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In The Know is proud to celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month. During this month, our team will highlight a wide range of Caribbean and Caribbean American-owned brands. We encourage you to support today and beyond.
June is Caribbean American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the people of the Caribbean and their innumerable contributions to the world. From fashion and beauty to food and culture, Caribbean folks are doing big things and making an impact in all industries.
While you should make it your business to support Caribbean-owned brands and Caribbean American-owned brands during the month of June, you shouldn’t stop there. Below you’ll find more than 50 Caribbean-owned companies that you can shop all year round. Whether you’re looking for beauty products to keep your curls juicy or you’re interested in spicing things up in the kitchen, the Caribbean-owned brands and Caribbean American-owned brands that follow need to be on your radar.
About the Brand: For wonderfully smelling candles to light up your home, Ahmazing Aromas is a small business to keep in mind. Founded by self-described “Island Queen” Angie, these hand-poured candles come in a range of scents to spice up your life, including vanilla, red rose, pineapple sage and Jamaica mi crazy.
Founder: Gabriela Trujillo
About the Brand: Alamar Cosmetics is a Cuban-founded beauty brand with humble beginnings. The brand gets its name from Alamar, Cuba, where founder and CEO Gabriela Trujillo was born. “We are more than just a makeup company, we are the very essence of beauty — a celebration of culture, an emblem of pride, an avenue of self-expression.” Shop some of the brand’s best-sellers, like the DesNUDEAs Birthday Suit Lip Gloss and the Complexion Brush Trio.
Founders: Gina Feldman Love and Stephen Feldman
About the Brand: Founded by husband-and-wife duo Gina Feldman Love and Stephen Feldman, Auvere is a fine jewelry collection inspired by the couple’s love for one another. Gold is the core of this Caribbean American-owned jewelry brand; all of the pieces are crafted from either 22K or 24K gold. Whether you’re looking for wedding bands to treasure or statement pieces to wear on special occasions, Auvere has a little something special for everyone.
Founder: Juan Melendez
About the Brand: For delicious coffee, meet Baldacci Coffee Roasters. It’s a small-batch roasting company that currently offers single-origin coffee beans from Puerto Rico, Ethopia and Peru. The best part is that you have the option to customize your coffee. You can choose between whole bean, espresso, French or drip, depending on the batch.
Founder: Dayanne Danier
About the Brand: Bien Abyé is a ready-to-wear Caribbean-owned brand that has both French and Creole influences, thanks to founder Dayanne Danier’s heritage. The brand primarily sells accessories that include headbands, face masks and even tabletop goods. Unique and stylish, bring home designs like the Green Garden Silk Headband or the Soleil Beaded Clutch. It’s worth noting that, as of May 2021, you can now buy Bien Abyé at Nordstrom.
Read more about Bien Abyé here.
Founder: Lulu Cordero
About the Brand: Created by Afro-Dominicana Lulu Cordero, Bomba Curls is all about celebrating natural curls. When Cordero herself was suffering from severe traction alopecia, she wanted a solution to naturally help promote hair growth. Each of the hair care products is made with natural ingredients and is inspired by the Dominican beauty secrets passed down by generations of women. For your own curls, try the Dominican Forbidden Oil to smooth your hair or the Bomba Beauty Bites that promote hair growth.
Read more about Bomba Curls here.
About the Brand: If you want to add some whimsy to your life, be sure to check out Borisocks. As the brand name suggests, the “100% Puerto Rican company” sells fun, colorful socks, but that’s not all. Right now, you can also score a star-emblazoned hat and even stylish swim trunks.
Founders: Ada Rojas and Aisha Ceballos-Crump
About the Brand: Botanika Beauty is a hair care line made for Latinas by Latinas. Its mission is to represent all hair types in the Latin community with a range of masks and special treatments. The company’s name actually comes from the word “botanica,” which is a place traditionally known in Hispanic communities to sell folk medicines and herbs. Each product from Botanika Beauty contains some of these healing herbs to help nourish your hair and your body.
Founder: Brandon Blackwood
About the Brand: Founded by Brooklyn-raised Jamaican and Chinese namesake Brandon Blackwood, this contemporary accessories label focuses on timeless silhouettes, quality detailing and accessibility. This Caribbean American-owned brand’s handbags and accessories retail from $70 to $8,500. Following the civil rights protests in honor of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020, Blackwood released a line of mini totes that read “End Systemic Racism” in silver embossed hardware, boosting the brand’s consciousness.
Read more about Brandon Blackwood here.
Founders: Malika and Jamila Augustin
About the Brand: Malika and Jamila Augustin, two sisters from Trinidad and Tobago, founded Callaloo Box in 2017 after moving to New York City, where they spent 12 years in corporate America. The sisters eventually left the concrete jungle for South Florida to pursue their dream of providing Caribbean folks who lived away from their home countries with local products that can be difficult to find. The Caribbean-owned company is an online grocery store and subscription service that features seasonings, condiments, hot sauces and snacks that are all created and sourced in the Caribbean. They’re packaged in a compact box and delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps for easy convenience. Some of the most popular items are preserved red mango, Chief fried rice seasoning and Matouk’s Mauby Concentrate.
Founder: Stephen Rodriguez
About the Brand: Stephen Rodriguez, better known as Chef Papi, has made a name for himself catering events and private parties with his incredible (often colorful) food creations. Now, he’s branching out with Chef Papi merchandise, plus his very own Chef Papi seasoning that can be used on chicken, beef and seafood.
Cultured Naturals Body Care
Founder: Ramone Reid
About the Brand: After her cancer diagnosis and the journey of regaining her health, nurse Ramone Reid was inspired to create Cultured Naturals Body Care, a line of body products that use non-toxic and vegan ingredients. Blended with the scents found on St. Croix, Reid’s products, including a brightening face serum and eczema butter, not only smell delicious but also offer aromatherapeutic and healing benefits.
EC Soap Co.
Founder: Alexandra Durante
About the Brand: EC Soap Co. is a Caribbean-owned beauty brand and the Virgin Island’s first and only local manufacturer of natural bath and body products. Stock up on its lotion, soap, salt scrub, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and more — you’ll want it all. EC Soap Co.’s products are environmentally friendly and use recyclable packaging to help reduce waste and harsh chemicals that wash into the sea. The brand was founded by Alexandra Durante, who also works with local farmers to purchase raw materials, create jobs and support local charities.
Founder: Felisha Noel
About the Brand: Taking inspiration from her Grenadian culture, Felisha Noel’s fashion line is all about creating glamorous, sensual pieces that make women feel their best. The Brooklyn-based Caribbean-owned fashion brand is beloved for its bold looks that put color, pattern and volume front and center. Whether you’re dressing for the beach or brunch, you’re sure to turn heads in Fe Noel.
About the Brand: Fenty Beauty is the brainchild of musician and entrepreneur Rihanna. The Caribbean-owned beauty brand is one of the few Caribbean offerings at Sephora and made history in 2017 for its broad inclusivity across skin tones. Grab the popular Remove-It-All Cleanser or the Soft Matte Foundation.
Founder: Iris Mayra Gracia
About the Brand: If you’ve been feeling tired or sluggish, you need to try Get Up! energy bars and bites by Nutri Snacks Puerto Rico. The Caribbean-owned food brand is owned and operated by Iris Mayra Gracia out of Cataño, Puerto Rico — and everything it makes tastes amazing. The energy bars and bites are all-natural and made with good-for-you ingredients like dried tropical fruits, chocolate, nuts, seeds, honey and more.
Hair Repair Bar
Founder: Giovanny Jorge
About the Brand: For Giovanny Jorge, hair health starts at the root. Thus, Hair Repair Bar was born. Starting with the scalp, the Caribbean-owned salon has hair experts analyze the health of the hair and make repairs with products using the brand’s organic essential oil blends. The brand’s own Keratin Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner Set helps hydrate and nourish the hair shaft and keeps flakiness at bay. Meanwhile, products like the Keratin Deep Conditioning Protein Mask address damaged and distressed hair.
Hause of Curls
Founder: Sherly Tavarez
About the Brand: Dominican American stylist Sherly Tavarez created her hair care brand, Hause of Curls, with a commitment to change how people feel about their natural hair. Currently, the brand’s product line features a collapsable hair diffuser, hair clips and also satin scrunchies in a variety of colors.
Read more about Hause of Curls here.
Founder: Magdaline Hurtado
About the Brand: Women with textured hair already go through enough to keep up appearances in the workplace. Thankfully, there are brands like Hello Updo that offer stylish, practical solutions. Their game-changing hair accessories are just what thick-haired naturals need to keep coarse, curly tresses out of their faces.
Read more about Hello Updo here.
About the Brand: Isl Gyal is a small Caribbean-owned business that specializes in Afro-Caribbean-inspired jewelry. It’s not just about style — its jewelry helps women express their truest selves. Necklaces, rings, earrings and more feature designs inspired directly by the islands. Plus, it’s all gold-filled, dipped or plated and priced under $30.
Island Love Cakes
About the Brand: If you have a sweet tooth, place your order with Island Love Cakes ASAP. The Caribbean-owned food brand makes seriously tasty treats that are great for special occasions or just for a regular day. Inspired by the alcohol-infused desserts that are popular in the Caribbean, Island Love Cakes’ already-delicious cakes are soaked in cognac or rum to really amp up the flavor. There are currently four flavors to choose from; buy one of each!
Founder: Karla López Rivera
About the Brand: Launched in 2018, Isleñas is a footwear brand in Puerto Rico that creates beautifully colored, comfy espadrilles and sandals. Although each pair starts at $150, the company is committed to paying it forward through its partnership with Centro Sor Isolina Ferre, a non-profit focused on building education and healthcare.
Founder: Yoki Hanley
About the Brand: Itiba, founded by St. Croix native Yoki Hanley, offers a line of all-natural skin care products that are suitable for all skin types and genders. Hanley first created the plant-based skin care line to soothe her baby’s irritated skin, and the rest is history. Today, Hanley’s children and grandchildren are the first ones to test and approve all of the products before they’re mass-produced and sold. This Caribbean-owned skin care brand’s products are made using unrefined butters and oils and are free of phthalates, mineral oils, silicones and parabens. Two fan-favorite products are Itiba’s Mango Body Butter and Crucian Spice Lotion.
Founder: Janel Jolly
About the Brand: With a tagline “for the Wanderlust-er who’s not afraid to stand out,” it should come as no surprise that Jae Jolly’s colorful creations are attention-grabbers. From bright, bold dresses in all shades of the rainbow to separates that will instantly amp up the wow factor of any outfit, shopping Jae Jolly is one easy way to take your closet from meh to magnificent.
Founder: Keisha Ka’oir
About the Brand: KA’OIR Cosmetics was founded by Keisha Ka’oir, a businesswoman, model and entrepreneur. For those who do not know, Ka’oir is also the wife of famed Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane. The Caribbean-owned makeup brand prides itself on inclusive tones and shades for all. Snag their highlighter palette and vibrant lipstick to add a pop to any outfit.
Founder: Shelley Davis
About the Brand: Kinky-Curly is one of the most popular Black and Caribbean-owned hair care brands today. Its founder, Shelley Davis, hails from St. Vincent and the Grenadines and has been natural since 1998. When the natural hair movement gained major popularity in the early 2000s, she launched the line, which became one of the very first to go mainstream. Today, you can find Kinky-Curly products at popular retailers like Whole Foods and Target. One of the brand’s best-selling products to date is its Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner.
Founders: Kenny Luna and Scott Hattis
About the Brand: Ditch Goya’s Sazón and Adobo seasonings and instead reach for Loisa’s better-for-you options. The Latinx-owned spice and seasoning brand was founded by Kenny Luna and Scott Hattis, both with ties to the Caribbean and Latin America. The brand’s mission is to provide “better quality Latin foods made from only real ingredients.” Shop the brand’s best-selling sofrito, adobo and sazón, as well as spices like Spanish saffron and smoked paprika.
Founders: Natalia Ortega Gámez and Ariel Toribio
About the Brand: Based in Santo Domingo, Los Tejedores is a must-stop shop for beautifully crafted, one-of-a-kind weaving designs. From colorful hand-woven sun hats, like this Cana Visor Green Seaweed, to chic decor baskets for your living space, there is a range of styles to take home. Not to mention, the company uses natural materials and works exclusively with artisans from the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Founder: Jami “James Black” Spence
About the Brand: Launched by Jamaican-based fashion designer Jami “James Black” Spence, Love, YC is a Caribbean clothing brand that taps into the vibrant nature of the Caribbean, mixed with urban elements. Each piece is handmade in Kingston, Jamaica by local seamstresses and tailors. Go for the brand’s ribbed dress or kid-friendly African print shorts set.
Luna Magic Beauty
Founders: Mabel and Shaira Frías
About the Brand: Founded by Afro-Latina and Dominican American sisters Mabel and Shaira Frías, this LA-based company is an indie beauty brand that offers high-quality cosmetics with major color payoffs. After showing off a few of their cruelty-free eyeshadows, lipsticks and lashes on Shark Tank, the Luna Magic Beauty founders received an offer from Barbara Corcoran. Shop a few of the Caribbean-owned beauty brand’s best-sellers to add some color to your makeup routine, like the brand’s Eyeshadow Makeup Palette and Matte Liquid Lipstick.
Manifest that Sh*t Journal
Founder: Julissa Calderón
About the Brand: After discovering her love of journaling, actress, producer and writer Julissa Calderón set out to create Manifest That Sh*t Journal to share her passion with others. She has the mindset that she can manifest everything she wants in life, and she passes that message on to others through the 280-page journal she created, which inspires you to write down your goals and desires.
Mateo New York
Founder: Matthew Harris
About the Brand: If your jewelry collection needs an update, look no further than Mateo New York, a Caribbean-owned jewelry brand. Founded by Matthew Harris in 2009, the line includes earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more, made from precious metals like 14K gold. Harris recently expanded into gorgeous handbags and luxury candles, proving there’s nothing he can’t do well.
Founder: Rocio Nuñez
About the Brand: Midas Cosmetics is an Afro-Latina-owned indie beauty brand that specializes in vegan and cruelty-free products. The Caribbean-owned makeup brand’s mission is for “every person and every skin tone to feel loved.” With an emphasis on inclusivity and diversity, the brand specializes in beauty products for all, like the Flower Bomb Eyeshadow Palette and the Smokey Glow Highlighter Duo.
Miss Rizos Salon
Founder: Carolina Contreras
About the Brand: Miss Rizos, a Dominican-founded salon, initially started as a blog to give advice to readers in Spanish about their natural hair. When the salon opened, it became a socially impactful space to educate other Afro-Latinas on their natural curls. The salon specializes in curls without the use of toxic chemicals or heat. Additionally, Miss Rizos carries its own merch, like its “Yo Amo Mi Pajon Tote,” as well as other brands like Kinky-Curly and Rich and Funky.
Founder: Argentina Flores
About the Brand: Inspired by the juices and herbal remedies her grandmother created when she was growing up, Argentina Flores decided to created Mix’d Roots, a line of yummy alcohol infusions. From a spicy margarita blend to island citrus creations, Flores’ flavor combinations are out of this world.
Founder: Abner Montfleury
About the Brand: As a first-generation Haitian American, Abner Montfleury wanted to diversify the wine-making industry. Duvin searched wine festivals for Black-owned brands but eventually decided to enter the space himself. He founded Montfleur Duvin and now makes the Yvonne white wine (named after his grandmother) from Gewürztraminer grapes.
Founder: Nichole Lynel
About the Brand: If you’re looking for a top Caribbean American fashion brand, look no further than Nichole Lynel. Lynel went from having a successful modeling career to launching what would become a multimillion-dollar enterprise, all in under two years. Shop any of the brand’s festive dresses, or go for comfort in the Nice For What joggers.
Founder: Nina Rios
About the Brand: Having studied metalsmithing at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Nina Rios went on to create her eponymous jewelry line that melds the warmth of her Caribbean heritage with the grit of living in New York City. All of her pieces are truly stunning, but the Druzy Signet rings are really out of this world.
Founder: Carolyn Compres-Diaz
About the Brand: Olette is a sustainable and ethical Caribbean fashion brand that creates clothing “inspired by you and made for you.” Founded by Dominican entrepreneur Carolyn Compres-Diaz, the brand launched during the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the brand’s designs are made with organic materials — even the buttons are made of recycled coconut! Choose from gorgeous designs like the sensual Historia Top or the sexy Siempre Verde Dress.
Founder: Maritza Abreu
About the Brand: Originally a passed-down Dominican family recipe, Pisqueya salsa picante is now a full-blown business run by Maritza Abreu, who is keeping her family’s tradition alive. Abreu’s goal is to share Latin and Caribbean flavors with the world, and she is doing so through Pisqueya’s online shop, which offers high-quality, natural sauces, including three different hot sauces.
Rayo & Honey
Founder: Roachele Negron
About the Brand: Rayo & Honey is a small, independent business that specializes in handcrafted goods like tote bags, bookmarks, keychains and pennants. Founded by Roachele Negron nearly six years ago, the brand was recently featured on Oprah’s 2020 Favorite Things List for its affirmations and inspiring quotes. Browse inspirational home accents like this “Joy Is An Act Of Resistance” wall hanging and this “You Are Enough” mirror.
Founder: Kama Maharaj
About the Brand: Sacha Cosmetics was one of the first makeup brands to lead the charge in diversity. Founded in 1979 by Trinidad native Kama Maharaj, the brand has been a leading force for shade inclusivity since before it became trendy. Maharaj, who still runs the company from the Caribbean island, was motivated to create this line after seeing the lack of suitable options available for women of color in the 1970s. Today, the Caribbean-owned beauty brand’s Buttercup Setting Powder is a timeless classic that spans generations. In fact, it’s also Miss Universe-approved.
Read more about Sacha Cosmetics here.
Savage x Fenty
About the Brand: Created by world-famous singer, designer and businesswoman Rihanna, Savage x Fenty sells bold lingerie for every body type. With an emphasis on inclusivity, Savage X sells everything from bras and panties to loungewear and robes. Add a little spice to your top drawer when you bring home the Mod Poppy Lace Bralette, Cloud Walker Thigh High Stockings or the Bombshell Broderie Lace Teddy from this Caribbean-owned fashion brand.
Sharana Soap Co.
About the Brand: What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body. That’s why we’re such big fans of Sharana Soap Co. This Caribbean-owned beauty brand only uses the finest herbs, botanicals, clays and butters to create their delightfully scented soaps. Their products don’t just smell great; they actually leave your skin looking and feel great, too.
Founders: Dominic, Nicholas and Daniel Maloney
About the Brand: Sol Cacao is a Black-owned company in the Bronx that delivers some of the finest chocolate bars in New York City, thanks to its Caribbean founders. Inspired by the lack of quality chocolate in the States, the brothers wanted to bring to the market “a type of chocolate that elevates taste.” Their chocolate bars contain only two ingredients: cacao beans and raw cane sugar. Additionally, each bar has ingredients from a different country.
Read more about Sol Cacao here.
Founder: Kimberly Waldropt
About the Brand: Clean Caribbean beauty brand Terra-Tory focuses on sensitive and eczema-prone skin. By using natural ingredients and superfoods, the wellness and skincare brand is on a mission to make products everyone, including kids, can use daily. The brand also uses zero-waste and plastic-free packaging materials as part of its sustainability promise. Treat your body to popular items like the Sweet Plantain + Coffee Scrub Cube or the Fresh Aloe Detox Cube.
Founder: Edvin Thompson
About the Brand: Theophilio is a Brooklyn-based contemporary fashion brand by Edvin Thompson, a Jamaican American designer. The Caribbean-owned clothing brand has gained editorial recognition from outlets like I-D, Teen Vogue, Vogue and Essence. An homage to Thompson’s upbringing and culture, the Caribbean streetwear brand has fly options, including its Freedom Rasta Tank or its signature large single earring.
Founder: Kristin Frazer
About the Brand: Trèfle is one of the top Caribbean fashion brands and uses bold colors, patterns and fabrics inspired by the culture of the British Virgin Islands. The founder, Kristin Frazer, was born and raised in Tortola and first launched the brand in 2008, starting with women’s swimwear. Since then, she’s grown to create resort styles and swimwear for men and children and even expanded to home goods. Oh yeah, and you may have seen Trèfle worn by Beyoncé and Blue Ivy.
Founder: Greysh Collazo
About the Brand: Tropical Vices was founded by Greysh Collazo, a 23-year-old Puerto Rican entrepreneur. The brand sells affordable jewelry pieces, including bracelets, rings and necklaces, as well as jewelry organizers and hair accessories. Shop layering-friendly pieces like the Golden Initial Choker or the Zodiac Signs Necklace.
Founder: Adolfo Santana
About the Brand: Viande Foods is a Caribbean-owned food brand founded by Adolfo Santana and operated out of Puerto Rico. It uses root veggies and plantains in its delicious pizzas and soups. The soups include flavors like plantain, cassava or yam, while the pizzas use plantains to create a crispy crust topped with more plantains, mozzarella cheese and meaty toppings. Order online or find Viande at a supermarket near you.
Founder: Desiree D’Aguiar
About the Brand: Winifred Taylor is a Black-owned swimsuit brand founded by Toronto-based designer Desiree D’Aguiar. The swimwear company’s moniker — Winifred Taylor — is named after the founder’s grandparents, combining her grandmother’s first name and her grandfather’s last name. The brand’s designs marry art and fashion and utilize sensual cuts, reversible designs and collaborative textile creations, resulting in one-of-a-kind swimwear that’s sure to stand out from the crowd. Choose from dozens of designs like this stunning tie-waist one-piece swimsuit or the eye-catching galaxy collection of bikinis.
Founder: Scarlett Rocourt
About the Brand: Calling all curly girls! Wonder Curl founder Scarlett Rocourt knows all about the struggle of finding products that hydrate and nourish curly hair. That’s precisely why she started Wonder Curl. She started off just wanting to create the perfect hair gel, but now the Caribbean-owned beauty brand offers shampoo, styling lotion, hair butter and more.
Contributors: Madison Alcedo, Taylor Bell, Ari Bines, Ellie Conley, Moriba Cummings, Jeanine Edwards, Jamé Jackson, Brittany Nims, Julia Webb