As we roll out of bed into our next week of quarantine, we need to support small businesses that are at risk of losing their clientele and means of support. As we’ve seen in the news, many industries are taking a hit and many large retailers are being forced to shut down after years, even decades, of operation. Small business owners are definitely feeling the crunch as they’re faced with hard decisions regarding the future of their shops. So I’ve put together a list of Latinx businesses you should be supporting to help keep them afloat during the pandemic. If that’s not enough incentive, Mother’s Day is right around the corner so now is the perfect time to start looking for something infused with Latinx pride and artistry as a regalito con mucho amor. These are the businesses that deserve our love and support:
Dora’s Tiendita is a small business that operates through social media and is operated by owner, Dora Lopez-Gomez. Through her Instagram page and Etsy, Dora sells handmade earrings that promote Latinx culture, inclusivity and activism. A proud Chicanx artist, Dora hopes to inspire healing and pride in her culture. If you support Dora’s Tiendita, her sales go toward helping her family during the wild time that is Rona.
3 Twinkling Lights is a small shop on Instagram and Etsy created by Jennifer Reynosa with her mother and sisters. Follow their Instagram page to see their work that includes headbands, Minnie Mouse ears and their latest product, face masks. With self-care being top of mind during the COVID-19 pandemic, 3 Twinkling Lights is selling face masks so you can stock up and follow social distancing rules. Que esperas? Place an order!
Balam Creations was created in 2005 by Eyeris Balam and Pipil Kuskatekatl who are of Mayan descent, according to their website. BC usually sells jewelry and handmade cloth items such as aprons and panuelos with a special twist, but since the COVID-19 outbreak, the creators have shifted into overgear making face masks with beautiful designs that match any personality. They’re not only selling the masks but also donating them to healthcare workers currently battling COVID-19 in hospitals so make sure they can keep doing what they do best.
4. Tarjetitas con Amor
Missing your friends and loved ones in quarantine? Visit Tarjetitas con Amor and buy one (or a dozen) of their cards! They make handcrafted cards with special messages that read “Abrazotes,” “Te extrano,” and for those friends who you know are procrastinating during finals, “Ponte hacer algo.” Their brand features a nice blend of compassion and humor that anyone can enjoy, in both English and Spanish. While you’re at it, support the United States Post Office by sending your friends their letters!
5. Heart and Sew Clothing
A Latina owned shop, Heart and Sew Clothing is currently making masks for the COVID-19 pandemic and they have all the styles you could hope for, from baseball inspired to Dia de los Muertos themed. You can suggest to them a pattern you want and they’ll try to make it happen. Before COVID-19 upended our lives, Heart and Sew Clothing made children’s clothes and bags.
6. Kalli Arte
Kalli Arte Collective operates out of Boyle Heights. Through their Instagram and website, they sell stickers and artwork representative of Chicanx pride and power. Through their social media they support fellow artists, foster a sense of community and instill activism and awareness into their posts. Buy a sticker pack and support Kalli Arte Collective.
7. Semillas Artes
Semillas Artes is a small business owned and operated by an “artesana, madre, y abuela” infused with Nicaraguan culture and the love of family. According to an interview in 2019, Celia Jimenez-Zeledon, along with her three daughters, specialize in making jewelry, handbags and accessories. The business has evolved into mask-making since the start of the COVID-19 quarantine. They are currently taking a break from mask-making due to an influx of orders, but make sure to be prepared once they start up again to get your first pick!
Launched in 2018, Backstitch Bruja is owned by Yvette whose family comes from Sinaloa, Mexico and takes inspiration from the Chicana style combined with Halloween themes. Their instagram page includes a spooky aesthetic that any Halloween lover will adore. Visit their page to shop for face masks, makeup pouches or hair accessories.
9. Jijos Del Maiz Designs
Jijos Del Maiz Designs was created by Jose Jay Arias and features art inspired by his everyday life. According to a short interview, as a queer person of color, Arias believed it would be hard to get recognized but he started connecting with people through his art and selling products such as stickers, shirts and mugs. His products range from Selena gear to Pokemon to special graduation gear you’ll want for your at-home graduation ceremony. (Too soon?)
10. Azteca Negra
“Created for those who celebrate culture and self-care,” Azteca Negra is an Afro-Latinx business that sells hair accessories, earrings and pillows. Their designs are colorful and vibrant and their products are made with eco-friendly materials by creator Marisol Catchings. At the moment, Azteca Negra is also helping in the COVID-19 effort by making and selling face masks to add a touch of color to our days in quarantine.