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13 Latina-Owned Businesses to Shop For Your Amor and Amigas This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. *Cue “Besame Mucho” in the background!* If you still need ideas on what to get your amor, don’t worry, we got you covered! And if you don’t have a bae this Valentine’s Day, no se preocupe, get these gifts for any of your friends, loved ones, or treat yourself while supporting Latina-owned businesses!

1. Viva Los Cupcakes

@vivaloscupcakes / Instagram

Forget chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. Viva Los Cupcakes bakes cupcakes with a classic Latina twist and regional Mexican influences. They are an award-winning cupcake business started by jefa Karina Jimenez. The shop is known for their jamaica, mazapán, fresas con crema, even a tamal con mole cupcake. Right now, they are offering a special deal where you can get a four-pack of cupcakes in a jar shipped to your door right on time for Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) Day! Order here now.

2. Alamar Cosmetics

@alamarcosmetics / Instagram

Alamar Cosmetics is a Latina-owned makeup brand selling everything you need in your makeup kit from blush palettes, eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks, and their DesNUDEas lipgloss collection. Free shipping for any purchase over $45. Shop here.

3. Flowers ‘n Flour

@flowersnflour / Instagram

With Flowers ‘n Flour, you can put together an entire Valentine’s Day gift set that includes a stunning bouquet of flowers, treats like chocolate-covered strawberries, cake treats, and even your favorite alcoholic drink! They are based in the San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita Valley. You must slide into the DMs in order to place an order @flowersnflour. Hurry soon.

4. Hija De Tu Madre

@hijadetumadre / Instagram

This necklace from Hija De Tu Madre is for all the jefas out there! They also have super cute stationary, accessories and jewelry gifts, perfect for your boss squad. Browse here.

5. Loquita Bath and Body

These products are always great to gift for quality self-care! Loquita Bath and Body is also home to the original Concha bath bomb, and other body products and they are completely cruelty-free here! Shop here.

6. Everything Azucar

Everything Azucar has so many great different sweet treats from cake pops, to matcha brownies, and customizable chocolate covered berries with flower bouquets. Go crazy with your specialized personalization and choose your bouquets in different colors. Based in the San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita, they are taking orders now! Slide into the DMs @everythingazucar.

7. Viva La Bonita

@vivalabonita / Instagram

Viva La Bonita has plenty of products from clothes, coffee mugs, and notebooks. But for those whose significant other’s love language is words of affirmation, what better gift than beautiful posters such as these to remind you how poderosa you are. Quietly hint to your S.O. that this gift is a must for you. Shop here. They even have an app which you can download here.

8. Artelexia

@artelexia / Instagram

A fun gift para el novio! Artelexia also has a wide variety of other cute nicknacks and treats — you can even create a personalized goodie bag for your boo! Shop for more here.

9. Birch and Bone

@birchandbone / Instagram

Who wouldn’t want to be surprised with some more flower bouquets on Valentine’s Day? Based in LA, you can get your specialized flowers shipped right to your door while supporting this Latina-owned shop. For more, click here.

10. Dulce Bella Sweets

Based in Chicago, these cookies are perfect for your Valentine! There is currently a deal on a Valentines Balloon Bundle! Shop here.

11. Magic Mood Art

@magicmoodart / Instagram

Magic Mood Art sells cute greeting cards perfect to give to your loved one or friends! Shop a wide variety here.

12. La Catrinita Crafts

Making Valentine’s Day crafts are totally in but if you’re not great with your hands, fear not! La Catrinita Crafts has a wide variety of cute crafts and wall decor to give to your loved ones. And this wall decor is puro Valentine vibes! Shop here.

13. Resinuendo

@resinuendo / Instagram

Jewelry is always a great Valentine’s gift and even better when from a Latina-owned small business! Resinuendo offers jewelry trays and other cute accessories to show your loved ones you’re thinking of them. Shop more here.

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Charley Gallay / Getty Images for New York Magazine

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Courtesy of Timothy Pollard

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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