10 Latina-Owned Brands Holiday Gift Guide

Growing up in South Texas, the holidays have always been a special time with traditions like eating tamales, buñuelos, and drinking hot chocolate with my family. It means so much to me now more than ever because I live a six-hour drive away in Austin, TX. Every year I can see that my abuelita’s pace gets a little slower, and it reminds me of how precious this time is with my family. Passing down traditions and keeping our culture alive and thriving is critical when our country is facing divisive rhetoric not just from government leadership, but even people who are our neighbors.

I decided to shop local and POC-owned businesses this year to gift friends and family. And, I was compelled to create a Latina-Owned holiday gift guide of some of my favorite brands. It’s a way for me to uplift my hermanas by shopping with their business and sharing my knowledge on where to get this cool stuff, que esta con madre.

1. Hija de tu Madre

The denim chaquetas at Hija de tu Madre are stylish and go perfect for any season! Wear them in winter to stay warm and follow abuela’s golden rule y ponte una chaqueta! Two of my favorite designs are the Frida Kahlo and Sirena Trucker Jacket. But, there are so many bright and colorful designs like the Virgentcita Jacket and the Baila Esta Cumbia Bomber Jacket (It’s Selena Approved♥).

Make sure you load up your cart with a Concha Phone Case & Latina Necklace while shopping. Mira que pretty! And, for the Latina boss and entrepreneur, get the Make Jefa Moves Notebook Set. I particularly love the “You’re doing great mija” notebook! Jefa goals!

2. Jen Zeano Designs

One of the most iconic Latina boss tees, worn by Gina Rodriguez, is the Latina Power tee at Jean Zeano Designs. And, it also comes in a sueter! Stay calm and calientita with your new suetersito. But, I bet you didn’t know that the Latina tee also comes in kids sizes para la bebe and your young poderosa!

They’ve also got some really great beanies to match with your new sueter cause one is the loneliest number and two is obviously better than one.

And, if you’re looking for an array of inspiring Latina tees, Jen Zeano has 28! Check me out in the Sentimental Pero Chingona Tee and the Not Your Mamacita Tee. Pa que sepan!

Photographer: Anais Cruz for Jen Zeano Designs ( @anaisalesya – https://www.instagram.com/anaisalesya/)

3. Las Ofrendas

If you ever had a dream about your perfect floral crown, Las Ofrendas can make that dream come true. I love my mermaid corona! Living out my sirena dreams!  You can shop one of these floral crowns by following lasofrendas to visit the next pop-up shop or marketplace event. Also, visit the Etsy shop to snag some amazing hand-made jewelry and cards. Send your love through a Selena or Frida Kahlo card!

4. Hustle for the Cause

I cannot rave enough about Hustle for the Cause! They strive to create cultural awareness and empower women, POC, and LGBTQ communities through their events like Chingona Fest Texas and their products. “Every product and event developed by Hustle for the Cause is tied to a philanthropic initiative . We’re passionate about social change, so we hustle for the cause.” To read more about their mission and story, visit their site. Also, shop their online products like the Chingona Power beanie and Hustle and Be Chingona Sweatshirt. 

Be on the lookout for Chingona Fest Texas updates and ticket sales by subscribing to Hustle for the Cause. I’ll see you next year at Chingona Fest April 6, 2019! Welcome to Tejas my hermananas from Cali, Nueva York, Florida, and anywhere in the world. Bienvenidas!

5. Soni Trends

Soni trends has the hook-up when you need a shirt to go with your mood. I love my “Me Vale” tee, which gives me all the poderosa vibes. And, check me out in this cute Chula, Chingona, y Comelona tee! This tee is 100% accurate.

And, who doesn’t love a good mug to drink up your cafecito or champurrado! Que rico! My picks are the Viva La Vida and Bidi Bidi Bom Bom Mug.

6. !Sin Faja¡

I don’t think I have ever been this excited about a new upcoming brand than this one. From their Instagram, “A brand that is funny, fearless and lonja loving! Created by a plus-size Latina for everyone!” Yes! You read right! Created by a self-loving, proudly titled, plus-size Latina that is rooting for all of you! It’s hard to pick one I love the most, but one of my favorite items is the “Comadres Over Competition” tee.

The message is clear and one that I fervently believe in. Often in our community, Latinas are pitted against each other as if there is no room for everyone to be successful, shine, and have a voice. When one rises, we all rise.

And, I love this Sin Faja Hoodie! It’s okay to have lonjas and not wear fajas. And, it’s okay if you do wear fajas. Your body, your choice. And, remember all lonjas are good lonjas.

7. GRL Collective

What better way to empower girls and women than through education. GRL Collective is a Latina-owned brand that gives a portion of every sale to fund girls education in India. As a Latina, I find that empowering women and girls around the world is essential to our growth. When marginalized groups come together and support each other, amazing things happen.

And, I am really feelin’ these pom pom earrings! I have these beautiful pair of flamingo earrings named after Flora Patencio and gold palma earrings named after Nellie Coffman. A pair that I have been eyeing is the Alexandrias named after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Goals.

8. Lys Santamaria Artist

Y arriba mis hermanas de Colombia! From her bio, Lys writes, “I was born in Colombia and grew up in Canada and the United States. While in Canada, the First Nations people shared their traditional beading techniques with me. Since then, I have been painting with beads by embroidering thousands of tiny beads into fabric to create 2D artwork, sculpture and jewelry. ”

I met Lys while shopping the mercado at Chingona Fest Texas 2018. I went by her booth and immediately fell in love with her work! I present to you the holy trinidad: Selena, Frida, and Celia. My enamel pins go perfectly with my denim chaqueta from Hija de tu Madre. See what I did there? I love combining my Latina brands together to create an epic look and the most Chingona wardrobe.

You can shop her art, pins, earrings, and other beautifully craft pieces online.

9. Garzig Design

I’ve petitioned that Angel’s image appear next to the word Chingona in Webster’s Dictionary in print and online because she is a total badass. Facts. The stickers are mad cool! The Body by Conchas sticker currently decorates my laptop so peeps know I have no shame in my concha-game. And, who can resist the Anything 4 You Selena Sticker Set!

If you’re in the Austin and surrounding areas, you can shop Garzig designs in person! Make sure to follow this mujer valiente on Instagram for the next pop-up location.

10. Enxcreative

Artist and brand owner Elizabeth Núñez-Xoconoxtle creates amazing Dia de los Muertos inspired merch with iconic Latina figures as Selena, Frida, Celia and more! I absolutely love the velitas, mugs, and stickers! I am a proud owner of the Selena mug and pins! They make my heart go Bidi Bidi Bom Bom!

Be sure to follow Enxcreative and see where they pop-up next!

These are just some Latina-owned brands to shop for the holidays. Drop a brand name in the comments that you would love give a shout-out!

This blog is not sponsored or endorsed by the above mentioned brands. I would inform you as a reader if it was. I just love sharing my knowledge of Latina brands that I know you’ll love too! Happy shopping at these tienditas!

Miss Shelo

IG: @miss.shelo

I dressed like Selena for a week and this is what happened

I’ve been gordita all my life and I was bullied growing up. I found myself playing make believe at an early age that I was like Selena Quintanilla Perez. I remember dancing to Selena y Los Dinos songs in my room as a little Tejanita with hair brush in hand, boom box blasting Como La Flor.  I would tell myself that one day I was going be like her and that my life would be very different. I just had to wait until I was older and skinnier. Well, I got older and fatter. And, for a long time I hated my body. I hated myself.

I was twenty-seven when I started modeling and it helped build up my confidence. But, I found that after three years of modeling, I still had a lot of work to do on the inside. Taking pretty pictures doesn’t fix everything, it doesn’t make you hurt less. You can only see yourself differently when you change your perspective. Now let’s make something clear, body positivity and self-love are two different things. Being body positive is political and self-love is the individual journey. Here is a brilliant article that eloquently describes it better than I can.

While my belief surrounding fat people and our rights to live freely and happily, including myself, changed, I was still working on my personal journey to self-love. Something that I learned through body positivity was the right to wear what I want despite my weight, body shape, size, height, etc. When Selena’s birthday month rolled around on April 2018, I told myself I was going to pay homage to the Queen of Tejano by recreating some of her most iconic looks. For so long, I thought I couldn’t be one of those super fans that could dress like her because I am not Selena’s body type. Then, I remembered that Selena was a curvy woman. She would have wanted me and so many of her fans to live authentically and embrace the beauty that we are inside and out.

selena quote

And, what happened was magical! The Selena series resonated for many people who follow me on social media, in my opinion, because it felt like the most authentic in a way, a Tejana representing a Tejana. And, that’s powerful.

I thought I could never pull off that purple jumpsuit.  And, I was scared of that low-cut top that showed my bra. It reminded me of that unforgettable scene from Selena, the movie, where her dad, Mr. Quintanilla, played by Edward James Olmos, was like “busti-caca de la menta! Es un bra!” It’s like that in our culture. You get shamed for what you wear as a woman, a plus-size Latina at that because people tell you that you’re too gordita for that, and that’s just caca to be honest.

For a week, leading up to Selena’s birthday on April 16th, I dressed like Selena to challenge this ingrained belief that gorditas can’t wear certain things, but also to show myself that I look damn good doing it too! Sheer tops, bustiers, pleather, midriff showing, you don’t have to cover up because you are a woman or because you’re fat like me. I get to decide what I wear, when, and where.

I strutted my way to the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX for a special screening of the movie Selena on her birthday in my purple jumpsuit ready for my finale. We sang along, took pictures with Selena look-alikes, ate pepperoni pizza, shook our maracas, did the washing machine move, and sang happy birthday to Selena while the room was lit with candles in honor of La Reina.

 

Miss.Shelo

IG: @miss.shelo

Photography: Tommy Kim at tommykim.net