Nothing compares to the joy of the arrival of sunny days. The desire to stay fresh and renewed, especially after two difficult years, is as alive as ever — and our favorite Latino-owned brands know it!
These fantastic entrepreneurs have transformed their passions into businesses that also support our communities. It’s beautiful to see how they inspire their products in our Latino culture.
Check out these fantastic Latino-owned brands and revamp your closet for these sunny days.
Founded amid the pandemic by Kayla Castañeda and Erin PonTell, Agua Bonita is inspired by aguas frescas, a beverage deeply connected to its founders’ Latino culture and roots.
For Castañeda, the inspiration also recalls the Latino home.
“Because of how aguas frescas were always represented in our home and at fun events, I knew I wanted to capture that experience and share it with other people,” she told BELatina. “Even the process in which my grandpa used to make them — often with rescued fruit he’d bring home from the fields after work — influences some of our sourcing practices now and the way we give back to our community. With Agua Bonita, there is no separating the culture and lived experience from the product itself. Everything is influenced by that.”
The idea came about to “fill a void on the shelves,” according to partner Erin Pontell.
“The idea that what we are doing is bigger than ourselves; it’s about our entire community and culture,” Castañeda concluded. “We made something that is a direct reflection of ourselves to be put on the shelf, and the representation matters. Not just for us personally, but for every single minority founder trying to bring their vision to life.”
Vida Bars is a brand that brings a new approach to hair care products, especially curly hair.
Ana Nunez, who was struggling to accept her own curly hair and natural texture, was looking for an alternative for herself when Vida Bars was born.
“I created Vida Bars out of need. There weren’t any sustainable products to care for my curly hair,” she told us. “I knew that just like me, more and more women are both embracing their naturally textured hair and also looking for eco-friendly solutions. Since there weren’t any available, I was inspired to create them. Mi cultura is all over VidaBars, starting with the name!”
“Knowing clearly why I created Vida Bars has pushed me when I was ready to quit. There are really hard days and sacrifices I’ve had to make, but realizing I’m creating a positive impact keeps me motivated para darle duro,” she added.
Founded by Mexican-American Sandra Velasquez, Nopalera is a Mexican-inspired brand of botanical bath and body products with cactus (Nopal) as one of its main ingredients.
“I was inspired to create my brand because I saw a lack of high-end bath and body products that spoke to the Latina consumer,” Velasquez told us. “It made no sense to me that we are the largest minority group in this country, and there wasn’t anything on store shelves that really spoke to us in a bold and elevated way. We take our inspiration from the nopal for its resilience, versatility, and cultural symbolism. The nopal is an ancient symbol of Mexico and has historically been used as a food source, but it can also be used to cleanse the skin and hair. It’s one of the most regenerative crops in the world. It made sense to make it the star of our brand both from a sustainability and cultural standpoint.”
Nopalera’s success with customers led it to become the first Latino-owned body care brand to be sold at Nordstrom
“From the beginning, I have always envisioned being able to award grants to other Latina small business owners,” Velasquez added. “I also believe in mentorship. I already do this in the form of my private newsletter, masterclasses, and podcast. So many in our community have great ideas, but they lack access to information and capital. As a former sales and distribution manager, I enjoy breaking down barriers and sharing what I know about the industry with others. I don’t know everything, but I’m sharing in real-time as I build Nopalera into the next Latinx legacy brand.”
Created by Chicano/Indigenous poet and professional makeup artist Cece Meadows, Prados Beauty is a cosmetics Latino-owned brand full of diversity and heavily inspired by its founder’s Latine and indigenous roots and culture.
“I wanted to start a beauty line that told the story and vibrancy of my people,” Meadows told BELatina. “Being Xicana and Indigenous, I grew up part of both cultures and saw so much beauty in both of them. I wanted to share that with the world. I wanted them to see beauty through our lens and learn about our stories, resiliency, and zest for life!”
With a wide variety of products such as makeup, skincare, brushes, and special collections, Prados Beauty seeks to represent the indigenous culture’s traditions, history, and beauty.