Want to support Latinx businesses? Doing so is easier than ever before thanks to Brittany Chavez and Raquel Garcia, the Los Angeles-based Latinas behind Shop Latinx.
Shop Latinx is a database of hundreds of brown-owned establishments, from apparel and accessories shops to restaurants and cafés to health centers and art dealers – and somehow even more than that.
“When you go on our database, you’ll see that our people make incredible products, from apothecary, to custom leather goods, to food and wineries,” Chavez, who came up with the idea for Shop Latinx, told us. “In exchange for quality products, we are supporting gente from our ‘hoods. We are helping a family send their son to a university, an abuela visit her hometown in El Salvador and a daughter get soccer equipment. I think that’s beautiful.”
While sites like We Buy Black and CHNO exist to promote Black-owned businesses, before August 2016, when Shop Latinx came to life, Latinxs didn’t have a similar online destination to connect them to products and services made and provided by people in their community.
This didn’t sit well with the Guatemalan-Nicaraguan Chavez, especially after learning that Latinxs have more brand loyalty than other racial and ethnic groups.
“Think about it: Fabuloso, Vicks, Suavitel, Abuelita hot chocolate, every Latinx household has these products. And yet they’re all made by corporations that exploit our labor and resources. There are hundreds of Latinx businesses whose quality products deserve that same brand loyalty,” she said.
That’s when Chavez, who never ventured into business before, went to the drawing board, sketching up Shop Latinx as an Instagram account to simply elevate badass businesses that don’t necessarily have the budgets for large marketing strategies.
But something unexpected happened: The Instagram’s followers reached into the thousands, and the women were receiving direct messages from business owners who wanted in on the publicity.
“We knew we had something special,” Chavez said.
Aware of the demand, the pair decided it was time to create a website, which they debut a week before Black Friday 2016. Currently, Shop Latinx offers a directory of more than 200 brands, with categories ranging from beauty, fashion, home and design to food, health, wedding and education, as well as a magazine, which features Q&As and photo essays with some of the business owners in their database.
With plans to host small business workshops and feature at least one thousand establishments in their database, Shop Latinx, which is currently volunteer-based, is hoping to raise at least $2,300 through GoFundMe.
Still, for Chavez and Garcia, who is also Guatemalan, Shop Latinx is more than business – it’s a space to uplift Latinx entrepreneurs and social movements alike.
Sprinkled with images of accessories from a Mexican vendor…