Like Etsy but for Latinas, Shop Latinx Raises a Pre-Seed Round

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Like Etsy but for Latinas, Shop Latinx Raises a Pre-Seed Round

The beauty and fashion industry isn't as skinny and white as it once was. Makeup for darker skin tones are more widely available, shapes are changing and so are perceptions. This year, Leyna Bloom graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. She's a trans woman of color. But sometimes, it can all feel a bit inauthentic.

That's how Brittany Chavez, a 30-year-old whose parents hailed from Nicaragua and Guatemala felt when she founded Shop Latinx. Her lifestyle and makeup ecommerce site debuted last October as home for Latinx and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) brands

"We've relied on these platforms to bring us visibility for far too long," she said. "Sometimes that visibility can kind of hurt our communities because it results in erasure because it is inauthentic. It's people that don't look like us who don't come from our backgrounds that dictate what the Hispanic or Latinx marketing strategy is."

For decades people of color felt alienated from a beauty and fashion industry that often set unrealistic and often pale expectations of beauty. But that has been changing.

There is a surge for diverse inclusive brands in the beauty and lifestyle space. Makeup giant Sephora has created a section online to showcase Black-owned brands. And it plans to double its BIPOC-founded brands, according to their Executive Vice President Artemis Patrick.

Still, Chavez said that doesn't feel like enough, especially for Latinos, who can have very different cultural experiences. Her family comes from Central America, a very different country from the small island of the Dominican Republic or the Portuguese speaking Brazil or the U.S. neighbor Mexico.

"I think because for far too long we've been portrayed as a monolith," she said.

Shop Latinx targets the millennial and Gen Z Latina in the U.S. During the pandemic, she said, she saw a spike in sales. The marketplace is a collection of brands by Latinx founders and creators like Nopalera (an emerging Mexican-owned botanical brand for bath & body), Shocks of Love, (a fragrance house at the intersection of wellness, art, & beauty), MCLC, (footwear that empowers the sole).

On Friday the startup announced it raised $1 million in pre-seed funding backed by Precursor Ventures, Backstage Capital, Debut Capital, 2PM, Humble Ventures, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Silicon Hills Capital and Techstars.

The money raised will be used to expand their online presence and hire to expand their current team of four. Chavez told dot.LA that getting backing to launch the site wasn't easy.

"I feel like founders, especially founders of color, like we feel like we have to beg VCs to bet on us. When in fact we're doing them a favor," Chavez said. Statistics constantly bear that out.

But, the Cal Poly Pomona grad said she is hoping to see more Black and brown and BIPOC leaders in positions like hers.

She founded the company, she said, because she wanted to dictate her own terms.

"Instead of trying to rise the ranks of corporate, let me just bet on myself, I literally have nothing to lose because I'm starting from ground zero anyway."

Correction: An earlier version stated that Shop Latinx debuted this October. Shop Latinx has been out for a year.

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Venture Deals in LA Are Slowing Down, And Other Takeaways From Our Quarterly VC Survey

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Venture Deals in LA Are Slowing Down, And Other Takeaways From Our Quarterly VC Survey
Shutterstock

It looks like venture deals are stagnating in Los Angeles.

That’s according to dot.LA’s most recent quarterly VC sentiment survey, in which we asked L.A.-based venture capitalists for their take on the current state of the market. This time, roughly 83% of respondents reported that the number of deals they made in L.A. either stayed the same or declined in the first quarter of 2022 (58% said they stayed the same compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, while 25% said they decreased).

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Here's What Netflix's New 'Culture Memo' Says About How the Company Has Changed

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Here's What Netflix's New 'Culture Memo' Says About How the Company Has Changed
Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash

Netflix promised change after its poor first-quarter earnings. One of the first targets: the Netflix Culture document.

The changes, which Variety reported on Thursday, indicate a new focus on fiscal responsibility and concern about censorship. While promises to support honest feedback and open decision-making remain, the memo’s first update in almost five years reveals that the days of lax spending are over. The newly added “artistic expression” section emphasizes Netflix’s refusal to censor its work and implores employees to support the platform’s content.

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