 2021
Being Latina is something I’m very proud of. But it’s also something I’ve struggled with a lot in many ways, as I’m sure many “minorities,” for lack of a better word, can understand. Growing up in Alabama, racism was all around me. It was something I did not understand as a child; I just knew I had to fit in. I blew out my curls, avoided hoop earrings (LOL!), and got embarrassed when my mom spoke to me in Spanish in front of other people. I was given a Latin first name and a “white” middle name. Guess which name my family decided to call me my entire life? Because of this and so many other reasons, it has taken me a long time to truly and fully embrace my Hispanic heritage. And for a while, I even had a little bit of imposter syndrome around it since I am bicultural.
I’m a second-generation American – kind of. Both of my parents were born in the United States even though my mom actually lived in Nicaragua until she started school. My mom’s mom was from Nicaragua and my mom’s dad was from Montreal. They actually met in an English class they were taking when they both first moved to the US in their twenties. How cute! On my dad’s side, his dad is American by a couple generations – their ancestors are from Ireland. And then my dad’s mom is from Puerto Rico, which is technically part of America, but not truly in many ways that matter. But no matter the detailed background, I am Latina, and that Latin culture–particularly the Puerto Rican Latin culture–is one that deeply resonates and just feels like me. I grew up with the music, the food, the language, and the warmth of Latin culture. And while some strangers might not instantly be able to tell that I am Latina, I know I am. That’s what matters.
So in honor of Hispanic Heritage month, I’m taking the opportunity to highlight some fellow Latinx brands that I recommend.
I first discovered Alessandra Palms at their launch through a press release. I instantly fell in love with the products and emailed them expressing that. Gina, the founder, was so incredibly friendly and we’ve been in touch ever since. Alessandra Palms products “begins in the hands of one of our exceptional artisans who use traditional Colombian techniques to create beautiful and modern designs.”
Queen Carmen is a brand that is very special to me because it is owned by one of my best friends in the world, Erica Valentin. She named the shop after her Panamanian grandmother and each item is handcrafted by Erica herself. Not only are the pieces absolutely gorgeous and beautifully made with high-quality materials, but the amount of time–and love–that goes into each piece make it a very special and unique brand.
Giving new life to vintage pieces, Soigné is a fashion brand owned by Lush to Blush’s newest team member, Paola Gonzalez. During the pandemic, Paola took the extra time at home to work on her dream. She taught herself to sew and pursued her passion of creating her own line. If that’s not what we’re all about here at Lush to Blush, then I don’t know Jack!
We all know I am all about clean beauty, so I am so excited to have found a Latinx-owned clean beauty brand! elaluz is a spin on a phrase meaning “in the light” and their hashtag is #stepintothelight which I love. It makes me think of a luminous, healthy glow, which is always my goal! They’re also cruelty-free, vegan, and gluten-free.
Rezo Hair Care
Specializing in curly hair products, Rezo Hair Care knows Latinx hair! Boasting 100% vegan products, this brand has it all. From serum, shampoo, conditioner, to even a diffuser, they know what us curly girls need!
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, I encourage everyone to intentionally support Latinx brands a little bit extra.
What are some of your favorite Latinx-owned brands?
Photos by Ryan Carpenter.