We are living in an age of entrepreneurship. Everybody has a side hustle, and lots of people are finding ways to quit the 9-to-5 and turn their self-employment dreams into a reality. These days, small businesses can reach a much wider customer base thanks to the Internet and social media, but rather than clicking on any old Instagram ad to buy our beauty products and adorable accessories, we’re saving up our dinero to support Afro-Latinx small businesses doing big things for the culture.
It’s more important than ever before to be mindful about where and how we spend our money and who we give our financial support to and all it takes is a brief spin down the social media rabbit hole to find some incredible Afro-Latinx-owned companies making and selling everything from organic haircare and skin products to Latin-inspired spices and condiments. So instead of going on Amazon or heading to Target to find unique products, next time consider supporting some of our favorite Afro-Latinx small businesses.
The first time Vela Negra candles came across our phone screens, we had to do a double take. Yup, there’s a coquí-scented candle. Don’t worry, it doesn’t smell like a tiny tree frog. Afro-Cubana Aisha Cort founded the candle company and has created scents inspired by her Afro-Caribbean heritage, that also include “morena,” “azúcar,” and “wepa.” “Coquí” is actually a “tribute to coquito.” Yassss! No we can get our fix all-year-round.
Proudly Black-owned, Reina Skincare makes everything from face wash and masks to toners and body butters, all made with natural ingredients and inspired by the founders’ Afro-Latinx heritage. “For the image of this brand, we dove into the tropics, played with Kokum Butter and danced to the rhythm of Celia Cruz,” reads the company’s bio.
Urban Pilón was founded by Afro-Boricua chef Roberto Pérez and started as a company that focused on culinary education via cooking classes, demonstrations and workshops, showcasing Afro-Caribbean and Latin American cuisine. Now, the company has expanded into offering virtual classes, dinner parties and most recently, selling their own all-natural pique and adobo.
Okay, so technically you can cop some Botánika Beauty products on your next Target run, but they’re still a small business. This haircare and beauty company is just really doing the thing though. Botánika Beauty which is the brainchild of Afro-Latina Ada Rojas whose goal for her business is to help erase the “pelo malo” narrative, is particularly well-known for their products designed for natural curly hair, but they’ve now expanded with a line of skincare products as well.
Art By Sir
Not only does she sell paintings and home décor, but Puerto Rican artist Shawnick Rodriguez has launched the most incredible line of handmade jewelry honoring Latinx culture. Her hand-painted earrings, bracelets and rings are typically emblazoned with the bold banderas of Latin-American countries and have caught the attention of celebs like Ivy Queen and influencers including Kay-Lani of Viva_Glam_Kay.
Cafe Con Libros
If you live in Brooklyn, you might already know about this Afro-Latinx small business, but if not, you can still support Cafe Con Libros. Owned by an Afro-Panamanian and her Jamaican husband, it’s a bookstore and coffee shop “explicitly dedicated to the stories of womxn and girls of all identities and, where lovers of said stories can come together to build community.” So whether you visit the shop in person, order books from them online or donate to the cause, any book lover can agree, Cafe Con Libros deserves the support.
Adassa Ramirez is the Boricua behind the haircare company MicMas Remix, and she wants us all to embrace the hair we were born with and is doing her part to make that a reality. Her products are nourishing and natural for curly and kinky hair. The mantra? “Hair texture does not determine whether it’s good or bad.” Now, who couldn’t get onboard with that.
Bubbly Moon Naturals
Bubbly Moon Naturals is a one-stop Latinx shop for all of your vegan and organic bathing and moisturizing needs. From handmade soaps and body creams to deodorants and a unique yoga mat spray, if you’re looking for something that smells good and feels good that you can feel great about purchasing Bubbly Moon. Without even realizing it, the company’s founder followed in her Puerto Rican grandmother’s footsteps when she started making herbal soaps. It’s literally in her blood so you know it’s good!
We just cannot with the gorgeous head wraps, masks and accessories from Azteca Negra. Designed to be inclusive and celebrate “la cultura” Azteca Negra’s products use cultural textiles and natural beads to create a unique look that represents Afro-Latinx heritage. Not only that, the company uses eco-conscious and sustainable materials and practices.
Bomba Curls founder Lulu Cordero is sharing Dominican haircare secrets with the world, and people are taking notice. Using premium and organic ingredients, Bomba Curls is formulation curly haircare products to make curls as healthy and lustrous as possible. If your curls need some TLC look no further and be sure to try the Forbidden Oil!
Get your skin right, right now with Pinkness skincare products. This incredible skincare line was created by Afro-Latina Farrah and while the line is currently limited to two products, they are powerhouses. Try both the Forever Flawless Beauty Oil and the Feeling Bright Face Mist to help you achieve a healthy, moisturized, glowy complexion.
Based in Puerto Rico, Ankhari sells the most unique and-crocheted and knitted bikinis and cover ups. From the bright tropical-inspired colors to the flattering fits, we absolutely love with this Afro-Latinx small business is doing. Plus, they are size inclusive and represent all shapes, sizes and colors in all of their marketing materials. So flippin’ cute! And they make items for men as well.